Theme of the Week: Svadhyaya (Self-Study)

Svadhyaya means self-study or self reflection and is one of the five niyamas. Niyamas are internal codes of conduct that allow you to live in a positive environment, so that you can continue to grow, and so that you can live to your fullest potential.

This is one of our favourite quotes called I am the Decisive Element:

“I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration, I can humiliate or humour, hurt or heal. In all situation, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escaped or de-escaled, and a person is humanised or de-humanised. If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. if we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.”
– Goethe

We have to create time to examine ourselves. Examine our patterns of behaviour, examine our actions, examine our thoughts, and examine our responses. It’s in this pause where you have time to choose your response. It’s in this pause you have the space to choose a DIFFERENT response.

In a world where we are constantly distracted and also trained to want entertainment, the practice of syadyaya can be extremely difficult to cultivate. With all of the excessive stimuli we are bombarded with from social media, we are constantly evaluating others rather than ourselves. It becomes habit to judge and assess and compare what is around rather than what is within us. Being committed to a daily yoga practice allows us the time to bring the focus back to ourselves. It might be the only hour of your day that you are not tied to your phone and all the distraction it has to offer. If you are already coming to yoga, see this as a great first step. Start to notice in class when your attention is on yourself versus someone else in the room or maybe a story your mind is distracting you with. Your yoga practice is your time for self examination. To experience true freedom, we must pause and study ourselves.