The Limbs of Yoga: Self-Study
Self-Study (Swadhyaya) goes far beyond acquiring knowledge. Svadhyaya is the study of the self through contemplation. The Yogi through swadhyaya understands the inner challenges of the body, mind and spirit and achieves communion with the Divine. To really understand the complexities of the mind, time has to be spent interrogating thoughts and sitting with the processes that go on unchecked within us. Here’s the thing. Everything in our mental consciousness is a conceptual story, our own opinion. Everything. And what’s worse, our consciousness is a liar.
Unsurprisingly, meditation is the vehicle that allows this to unfold, all of the niyamas build resilience and awakening to the true nature of self. Our attachments, our conditioning and entanglement with the desire for permanence means that it takes space and time to get to the point where real self-study can occur. As we become more familiar with what and who we are, and more interconnected with our compassionate relationship with others, the ability comes to sit less in the ego ‘I’ and more in the greater community of humanity. We are the observer not the doer in our thoughts. This week, practice the study of self, observe your mind through meditation in an intense practice of ‘now’ – I’m reading this post, I’m getting a cup of tea, I’m patting the dog, just keep coming back to the now and in your internal voice stay present to what you are doing, in the pathway to being not doing yoga.