The second principle of yoga practice is 'Satya' or truthfulness. (If you missed the intro to the first principle,scroll back to last week's post on Ahimsa).
The root word 'Sat' means something like 'that which is'. So, practicing Satya means practicing being with things as they are - in your thoughts, words and actions. It also means cultivating the ability to discern between facts, opinions and judgments. It's about coming out of the shadows of ignorance and living in the light of truth.
Satya goes beyond speaking your own truth. Practicing 'being with what is' also means being with OTHER people as THEY are; allowing others to be 'real' with you.
Lying alters others' perception of reality. When we actively try to alter anothers' perception of reality for our own gain, we deprive them of the facts they need to make good decisions for their own lives (hello, fake news era). And, most importantly, truthfulness is not being delivered in the spirit of yoga if it is not tempered by the principle of ahimsa (non-harming).
When our thoughts/actions/speech are couched in the spirit of truth and kindness we act from the best of ourselves. We create clarity and connection, and we bring out the best in others.
Here are some ways you might explore practicing 'Satya' on and off the mat:
Intention/Affirmation: 'I communicate with love and clarity'
Off the Mat: Before you speak, ask yourself whether what you're about to say is 1) True 2) Kind and 3) Useful. (I believe this sage advice comes from yoga teacher, Judith Hanson Lasater)
Posture Practice: Give your body what it's asking for TODAY, even if that's different from what you normally do.