What an interesting world we’re living in right now, where truthfulness, accountability, and right action are commonly questioned and looked at with a discerning eye. Luckily, we aspiring yogis who f
ollow the path of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are required to always be truthful through one of the social disciplines, or yamas. That social discipline is that of satya, which literally means “to speak the truth,” and while in theory it seems easy enough, there are many levels of the truthfulness that could create obstacles when working toward on honest existence. Below are some things to consider about our daily lives and following the discipline of truthfulness as we journey on our yogic path.
When one thinks of speaking the truth, we naturally associate that with our communication with others. In a paper published in 2010 in Human Communication Research, psychologist found that the average number of lies people tell per day is 1.65 lies. Doing pretty good, people! We might think that it would be higher considering that in our present society, the modes of communication seem endless. We have face to face, phone, snail mail (what’s that?), email, text, social media, and we’d think that each allow for a little more bending of the truth than the next. However, according to research done at Cornell University, the use of technology keeps us more honest, realizing that there’s a “digital trail” (formerly known as a paper trail, remember that?). We actually end up lying more face to face or over the phone because there is no record of what was said. Hmmm, sounds like we might need to work on the correlation between our audial communication and our “little white lies.”
Next, in regards to satya, how honest are we with ourselves? This is a different level of honesty where there is only personal accountability. Another way of thinking about lying to ourselves is the big ‘D’ word: Denial. You may have heard this acronym before, “Don’t Even Notice I Am Lying.” According to an article in Psychology Today there are 8 most common lies we tell ourselves, which include ignorance is bliss, how we like to be seen, and cherry picking data. (If you want to read the full article, click here.) While denial and self-deception may be an evolutionary survival skill, having awareness of our common self-lies might be a good method for us to stop and reflect on some of your own motivations and what you consider to be your “personal truths.”
The last aspect of truthfulness that we’ll mention is that of the honesty behind our actions. In yoga philosophy, we are asked over and over again to look at the intention behind the deeds that we do. The Buddha delineates the distinction between right and wrong intention. Right intention includes the intention of renunciation, the intention of good will, and the intention of harmlessness. The opposite intentions include the intention governed by desire, the intention governed by ill will, and the intention governed by harmfulness. Right intention is the basis for right thinking and truthful and non-deceitful actions.
This post is only to offer some moments of self-reflection and self-study, which is naturally part of our ongoing yoga practice. We’ll finish with the words from Swami Satchidananda about satya, “With establishment in honesty, the state of fearlessness comes. One need not be afraid of anybody and can always lead an open life. When there are no lies, the entire life becomes an open book. But this comes only with an absolutely honest mind. When the mind becomes clear and serene, the true Self reflects without disfigurement, and we realize the Truth in its own original nature.” Sounds to us like to bliss and real freedom.
QiGong is the cultivation (gong) of the vital, universal force within and around us (qi.) QiGong often involves making slow movements, being still, stimulating and stretching parts of yourself- all with relaxed attention. Standing, sitting, or laying down, in this class we will learn from the Ling Gui International Healing QiGong School and Turtle Longevity QiGong. For thousands of years we have used QiGong to improve circulation, increase self-awareness, and cultivate self-acceptance.
Corinne Wolcott, MSOM, LAc, Certified QiGong Instructor, shares many possible practices for health, all rooted in self-awareness and self-acceptance. Drawing upon her training as a Chinese Medicine Practitioner and twelve years of QiGong practice, Corinne emphasizes curiosity and trust in her classes. She loves her work as a healthcare provider of acupuncture, shiatsu massage, QiGong, and nutrition. Her work and wonderings can be found online at www.tuihealthcare.com.
Also considered “yoga for lazy people”, Thai Massage is an ancient healing system developed by a Buddhist physician over 2500 years ago and helps to restore balance and well-being within the body. Thai Massage is usually performed on the floor and both partners wear comfortable clothing allowing for movement. No oils are used in Thai Massage and the practice is often also called Thai Yoga Massage because the therapist uses hands, knees, legs, and feet to move you into a series of yoga-like stretches and adjustments that can include muscle compression, joint mobilization, and acupressure. In this workshops students will learn how to give and receive Thai Massage focusing on the legs, shoulders, low back and hips. No prior experience with bodywork is necessary and these workshops are open to people who come with a partner or without.
Adi Carter is an internationally celebrated yoga teacher and bodyworker who draws from a background of over 20 years in sports injury management and adventuring to keep her always inspired and problem solving ways to strengthen and increase productivity in the body. Her classes focus on structural alignment principles combined with energy work and touch based off of Eastern medicine and she uses Thai Massage as a basis for physically adjusting students in yoga classes and also for teaching students (and teachers) how to safely adjust each other and begin to tap in to their natural healing abilities.
Created to fit the schedule of the local educators, this class will be the perfect end to your work day. Taught by Danielle Mach, experience our signature House Flow style yoga class complete with intentional breathing, flowing movement, and opening postures. All levels welcome. Registration is required.