Today we look at Niyama #4 Svadhyaya
The word itself is made up of Sva, meaning own, self, or the human soul, and Adhyaya, meaning lesson, lecture, or reading, and can imply the practice of studying scriptures, as well as a practice of studying the Self.
Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra says: “Study thy self, discover the divine” II.44
as we move forward in our asana and in our life it is important that we do self-study to become more successful.
By studying ‘the self’ and recognizing our habits and thought processes, we realize how much of what we do and think is far from who we really know we are.
When we listen to the ego, we often do things that don’t always align with our true beliefs or intuition. We are out of Congruence. We move in a way that is not natural.
In business, we often make decisions that do not align with the true essence of who we are. In other words, we do things because WE think that will help us even when our gut tells us not to.
The ‘I’ or small ‘self’ is mostly concerned with survival, which usually entails getting what it wants in all situations, and proving it is indeed ‘the best’ despite what consequences that might have for us.
The small self judges, critisizes, fears, conditions, doubts and is essentially the cause of the chitta vrittis, or ‘fluctuations of the mind’ or Dukha of mind.
By paying attention to, or ‘studying’ our ‘self’, we become more aware of the things we do that harm us, and also those which serve us and bring us closer to that process of ‘yoking’ or ‘uniting’ with the true Self.
What is really important for us to realize is that self-study does not mean self-criticism Nor does it mean we psychoanalyze ourself.
Analysis of our thoughts, feelings, associations, and fantasies is not what svadhyaya is about.
The aim of svadhyaya is to bring the experience of that immense Consciousness, the Self, to awareness. Which is the first “A” if you are in my yoga class you understand.
To clear the mind, in Svadhyaya, we use meditation with the use of Mantra to clear the mind. Know that the purpose of clearing the mind is to subdue the ego.
It is said when the mind is dark little self-knowledge can appear. We must remember that the mind is distracted by desires and mundane involvements. Therefore we must tame it, with repetition of a mantra in meditation.
When a mantra permeates the mind, it draws awareness in while the outward-going aspects of the mind become silent.
By quieting the mind with a mantra, we can make way for a stronger sense of self. Our self-awareness and knowing grows immensely.
It is important to have a quiet mind to make business and critical decisions that will affect our life.
The most influential and successful people in business use meditation on a daily basis. We soon find that through meditation we can come into congruence with svadhyaya, which is to know thyself. By knowing the truth of who we are we can begin to build our future success from a space of awareness which brings about conscious decisions that will benefit others as well as ourselves.
We move from the heart instead of from the head to build a business that is enlightened and consciously serving others.
Well, everyone, I hope you found value in these words. This is Marti Angel signing off- please join me in gratitude.
I am thankful for everything I have for all that I am and all that I am about to become.