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Resolving to Stand in My Truth: Satya
by Brooke Nisbet, MA, RYT


Editor´s Note
: It's that time of year to make a new year's resolution. I'm not really keen on making resolutions every January, rather, when I notice that a new habit needs to be instilled, I work at adding it to my schemata whenever it's appropriate. It just so happens that this December I've realized that I really want to practice Satya more fully and with authentic intent. Satya is sanksrit for truth…
The first of the eight limbs of yoga are the yamas, which can be translated as the restraints or moral/ethical guidelines in which to live by. The yamas help us to understand that our goal on earth is to be compassionate, generous, honest and peaceful. And, it ought to be noted that all yamas should be applied in deeds and words, as well as thoughts. Most people don’t ever perfect the yamas, but through dedicated practice and awareness, much progress can be made in a given lifetime.

As new year’s resolutions abound, more and more I’m coming to realize that the second yama, “Satya” is being uncovered as my necessary intentional focus for 2013 and forever. I normally don’t make grand resolutions to begin each new year, and now is not any different.  This has been brewing in me for a few months now, and it just so happens to be December as I make a stand and commit myself to practicing Satya. Satya is Sanskrit for, “truth, truthfulness, honesty.” In my mind, Satya means any words that come to mind that relate to being authentic, real and honest.

I believe that Satya goes well beyond, “thou shall not lie.” It goes beyond just telling the truth or not omitting truths. It means standing in your truth by word, action and thought. This is actually much more difficult and in depth than just not lying or just not cheating.

For me, standing in my truth means being honest with myself first. Being aware of my thoughts and feelings and not stuffing them down to avoid them or so as not to hurt someone else’s feelings. Of course, it doesn’t mean blurting out how terrible a new friend’s haircut is, but it means listening to and feeling your truths in your mind and then speaking and acting on them with integrity and with no ill intent. In other words, when telling the truth, it is important to speak in a positive way so as not to cause harm, yet at the same time be as straightforward and sincere as possible.

A simple example that comes to mind is when someone has invited me to dinner and I’m just too tired to join her (even if I told her last week that I’d like to have dinner). Instead of making up a white lie and saying that I have to study or that I have a Skype date with a family member, I will tell her that I’m just too tired to go. It’s not about whether she will like my answer or not, it’s about being truthful with her. Satya also means to me that I walk my talk. If I always tell others that getting outside is healing and that if they are sad or down, then they should make a point of taking a walk outdoors or meditating outside. Then I need to follow my own advice. Therefore, if I’m having a terrible day, and decide to crawl into bed and hide under the covers, then I’m not aligned with what I believe will really help someone who is feeling down. If I want to live authentically and in my truth, then another scenario is that no matter how continually dishonest someone may be with me, I will still remain honest and authentic with him. Even if my ego will be crushed and I will feel like I am at a disadvantage, I remain truthful and authentic. In the end, I know that I am not actually at the disadvantage with my honesty; rather he is with his dishonesty.

Living a life of truth is more freeing and less binding than those who live in lies or half truths. Think about it. When you lie, you have to use another lie (big or small) to cover the first lie, then another lie to maintain the first and second lies, and so on. It snowballs, and then you are truly caged by your own inauthenticity and it gnaws at you while at the same time impeding you from following your true path and knowing your true passions or desires.

Living in truth and authenticity is certainly not as easy as using the occasional “harmless” white lie…but it’s worth the pay off. Satya is freedom, love, authenticity, mindfulness, awareness, truly knowing yourself…and thus allowing others all of the same. As you live in your truth, you will inevitably allow others to learn to live in their own truth as well.

“Truth is righteousness. Righteousness is light, and light is bliss. Ahimsa, Brahmacharya, purity, justice, harmony, forgiveness, peace are forms of truth...Truth stands even when there is no public support.” Swami Sivananda, Bliss Divine



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 About the Author


Brooke Nisbet, MA is a 200 hour certified yoga instructor and has been studying and practicing yoga for over seven years. She has also spent over 15 years in a variety of other wellness roles such as: group fitness instructor and personal trainer. The study of natural healing, mind-body connection and “clean eating” has also been her personal pursuit. She has practiced a variety of yoga styles in Japan, the US and Bali. Vinyasa Flow is her style of choice, but she has a practice in Hatha, Power, Ashtanga, Restorative and Iyengar Yoga, as well. In addition to being a yoga instructor, she has also completed Reiki Energy Healing Levels I and II.

Brooke holds a BA in Psychology and a MA in Early Childhood Education. She has been living and working in Japan for the past eleven years as an educator for the Department of Defense Dependent Schools Overseas. She has recently become a curriculum specialist and trainer for the DoD Japan District Schools. With this brings the privilege of traveling to all of the U.S. military base elementary schools in Japan in order to provide training and support to teachers working with a very special population... the children of our service men and women. Namaste.





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