Satya – The Truth and Nothing But the Truth

One of the things we love about yoga is that it’s a path of action and activism.

It’s a path of doing.

Which seems important, because there are a lot of things that need to be done.

A lot of BIG problems that we can’t just breathe or meditate away.

We need to fix them.

In our continued exploration of yoga philosophy, this month we are looking at satya.

Now our wise and esteemed philosophy teacher told us that satya has been mis-portrayed in the westernization of yoga culture.

Satya which means truth – is not really about living your own truth or just about being an honest person.

Instead, it’s about acknowledging the truth of what is happening – both inside and outside of you – and asking yourself whether that truth is in some way contributing to the the harm of others or yourself. (for more on this. see ahimsa)

Satya is about looking at the facts.

And if the facts of what is happening cause harm, you must take some action to change.

Take for example, the context of Covid-19

What are the facts?

  1. It’s a virus that harms others.
  2. The most effective way to stop it is for each of us to do our part. Every day. All day. Until we’ve beat it.

Satya asks us to always look at the truth

And to move and operate from that truth so that we reduce harm for others and ourselves.

The truth is that each of us continues to matter right now.

The truth is that it’s not up to one of us. It’s up to all of us.

In moments of fatigue or overwhelm we can ignore these facts.

We can try to pretend that our individual efforts don’t matter

Why wash my hands. I’m just one person.

Why vote. I’m only one voice?

But thoughts like that ignore the facts.

So in times of overwhelm. In times of futility. In times of wanting to give up, just keep coming back to the truth.

What you do matters. You are important. You are contributing towards meaningful and profound change.