According to the yamas of yoga, the guiding principles, Satya is the primary limb of yoga and embodies truth in body, speech, and mind. During our practice, incorporation of Satya allows us to speak, think and behave, in a manner that is free from falsehood, pure and a replication of what we understand to be reality.
WORDS: MELISSA GHATTAS
To experience truth, we must let go of what we “believe” to be true.
What we believe to be true comes from a limited perspective, a mind that has been conditioned to judge, think, criticize and form opinions of what is right and wrong in the world. In yoga philosophy it is said that our inner Self; Atman, is eternal truth, the unchanging timeless existence of who we are, pure love, pure joy, pure knowing. The root word ‘sat’ translates as ‘true essence’ or ‘true nature’, its existence is equanimous, permanent and pure. Through our life experiences, our doubts, our fears, our conditioning, we become disconnected to our path, to our purpose, to our truth.
The path of yoga is to realign with our true essence, our light and to experience moksha (freedom) peace and self-realisation.
WHAT IS TRUTH?
Truth does not change, truth is clear, truth ‘sat’ is, all that is. So how do we return to our truth?
Through meditation, self-awareness, self-knowledge we learn to transcend the constricted viewpoint of “I” and experience universal oneness and truth. Truth is non-harming, and the union of all. In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, a sacred and valuable text for yoga students and teachers, is an eight-fold path called Ashtanga yoga, not to be confused with the physical practice of Ashtanga vinyasa yoga.
Within this path, are the teachings of ethical and moral guidelines that support one in their pursuit to self-realisation, commonly known as the ‘Eight limbs of Yoga.
• NIYAMA (SELF DISCIPLINE)
1. SAUCHA (CLEANLINESS, PURITY OF BODY/MIND)
2. SANTOSHA (CONTENTMENT)
3. TAPAS (SPIRITUAL AUSTERITIES)
4. SVADHYAYA (STUDY OF SACRED SCRIPTURES AND SELF STUDY)
5. ISVARA PRANIDHANA (SURRENDER/ DEVOTION TO GOD/GURU/DIVINITY)
• ASANA (POSTURE)
• PRANAYAMA (BREATHING
• PRATYAHARA (SENSE WITHDRAWAL)
• DHARANA (CONCENTRATION)
• DHYANA (MEDITATION)
• SAMADHI (ENLIGHTENMENT/BLISS)
The spiritual teachings acknowledge that in order to obtain an awakened consciousness, one shall practice these moral codes of conduct mentioned in the Yamas and Niyamas.
Patanjali’s path is to disentangle from the ‘untruth’ of our mind, to be free of “chitta vritti” mind chatter.
“Yoga chitta vritti nirodha” Yoga Sutra 1.2 translates that yoga is the emancipation of the fluctuations of the mind.
We become the witness, we learn to take the seat of awareness, to recognise that we are not our thoughts; we then see more clearly, we see truth.
While we meditate its easy to get caught up in our thoughts, our stories, our emotions, but with time, patience and practice, we see that all of this is transient; we see that it is not our true being. Our truth is to be open with great awareness, it is to be vulnerable and raw, it is to follow unconditional attunement to who we truly are. It is our connection to Self, to each other and to all of life.It can be frightening; it can be painful to be fully open to life. Yet, when we surrender to the faith that resides within, that this is the path, this is the path to self realise, we align with source, with power, with strength, we embody a spiritual warrior, full of hope and determination to live with truth, love and respect.
Yoga philosophy helps us to understand that these principles can be applied in all areas of our life; our mat is a perfect place to ‘practice’ being aware, being kind, and being honest.
Our breath, the great teacher, is always there, is always ever present to express our truth. We practice, we witness, and we learn to meet ourselves with respect, love and truth in each and every moment. Our relationship with ourselves becomes one of non-harming and truthfulness. When we loose our connection to breath, we come out of alignment with yoga, when we are in alignment with what is “truth” we are in union with ourselves.