Namaste Yoga 296 Focus and Your Personal Truth

by Melissa West on

Personal Truth

Namaste-Yoga-Episode-296The second yama of the five yamas in Patanjali’s yoga sutras is satya and speaks about truth. In fact, most often this sutra is discussed in terms of right speech and speaking the truth. Today I would like to interpret this sutra as a practice of coming to know your True Self and your own personal truth.

Various translations of this sutra speak of both communication and action. Nischala Joy Devi translates it as “dedicated to truth and integrity, our thoughts, word and actions gain the power to manifest.” Swami Satchitananda translates the verse thus, “To one established in truthfulness, actions and their results become subservient.” Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati says, “As truthfulness (satya) is achieved, the fruits of actions naturally result according to the will of the Yogi.”

Irene Petryszak points out that when we lie to ourselves, the sages say, we disconnect from our higher self; our minds become confused, and we cannot trust ourselves. Part of the practice of discernment in this focused living series is to dig through the layers of untruths we have told ourselves we come closer to knowing and expressing our True Selves. Nischala Joy Devi says that we know the “truth that nestles in our heart.” It is through satya that we embrace the depth of truth in our lives. Practicing satya requires staying open to truth in the present moment, as it reveals itself.

Greg McKeown, the author of Essentialism, says in order to find your own personal truth you have to find out what is meaningful for you. What is most important to you? Is it your yoga practice? Time with your family? Your work? Are you actually making space for those things in your life? Or are they at the mercy of the external demands that you allow to be placed on you.

Greg McKeown says that to connect with your personal truth, you must, evaluate for yourself, “Is this the very most important thing I should be doing with my time and resources right now?” If not, it is ok for you to say no. You can do what is only truly important to you and eliminate everything else. When you do this, you will find is you will start to make tremendous progress towards what is truly important to you.

Only once you give yourself permission to stop trying to do it all, only once you give yourself permission to stop saying yes to everyone, only then can you make your highest contribution towards the things that really matter you. You have to ask yourself: Am I investing myself in what is important to me?

There are far more activities and opportunities in the world that you have the time and resources to invest in. You must take the time to determine for yourself, which ones are good for you and which ones are truly great for you. How can you best spend your time and energy to operate at the highest point of contribution? The answer is going to be different for everybody. And you have to carve out the time and space in your life to sit down, think, journal and reflect on what that answer is for you.

It is impossible to fit it all in. You have to make tough trade offs. Once you decide what is important for you personally you won’t have to make those decisions again and again. You can choose to do only a few things that are important to you personally.

Eighteen months ago, Tim and I decided to stop making the tradeoff of living in a city we didn’t love anymore, we sold everything and moved across the country so that we could be immersed in nature. We made the tradeoff of having less personal possessions, being far away from extended family and support structures that we had spent decades building, not owning a home, living in a small apartment, but for us, the tradeoff was worth it. We now live in a place where the pace of life is slower and we are infinitely more connected with nature and disconnected from the frenetic pace of a large city.

If you don’t choose your truth, somebody else will. Explore all your options, take time to find out what you feel deeply inspired by, what are you most talented at? Where do you make the greatest contribution to the world? Here is where you are eliminating choices, discerning the vital few from the trivial many. It is going to mean saying no to things. You can’t choose to do everything. What is your personal truth? How are you going to reconnect with it?

Yoga Postures/Asanas: Neck, Shoulder and Hip Release, Kneeling Spinal Warm Up, Lion’s Breath or Simhasana, Pigeon Pose or Eka Pada Rajakapotasana, Eagle Pose or Garudasana, Mudra for Inner Self, Shoulderstand or Salamba Sarvangasana, Fish Pose or Matsyasana, Marichyasana, Cow’s Face Pose or Gomukhasana, Corpse Pose or Savasana

Yoga Props: 2 yoga blocks, meditation cushion or blanket, wall,


Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

The Secret Power of Yoga: A Woman’s Guide to the Heart and Spirit of the Yoga Sutras

If you have received value from this first class in the Focused Living Series, you can show your appreciation by making a donation. You can also contribute through your time by commenting in the comments section.

Question for the comments: How will you make space this week time to find out what you feel most deeply inspired by, what are you most talented at?

Today we focused on your True Self. We have a 5 class series that will help you go deeper in finding your True Self in our membership community. Some of our members are undertaking this as a 40 day practice right now. This will help you focus on what you want to go deep on right now. The series begins with a meditation to help you set your intention for your yoga practice. The second meditation is designed to help you set your intention for your day. The following two days are designed to help you start thinking about setting bigger and longer term intentions. On Wednesday you will have the opportunity to take a value and strengths questionnaire. Thursday is a yoga class that brings forward the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita to help you connect with your dharma and true essence in order to form a long-term sankalpa. The series finishes with a short lecture on cautions and questions to help you on your way to forming your intentions.

Sending you much love from beautiful British Columbia
May you experience the strength of our mountains
May you be as rooted as the trees in our forest
May your joy be as deep as our Pacific Ocean

Namaste Yoga 296 Photos of Yoga Poses


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