Our fall training program is underway and the students are deeply immersed in the study of yoga. As part of our studies we are examining the classical yogic code of conduct called Yama and Niyama. The idea behind these guidelines is to give the practitioner some reference for how they conduct themselves in the world, away from their mat.
These guidelines, such as non-harming, truthfulness, cleanliness and self study can be referenced in every circumstance and are deeply interrelated. They are not only intended to harmonize our social relationships but to invoke deep transformation within the practitioner. These principles can be applied not only to our physical actions but to speech and thoughts as well.
Each student had the opportunity to choose one of these precepts and apply it to their lives. My group chose “satya” which literally means “To Be” and is more commonly translated at “truthfulness.” The implication here is that when we are in accord with our essential beingness, truth arises spontaneously and unswervingly.
As part of our experiment we emailed one another daily to report our discoveries. I thought I’d just share a few of my entries to give you a sense of this experiment.
“I was walking in the park this morning with my young son. I thought it would take 20min instead it took an hour. I wanted to go home and complain to Brenna how Rama, took to much time looking at little things! The complaining functioned at a pretty low frequency of truth and underneath it was more aggression than anything else. So I refrained. Lesson: Truth can be not saying something as well.”
“In practicing truthfullness I find myself editing my words and choosing to align myself with my higher ideas, words and actions. Part of the implication in the reading was that the truth carries it’s own potency. I can sense this in the small examples I’ve listed and am curious to discover the source of truth itself….
“…This is when the truth flows most easily. There is no effort or justification required. At these times the truth starts to look a lot like love, peace and compassion. The truth seems to be a port-hole into a deeper dimension of ourselves.”