This practice we will focus on the 4th Niyama, Svadhyaya: Self-study, self- inquiry, it is to observe the self, understand it and self-reflect on it. It is the study by and of oneself, along side of the study of spiritual scripture and teachings. Reading, listening and reciting mantras. Through repetition we learn, deepening the knowledge and opening to true wisdom.
Sva means own or self. Dhyaya means lesson, practice, teaching. The word literally means ‘placing it within your own’ or ‘own- ing’ the lesson, the teaching own the lesson as you focus on what is arising right here and now.
In practice we take it all in, whatever arises in our field of experience. Welcoming it all as teachers, make the understanding and experience your own, place yourself within it. This is where your light of intelligence (Prajna), discernment (Vikeka) and your intuitive wisdom (Buddhi) gathered insight into what is arising in practice in the form of thought, emotions and sensations.
In the practice of Yoga, we are consciously shaping the breath to guide the mind to recognise the True Self. With direct recognition of this purpose, the next stage is to understand what is seen, felt and experienced. We are seekers, suggesting that there is a yearning to learn more, to recall past experiences, access the intellect to figure things out and draw on that knowledge to make wise decisions that are aligned to our known purpose.
Yoga is a state of mind, not something to do. It is a work in, not a work out.
So when we practice creating a pose, refining the mind to rest on the breath, sensation and light. We notice stuff arise in the form of thought, emotion and sensation. We do have the opportunity to understand WHY this is percolating up.
- HOW does it express itself?
- WHERE are you experiencing it?
- HOW old is it?
- WHAT is it trying to tell you?
- WHAT colour, shape, image, sensation is it?
- Are you aware of your reactions?
- When you get lost in thought? A story, commentary?
- What happens when you don’t like something?
- What happens when you do like something?
- What happens if you can’t do something?
- What happens if you can do something no one else can do?
- What is motivating you?
- Are you able to remember your purpose of practice?
Using the practice as a mirror, through repetition, taking the opportunity for self-study and self-understanding. Deepening the knowledge of the many skills and tools you have acquired, giving yourself agency, reclaiming your power back. To see, listen and be open to receive what needs to be expressed, seen and heard.
As the sutra suggests to use mantra in repetition to stabilise and infuse the mind with the meaning, guiding it to abide in moment by moment awareness, resting embodied as you, awakening to your True Self. We will be using SO HUM mantra that loosely means, ‘I am that.’ Who are you when your are trying not to be somebody? What are you?
Enjoy this practice becoming more familiar to who and what you truly are and skilfully navigating your practice with loving awareness.
*My wrist is wrapped up to offer myself support as I fell and waiting for it to heal. So I might be demonstrating different things on my hand that is injured. Please follow the healthy hand*