That word “Satya” literally means “to be” and has existential connotations. When one is truly being there is no qualification or rationalization required; one resides in the essential truth of their nature.
More commonly the term is translated to mean “truthfulness.” When one is centered in a clear state of presence, truthfulness is an innate extension of who they fundamentally are. It is a natural expression of being identified more with the present moment than agitated about the past or fantasizing about the future.
Conventionally, truthfulness has to do with how accurately we present information to others and how credible our word is. While this is a very valid standard the practice of yoga requires that one take it a step further, to bridge the inner and outer worlds and examine the level of truth one presents to themselves.
This practice cuts right to the core of our identity as our mind’s perpetual tendency is to fabricate stories about who it thinks it is. These stories can be very convincing and keep us more identified with our circumstances than our spiritual essence.
What the practice of truthfulness does is shine a light on the egos tendency to cling fiercely to its own identity. From the yogic perspective this congested identity is a fundamental lie, held in place by ignorance. We are not our possessions our circumstances, bodies or even our thoughts, though it is easy to mistake them for our who we are.
The practice of truthfulness gives us some standard by which we can release the fear of life and soften into our spiritual identity. Truthfulness requires self reflection and a relaxation of effort. This quality of effort is the very substance of yogic practice. Yoga allows us to rest in our essential nature, a state in which one is simple being.