Satya Yoga

Speak Your Truth

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Talking about morals is not the glamorous side of yoga. It’s not finally getting your legs behind your head or how to do a handstand press. It’s probably not going to inspire any #goals or bring a stampede of excited new students pouring into yoga classes. It may not be what you think you came for.

However, despite their ancient provenance (circa 250 C.E.) and Sanskrit names, many of the Yamas, or the ethical touchstones, outlined in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras are remarkably applicable to modern life. One such Yama is Satya, meaning truth. The practice of yoga encourages us to discover our own truths, reconcile ourselves to them, and act on them.

Speaking your truth can be scary. It requires a step away from conformity. It feels risky to show something so intimate and to possibly alienate people who may not agree. But why would you mould yourself into someone else’s version of the world? Finding our inner voices and turning them into outer voices is a stepping stone on the path to fully embodying ourselves.

Satya Yoga

Speak Up!

When you hear ‘speak your truth’, you may imagine someone declaiming from the mountain tops, maybe testifying in court or tapping the big bully on the shoulder and explaining a few things to them. But it doesn’t have to be anything so dramatic to be powerful.
On the most basic level, speaking truth means not lying. Let’s take that as the minimum you can do. From there, how can you grow your voice in a positive way?

You don’t have to perform at a poetry slam, stage a Seinfeld-style Airing of Grievances, or post a manifesto on Facebook to speak your truth. In little ways every day, you have opportunities to stand up for what’s fair, what’s right, and what you believe. Sometimes your ‘speaking’ can even go unspoken if your actions take the place of your words. As long as you are not a passive bystander, nodding along with something you know to be unjust, you get points for Satya. Might you ruffle some feathers? Yes. Might you have to overcome your shyness, might you stumble over your words? Yes. You don’t have to be eloquent or polished. You just need to speak or act in the service of truth.

5 Ways to Speak Truth

1. When asked for your opinion, speak from the heart.
You can do this without being harsh or hurtful. There is a nice way to say almost anything. Just because you are a truth speaker doesn’t mean you should be an a**hole. Don’t become that super annoying person who takes every social interaction as an opportunity to spout off. Let’s use our Satya on the things that really matter, not petty little matters. Speaking your truth is not an act of anger, an attempt to bring others down, or a way to get even.

2. When not asked your opinion, speak up.
If you have something to say, you should be seen and heard. One of the hardest things to do is speak out against conventional wisdom or established practices. Just because something has always been done a certain way doesn’t mean that it’s the right way. Change for the better often only comes when it’s called for.

3. When you are commenting online, act as if you are speaking face to face.
If you wouldn’t say what you’re typing IRL, don’t post it on someone’s Instagram. Never hide behind the presumed anonymity of social media. People are people and words can wound. The internet can be a wonderful place to build community but it can also offer a false sense of unreality. Leaving someone a mean comment is the same thing as dropping a nasty note in their locker, except it lasts longer. Teach your kids to act the same.

4. When you are making consumer decisions, your wallet is your voice.
Don’t be complacent about the companies you support. We tend to think that the little guy can’t make a difference in the face of corporations, but your money talks. Buy the change you want to see in the world.

Satya Yoga

5. Know your facts.
Between the accusations that real news is fake and the reality of the proliferation of fake news, especially online, you may be tempted to throw up your hands and declare that truth is dead, or at least gravely ill. This is not the case. A little intelligent research (reputable sources!) and determination will most often reveal where the truth lies.

Hear This!

Wouldn’t it be easier to not make waves? Yes, it would, but yogis are not here to be quiet. When you find your voice in support of yourself and others, yoga, ethically speaking, has got your back.

Love,

Liv x

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20 replies to

  1. Paolo Pacciolla says:

    Very interesting reflections in this pos. I do really believe everyone should feel free to say his/her truth in every moment but never forgetting two important things: 1) your truth can be different from the truth of the others. It doesn’t necessarily mean one is right and one Ian wrong. Maybe it just depends from the point of view.
    2) Humility is important. If you start a conversations whit the intention to make the other change his/her mind because “you’re right”, you already are missing the point.
    Speak your truth is about share your experience and point of view, compare to the other’s and maybe…change your opinion considering new elements.

  2. Stephenie Sobrian says:

    Speaking my truth has been very difficult for me at times. Yoga is teaching me to love myself for who I am and stand in my truth. I’ve been practising law/litigation for 6 years and I just left that world to pursue yoga full-time and for the first time in my life, I feel like I am truly aligned with purpose and my truth is being spoken everyday and I feel happy. People, even some of my family members do not agree with my choice to leave such an established profession and career path and have openly criticised me for same but it’s important to stand up for yourself, to declare what you want to do in the universe and what you want from it and do so with love 🙂 I believe my purpose is to help others live a happier, healthier more balanced life and that is what I will do with my time. Teach, learn, love, serve, self accept, spread peace, share, and practice 🙂 Namaste

  3. do.with.love says:

    “In little ways every day, you have opportunities to stand up for what’s fair, what’s right, and what you believe.”
    Perfect words! I always tell the truth because if I even try to say something else.. a lie or even a white lie – my mind and my body are in so much pain. I am created to only speak the truth. And I love that characteristic about me. Because I know that when someone loves me – that is true love because they know the real me. Being real to yourself is the most important thing to do. Yoga is teaching me how to speak more beautiful because I can be really difficult when people aren’t telling the truth and I know they are trying to manipulate with someone or hurt someone.
    I am at peace because my words are pure and I have the right people around me!

