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.


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Helping Modern LatinX women build a beauty & wellness business that creates recurring income while adding value to others.

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  1. I forget so much about clearing the mind. It makes sense. In order to make important decisions I need a clear mind to be aware of my thinking process. Most of the time my mind is like a 5 0’clock freeway jam, multi- tasking. Yet I can’t give my complete awareness to the individual things and possibly short changing myself.

  2. After reading about this niyama, I’ve realized that I’ve been living my life listening to my ego, I’m focusing on myself and barely caring about what’s most important ( family and relationships ). I should live my life practicing mantra while doing yoga, so that my mind can be clear and I would focus on more important stuff in life.

  3. It’s always so easy to get caught up in what you feel you’re suppose to do or suppose to feel/ act or say. That we forget that we are a whole individual that needs to be taking care of correctly. I admit most days I feel like theres never enough time and I’m rushing through everything. And I forget all about taking a breath, being in a moment of self awareness and really evaulating what I’m doing thats helping me versus what I’m doing thats only harming me. We are our own powerful tools in this world, its true, we must study ourselves and our mind to unlock the true power thats inside us.

  4. “What is really important for us to realize is that self-study does not mean self-criticism Nor does it mean we psychoanalyze ourself.”-I really responded to this quote because I think it highlights the biggest challenge of this practice. It can be easy too seseethe critical as being reflective and fall into that trap instead of actually doing self study. Its so important to notice the difference cause I can certainly see times that I have allowed myself to be confused by my ego mind. Ultimately blocking my own growth.

  5. I agree that self study is important and the clearing of the mind. Personally, I find it difficult at times to clear the mind because I get caught up in life situations and just think and think about it nonstop. Meditation has truly helped me,even though I don’t do it on a daily basis I do try to do it as much as possible.

  6. Svadhyaya is important since it brings the experience out of our subconscious. I agree that we need to become aware of the things we do daily that harms us. Clearing and decluttering your mind will make decisions and your life easier as well as more proactive. You must study yourself before succeeding. I like that quote “Study thy itself, discover the divine.”

  7. I have learned how to study and analyze myself without my small self dominating my thoughts. Now that’s ive recognized my habits and beliefs that no longer serve me, I can now begin to improve myself from the inside out. I have noticed that my small self is less likely to dominate my thoughts.

  8. I’m a very motivated person and am always trying to become a better person than I was the day before. However, sometimes I’m just way to hard on myself. There’s a fine line between self reflection and “psychoanalyzing” ourselves and I just don’t know when to not cross that line. More recently it has definitely taken a toll on myself, mentally and emotionally. I’ve just been feeling like a dead beat and defeated no matter what I do/accomplish. I keep trying to reel myself back in to positive energies and putting myself in a place of gratitude and humbleness which has helped a little. This just really feels like it’s going to be a long route to the “right” path of living my truth and what not but I’m buckled up and here for the ride! A little thing I like to repeat throughout the day, “it’s not ‘why me?’ It’s ‘try me!’”

  9. it’s funny that something that sounds so simple is so challenging, & how Using just 10 min of your life meditating can benefit you so amazingly …. yet I struggle to practice it. I never realized that yoga has to be a 100%commitment & a lifestyle. But “Practice makes permanence” & I’m still determined to continue learning.

  10. “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.” After, I read this quote is like if something drag me to understand and analyzed myself. To clear my mind and really know what is what I really need to become in life. Learning wont stop and we will continue follow our pathway, but is that the real way of life that we need or want? Meditation has help me to go through the hardest times on my life … when I became a widow my only outlet was meditation and listen to my self to continue on … but then, it become empty, non sense because I didn’t have a guidance or the reason why I should do it. Now that I have open my mind and my heart I see the reality on the why?! my commitment now with yoga, meditation and my own self has clear all that I have try on the past… sure it is challenging, but I know now how to identify my ego and always go back to align myself to continue on the way that is taking me as natural as I want to become… just letting the way to flow natural …..

  11. After reading this. I have noticed lately that my ego is high because I do care about myself a lot but I always want what I want and on the time I want it on. And its not right. Has been challenging but I keep working on it and will keep improving

  12. I find it difficult to clear my mind completely when meditating because I can feel it gradually thinking about the things around me. Mantras, however, feel like they help in staying self aware of my actions throughout the day. For example, when doing the 40 day mantra I became aware of events starting to take place in my life and having the discipline to say the mantra twice a day helped me focus on myself and what I was saying in that moment.

  13. I believe that I can improve myself and study my body more and see what truly benefits me. With meditation and self benefits such as eating right and doing positive thing will truly uplift my spirt

  14. Meditation is so important in life today. There are so many distractions from finding what our real life path is. Meditation is the time you give to yourself to really discover who you are, deep down inside, and accept it, without judgment. It gives you a chance to get a peek at what happiness is, while you search for your purpose here on Earth. I think my favorite mantra is the one you so often use in class, ” I am thankful for all that I have, for what I have become and what I am about to become.”

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