Meet Evelyn in person on July 26th as she conducts a Yin Yoga Workshop at Ishta Yoga on 56 East 11th Street. For more information click here.
The other night I was walking down 3rd avenue, going to teach my class at ISHTA, when I passed a young woman talking on her cell phone. I heard the words “I just can’t decide what to do — to lie or tell the truth.” Those are the only words I heard and I have to say I was totally taken aback. OMG – I had to hold myself back as I just wanted to turn around and say to her – you’re not serious are you? This is a decision?!! But, instead, I walked on, as not only was it none of my business, but I make it a point to never, ever give an opinion unless someone asks me three times (wise words from Charlotte Joko Beck.)
The incident got me thinking about the Sanskrit word Satya which means truth. The truth is really all there is. A lie doesn’t even exist – it’s an illusion – it is just made up.
We all know what a lie feels like because we’ve all done it in one form or another. But whether we just “stretch the truth” or outright lie, we know the feeling of nervousness and stress that ensues. The stress gets stored in the trillions of cells in the body and this leads to dis…ease in body, mind and soul. A lie turns any sense of freedom. openess, and compassion, into constriction, and the heart goes into a closed position. As we contemplate the consequences of our action the mouth gets dry, the butterflies in the stomach start fluttering, the knees may get weak, the skin clammy, the heart rate increases, and the digestive system falters.
What does the truth feel like? It feels free and smooth and open – the words roll off the tongue and the heart sings. The truth may not always be pleasant; it may even result in pain, but it is always freeing.
Satya is more than just being truthful to others. It is about being true to ourselves, it is following our path, our dharma. It is about accepting the two steps back in order to go one step forward. It is about connecting to our innermost self.
So… if you see that girl on the street, will you give her a shout-out and tell her – this not even a decision – always go for truth…always go for Satya!
So for today’s pose we are going to do a YIN forward bend called DANGLING. It is also known as Uttanasana. This pose will stretch the lower back and calm the nervous system. You can just let anything you don’t need (even that little lie) just pour right out through the top of your head.
1). Stand with your feet hip distance apart, bend your knees and fold forward, grasping the opposite elbow with each hand.
2). If you feel any pinching, tingling, burning or electric sensations, back out of the pose.
3). Do not do this pose if you have high blood pressure or glaucoma.
4). If you have any back issues, bend the knees a lot.
5). Hold the pose for 2-3 minutes. Relax into it. It should feel good.
6). Roll up very slowly.
Modifications: Try resting your elbows on a table or the back of a chair so your head does not go down so low. Alternatively, arms, hands, can dangle down to the floor or to a stack of books for support.
Enjoy (in joy!). See you next time.