Hey everyone, I’m happy to be back and continuing to share about the Yama‘s of Yoga.
Last month I started talking about the Yama’s, or step 1 of Patanjalis 8 Limbed Path to Yoga, which are ethical guidelines of how to live everyday purely! By applying these 5 disciplines to our every day lives we can begin to cultivate compassion for others, we become honest and we feel gratitude. And when we are compassionate, honest and grateful we become more aligned with our true nature, leading to real, deep happiness! And why not be happier?
Review: Characteristic 1 of the Yama’s is Ahimsa (Non-Violence). Ahimsa tells us not to harm or be cruel to any living thing, including ourselves. Not even that annoying mosquito that is about to bite you, that scary spider in the corner of your bedroom or that co-worker who just really gets on your last nerve. We show compassion to everything no matter if we particularly like it or not. We must always be considerate of the feelings and we’ll-being of others.
Moving on to characteristic 2. Satya: Truthfulness.
Satya simply means to speak the truth. But we all know that the truth can hurt sometimes therefore balancing Ahimsa and Satya can be tricky.
We need to first think about what we will say aloud. Consider what, how and when we say things and if we decide that it will unnecessary harm someone we should keep it to ourselves. “If you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all” wise words from Disney's beloved Thumper.
But what if you have something honest to say that could hurt someone’s feelings now but in the long run will help them out?
For example; telling a girlfriend she is being too needy with her new boyfriend and that she should take a step back and live her own life. No one likes to be told they’re needy, but if she were to take this advice, take her life back and stop catering to him, she would end up a lot happier. Some say this is going against Ahimsa and therefore you should keep your mouth shut. I think do it, hurt a friend to help them. Just be sure that your intentions are good! It sucks at first but they will thank you later. Remember to always, always be considerate of HOW you bring up these problematic issues. Sometimes just how one says something is hurtful, when the message itself is actually not so bad.
Satya is also about finding your own truth. What is important and meaningful to you? What do you believe in? Do you believe what others tell you or do you formulate your own beliefs? What are your morals and priorities? Try your best to find your truth by doing the things that make you happy, for example, spend time with those who you truly care about or take time to enjoy your hobbies. Of course practicing Yoga is a great way to find alignment in body and mind, bringing us closer to our true selves. Most importantly be honest with yourself without judgment of your thoughts, wants and needs!
What could the third Yama be? Check back in next month to find out!
I wish you all a wonderful new year ahead. Set good intentions, be your best self and find your truth, your Satya.
Hi there! My name is Katelyn and I am one of the contributors to the wonderful LIA project blog.
I was born in Saskatoon, SK and was raised on a grain farm not far from the city. Growing up on the flatlands of Canada gave me this constant and overwhelming need to surround myself with everything natural so when I found Yoga after many years of ballet dancing it just made sense. To move my body with intention and be able to listen in on what my body was telling me was exactly what I needed to learn and what I try to convey to my students.
Nowadays I live in one of the most beautiful and nature-filled cities I have yet to discover, Zürich Switzerland. I try not to take any moment for granted because I know that it’s a damn blessing to live in such a lively yet organic city.
In my public and private yoga classes we move dynamically and with intention as I try to integrate Yoga’s basic principles into every class.
I’m honoured to share my writing with you all here and hope that it may help you better understand yoga, yourself and your neighbours.