Study of the Self (Svadhyaya)


The fourth niyama: Svadhyaya is translated as study of the self through observation and reflection.  It refers to the wisdom which is derived not from others but internally – the ability to see ourselves clearly and learn from this.  This means staying with our process of self-discovery, especially when the going gets tough; uncovering both our weaknesses and strengths.

When practising yoga you are using this valuable tool as you pay attention to every nuance.  When in a well-supported pose, try closing your eyes.  Each pose unfolds with a sense of inquiry and curiosity.  This makes all the difference to really good yoga.  As you work, investigate how you are balancing determination (Tapas) with contentment (Santosa).