Health is wealth.
Peace of mind is happiness.
Yoga shows the way.”
~ Swami Vishnudevananda
The fourth Niyama is
Yoga Sutra 2.44: Svadhyayad ista devata samprayogah
“Through self-study comes union with one’s chosen deity.”
~ Gary Kissiah
Like most yoga sutras, Svadhyaya has both an external and internal application.
The external practice implies the study of something that resonates with you. Studying something new that interests you is good for your mental health and offers new insights and inspiration.
For example, when turning to spiritual literature or upon closely observing life, we gain insight to the concept that all beings have the same basic needs and similar experiences. Once we recognize the collectivity of life experiences, we develop compassion for ourselves and others. We strive toward becoming the best version of ourselves, which may include offering our services to help and support others.
The internal practice of Svadhyaya is self-study, going within and becoming aware of the quality of your thoughts, emotions, and habits. It nudges you to contemplate the question “Who am I?” without searching for answers but to just allow them to come in their own time. And yes, the internal practice takes courage.
Yoga is a wonderful tool to help us distinguish between knowledge and an inner knowingness.
By cultivating mindfulness and self-reflection, we begin to see ourselves and our environment with clarity, discovering the way things are. This gives us the opportunity to make new choices, change the way we think, perceive and act. When we find the deep connection to our soul/essence/spirit, an inner peacefulness, knowingness and transformation can occur.
Svadhyaya invites you to get to know yourself better, become authentic, accept your unique qualities and discover your innate potentials. Allow yourself to shine and bring your gifts and talents into the world! You are amazing!
How are you applying self-study in your life?
If you have any questions or need someone to support your in the process of self-study, please know that I am here for you.
I would love to hear your comments. Please contact me by e-mail, comment on the blog post of my website, Facebook or Twitter.
Tanja Alexandra Kern