Satya True Self
Following on from the self-loving nature of Ahimsa, the next Yama in yogic philosophy is Satya (truthfulness). In Sanskrit ‘sat’ translates to ‘true essence’ and this is exactly what we aim to connect with. As Patanjali quotes above, we have to embody our truth. Now, you might be wondering what is meant by truth? Your true essence transcends beyond your roles, thoughts, and identity. Your true authentic self arises from the core of your being: feelings, values, and morals which form the unique individual that you are. Connecting with this core truth and authentically projecting it into the world is a form of self-mastery.
“The greatest fear in the world is the opinion of others, and the moment you are unafraid of the crowd, you are no longer a sheep, you become a lion. A great roar arises in your heart, the roar of freedom.”
However, it’s not always as simple as it seems. Connecting with our true self is often interrupted by the abrupt nature of the ego! The ego adheres to the societal expectations imposed on us and often creates stories about how we can and cannot behave. This, of course, dims your light. It detracts away from that core authentic truth that hides beneath the persona. Many of us wear masks to adhere to the norm and in doing so deny our wonderful and weird nature!
Ways to connect
So let’s think about ways we can connect with this inner truth and transcend the egoic notions of who we ought to be. We firstly need to still the mind and allow our authentic truth to arise from our feelings, rather than our thoughts. This is where Satya becomes fundamental to yoga: as we still the mind through breath, movement and stillness we allow our true essence to trickle through. Between the asana when the mind dissipates, our authentic truth can make a grand appearance.
“Truth means alignment of one’s words and actions with reality”Patanjali
Exercising your truth
Once we’ve had a glimpse of this, we recognise that our thoughts are not who we are. The task is then become faithful to your inner truth and carry it off the mat to project into your daily existence. Exercising your truth is to be real: ridding the mask and no longer entertaining in people-pleasing or saying yes when you really want to say no. However, this authenticity builds on Ahimsa and must always come from non-violent intentions. If speaking your truth results in hurting another, it’s most likely arising from the ego rather than your true Self. You can speak your truth whilst remaining calm, centred and with loving intention. Holding your integrity should never occur at the expense of another’s feelings.
Now let’s discuss what we mean by ‘integrity’. It is the embodiment of your authentic truth: you stick to your word, you practice what you preach and have enough self-belief to stand for what you believe. Of course, this can only occur once you’ve connected with this essence by stilling the mind. When you’ve embodied this integrity you are not fazed by other’s opinions. You no longer desire the mask you’ve been hiding behind. Instead, you gracefully hold what you believe. But at the same time understanding that your truth is subjective to your being and not the absolute truth. There is a fine line between self-righteousness and integrity, knowing that your truth is only yours and not allowing the ego to take the reins. Each individual is intrinsically unique and beneath the layers, holds their own truth.
So, to connect with Satya find your stillness. The spaciousness between the thoughts is where your truth lies. Beyond the restraints of the self-righteous ego is your true authentic being shining brilliantly. Embody this uniqueness, inspire others to carry their truth and break free from the mind. Voice your truth from a place of Ahimsa (non-violence) and let go of the attachment to the outcome. Try this affirmation during meditation or in Shavasana: I am now ready to embody my authentic self, as I lovingly express my truth.
Stand in your power by embodying your truth and feel the alignment of authenticity!