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My Take On Svadhyaya, Self-Study

by Renee Downing, E-RYT 500, YACEP

Who are you? Who are you at the deepest core of your Self? If all the labels you currently identify with were all of a sudden stripped from you, how would you feel? Would you be unaffected? Would you be more content? Would you feel desperate and vulnerable, maybe even depressed? 

If you can set aside the time to block out all distractions, all the fluctuations of the mind, do you know who you truly are without falling into specific categories of mother/father, spouse, brother/sister, boss/employee, athlete, rich/poor, purple/yellow, etc.?

How many times have you longed for the days when you were once this or that and no longer are? Perhaps you were once a fast runner and now have an injury that prevents you from doing so.

Perhaps you once had a lot of money in savings and now you have very little.

Perhaps you were once on the honor role and now find it difficult to concentrate on simple tasks.

 Perhaps you were once fit an active and now are not.

Search deeper than labels. Who would you be if you did not have a body? Who would you be if money did not exist? Who are you without your thoughts, impressions and influences?

You can apply the same practice to asana. Why do you prefer certain poses and despise others? What adjustments do you need to make for your body to be comfortable? (Everyone is going to be different) Do you have limitations in some movements and a great range of motion in others?

This is Svadhyaya.
This is Self-study.