Satya Yoga Flow: Yoga Class Theme for Truthfulness
By: Steph Ball-Mitchell, E-RYT-500, RPYT, RCYT, YACEP
Our Satya Yoga Flow is designed for teaching the importance of the second yama, truthfulness. While many of us find this sacred practice of yoga through movement, the practice extends so far beyond physical movement. The practice of yoga draws from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali which lay out the 8-limb path of yoga. In the 8-limb path, we know that the first limb is the Yamas, followed by the Niyamas, Asanas (yoga poses), pranayama (breathwork), pratyahara (withdrawal from the senses), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation) and samadhi (full absorption).
The Yamas are the first of the eight limbs of yoga, and represent a set of ethical guidelines for living a meaningful and fulfilling life. These guidelines are rooted in the ancient traditions of yoga and can be thought of as a roadmap for cultivating inner peace, compassion, and well-being.
There are five Yamas in yoga, each with its own unique focus and application. Here is an overview of each of the Yamas:
Ahimsa is the practice of non-violence, both towards oneself and towards others. This includes refraining from harmful thoughts, words, and actions, and cultivating a sense of compassion and empathy towards all living beings. Ahimsa is a foundational principle of yoga, and is essential for creating a peaceful and harmonious world.
Satya is the practice of truthfulness, both in speech and in action. This includes being honest with oneself and with others, and living with integrity and authenticity. Satya is essential for building trust and respect in relationships, and for fostering a sense of inner peace and self-awareness.
Asteya is the practice of non-stealing, both in the material sense and in the emotional sense. This includes refraining from taking what is not rightfully yours, and also from coveting or being jealous of what others have. Asteya is essential for cultivating a sense of contentment and gratitude, and for building trust and respect in relationships. Be sure to check out our Asteya Yoga Flow.
Brahmacharya is the practice of self-control, both in the physical sense and in the emotional sense. This includes refraining from excessive indulgence in food, drink, and other sensory pleasures, as well as cultivating a sense of discipline and restraint in one's thoughts and actions. Brahmacharya is essential for cultivating inner peace and self-awareness, and for developing a strong sense of willpower and self-mastery. You might enjoy our Brahmacharya Yoga Flow.
Aparigraha is the practice of non-attachment, both in the material sense and in the emotional sense. This includes letting go of possessions and relationships that no longer serve our highest good, and cultivating a sense of detachment and equanimity towards the ups and downs of life. Aparigraha is essential for cultivating a sense of inner peace and contentment, and for living with a sense of grace and ease. Be sure to check out our Aparigraha Yoga Flow.
In conclusion, the Yamas are an essential component of the yoga tradition, and represent a set of ethical guidelines for living a meaningful and fulfilling life. By incorporating these principles into our daily lives, we can cultivate inner peace, compassion, and well-being, and live with a sense of purpose and authenticity.
As we prepare our Satya Yoga Flow, we have to take a look at the true meaning of Satya. Satya, the second Yama of yoga, refers to the practice of truthfulness, both in speech and in action. Satya is an important principle in yoga, and is essential for cultivating a sense of authenticity, integrity, and self-awareness. Here are some key insights into the practice of satya:
Before we can be truthful with others, we must first be truthful with ourselves. This means being honest about our own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and having the courage to acknowledge our own flaws and shortcomings. By cultivating a sense of self-awareness, we can better understand our own motives and intentions, and be more truthful in our interactions with others.
Practicing satya also means having empathy and compassion towards others. This means being honest in a way that is kind and respectful, and avoiding harmful or hurtful speech. By approaching truthfulness with a sense of empathy and compassion, we can cultivate more meaningful and authentic relationships with others.
To practice satya, we must also be humble and open-minded, and be willing to consider the perspectives and experiences of others. This means being open to feedback and constructive criticism, and being willing to admit when we are wrong. By approaching truthfulness with a sense of humility and open-mindedness, we can cultivate a sense of growth and self-improvement.
Satya is essential for building trust and respect in relationships. When we are truthful and honest with others, we demonstrate a sense of integrity and authenticity, which can help to foster deeper and more meaningful connections with others. This can also help to create a sense of safety and security in our relationships, and can help to build a sense of community and collaboration.
Practicing satya can be challenging, as it requires us to be honest and truthful even when it is difficult or uncomfortable. However, the rewards of practicing satya are significant, as it can help us to cultivate a sense of self-awareness, authenticity, and integrity, and can help us to build more meaningful and fulfilling relationships with others.