    1. Barbora Puskacova says:

      True yogi ❤️

  4. Esther Delgado says:

    I love point 1.! Speaking truth needs to be spoken from a place of love. Whether it is love for yourself and speaking out for yourself or speaking up for others out of love for them.

  5. Erin Schoen Marsh says:

    I try to only say things about people that I would say to their face. I am not always 100% successful, but I’m working toward that. I also love the point about “your wallet is your voice.” I have been focusing on buying small and ethical as much as possible. Long way to go, but it’s a journey!

  6. Barbora Puskacova says:

    We are not here to be quiet ❤️ Truth is so simple yet sometimes the hardest thing to say, to do, to act… truth is also the way to know myself and live with myself everyday ❤️ Don’t you wanna live the truth? Not for the others, for you.

  7. Nodirabegim Yusupova says:

    Honesty brings reliability and closeness to people in our world full of superficial relationships created by internet development.

  8. Sam Wells says:

    Truth means standing up and being who and what you are whether that’s the light or the dark of you… no one can deny truth or deny a person’s truth… only when you show truth does peace of mind settle… even in darkness if you can own up to your truth and be truthfully aware of darkness the light can then shine in bright. Truth is both the light and the dark ⚫️💜💫✨

  9. Sofia Flores says:

    First of all, WOW do you have a blog? I didn’t even know that! AMAZING! With so many awesome articles, thanks for that! ahaha!
    Secondly Speaking the truth for me it’s everything however I like to be a dreamer and I take fully responsibility of my energy and the people who surround me. The biggest truth of the universe and from within it’s being in LOVE with GRATITUDE and in PEACE!
    Thank you so much for this article and spreading with our community of yogis that we are so many but sometimes we feel so lonely. We need to UNITE more and Speak UP!! Spread the LOOOVE!

  10. Jessica Johnson says:

    I have been working on finding truth within myself. For as long as I can remember I have done things a certain way not for any other reason than to please others. I am beginning to see how much happiness and peace come along with being truthful to yourself and your beliefs. I won’t be afraid to make some waves in the pursuit of finding truth.

  11. Nicole says:

    Truth for me starts with being truthful to myself, which is so hard when getting caught up in daily life. It’s so easy to ignore when trying to help people or spare their feelings. My aim is to still help and be good to others while still being truthful to my own needs and what I want.
    Namaste x

  12. Yvo says:

    Truth in Greek is Alithia and is a word connected to God

  13. Kerri Ann says:

    I think living your truth is something you learn after making a ton of stupid mistakes and dealing with people that bring drama into your life. When I finally realized that isn’t for me, I realized what my “truth” was and who I want to be in this world. When you’re open to living your truth, you find like-minded people and have a much better outlook on the world around us.

  14. Paola Gabriela Camacho Castill says:

    I think nowadays more than ever we need to live our truth, one that is respectful to others and to ourselves, speaking truthfully doesn’t mean hurting somebody or believing you’re point of view is absolute, the truth is awareness of your own ground and the possibility to share and promote a change if not in others, within you, after all “truth will set you free”.

  15. Alycia says:

    The only major rule I had growing up is the only major rule I impose on my own children: tell the truth… about how you feel, what you want, what you’ve done. When we are honest with one another and communicate in a truthful way, anything can be accomplished (goals, forgiveness) and no one is ‘in trouble’. 🙏🏻

  16. Sara Stanton says:

    “When you are making consumer decisions, your wallet is your voice.”
    I love that this was added. My late father loved the saying of “put your money where your mouth is” and in these confusing and stressful times this is paramount for me and helps me live my truth in all forms. If I say I stand for Equality but buy from companies that are against it, I’m not speaking my truth and letting money, ego and greed live instead. I admire companies or influential persons etc to stand for what they believe in even when it could be uncomfortable. When something is as important to me as my yoga practice yet the studio I may choose to practice at stays silent on issues that are important to me, their lack of truth makes me feel uncomfortable and unwelcome.

    Living my truth fully leans heavily on integrity. I teach my children that integrity isn’t just saying doing what you said you’d do but doing it when no one is around. I feel if you can’t be truthful to yourself first, the process is lost.

    Speaking up and speaking out may not be easy, it certainly isn’t for someone like me with mental health issues but staying silent, living behind screens and not supporting what or who I believe in isn’t who I am. So while it makes me uncomfortable, I’m determined to step outside that comfort to live every ounce of my truth.

  17. Krystal Lett says:

    Yoga has taught me a multitude of things but one major thing has been to face my fears- one of which has been to speak with my whole voice. Not to bury my voice… not to hide and let others speak for me. To speak of the hurts that have plagued my past, the love, joys, and blessings I’ve used to heal and move forward, and a place where I am comfortable enough with myself to FINALLY be comfortable speaking up for myself- AS MYSELF to people and situations I encounter. It’s given me the strength I’ve needed to speak from a place of complete truth- instead of joining in in an agreeable fashion no matter what the outcome for myself.
    I feel as though I’ve faught many battles in my life and yoga and meditation have been the cornerstone of my personal growth and total body healing. Without the patience and passion, I would’ve been lost! I’m incredibly thankful for the many blessings I’ve found through Yoga!

  18. Karolina Kost says:

    Truth is the most important thing in life. It’s the greatest or most positive form it is possible for a person or thing to be. The worse truth is better than a pretty lies. My life was destroyed by the truth 2 monts ago, but also thanks to the truth I could finally start a new life without psychopath. Truth saved my life.

  19. Lilly says:

    Truth is freedom.
    Being able to express yourself freely, accepting what is happening around you in life, and also being able to understand another persons truth too – everyones truth is different to our own.

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