Incorporate satya (truthfulness) into your yoga practice with an asana, mantra, and mudra to help bring into focus the subtle and not-so-subtle ways the yama plays out in your life.
Satya translates to "truth" or "not lying," and in practice it means being honest in our words and actions with ourselves and those around us. To incorporate satyainto your own life and practice, start with the pose, mudra (hand-and-finger gesture), and mantra (a sacred utterance repeated continuously) below. Do this practice on its own, add more poses with the accompanying 10-minute video sequence, or link all of the yamas and niyamas together, one pose as a time, forming a sequence.
Satya Yoga Practice
Hold the pose, with its mudra, for 3–5 breaths, mindfully chanting, aloud or internally, its accompanying mantra.
Asana: Crescent Lunge
From Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I Pose), lift your back (left) heel and shift onto the ball of the foot, toes pointing forward. Soften your left knee and engage your low belly.
Mudra: Kali Mudra
Come into Kali Mudra, named after the fierce goddess Durga. Both Kali and Durga are manifestations of the goddess Mahadevi. Durga represents the empowerment that enables us to stand in our truth. Bring the hands together with all fingers save your index fingers interlaced. The index fingers represent the sword of Durga, who slays illusions.
Moving Mantra Meditation: Sat nam
Inhale to lift the hands overhead, and exhale to lower them to heart level as you visualize your sword cutting through whatever causes you to be inauthentic. Repeat this movement three times while chanting the mantra Sat nam (“My name is truth”).
Watch the video
To tie it all together or to deepen your work around satya, try this 10-minute practice with Coral Brown.
Make it a sequence
To link these yama and niyama practices into a sequence, continue to Warrior III (Asteya) on the right side before switching to the left.
YOGA JOURNAL, SEPT 2015