“If we cannot be honest with ourselves first, we cannot be honest in any other part of our life.”

I’ve been spending the last year of my life training, preparing, saving for my upcoming PCT thru-hike in April. Up until a couple of weeks ago, I’d been excited and looking forward to my trip. That is until I set up my sleeping system in my room, which consists of two sleeping pads, a sleeping bag and an inflatable pillow. As soon as I got into my sleeping bag to see how it felt, feelings of fear and doubt started running through my mind. I laid there in my bag, staring at the ceiling thinking about how this would be my bed, in my tent, all by myself out in the wilderness for five months. Questions like, “What am I doing?” “Can I do this?” Do I have what it takes? “Am I going to be okay?” What if…?” started running through my mind. I woke up about an hour later, still in my sleeping bag. I had literally worried myself to sleep.

Anytime I have something heavy on my mind, I always make more time to show up on my mat and practice more yoga. There’s something about yoga that helps me sort of the tough things in my life. If I need to make an important decision, I go to yoga. If I need some creative inspiration, I go to yoga. If I’m really worried about something and can’t stop thinking about it, I go to yoga.

This week, my theme for my yoga classes has been Satya, Satya in Sanskrit means truthfulness. Satya is one of the five Yamas in the Eight Limbs of Yoga. The Yamas are the first limb of the path that focus on a person’s behavior and how they conduct themselves in life. Satya means much more than just don’t tell lies. It also means be honest and be true to yourself.

The next day after my sleeping system test fiasco, I went to yoga. Yoga always helps pause any anxious feelings of fear and doubt I may be having and helps me be honest with myself – Satya. When I show up on my mat, I’m reminded of who I am, what I’m capable of and how strong of a person I can be. I tell myself over and over, “I got this!” I even give myself permission to be okay with being a little scared. Honestly, if I wasn’t a little bit scared about hiking over 2,650 miles by myself for five months, there would be something seriously wrong with me. On my mat, I also remind myself why I want to do this massive hike in the first place.

If there’s something heavy on your mind, a big decision you need to make or a fear you need to face, show up on your mat and practice Satya. Being honest with yourself will help guide you in the right direction and to the answer you’re looking for. Let your yoga practice be your guide and help you figure out what your next step will be.

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