~:~ The ultimate truth of who you are is not I am This or I am That, it is I am ~:~ by Eckhart Tolle
In our frenetic hectic daily pace of life, we are constantly trying to multi-task and so we land ourselves into situations where we may be thinking one thing, saying yet something else and then carrying out a totally different action. Our thoughts, speech and actions are misaligned. Besides wasting of precious energy, this leads to unhappiness and misery.
The Sanskrit word sat literally translates as ‘true essence’ or ‘true nature’ and also means ‘unchangeable’, ‘that which has no distortion’, ‘that which is beyond distinctions of time, space and person’ and ‘reality’. Many Sanskrit words use the prefix sat such as satsang – true company, sattva – pure, etc and thus sat really means more than truth, ie something that is unchanged and pure.
Peeping out from our small worlds and looking at the word ‘truth’ from this perspective, it is easy to then understand how so much of our time is spent not actually seeing the truth or reality in any of our life situations. Our actions, thoughts, emotions and words are extremely interchangeable and yet these are the things that create our own truth!
So if we are to be truthful and sincere, then we need to pay particular attention to those things which are / are capable of constantly changing – ie our thoughts, emotions and speech.
Sat on the Mat
Our yoga practice requires that we remain fully aware of what we are doing as we get into different postures – we are thinking and doing the posture that is required and in silence.
Another way to observe truth on the mat is by paying closer attention to the breath. If the breath is strained or shallow, then it is likely that the body is not comfortable with what it is being asked to do. So even though it may hurt our ego a little bit, honesty requires listening to the breath and easing off the posture.
As yoga works at the deeper subconscious levels, working on yoga postures targeting the head, neck and shoulder areas also assists in cultivating true speech, true thoughts and true deeds so that off the mat too “what we think is what we say is what we do” and all the permutations of thought, speech and action are aligned.
Sat off the Mat
One of the keys to having a fulfilling life is to be true to yourself and to others. This is a very high bar to set and live by. Act as if your every word, thought and action was to become universal law. When in doubt always do the right thing.
An important quality related to truth is sincerity. Not only be honest in everything you do and in every transaction and activity you undertake but do it from the heart. And remember the age old idiom “my word is my bond”.
We typically close our practice with the Sanskrit chant Om Tat Sat – this is translated as ‘Supreme Absolute Truth’ or more literally ‘all that is’.