There are five Niyamas. Today we are going to focus on Svadhyaya . Sva means "self' adhyaya means "inquiry" or "examination". Any activity that cultivates self-reflective consciousness can be considered svadhyaya. It means to intentionally find self-awareness in all our activities and efforts, even to the point of welcoming and accepting our limitations. It teaches us to be centered and non-reactive to the dualities, to burn out unwanted and self-destructive tendencies.
Here are some suggestions for incorporating Svadhyaya into your practice as well as your daily life:
- While holding postures using self reflection as to your tendencies to push, hold back, favor a side, or to go quickly.
- Throughout practice tune into the messages you are telling yourself about your abilities, your time, your focus.
- In final relaxation what have you not let go of, are you able to relax, what thoughts creep up when trying to calm the mind?
- Throughout the day take two twenty-minute vacations to check in mentally, meditate, say affirmations, and to reflect on all that is going on.
- Pay attention to the tone of your voice, the positive and negative messages or thoughts used, your interactions with others, and how you carry yourself.
- Are your decisions inline with your goals and values?
If you are like many, slowing down enough to reflect can be scary, challenging to schedule, and not pleasant. I always tell people that success comes to those who take the time to do the things that they may not want to do.