Satya (truthfulness)

The second Yama (moral codes/ethical disciplines ~ establishing ourselves in peace) in the Ashtanga Yoga, eight-limbed, path.

When we typically think of the truth – we think of if we lie to others.

I once read a translation of Satya that truly resonated with me:  ‘the integrity of our thoughts, words and actions – to ourselves and others’.

Thoughts – when we have a thought – if it is not true, ask yourself – why do I chose to think this way?  It could be about yourself or someone else.  What is this thought here to teach me?

Example – if I make a judgment about someone else – perhaps I think someone is not being kind.  It may appear to be true in the moment, but in that moment it is –

1) my judgment of that person and how I interpret kindness, and/or
2) a glimpse of that person at this moment in time.  Perhaps they are having a bad day because they just got fired or are in midst of illness or divorce.  Most often we have no way of really knowing why someone acts the way they do, we can only be responsible for our reactions.

Words – I have learned over the years to think before I speak.  Boy, oh boy – those who know me know that I use to be reactive and just speak my mind – sometimes harshly.  Now-a-days I try to really listen before I speak and consider if what I am going to say is – true, kind and necessary.  I am still working on this – every day. When we take ‘pause’ in our lives, we can take time to know if we are speaking our truth.

Actions – in my recent Elephant Journal post I wrote about authenticity.  To me – being authentic is about living our truth, the honest actions day in and day out, on and off the yoga mat.

Coming next – Asteya – non-stealing.  Stay tuned!

Namaste,
I honor the place in you where we are all one.

~Maureen

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Ahimsa

Nonviolence.  Being kind.

Ahimsa is about being kind – to yourself and others.  I like to think about the way I WANT to be with others and not how I DON’T want to be.  So, though the Sanskrit would Ahimsa is sometimes translated to nonviolence, I want us to think about it as being kind.  When we are being kind – we can’t also be violent.

We each define kindness in our own way – whatever way you define it – think about how you are kind first and foremost to yourself.  We are sometimes kind to everyone around us and forget about ourselves.  So, first – be kind to you.

Assignment – examine a thought that you have about yourself today. When/if you have a negative thought about yourself, in that moment change it up – immediately.  Do not judge that you said something unkind to yourself – just make a commitment that when you do that, you immediately say something kind.  By starting with our thoughts we will bring more awareness to how we treat ourselves and then we can move that same awareness into kind words and actions.

Example – a thought I had today ‘My desk is so messy, what is wrong with me that I cannot get a handle on this.’  Changing it up – The paper, books and pictures on my desk are all important to me.  When I have time, I will organize my desk.  In the meantime, I chose to let go of any negativity associated with my messy desk.’  Ha.  I’ll let you know how that goes.

Coming soon – my thoughts and assignment on Satya/Truthfulness.

Make an amazing day!
~Maureen

THE EIGHT LIMBS OF YOGA

The Eight Limbs of Yoga are considered the eight steps to living a meaningful and purposeful life. I have to say I do live by most of these standards and I continue to learn and grow with my practice. It is easy to be nice to people that are nice to you but the challenge is to be nice to those who are not!

Going through the eight steps can help us to slide over those bumps in the road.

Ethics, morals, concentration, discipline and focus can lead us to peace!

Sounds pretty good huh??

Limb One: Yama-our ethical standards by which we live (or aim to).

There are five Yamas

  • Ahimsa:nonviolence
  • Satya:Truthfulness
  • Asteya: Nonstealing
  • Brahmacharya: Continence
  • Aparigraha: Noncovetness

Ok, we should all be able to get this under control.

Limb Two: Niyama-our self discipline and the spiritual observances we practice

There are five Niyamas

  • Saucha: Cleanliness
  • Samtosa: Contentment
  • Tapas: Heat and spiritual austerity
  • Svadhyaya: The study of any sacred scripture
  • Isvara Pranidhana

Ok, I think you are still with me, I know it….

Limb Three:Asanathe postures

This is what we think of when we think yoga. But it is a discipline and with time as we practice we become disciplined and ready for the next step

So far so good-Now you have to pay more attention

Limb Four: PranayamaBreath Control

A very critical part of our yoga practice but there is also the ability to take this to the next level. It is believed by many yogis that this practice of controlled breathing can rejuvenate the body and mind and also extend life.

Maureen knows much more on this so I will ask her to make a post on it.

Limb Five: Pratyahara. A sensory withdrawal and a redirection of our focus turned internally. Here we can take a look at ourselves and observe our thoughts and actions

See, it is getting harder. Often we do not want to stop, look and listen to what we are doing and saying on a day to day basis. But try it..you will see what I mean. This can help you to be more mindful!

Limb Six: Dharana-Complete concentration. This gets rid of all the distractions and we become self observant.

I must admit I am not here yet but man do I look forward to it-no distractions!!!!

Maureen……..

Limb Seven:Dhyana_Meditation.  This is when the mind has been quieted.

Don’t get discouraged this takes time to achieve. Again, I am not here yet.

Limb Eight- Samadhi-Ecstasy! Enlightenment! Peace!