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Be Truthful

about your limits to prevent harm to your body.

Sophie Herbert writes

‘As we’ve probably all learned the hard way, one lie requires multiple lies to support it. Even the smallest white lie can result in conflict. Observing satya demands being honest with ourselves.

Mr. B.K.S. Iyengar so adequately states in Light on the Yoga Sutras, “Most of us think we tell the truth, but the truth is casual, not integrated and cellular. For instance, if we say, ‘I will never eat chocolate again’, as long as one cell of our body holds back and disagrees with the others, our success is not assured.”

This reminds me of the all to familiar phrase, “Well, he meant it in the moment.” A partial or half-truth is not dependable. It’s also a bit of an oxy-moron.

I have, at times, failed by over-committing and offering too much on impulse. Even though I had the best intentions in the moment, I wasn’t honest about what I could really bring to fruition. Satya requires being realistic about our limitations. After all, isn’t this empathetic honesty what lifts limits in the long run? Truthfulness is also being honest about what we can expect from others, especially family and friends.

Truth should not conflict with non-violence. For example, we shouldn’t tell a bandit where our family is hiding and put them in danger. The great Indian epic, the Mahabharata, which states:

“Speak the truth which is pleasant. Do not speak unpleasant truths. Do not lie, even if the lies are pleasing to the ear. This is the eternal law, the dharma.”

You might deliver a hard truth to a friend who desperately needs intervention. If that truth is delivered with love rather than harsh, non-empathetic accusation, it is well intended and ultimately “pleasant”.’

Sophie Hunter in New York, BKS Iyengar in Pune India both seem to agree with Thumper’s mother in Bambi, ‘If you haven’t got something nice to say, don’t say anything at all'.

Angela Hulm IYENGAR Yoga Teacher

Junior Intermediate Level 1

Mixed Ability and experience

Daytime and evening classes in BR4

Text 07771 56 50 46

As published in Vista Magazine April 2017

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