Satya or "Truth" is the second Yama, or ethical/behavioral obligation.  The five Yamas from Yoga Sutra of Patanjali can support and ground our entire practice through the way we live.  

However, the first Yama is Ahimsa, non-harming.  Have you ever found yourself in a situation where the truth seemed to conflict with desire to "not harm"?  How do we negotiate that conflict?

hope you agree that we need an open mind and heart for this question.  Krishnamacharya said that a yoga mind is a young mind, always questioning always learning.  And there's a lot to learn!  As an old Indian metaphor for truth-seeking has it, we're all like three blind men touching an elephant: one blind man says all elephants are warm and squiggly (like a trunk); the other blind man (at the side) says they are all big and heavy; the last says they're thin and sharp (like a tail).

We're all blind, and yet we're all capable of touching into truth.  Let's just pause and make room for a "slow reveal".  Before we react we may want to pause and remember that we may not be seeing the whole truth just this second. Please notice and take a breath right now.  There. That's a piece of Satya, a small, beautiful piece.  Your own aliveness.

The mind can't fix this problem of only seeing a part, when it longs for a wholeness, a truth that is authentic, broad and embracing.   A big step in our learning in yoga is when we discover that what we're hunting for is not a truth to impose on others, but a personal truth through the "slow reveal" of embodied awareness.  This embodied, authentically experienced truth can bring us as close as possible to purusha, the witness part of our awareness that can see everything and everyone in our life with compassion (karuna) love (maitri) and equanimity (upeksha). When we tap into purusha more and more, we're seeing the whole elephant, and we can support people to tap into their own awareness just by being fully present with love, and with compassion.

So maybe there is no Satya for everyone, except the embodied sense of our inner and social reality, right now, and to act from that place.  To see and be seen as truly as is possible with the context of our own process and other people's process, all held lovingly within our awareness.

-Susanna Nicholson