Yoga teaches truthfulness (Sathya).This truthfulness can be manifested in our attitude towards others and our inner attitude with ourselves.
When it comes to our relationship with “the other”, there is a deep fear of being truthful. We have learnt since childhood that we might get told off or punished in some form or another if we say our truth. We were taught to think twice about what we say in case we hurt another. Deep down, as we cared for all and didn’t want to hurt anyone we learnt the art of manipulation and saying what we knew was expected of us. What we learnt was important in order to learn the values of the society we live in, and to act accordingly when necessary. However, in that, there is the danger of compromising the truth that we feel deep inside and sell it in order to get what we want from the outside world.
Talking and acting according to the rules of society is important, but there are higher laws and rules that govern our being. These are the same rules that govern the universe and sustain life as we know it. Choosing to say the truth to the other, just as it is – without being deliberately unkind or uncompassionate and act from that truth is for me, the act of living according to the universal laws. The rules of society, even though they have their uses, can make of us robots who are not referring to the life force within but act and talk, only according to a predefined set of rules – firmly engraved in our minds.
Life is not rigid, it flows. It doesn’t create robots, but intelligent beings capable of evolving. Yoga invites us to be truthful. It invites us to let our entire being and not just our mind be our guide and stay true to that when we interact with others. One day a friend might ask you for a favour, you look within, the answer is “yes”….another day it’s “no”. Follow that, be truthful. Trust that the life that flows through you knows best – better than your mind. Follow it. In that “yes” or that “no” there might be a valuable insight for yourself or your friend.
We are invited to be truthful at all levels; not only when we relate to others, but also in our attitude towards ourselves. We can cultivate truthfulness within ourselves while we do yoga; by observing without judgments all thoughts and emotions that arise during the practice. Thoughts such as “I feel so great”, “I don’t feel calm at all”, “I am not enjoying this”, “I wish I was always relaxed” or “there is too much noise”,. All these thoughts have associated emotions attached to them: happy, disappointed, blissful or angry.
In Yoga we watch, we witness without discriminating and we allow all these thoughts and emotions to rise, as they do, without holding on to the ones that give us pleasure, or trying to rid ourselves of the ones that give us pain.
This “allowing” quality during our practice, enables the deep truth of ourselves to unfold. Truth about ourselves that we were previously are unaware of! Our day to day actions are fuelled by what we know and are aware of, but also from a deeper level that is also hidden from the conditioned mind. It is this hidden part which creates challenging situations in our lives, only to enable us to see ourselves in total light.
I like to think of Yoga practice as a torch that brings light to what is hidden deep inside the basement of your being, afraid that if it comes to light, it will be judged, hated, resented or rejected, not just by others, but more importantly by you. It is by becoming aware of yourself and accepting and loving yourself totally that you will be able to live with others with more compassion and understanding. The peace in the world starts within you.
It is truth that sets you free, it is truth that empowers you!!
Yoga is about truthfulness, it is about creating an integrated, self aware, whole you.
It is the attitude behind the poses, the intentions that differentiate Yoga with other forms of stretching. Every practice is a journey which doesn’t end with the session, it is a journey towards the truth of who you are, the truth of being human, the truth of existence!
As Osho says: “Be in love with existence! And let love be like breathing. Breathe in, breathe out, but let it be love of truth coming in, going out. When you breath out, just feel that you are pouring your love into existence; when you breathe in, existence pouring its love into you. No matter who you are, existence loves you, existence needs you. And soon you will see that the quality of your breath is changing, then it starts becoming something totally different to what you have ever known before. That’s why in India they call it “prana” life, not just breathing, it is not just oxygen. Something else is there, the very life itself.”