Satya is the Sanskrit word for truth. It also refers to being truthful in one's thought, speech and action. In Yoga, Satya is one of five Yamas, the restraint from falsehood and distortion of reality in one's expressions and actions.
Even when we are practicing yoga, we can easily confuse observation and judgment. In the yoga studio, for example, it is not uncommon to have judgments about a pose that we find unpleasant. When our teacher suggests we try such a pose, one of the following judgments may pass through our mind. First, we might say to ourselves, “This pose does not do anything useful” (judging the pose). Or we may inwardly judge the teacher. Finally, and probably most commonly, we think, “What’s wrong with me that I cannot do this pose?” (judging ourselves).
When we use speech that expresses judgment, we limit ourselves and others. In this case, we limit ourselves by putting the pose, the teacher, or ourselves in a box, a box labeled “bad.” We lose track of the fact that it is not the pose which is bad, nor the teacher, nor us. Rather, “bad” is an interpretation that arises within us. Whether we speak them out loud or silently, such judgments are not Satya.
An alternative way to speak to ourselves about a difficult pose is to say, “I am having trouble with this pose right now.” When we use speech this way, whether silently or out loud, a very different atmosphere for learning is created. To make the observation that I am having trouble right now makes no statement at all about the pose itself, the teacher, or our worth as a student. Neither does it ordain that things will not change. When we use the language of observation, we give ourselves the space and freedom to change right now or at any point in the future.
Be kind to all, including yourself, (with your internal voice).