June: Svadhyaya – Self-Study
Svadhyaya means “one’s own reading” or “self-study” and the practice has the potential to deepen our yoga practice well beyond the mat. When we refer to the “Self” it refers to the true Self, Atman, or the divine within us and the study of Svadhyaya is about recognizing our own habits and thought processes and knowing that as we realize what we are not, we also realize more of who or what we really are. When we listen to the go, we often do thing that don’t align with our truest beliefs. The ego finds our fears, conditions, doubts and the cause of chitta vritties or mind fluctuations.
Through Svadhyaya, we become more aware of the things we do that harm us and the things we do that serve us and bring us closer to “yoking” or “uniting” with the true Self. Svadhyaya gives you pause between stimulus and response – letting you have room to breath, feel, watch, and ponder truths. From these truths emerge the opens to the spirit exploration within you.
Svadhyaya in practice:
One of the focuses of svadhyaya is to be curious about what we take for granted and through recognition, be able to release tendencies that aren’t helpful or useful. We can learn to be non-reactive and challenges us to look deeper into our true Self and discern superficial ego from divine truth.
You can begin your own svadhyaya practice from almost any moment of your day. Simply take a moment to ask:
- What are my intentions in doing/saying this?
- Are my actions/words coming from a place of kindness, compassion, and understanding?
- How can I be more present right now.