Satya (“Truthfulness”)

 Satya (“Truthfulness”)

By Jennifer Kelleher

I invite you to sit up comfortably in your chair, gather yourself into the present moment, and take three intentional, unhurried breaths.

In today’s article, I am going to talk about the second Yama from Patanjali’s renowned ‘Yoga Sutras.’ According to Patanjali, the Yamas are the first of yoga’s eight limbs, and they are predominantly concerned with the outer world and our interaction with it. In learning the Yamas, we naturally begin to take more conscious action, which allows us to show up more authentically for both ourselves and others.

Satya is often translated from Sanskrit to mean ‘truthfulness’ or ‘not telling lies,’ but it is actually much more than that. Sanskrit is a vibrational language, and the sounds of the words hold the essence of what is being expressed. For this reason, Satya can also be described as ‘unchangeable,’ ‘that which has no distortion,’ ‘that which is beyond time, space, and person’, and ‘reality.’

As you begin to understand the full meaning of Satya, you may start to realize that much of your own time is spent focusing on changeable things rather than the unchangeable, causing you to miss the real truth in different life situations. For example, our thoughts, emotions, and moods fluctuate regularly, yet we can often mistake them as our truth, allowing them to shape our life experience.

In order to be honest in any other part of our life, we must first be honest with ourselves. Doing this involves creating space and stillness so that the mind can slow down and move away from its primitive instinct to react based on emotion and fear. Meditation is a great tool to get you walking through life as Spirit in a body, rather than a body, thoughts, or emotions looking for Spirit. You can start by taking a few minutes each morning and afternoon to sit quietly and observe your thoughts. Watch your thoughts as they naturally arise, and allow them to pass without getting tangled up in them. By practicing Satya, our life experiences become based in truth, rather than fear or ignorance.

While being honest with ourselves can certainly be difficult, being completely honest with our loved ones can also be challenging at times. Honesty is the foundation of all solid relationships, no matter the type. Being honest builds trust and allows for deeper, more meaningful connections. This being said, truth must also be balanced with compassion. According to the ‘Yoga Sutras,’ if you believe that being truthful in that moment will bring harm to another, it is better to not say or do anything at all. Sri Ramakrisna says, “Make the heart and the lips the same.” The words that escape our lips should be a reflection of the love in our heart; we should speak with softness and compassion. At the same time, we should never sugar coat the truth with white lies to try to sweeten it. Indian culture believes that morals can change depending on what the situation at hand calls for. A good way to discern here is to ask yourself in any given circumstance, “Will it truly serve the other person, or am I doing/saying this to prove or gain something?” In other words, “Am I speaking from my heart or my ego?”

I invite you to join us at Ocean Bliss Yoga to practice Satya on your yoga mat! We offer daily classes, along with a wide variety of new workshops each month. Join me on January 3 for a special workshop to kick off the new year with intention, direction, and focus! Learn more at, or call or text me (Jen) at 917-318-1168.

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