On the Mat, Off the Mat

Off the mat / Philosophy

An Introduction to the Yamas in thought and pose – Part 2

In week 2, I introduced the next yama which is Satya or truth. The root of the word satya is sat, which means ‘being’. I discussed about being honest with ourselves, about living, speaking and being our truth and also to be honest and truthful to the people in our lives. To illustrate this concept and translate it into asana, I focused on forward bends. I think forward bends are a great way to reflect whether we are being honest in our pose. What tends to happen when we do forward bends, is we become so goal oriented to touch our toes or bring our head to our shins, knees or thighs that we crunch over, compress the abdominal organs, hunch our backs and strain our necks. Truth often starts with correct knowledge so by focusing on what the body needs to do in order to perform an “honest” forward bend and bringing the focus back to the process. I encouraged my class to go through the correct process in order to get into the pose and then only go as far as they could maintaining the length in the spine, and front of the body. To be honest with themselves and see where they land up. A good foundation leads to better results.

Next will be Asteya.