What the Yogis Say About Speaking Your Truth

{5 min. read}

What I'll reveal was absolutely tough love for me when I took my first yoga teacher training. Until then I'd been your classic “eh, whatever you wanna do” kinda person. You know, just pretty easy going. 

But after a while, being that way had become painful. It was hurting me in relationships during the time...and eating away at me.

My cherished chameleon-like techniques were failing me as I flowed through life with no real sense of boundaries. I got bullied, never stood up for myself, and wound up feeling walked all over.

Fortunately, my yoga practice was slowly molding me back into shape so I could claim a healthy sense of self.

Starting to express myself truthfully was a clunky process indeed.

I share this because maybe you understand. 

Maybe you too get the awkwardness of trying to find that sweet spot where you're not walked on AND at the same time not overly assertive with your own ego! 

What's the right amount of self-sacrifice?

Immersed in daily yoga teachings and camped out on the beach under that starry sky in a tipi for a month in Mexico with my crab friends — it was there that I learned about satya {truthfulness} and decided to discover myself.

I began to find my voice, and to use it to express who I was and how I really felt inside. 

 Gustac Klimt

When we were young were cautioned to not express anger or other “undesirable” emotions with our voices. Even our expressions of ecstatic joy were often stifled. Such “outbursts” were unacceptable. Some of us were denied the pleasure of singing because our voice didn’t match up to the teacher’s standards. We began to learn impromptu expression was to be proceeded with caution, We began to forget our natural expression.

Slowly, we learned to lie, not only with our words, but also with our sounds. 

And why does anyone lie? Yogi Swami Dayananda says, "It is only due to fear of facing certain facts about oneself."

So we learned that there was safety in invisibility.

By not voicing our true sounds and feelings, we began to forget them. Parts of us began to wither, and our connection with our personal power began to fade. 
— Laurie Rugenstein

Then we began to embellish merits or omit certain things to paint a picture of who we are to others — and ourselves. 

Years of unvoiced feelings, self-censorship, and an untruthful self-identity, often accompanied by a sense of powerlessness, began to manifest fragmentation and conflict in the mind — showing up in the form of physical illness, emotional anguish, or a pervasive sense that “something's wrong.”

Physical or emotional pain are often the catalyst that urge us to break the silence.

Deciding to have a voice and speak it truthfully — it's not graceful. When I started speaking truthfully, I found it was frustrating and really scary.

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Honestly facing situations and the facts as they are and then being in conversation is the way to overcome some of these fears.
— Swami Dayananda

Purposely speaking truth goes beyond just being a good person because you should.

Practicing yoga is a natural catalyst for true self-expression, so let's look at what the yogis say about satya, or truthfulness. This is a lifelong endeavor to which our elders can testify — but every bit counts.

 Satya makes things easier on the mind.

It's so much work to tell a lie and then remember who to cover up to and what not to say where. With less mental load, our minds are freed up for more important knowledge.

Lastly, I've often heard satya used as a justification for asserting opinions on someone or even hurting with the thrifty shield of "this is my truth."

Ready for the tough love?

Your sanity as well as your deeper wisdom rests heavily on your ability to be truthful. And at the same time, what is true may also sometimes be useless. 

It's a forever practice to not to use words which don’t serve any purpose.

On that note — signing out.

 

With Love,

Lauren