Yoga Philosophy Spotlight: Asteya or "Non-Lying"/Truthfulness
The next Yama in our Yoga Philosophy Spotlight is Satya, translating roughly from Sanskrit as non lying-and being truthful. It is important to teach our students to be honest -- both others and with themselves -- each day.
We can foster this in our children’s yoga classes through discussion and role play, where we give students the opportunity to act out how it would feel if somebody lied to them. Encourage self-inquiry and language around emotions through asking them what it feels like to be lied to. This can leave a powerful imprint, one that could give them pause before lying in the future.
If we do catch students in lies, rather than raising our voices or "punishing", we can speak honestly with them about why what they did is wrong and how they can do better in the future. Of course, if their lies have hurt anyone or anything, they should make amends in any way or ways possible.
It is also important that we teach our students to be truthful with themselves, in and out or our classes. One example of being true to yourself on the mat would be how deep to go into a pose. You don’t need to force anything. Rather, be real with the body you have right now, loving and accepting it. We can model that for students by being truthful to ourselves and our bodies as we guide them in practice and other activities. We can also encourage students to be truthful to themselves in how they spend their time and energy, who they spend time with, and the like.
As with all things we share with our students, it starts with our own practice and other avenues towards self-development. Even short of telling outright lies, are we living in ways that are honest to who we are and our values? Are we committed to truthfulness in all that we do, even if it comes with personal sacrifice (of course, within reasonable bounds)? Important food for thought! A practice of full truthfulness -- including honesty, authenticity, and a healthy level of modesty -- isn't always easy. Yet if we can grow into it, we can see it bring greater harmony and joy to our lives and the lives of those we love.
Interested in learning more about Yoga Philosophy for Kids? We have a course for that, within our next 95-hour training. Take it independently or along with the 10 other courses in the full training! Email the Teacher Trainer, Lara Hocheiser, at firstname.lastname@example.org, with any questions -- or book a call with her here. We also have Yoga Philosophy lessons plans and cards in our shop!