It’s always an intimate moment, when I lay naked in an unfamiliar place. However, my hopes for this encounter are strictly medicinal. After 20 minutes of massaging my feet, the masseuse finally travels to my neck. I must spend too much time on the computer, because my neck always aches.
“Hmm, your throat chakra is blocked. Are you struggling with Satya: honesty?”
“I am an honest person: I don’t lie,” I respond rather indignantly.
At that particular moment in 2017, there are about ten lies that I juggle. Never mind the nasty web of self-deceit that haunts the crowded crevices of my mind. No, I do not lie.
Lies don’t feel like lies when they are justified: or worse, embedded within your cell fibers. We all tell lies. White lies: to make people feel better. Violet lies: when we would rather tell a truncated version of the truth. Red, glaring lies when we feel hurt: our safety jeopardized. I tell a lot of yellow lies. Sometimes, it is easier to omit from the truth. This is still a lie. But, hiding behind this screen, I confess to a rainbow of lies. Green, when I feel anxious and insecure. And the most maddening indigo: the lies that I do not surmise as lies. They are so deeply ingrained in my psyche, in my blood, in my bones. It will take a daily commitment to the eight limbs to discover my true nature.
Honesty is not easy. We learn from a young age to fess up: to be honest. But, we are also taught to be mindful of other people’s experiences. We need to maintain our appearances. There are confounding storms that shake our trees and we forget who we are: who do we want to be?
You disguise yourself to fit in at work. You omit parts of yourself to integrate into a community, a relationship, a friendship, a more conservative family. Where do you draw the line? One lie finds another and they sew a web…
On the mat….do you lie to yourself? Your hips don’t enjoy the way you practice pigeon. Over time, you notice more agitation than solace in your body when finish practice. Are you practicing with honesty?
When you offer adjustments as a teacher, do you gravitate or skip certain students? Have you ever asked yourself what this is about?
Satya is an honest inquiry of your life on and off the mat. It also an opportunity to practice ahimsa. Can you honestly but lovingly take inventory of your thoughts? Can you observe what behaviors and relationships make you feel comfortable and which cause you strife?
What lies do you tell yourself?
This article is the 2nd entry in the blog series covering the traditional 8 limbs of yoga, written for It’s Yoga International.For an introduction to the series, please visit, “Intro to the 8 limbs.” The author, Randee Schwartz, shares her own personal journey as a yogi and what it means to stay true to her own path. She’s currently living in Mexico and supporting the It’s Yoga International family with her creative writing skills.