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8 Limbs of Yoga – NIYAMA – Svadhyaya

Sva: Own, Self
Adhyaya: Lesson, Reading, Lecture

Svadhyaya is an internal observation; Niyama. Broken into Sva (meaning own or self) and Adhyaya (meaning lesson, reading or lecture), Svadhyaya in sanskrit translates to self study. During these first couple of weeks of the ytt200 I find myself practicing svadhyaya quite a bit. This is in the physical sense since I am learning my limitations and slowly overcoming them. Now that I have an understanding of many asanas, I can close my eyes and really focus on my body’s alignment in the different poses. Svadhyaya is also a mental practice that can and should be taken off the mat. It’s a reminder to always stay grounded and acknowledge your own weak points as well as strengths in order to improve yourself. Since we are always in a state of change, there is never a lack of need for svadhyaya.

– M Elaine