For the month of October, Yoga-Cise will be exploring the Yama of Satya. Satya translates to truthfulness in self, life and dialogue with others. As Yamas provide us with our moral compass, this Yama provides us with a guideline of which to live and connect with others.
To better understand this Yama, we will explore each aspect of it in more depth.
1.Truth in self
The idea of seeking truth within is about striving to understand and know our most authentic self, so that this ‘true self’ can shine through every day. This is certainly not a simple task. Finding our ‘true self’ is an involved, introspective process of reflection and soul searching.
Hints of our authenticity are always present, we just need to slow down enough to look within and find them. These hints can be in the butterflies we get when talking about certain topics or the research and hobbies we fill our downtime with. These hints can be in our closest relationships and most comfortable interpersonal interactions. We can find this insight in what we daydream about, what lights us up inside or what brings us contentment and joy. Part of embracing our true and authentic self is finding our sense of purpose, understanding our values, and embracing our unique skills and interests.
2.Truth in words
Having truth in our words is easier to implement when we have found, made peace with, and embraced our authentic, true self. Being truthful in our dialogue with others is an integral part of this Yama. The most important thing to remember is that Ahimsa (non-violence) always comes first. Therefore, if speaking truth comes at the direct expense of someone else’s well-being, we might be advised to keep that truth to ourselves.
3.Truth in experience
Truth in our experiences is a natural extension to implementing the two previous forms of truth-seeking. If we are being authentic and true to ourselves and engaging with others in an honest and authentic way, we are more likely to bring our authenticity and truth into our daily life—or our overall experience. This means that we will seek experiences that resonate with our personal truth. We will live each day from a congruent and authentic place. This truth-seeking agenda will embody our entire existence and allow us to live more in line with who we really are.
Being honest with ourselves is the first step to bringing truth into every part of our lives. A yoga lifestyle, comprised of self-reflection, mindfulness and meditation—is the most beneficial way to become more introspective and seek this internal truth. Once we find our internal truth, we can naturally share it with others and let it flow through all of our experiences.
The beauty of mindfulness is that it allows us to become more present and engaged in every area of our lives. This engagement often promotes clarity and insight within the different parts of ourselves and our experiences.
When we integrate mindfulness into our relationships for instance, we create space to be more thoughtful in our interactions with others. Being thoughtful, rather than absent minded, toward our loved ones provides us with an opportunity to enhance and improve upon the relationships we hold near and dear.
Consider how often we neglect our relationships when life becomes hectic or speeds up too quickly. In an effort to keep our head above the water and simply get by, we might give less thought and attention to those we love most. We may take them for granted—an all to familiar feeling and experience of being human.
But, when we learn how to slow down and integrate mindfulness into our lives as a whole, we have the opportunity to look at our relationship under a new lens; a lens with more patience, thoughtfulness and openness.
Consider these three tips to help you bring more mindfulness into your relationships.
1. Identify what you are most grateful for within each of your cherished relationships; then, tell the person what this is.
Sometimes we get so caught up just existing that we forget how to live. Part of truly living is appreciating everything we have. What better place to start than with your closest relationships? Take some time and reflect on what you feel most grateful for in your relationships. It will most likely be different with each person. In one friendship, you might value the laughter and light-hearted nature of the relationship. For a sibling, you may value the deep connection and ability to talk about anything. Maybe your partner keeps you grounded, calm and supported. Think about these things and write them down. When you feel ready, express this gratitude to the people you love.
2. Slow down and truly listen to those you love.
When our minds are racing at lightning speed from one topic to another, it can feel difficult to truly engage and listen to those around us. Even further, we might be so preoccupied waiting for our turn to talk that we neglect the beautiful opportunity to just whole-heartedly listen to someone else. Practice slowing down and listening. Practice engaging in the conversation by asking more questions about the topic your loved one is talking about. Practice silent support. We don’t always need to speak to let people know we are fully listening.
3. Pay attention long enough to recognize when forgiveness is needed.
Our relationships cannot grow if we keep anger and resentment in our hearts. We might not even realize we are harboring this resentment. This is a side effect of living mindlessly. We have thoughts and emotions that we neglect because we are too busy focusing on everything else that we miss opportunities to look within. Today, give thought to anyway you might be harboring resentment toward the people you love. Maybe this is in the form of jealousy, maybe it is a feeling of being offended or maybe you have emotionally pushed someone away without even realizing why or when. The first step is acknowledging it is there. The next step is to find a way to let it go. This can involve talking it out with the person directly, talking it out with someone else to externally process your thoughts, or giving further reflection time to it on your own to really determine if the resentment is necessary.
