Searching for Truth

As fire burns impurities and refines gold, so the fire of truth cleanses the yogi…

– B. K. S. Iyengar



I’ve been searching everywhere for truth. Do you know your own truth or are you still seeking it? There is a lot of conversation online and in books discussing finding one’s own truth and being authentic. The second principle of Yama (1st limb of yoga) is Satya or truth.

“If the mind thinks thoughts of truth, if the tongue speaks words of truth and if the whole life is based upon truth, then one becomes fit for union with the Infinite”.

– B. K. S. Iyengar

When I read the above quote in Light on Yoga by B. K. S. Iyengar, I had to pause and think about what this was saying to me. The first thought that I had was “I need to be more honest with myself”. How can I live in truth if I am dishonest with myself? Recently, I have found myself frustrated with others because of their lack of honesty. I have questioned whether or not I should be honest when others do not afford me that same respect. However, I cannot change what others do and I should not change myself to behave negatively because of what others do. Like your mother used to ask you “If such and such jumped off a bridge, you gonna jump off, too?” And most likely your answer was “No” because that would be stupid to jump off the bridge just because another fool did. It is the same concept, why mirror someone else’s dishonesty?

Truth in “thought, word, and deed”. Sometimes Most days, it feels that people no longer care about being truthful in their actions, speech, and thinking. It has become do whatever makes you look good; e.g. Instagram. Instagram is where I started losing my truth regarding fitness and yoga. I was spending too much time trying to get the right shot to post for a challenge that I was becoming jaded with my practice and frustrated. It was not that I did not enjoy attempting the postures for a yoga challenge but I began wondering “Why am I doing this? For what? Who is it for?” My Instagram page was starting to move away from its intention which was to keep me honest. There was situational irony here as instead of maintaining veracity, I was veering off into an arena that I was not liking. I was no longer helping myself and I also felt that I was no longer helping others. This did not feel good to my soul and that was not healthy.

Your mind and body gives signals when there is unease in the physical and spiritual sense. These signals can be difficulty sleeping, overeating, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, using drugs, anxiety, deep sadness with no obvious identifiable cause, obsessions, overspending, explosive responses to mundane issues, and a host of other signals. Many times we ignore these signs and keep trying to put on a positive front or for some, hide behind a shield of anger. One of the first steps to managing this unease and bringing back a sense of ease is one of the most difficult steps to take: telling yourself the damn truth. And yes, the truth can be really freaking painful. Do your best to not ignore it, ride it out, hug yourself, feel the pain but do not stew in it (you’re not trying to cook it), acknowledge it, and start breathing it out bit by bit.

If you do not practice yoga but you are curious, a great place to start is DoYogaWithMe. I am not affiliated with this site in any way. However, I respect their mission and they have quality content that is FREE. You do not need to register/create an account to use their free content. Peace and blessings, honeybees.

Going Out on a Limb

Compassion is the signature of Higher Consciousness. Non-violence is the tool to evolve into the Higher Consciousness.
― Amit Ray, – Nonviolence: The Transforming Power

The Yoga Bible

I not only practice yoga but I am a regular in the gym with weight lifting as it is one of my most favorite forms of mental health therapy. Therefore, my posts will not be focused completely on yoga. The purpose of this blog is health and wellness which is multifaceted. With that said, let us get to the point of today’s post. In my last post, I mentioned that I would talk about “yoga personality”, well, I changed my mind. I can tell you that is probably going to happen with my posts. And not every post will have a picture of my practice. Hey, I’m human.

My first blog series will focus on the Eight Limbs of Yoga and how they impact my life within my yoga practice and outside of my practice. When I first started practicing yoga, I had no idea about the spiritual component or what I refer to as the more academic portion of it. I had an idea that there was meditation (boring!) involved but I thought the meditation part came in while actually practicing the poses. Even whilst going to the gym on a regular basis to lift weight, I still felt something was missing. I began yoga because I knew that I needed to become more flexible. What I did not realize was that there is much more to yoga than “stretching”. As part of my yoga journey, I purchased “The Yoga Bible” by Christina Brown. And this was the first time that I was introduced to the Eight Limbs of Yoga.

The first limb that I will be discussing is “Yama”. Yama essentially means “moral constraint”. There are at least five parts to yama: Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Brahmacharya, and Aparigaha. There will be a post dedicated to each part. The part of the limb that will be in this post is “Ahimsa” which means “non-injury” and “non-violence”. It relates to compassion to all living beings which reminded me that I should show compassion to myself. It is not selfish to show compassion and love to oneself. In our effort to show compassion to others, we forget to care about ourselves and oftentimes the realization comes too late. This is an issue that I know all too well. On May 3, 2016, my best friend for over a decade passed away unexpectedly. She was 33 years old and had a 7-year-old daughter. The official cause of death was “natural causes”. I had last seen her two weeks prior and she looked incredibly tired. I had asked was she getting any rest and her daughter responded for her “She can’t sleep, she has too much to doooo.” We chuckled but that was not a good sign. The day of her passing, we text the whole day which was unusual for us as we were always very busy.

In these texts, she told me that she had not been feeling well but she had once again said “Yes” to another obligation. I text her that she needed to start saying “No” because it was too much and if she did not take it easy, something bad might happen. I had no clue that my words would come true and in the worst way possible. In my mind, when I said something “bad”, I thought maybe her going off on someone or she would become very ill. Death was the furthest from my mind. Admittedly, I was very worried about her that day and had planned to actually call her when we got off work and I never got the chance.

My friend gave more to life than what life gave to her. We both lived in fear of life and this caused us harm in the sense that we took no chances and ignored our pain. I no longer want to live in fear, I know that means making scary and painful decisions but life is fleeting. I will take baby steps and the first damn step I’m taking is compassion towards myself. This means not speaking negatively to myself, not calling myself names such as weak when I cannot lift a weight I think I should, getting angry with myself because I cannot do a specific asana (yet!), no longer being afraid to speak up about an idea or issue, and to respond to others with kindness (that kindness can simply be silence).

One thing to consider is that practicing compassion for oneself is difficult. It takes time to learn how to treat yourself with love and kindness. We are our own worst critics as the saying goes and we will make mistakes. However, in learning compassion, we will accept and acknowledge those mistakes and learn from them. We (this includes myself) strive for perfection but I wonder many times “What the hell is perfection?” Whatever it is, its probably boring. This constant need for perfection was a violent act against myself. It was not helping me mentally or physically. It led to bad decisions that I am still paying for and I am still working on not having regrets about those decisions. I am working on mercy and forgiveness to myself. Once I have forgiven myself, I will be able to work towards mercy and forgiveness towards others.

Stay tuned for my next post which will focus on Satya – truth.