Svadyaya: Self-Study

Sunday, November 27, 2016

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Svadyaya: Self-Study

If I had to pick a favorite guideline from the first two limbs of yoga, Svadyaya would be the one.

As a highly sensitive soul with a tendency toward introversion, I am in love with the practice of introspection, which is Svadyaya. I love observing my brain, thought patterns, choices, and feelings as if I were or could ever be an objective onlooker. I love reading new spiritual material or watching something that changes my perspective. I love changing my perspective!

And that is exactly the goal of Svadyaya.

Svadyaya is the practice of looking within, and growing from there rather than reaching for growth through an external goal. Svadyaya is the practice of getting to know yourself from the inside out. It’s the practice of becoming your own best friend, confidant, and respected mentor.

The practice of Svadyaya has been the easiest for me to adopt into my regular life. In fact, when I began this spiritual quest to rediscover myself, Svadyaya was the route I took. I didn’t know what it meant at the time, of course. I was merely trying to understand the depths of my soul. I had no idea there was a spiritual practice within the eight limbs of yoga that could describe my journey within.

However, this practice isn’t always easy. Knowing myself means I know when I’m self-sabotaging. I know when I’m checking out. I know when I’m avoiding and running. I know, and therefore I can’t escape myself anymore.

This is both a blessing and a tremendous curse.

It’s much easier to demolish a building than it is to construct one. The same can be said of a life. But with the practice of Svadyaya that’s no longer true. It’s no longer easier to self-sabotage, and trust me, sometimes I wish it was.

If you don’t understand what I mean, you will once you begin the practice of Svadyaya. It will wake you up in the best way possible.

And you won’t ever be able to go back to sleep.

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