Svadhyaya, self study, Part 2

Sunday, 06 December 2020 19:30
Last week we learnt that Svadhyaya - the fourth Niyama means self-study, but also means study of the scriptures. The Sanskrit word Svadhyaya is made up of Sva - meaning self or human soul and Adhyaya meaning lesson or reading. Therefore, Svadhyaya indicates reading as a means to educating ourselves to delve into methods to discover who we truly are.
The yogic texts are abundant and knowing where to begin can be a challenge. Some of the well-known texts are:  The Bhagavad Gita (Hindu scripture detailing the dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna discussing ethical dilemmas in a moral life), The Hatha Yoga Pradipika (classic 15th century manual on Hatha Yoga) and The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (196 Sanskrit aphorisms on the theory and philosophy of yoga). There are countless volumes of interpretations of these inspiring texts. For me, I keep returning to my faves: BKS Iyengar’s Light on Life, Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and Light on Yoga. Also Michael Stone’s The Inner Tradition of Yoga. There is a wide diversity in yogic texts as yoga is an individual experience, so the writings reflect the different individual’s believes and attitudes. Find something that resonates with you to help guide and influence your path.
Books and reading, of course, cannot bring you self-realisation, but reflecting and integrating what we read into our yoga practice, on and off the mat, can.
What we do on the mat acquaints us with who we are. Away from the distractions of our screens, our responsibilities, the requirement for language. We are in the position to study and reflect on our habits, inciting us to watch our actions, and to detect the internal language that sways our actions. 
“Watch your thoughts, they become words; watch your words, they become actions; watch your actions, they become habits; watch your habits, they become character; watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.” – Author Unknown 
Questioning our actions, habits and behaviour can be a challenge as often we don’t like what we find. These questions become the catalyst for change. Giving us the opportunity to experience more joy, less suffering at the hands of our ego, and to find ways to contribute to the world that is of benefit to everyone and everything.
“Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the Self” – The Bhagavad Gita
Get on your mat :)
Bring on your own study: Join us for Unlimited Yoga Classes in January (4th to 24th) - Special Price $90. 
Nicole Schroeter
JI3 Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher Trainer
Yoga Path
An Iyengar Yoga School
5 Hall St
Newport Vic 3015
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