A daily dose of svadhyaya

The beginning of the new year seems to be the time when everyone is involved in contemplation on “the self”.  It seems to be the time when people contemplate what happened the previous year and determine that this is “the year” that they’re going to bring about those important changes in themselves.  In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali , svadhyaya is listed as one of the five niyamas or rules that yogis and yoginis should follow in order to care for themselves.  Svadhyaya translates as self-study.  Patanjali is telling us that self-study or self-reflection is not something that should be undertaken once a year, but something that we should be doing on an ongoing basis in order to better understand ourselves and enable us to live a better life.  He says that we can make svadhyaya a part of our life by incorporating things such as meditation, journalling, the study of scriptures, and self-reflection into our lives.  During Yoga class we can practice svadhyaya by noticing our reaction to certain poses, pranayama or meditation techniques.  Do we find a certain pose to be scary, safe, comforting, or even boring?  Reflecting on our reaction can bring us to a greater undertstanding of ourselves, which is what a daily dose of svadhyaya is all about.

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3 thoughts on “A daily dose of svadhyaya

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