Friday, April 6, 2018

Sutra 2.36 Satya

Dedicated to truth and integrity, our thoughts, words, and actions gain the power to manifest. (Translated by Nischala Joy Devi)

The Yamas are a code of conduct for the Yogi. Sri Swami Satchidananada explains that Samadhi, which is the ultimate goal of yoga, should not be practiced without the proper moral background.  In Christian terms the yamas would equate to Matthew 7:12, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." 

Sutra 2.36, Satya, is the second of the five Yamas. This yama specifically relates to truthfulness and integrity. It refers to the idea of lying as intentionally misleading others. It means never giving someone else even a slightly different impression from what you know to be true. It is an injunction against deception. Keep in mind that an omission is also a deceit. By deceiving another you are essentially harming them. When others know we are honest, we'll build a trusting relationship. It should also be pointed out that satya should always be in service of ahimsa, the first yama. This means that one should speak carefully and avoid brutal honesty and gossip. It is important to be mindful of the boundary between constructive criticism and destructive criticism. Always communicate with kindness. 

"When you have become willing to hide nothing, you will not only be willing to enter into communion but will also understand peace and joy." - A Course in Miracles

A truthful statement conforms to the way that things are, but a lie requires an ongoing process of bending the facts to support its existence. Lying to others chips away at one's inner integrity and may plant itself like a seed in one's consciousness, giving rise to an inability to see oneself honesty. Nischala says it beautifully, "The power of truth is created through the alchemy of personal integrity."  She equates the power to "feeling" truth as a physical reaction. For example, tears may fall spontaneously as your heart unfolds with words of truth. On the other hand with words that dim truth, you may experience a tightening in the body that releases a wash of fear and anxiety. The heart rests when it is in Satya. Truth carries it's own reward.  "The truth shall set you free." John 8:32

Our physical practice this month is all about core strength because a strong core supports our body. Core strength also refers to the spiritual, ethical, and emotional essence of who you truly are. This means core strength also supports your mind and spirit. 
Our story this month is: I am strong in body, mind, and spirit. 

One of the core poses we practiced this month is called Dolphin Plank. Dolphin Plank builds strength through resistance of your body's weight, which helps to increase bone density. This pose strengthens the arms, legs, and core muscles, including the abdomen, chest and low back. It also strengthens the muscles around the spine which helps to improve posture. 

Begin on your hands and knees. Align your wrists directly under your shoulders, and your knees under your hips. Lower your elbows to the floor directly beneath your shoulders. Keep your forearms parallel to each other. Distribute your weight evenly across both forearms. Tuck your toes and step back with your feet, bringing your body and head into one straight line. Align your heels over your toes. Keep your thighs lifted and take care not to let your hips sink too low. Keep your head in line with your spine. Engage your abdominals. Gaze between your hands. Hold the pose while breathing smoothly for five breaths. Those using the pose to build stamina can hold for up to five minutes. To release the pose slowly lower onto your knees, then press back into child's pose.