Attempt to integrate these mindful tips into your day to enhance your most cherished relationships. In time, you might realize that not only do your relationship improve, but your own heart feels more full with love and gratitude.
As the autumn season transitions our warm sunny mornings into chilly dark skies at 6am, you might be finding yourself struggling to pull off the covers and climb out of bed. Daylight savings is right around the corner, which will restore some of our morning sunshine. But until then, consider leaving room for a brief, 10-minute yoga flow in the morning to help awaken your body and prepare you for the day ahead.
While getting out of bed ten minutes early might seem like the least appealing task on a dark, chilly morning, there are benefits to creating this space to slowly reconnect to yourself before jumping in your daily routine.
Here are 5 yoga poses to move through slowly as you wake yourself up and fill your mind and body with positive energy.
1. Seated twist
Finding a comfortable seated position on your mat, allow yourself to root your sit bones into the floor as you prepare to become reacquainted with movement after a night’s sleep. On the inhale, allow your arms to rise above your head. On the exhale, twist to the left side, allowing your right hand to rest on your left knee and your left hand to find the mat behind you. Stay here for 3 deep breaths. On the next inhale, let your arms rise again above your head. On the exhale, twist to the right side, allowing your left hand to rest on your right knee and your right hand to press into the mat directly behind you. Stay here for 3 deep breaths. Continue this movement a few times and slowly wake up your body.
2. All fours to child’s pose flow
From your seated position, move into all fours on your mat. When here, insure that your hips are directly above your knees and your shoulders are directly above your wrists. Stay here for three breaths, feeling your hands firmly pressing into the mat and flattening your back. On the exhale, push back into child’s pose, allowing yourself to sit back on your heels while your arms reach out in front of you. Stay here for three breaths and feel the stretch through your upper body. On the next inhale, slowly come back to all fours. Continue this movement for as long as you like, ending in all fours.
3. Downward Dog
From all fours, tuck your toes and lift your hips as you push back into downward dog. This is the pose that will cause your body to feel the most awake. You might be feeling tight after laying in bed all night, so give yourself a few breaths to peddle out your legs, bend your knees, and settle into the pose. Be sure not to hyperextend your arms and keep your shoulder blades drawn together, slightly lifting your chest and pulling your shoulders away from your ears.
4. Low lunge
From your downward dog position, take a deep inhale and let your right leg rise up behind you. On the exhale, bring your leg into your chest and place it down between your palms. Allow your left knee to come down to the mat with your toes untucked. After insuring your knee is above your ankle, take a deep inhale and let your arms rise above your head. Stay here for 5 deep breaths. On the inhale, let your hands back down to the mat and on the exhale, step your right foot back to meet your left and move into downward dog. Repeat these steps on the left side.
From downward dog, bring your knees down to the mat as you transition into a seated and then a lying down position. Lay flat on your back and then bend your knees and plant your feet on the mat, bringing them close to your sit bones. Once comfortable, press your hands into the mat and on the inhale, raise your hips as high as feels comfortable to you. Remain here, or if you would like, bring your hands to clasp underneath you. Hold for 5 breaths.
The beauty of devoting energy to a morning yoga practice is that it allows you to re-center your thoughts and emotions before the day officially begins. Moving through this flow will allow you to stretch and awaken your body while also calming your mind, focusing on your breath, and replenishing your spirit.
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Rebecca Dawson, 500 Hour Certified Yoga Alliance Teacher and Therapist (Yoga Therapy experience is not affiliated with Yoga Alliance)
Therapy Certification is through the IAYT (International Association of Yoga Therapists).
Rebecca has a desire to help people who are experiencing pain in any part of their body either due to injuries, neurological disorders or undefined causes. Rebecca has experienced a few injuries which were incurred by accidents. One was a car accidents where she had a compression of the Lumbar spine and the other was a skiing accident where she had dislocated her femur bone. Using yoga techniques and other holistic techniques she is now pain free and would like to help others to lead a pain free life. Rebecca has private classes available upon appointment. First initial consultation will be free and will be a twenty minute phone conference call which will be set up to get acquainted with the client. After that an appointment will be made. Please email email@example.com or call 267 718 6444 for details.