By Nancy Alder
Several years ago I embarked on a project to write about my yoga practice every day on my blog. At first the idea was to use this idea to force myself back onto my yoga mat after a period of maternal distraction had kept me away from it. When I began writing I felt so many apprehensions about making my words impactful and each post significant. I struggled in the first weeks with this mountain of epic distrust of my words. I wrote and deleted post after post because I was crafting words rather than listening to the ones my heart and soul were saying.
However, within weeks of beginning the 365yoga project, as I called it, I found my voice. I started sharing the truth of my practice which was often as difficult and messy as it was ease-filled. But astonishingly, as my honest voice was shared on the pages of my blog, my readership and impact became noticeably greater. I watched as the comments on my blog posts grew and the interaction with my readers became more inspired and widespread. What had changed?
I realized that when I wrote from the voice that came straight from my experiences and truth, the words not only tumbled out of my fingers, but my readers connected deeply with them. I had discovered that my satya, my truth, was giving my writing its power. I no longer struggled with finding my sentences and stories; I simply told the truth and worlds exploded onto the page.
Writing became part of my practice. Sharing my truth was my yoga.
Satya is one of the yamas described by Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras. The yamas, or restraints, are one of the eight limbs of yoga that help guide us to a life of purpose and meaning. By listening and living from a place of truth or satya, we honestly walk the path that we have chosen. When we share from this place of heart and openness we allow others to find a piece of themselves in our words. Whether it is that understanding that someone else experiences the same thing they do, or just an acknowledgement that raw honesty is a language they get, your audience will see the real you. This vision of your heart and soul is what we most want to share with our readers and not surprisingly, what they most want to read.
As I build my presence in the often superficial world of social media, I strive to share my satya with each post. Every time I offer my truth, whether it be my own questioning or my successes, I see the resonance in the community I am building. Strangers and students let me know they feel the same. Followers and friends respond with a “me too.” Fellow teachers and writers feel permission to share their satya, too.
Being honest with your community can be scary at first, because when you are truthful you risk alienating those who only want to hear the rosy and wonderful. Yet you create a space for those looking to surround themselves both in person and online with authenticity. These are the individuals who are your tribe and who will resonate most deeply with what you share. If you write or share from a place which is not the one located within, those following you will eventually see the inauthenticity of your approach. They will begin to question what you share, what you post, what you write—and ultimately, they will question who you are. Lack of authenticity is the kryptonite for writers and healers.
Living your satya in your day and in your work offers you a chance to share your light with others. It opens the door to inspiration and trust. Your words, your life, and your presence are your satya and there is power in offering them to those around you.
Allow your truth to shine through with light and watch how it brings ease and impact to what you share.
About Nancy Alder
YOGI + MOTHER
Nancy Alder is a mom to elves, a yoga teacher and writer in Connecticut. She is a New York editor for Mantra Magazine and writes about the alchemy of yoga, mysticism and motherhood at her site Flying Yogini. She is co-creatrix of the eight limb // life a course in finding your yoga off the mat and everywhere. When not teaching or writing about yoga she explores the enchanted woods with her elves and counts the days until the next snowfall.