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).