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Satya: Truthfulness on the Mat



This entry was posted on Mar 24, 2022 by Charlotte Bell.

When most individuals consider yoga, they consider bodily poses. Whereas they could perceive that there’s extra to it than simply poses, do most individuals actually know what meaning? Asana, the bodily follow is the third of the Eight Limbs of Yoga. What comes earlier than?

The primary limb known as yama. Yamas are ethical and moral precepts. They’re pointers for residing in concord with our world—our work, life-style and relationships. The primary of those is ahimsa (non-harming). The opposite 4 yamas are refinements of non-harming. Ahimsa is actually the idea of all yoga follow, together with asana and meditation.

The yamas are foundational for practising yoga in our on a regular basis lives. However we will additionally follow them on the yoga mat. On this put up, I’d like to supply some concepts for practising the second yama, satya (truthfulness) in your yoga mat.

Why Do We Attempt in Our Yoga Observe?

In my view, the best problem for us as yoga practitioners is to know that asana follow is a totally completely different paradigm from what we normally consider as bodily follow. We normally join bodily follow with aggressive sports activities—the “ball” video games resembling baseball, basketball, and many others.; or particular person sports activities, resembling biking, working, snowboarding, swimming, and many others. We’ve realized that train ought to all the time get our hearts pumping.

These types of bodily follow are all utterly reputable—and enjoyable. They maintain our our bodies transferring, which science has confirmed, can assist maintain our minds sharp as nicely. Motion is important for conserving us wholesome.

Additionally they carry with them the thought of competitors—both compared to others, or to our personal “private bests.” However yoga asana was initially conceived, and practiced for hundreds of years, as a technique to calm the nervous system to assist put together they physique and thoughts for meditation.

Yoga’s Authentic Non-Aggressive Intent

The normal framework was the antithesis of competitors. It was about discovering contentment within the current actuality of your follow, it doesn’t matter what it appears like. It wasn’t till the British introduced Western gymnastics to India after they colonized the nation within the nineteenth century that there was even a shred of competitiveness related to asana follow.

As Westerners our conditioning teaches us to compete, with ourselves and others. Because of this, we frequently follow asana inside this framework. It’s not intentional. It’s simply conditioning. So we frequently suppose that the extra excessive our poses, the higher. We follow from the “no ache, no acquire” mindset.

This, after all, usually leads us to practising poses our our bodies aren’t designed for. Or we find yourself refusing aids resembling yoga props, that might assist us acquire the advantages of sure asanas, with out the potential for harm.

The Reality About Evaluating

So as to follow in a method that honors our our bodies and minds, we first should be truthful to ourselves. We’ve to be truthful about our our bodies’ specific strengths and limitations. And we have to honor the important fact that we’re all completely different.

We come into the world with completely different bodily buildings. We additionally spend a long time practising sure bodily patterns. So no two folks’s poses will look the identical. Evaluating your pose to another person’s will not be productive.

One other fact: Our our bodies change over time. Typically because of this sure poses might grow to be extra accessible. Typically it signifies that sure poses that used to appear like a good suggestion might grow to be unhealthy for us to follow now. So even evaluating our follow to what we did final week or 5 years in the past will not be useful.

It’s necessary that we perceive these truths, in order that our follow can nourish our our bodies and minds and in order that it will possibly develop and alter with us. That is the place satya is available in.

Satya on the Yoga Mat

So how will we follow satya on the mat? Listed here are some concepts to discover. Be at liberty to provide you with your individual methods of practising satya.

  1. Be conscious: That is the idea of practising satya. We have to take note of what’s occurring in our follow, second to second. Listed here are some questions you’ll be able to ask your self when you’re practising: How’s my respiration? Is it deep and steady, or is it restricted and shallow? Is there ache wherever in my physique?
  2. Again off: In case your respiration is shallow or restricted, do much less. The breath is the animating drive within the physique. It’s carries our prana, our life drive. Before everything, asana follow needs to be life supporting. In case your respiration is compromised, your follow will not be life supporting. Additionally, asana follow shouldn’t be painful. If there’s ache, depart the pose or do much less. There’s no fancy pose that’s value sacrificing your physique for. Be sincere. Is that this pose, on this second, serving you?
  3. Use props: Many individuals suppose that yoga props are “crutches” for “inexperienced persons” who can’t do the “actual” pose. Truly, yoga props permit us to follow with integrity. Even essentially the most versatile folks can profit from utilizing props generally. A well-placed yoga block underneath the hand in Trikonasana (Triangle Pose) can rework a restricted, misaligned pose to an expansive, life-supporting asana.

Working towards Satya is “Superior” Observe

Once I see a pupil opting to make use of props, selecting to again off and even skipping a pose solely, I take into account this to be “superior” follow. These college students are practising satya. As an alternative of ignoring alerts and placing their our bodies and minds in hurt’s method, they’re honoring the reality of the second. This comes from a deeper understanding of what follow is definitely about—the mixing of physique and thoughts.

Evaluating and competing doesn’t honor the reality of the second. A conscious follow honors what’s true right here and now. Then satya can information our selections. Working towards satya on the mat may give us the instruments to follow it in the remainder of our lives.

About Charlotte Bell


Charlotte Bell found yoga in 1982 and started educating in 1986. Charlotte is the writer of Conscious Yoga, Conscious Life: A Information for On a regular basis Observe and Yoga for Meditators, each printed by Rodmell Press. Her third e book is titled Hip-Wholesome Asana: The Yoga Practitioner’s Information to Defending the Hips and Avoiding SI Joint Ache (Shambhala Publications). She writes a month-to-month column for CATALYST Journal and serves as editor for Yoga U On-line. Charlotte is a founding board member for GreenTREE Yoga, a non-profit that brings yoga to underserved populations. A lifelong musician, Charlotte performs oboe and English horn within the Salt Lake Symphony and folks sextet Crimson Rock Rondo, whose DVD received two Emmy awards in 2010.

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