Whan Satya and Ahimsa Collide

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Satya (truthfulness) is the second of the five yamas (restraints) described in the The Yoga Sutras. It guides us to think, speak, and act with integrity ❤️

However, should we always tell our friends what we think about their behaviour, their life choices or their baked goods? This is where the principle of satya gets more complex. Satya follows ahimsa (non-violence), which is the highest-ranking yama. This means that we need to honor the principle of non-harming first and should tell the truth in a way that causes no (or the least) harm possible. We need to acknowledge that what we perceive as “truth” might not be another’s truth, as we all perceive things differently. For this reason it’s essential for us to put ahimsa first, and be mindful that our words are beneficial and compassionate. Before we offer an unsolicited opinion or criticism, can pause and consider: Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it useful? Is it kind? 

ahimsa niyama satya yama

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