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Self-Study: Svadhyaya

Updated: Feb 19, 2022

There is a reason we show up here.

Here, meaning, our yoga practice.

Here, meaning, reading this right now.

It's because there's something about *this* that feels undeniably different from other forms of exercise, or other forms of personal growth.

Even if we've never taken class and are waiting on the sidelines to see what this yoga thing is all about. Even if we take class all the time, and are still working to see the larger picture of yoga. No matter our background, we can *feel* the difference.

It's because, even when we're not sure what we're learning in a yoga class - we're learning. In this way, it's the sneakiest and most effective lesson plan I've ever been a part of.

And the best kind of lesson plans put the students in the drivers seat. This is where Svadhyaya comes in. Studying ourselves through, and in addition to, our yoga practice.

Let's take a closer look at this Sanksrit word:

Sva: own, one's own, self, the human soul

Adhyaya: a lesson, lecture, chapter, reading

all together now:


Svadhyaya: one's own reading; lesson

This Niyama (ways of being in yoga) places importance on knowing ourselves. Knowing who we are to ourselves; who we are in this world. It's hard to know ourselves in this world today. There's so much constantly entering our thought space about what to do or how to be. That's why we come here. To learn who WE are, not who society wants us to be.

As we focus on Svadhyaya in our classes this month, we'll practice a meditation that helps with self-study. Within your own asana (pose) practice, observe how you deal with discomfort in poses, and how you deal with the quiet of the mind. As you go about your daily life, search for and notice things that inspire you, from people who seem to have gained that inner knowledge. Write about your findings in your journal, or in a letter to a trusted friend.

“You are searching the world for treasure, but the real treasure is Yourself.” - Rumi

Can't wait to dive into it with you this month, JFY!



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