While thinking of Satya and how it translates on the mat, I think of keeping my practice truthful, or authentic. Putting together a yoga sequence for Satya makes me think of being true to myself while on the mat. Practicing Satya can help cultivate authenticity, integrity, and self-awareness. Certain yoga poses can complement and enhance the practice of Satya by helping to cultivate mindfulness and strengthen the body. Here are some yoga poses that can be used to complement the practice of Satya:
Mountain pose is a foundational yoga pose that can help cultivate mindfulness and balance. To practice this pose, stand with your feet hip-width apart, grounding down through the feet and lifting up through the crown of the head. This pose can help cultivate a sense of stability and grounding, which can support the practice of Satya.
Camel pose is a heart-opening yoga pose that can help cultivate compassion and empathy, which are important aspects of the practice of Satya. To practice this pose, kneel on the floor and place your hands on your lower back. Then, lift your chest and arch your back, reaching your hands towards your heels. This pose can help cultivate a sense of openness and vulnerability, which can support the practice of Satya.
Fish pose is another heart-opening yoga pose that can help cultivate compassion and empathy. To practice this pose, lie on your back with your arms by your sides. Then, lift your chest and arch your back, placing the crown of your head on the floor. This pose can help cultivate a sense of openness and vulnerability, which can support the practice of Satya.
Pigeon pose is a hip-opening yoga pose that can help cultivate a sense of release and letting go, which can support the practice of Satya. To practice this pose, come into a downward dog pose and then step your right foot forward between your hands. Then, lower your left knee to the floor and align the right shin with the short edge of the mat, adjusting for your own body. Slowly walk your hands forward, bringing your forehead to the floor or a block. This pose can help release tension in the hips, which can support the practice of Satya.
Corpse pose is a restorative yoga pose that can help cultivate a sense of relaxation and release, which can support the practice of Satya. To practice this pose, lie on your back with your arms by your sides, and simply allow yourself to relax and let go. This pose can help promote a sense of inner peace and relaxation, which can support the practice of Satya.
In conclusion, these yoga poses can be used to complement and enhance the practice of Satya by cultivating mindfulness, strengthening the body, and promoting a sense of relaxation and release. By incorporating these poses into your regular yoga practice, you can help support the practice of Satya, and cultivate a greater sense of authenticity, integrity, and self-awareness.
As we prepare our Satya Yoga Flow, we know that certain pranayama techniques can complement and enhance the practice of Satya by promoting mindfulness and calming the mind. Here are some pranayama techniques that can be used to complement the practice of Satya:
Ujjayi breathing is a pranayama technique that involves breathing through the nose while slightly constricting the back of the throat, creating an audible sound. This practice can help calm the mind, reduce stress, and promote mindfulness. To practice Ujjayi breathing, inhale deeply through the nose, and then exhale through the nose while slightly constricting the back of the throat.
Kali Mudra is a powerful hand gesture used in yoga and meditation, named after the Hindu goddess Kali, who represents transformation and empowerment. This mudra is believed to be beneficial for balancing the energy in the body and promoting inner strength and courage. Here's how to practice Kali Mudra:
Begin by sitting in a comfortable meditation posture, with your back straight and your hands resting on your knees.
Bring your hands in front of your heart, with your palms facing up and your fingers pointing towards each other.
Curl your fingers into a fist, but leave your thumbs pointing upwards and touching each other. This creates a diamond shape between your thumbs and the base of your fists.
Focus your attention on your breath, and visualize the energy of the universe flowing into your body through the crown of your head, and out through your fingertips.
Kali Mudra is believed to have several benefits for the body and mind. It is said to help:
Balance the energy in the body: Kali Mudra is believed to help balance the energy flow in the body by activating the root and solar plexus chakras. This can promote a sense of grounding and stability, as well as a feeling of empowerment and strength.
Promote inner strength and courage: Kali Mudra is believed to help cultivate inner strength and courage, which can help us face challenges and difficulties with greater ease and resilience.
Release negative energy: Kali Mudra is also believed to help release negative energy from the body and mind, allowing us to let go of old patterns and habits that no longer serve us.
"Sat Nam" is a mantra often translated as "truth is my identity" or "I am truth." This powerful mantra helps align the mind, body, and spirit with the truth of one's inner self, and to help cultivate a sense of connection with the divine.
The word "Sat" represents truth, and is believed to be the foundation of all existence. This truth is not just an external reality, but also an internal reality that exists within each individual. By connecting with this truth, we can cultivate a sense of authenticity, integrity, and self-awareness.
The word "Nam" represents identity, and is used to signify a connection with the divine. By repeating "Nam" after "Sat," we affirm that our true identity is rooted in the truth of our inner selves, and that we are connected to the divine in all beings.
Chanting the "Sat Nam" mantra is believed to have several benefits for the mind, body, and spirit. It is said to help cultivate a sense of inner peace and calm, reduce stress and anxiety, and promote clarity and focus. It is also believed to help balance the energy flow in the body, and to promote a sense of connection with the divine.