“Whether we’re eating or working or meditating or listening or talking, the reason that we’re here in this world at all is to study ourselves. In fact, it has been said that studying ourselves provides all the books we need.” ― Pema Chödrön
Svadhyaya translates to “self study,” and it’s the fourth niyama listed in the Eight Limbs of Yoga.
To fully understand the application of this practice of awareness and self examination into your daily life, it’s important to recognize that svadhyaya meant studying the ancient philosophical yoga texts -- reading the texts, reciting them, committing them to memory — embodying those philosophies.
So how can you incorporate the practice of svadhyaya while practicing asana [poses]?
Listening to your yoga teacher during class is part of the practice, but what happens when a teacher instructs you to move into a pose that feels really uncomfortable or asks you to stay in an asana longer than you can stand? Chances are your internal dialogue kicks into high gear: begging, sometimes demanding, that you provide your body with some relief.
If that’s the case for you, then that inner dialogue is what you should be paying attention to if you want to practice svadhyaya.
Svadhyaya on the yoga mat means studying the “what”, “how” and “why” to your thoughts and feelings while flowing from pose to pose and then comparing that to your daily life. Consider asking yourself some of these questions:
There's loads of questions and answers you can constantly explore in your practice; notice if it really is an exploration or a judgemental take.
Not only can doing this form of self observation improve your asana practice during a yoga class, but gaining this self knowledge can change the way your mind deals with self judgment and expand your capacity for introspection both on and off the mat.
The term gratitude yoga is not limited to the mat...
If we remind ourselves to be grateful for what we do have, we lose the negative impressions that often take up our head uninvited. By selecting a tone of thankfulness,fear, sadness, anxiety, and even anger gets pushed aside and our gratitude makes room for strength, happiness, confidence, and peace.
With the Holidays just around the corner... memberships and giving the gift of yoga is a great present to a family member or loved one. Discounts for gifts, referral offerings are also available.
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