Satya ~ Courage in Your Truth ~ Week 2 ~ 2017
Initially, when exploring how I was going to bring the concept of Satya, truthfulness, to our yoga mats, I planned to just remind my students to reflect on how they can hold steady to the first teaching Ahimsa (non-harming/non-violence) with the next concept Satya (truthfulness). This sounds easy at first, and just holding to a standard of good moral character, until we glimpse at social media, the daily news or go to any social gathering and listen to the conversations surrounding us and then the most tricky part of all... how we respond. The passion that drives us and each proponent of their truth comes from a deep place of knowing and belief in being right! I believe we all begin from a stance of best intention and desire for our own version of Truth to be heard but it can quickly get out of control or distorted... both in how we speak and how we hear the other side's viewpoints.
When I began listening to myself, to the media and just about everyone around me, it becameapparent that truth is often voiced with the passion, but lacks the warrior quality of virtue to carry it. First, there is the issue of what "truth" is and who's "truth" is right, not only is this not always clear, but egos are fogging the clarity of seeing the truth and intent. The next thing that struck me, was the passion and inner fire that we each hold for our truth and how many ways that this can be used to fuel Warrior or Warrioress energy. This Warrior energy can be inspiring and can ignite change, or when out of balance and defensive, can lack mindful action and present itself as darkness of words that lash out in an effort to defend or attack and results in harm to others. While, I am certain that this type of response begins with a good intention to stand up for truth and create positive change, it can become worrisome when it is coming from a place of fear. The more I listen, the more I believe that right now, our society is full of fear and this fear is fueling separation and anger. When we come at our struggles in life from a place of fear, it seems that mindful action dissipates, preventing us from the ethics that should anchor us to face obstacles with the respect and virtue of a true Warrior! (Refresher: We translate Virabhadrasana, is the posture (asana) of Vira (the Warrior) bhadr (with great virtue))
So this raises the questions of the week... What challenges are you facing in life right now? What is your truth? Are you able to stand up for your truth without harming others?
As I revisited planning for what I needed (and hopefully what my students needed) to gain from a lesson on Satya on their mats this week, I came face to face with the Goddess Durga and knew that we had to bring her spirit to class! Durga's Warrior Goddess Energy is fierce, but carries virtue, power and truth. When we are up against our greatest obstacles we call on Durga to assist. We step on our mats and consider our deep challenges and right there we have a choice rise up and open to the energy that comes up. This is where we can do the deep work of yoga and clear any blockages that may be surrounding our energy and holding us back from the most magnificent and honest expression of our inner power.
Home Practice - We can use heart opening back bends and powerful breathing (Bastrika,the breath of fire) to both ignite and clear the 3rd Chakra energy of our solar plexus. The 3rd Chakra, is our center of both fear and empowerment. By creating an empowered "I am... " affirmation, we can learn to embody and express our inner warrior strength. We can use neck and shoulder opening postures and sound to unravel any unspoken words, fear to speak or hear our truth or any negativity that surrounds words. The truth of how we speak and hear words is housed in the 5th Chakra found in the neck. Perhaps consider finding more comfort using the power of mantra and sound such as chanting OM, or this week's mantra: Sat Nam, translating to "My Name is Truth". I like to chant in my car or when I am home alone and have some background music, or the vacuum on... which seems to create more comfort in hearing my own voice! If you use your voice too much... maybe consider taking a vow of silence for a day or any amount of time you can afford... I invite you to be open to accepting your inner truth this week without judgement, but with the mindful, grace of a goddess. Be creative, drop into Simhasana (lion pose), open up this week and find your ROAR of truth!