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Understanding Yamas: Satya

Satya, the second Yama.

Sutra 1:2

Yoga is complete mastery over the roaming tendencies of the mind

Sutra 1:3

Then the Observer becomes established in its true nature

Sutra 1:4

Otherwise, the Observer conforms to the roaming tendencies of the mind

The Sanskrit word satya translates to truth in English.

The quality of our mind creates the foundation for our thoughts and behaviors, and thus our quality of life. Our past experiences leave impressions in our mind, and we can become so influenced by them that they contaminate our view of reality in the present moment. This happens more often than you may realize. The mind is easily swayed by it's own perception, and tends to be stubborn in its definitions of reality. This is where suffering comes from. Lucky for us, the Yoga Sutras say that the mind can be just as pure and luminous as consciousness itself. Our truest nature is that Pure Awareness-- unchanging and eternal and wise. We can live life free of suffering if we can bring the mind into this state of being.

The mind can be just as pure and luminous as consciousness itself. Our truest nature is that Pure Awareness-- unchanging and eternal and wise.

So the moral code of satya, truth, is the everyday act of living as close to our true nature of Pure Awareness as possible by removing the illusions we've concocted in our lives. By setting our ego aside and seeing ourselves and the world simply as it is, instead of through the lens of distorted judgements or preconceived ideas, we become a pure seer of our inner and outer world. The well-seasoned yogi, then, has no reason to make up lies or become disillusioned.

To be a yogi is to be a warrior of truth, grounded in reality. A yogi sees the truth, speaks the truth-- as long as it is in alliance with ahimsa-- and lives life pursuing Pure Awareness, our true nature.

By setting our ego aside and seeing ourselves and the world simply as it is, instead of through the lens of distorted judgements or preconceived ideas, we become a pure seer of our inner and outer world.

Presence with whatever reality is in front of us at any given moment is satya. Embrace the truth of all moments. Be mindful of and dedicated to living a life of honesty in actions, thoughts, and speech and you'll be immersing yourself in the practice of satya.

The Satya Project.

We have to be honest with ourselves. The week, we'll take satya to the mat. Is your asana practice aligning with the present conditions of your body? Are you pushing yourself harder than you should, holding onto the idea that yesterday you could do something which today feels impossible? Acknowledge and move on. Are you being lazy in your execution of a pose or careless about your breath? Face that resistance. Whatever comes up for you, look without judgement and release it. Let your yoga practice crack you open. Unveil the truth of your current being so that you can learn, heal, and grow from it. The more practiced you become in this, the closer you'll find yourself to living in Pure Awareness every day.

Live in truth. Live in yoga.

Happy practicing!

For love, with love.

-E

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