svadhyaya : self-reflections

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Aug 17
2015

When we embark on the expedition of Yoga, of introspection…we tend to first see the surface of our physical bodies, and we recognise it’s little shortcomings. Tight hamstrings, a stiff upper back, hips etc.

 

How different we would feel if we took the time to really look at the miracle of life and repeat a gentle phrase of affirmation and add a Buddha-like smile of recognition.

 

 

moon shadow

 

 

With the aspect of Svadhyaya, self-study we learn to look insight instead of outside of ourselves.

 

This is what I love about yoga, it reminds me to focus on the importance of acknowledging the divine within me, because what happens when we compare ourselves is that we begin to judge.

 

We judge ourselves, and maybe we judge another person. S/he is so flexible, strong, successful and happy because s/he’s got______ (fill in the blank).

 

The thing is, that your brain, your mind can’t differentiate between ‘them’ and you. Everything you say to others (in your mind obviously) you say to yourself.

 

If you judge others you judge yourself, which will lead you to believe that others are judging you (and even if they don’t, you’ll think they do).

 

So instead of comparing ourselves, we have to put love first. We have to put love first in whatever we do.

 

We send other people our gratitude for being there and reflecting our own beauty and potential to us. We thank them and wish them well and all success, happiness and joy in the world. Because this is then what your brain receives. It’s where true union begins.

 

How can we remember to do this? Besides tapas (purification) and Ishvara pranidhana (the surrounding to a higher source), the aspect of svadyaya can include any inspirational activity,  also prayer and japa (the repetition of a mantra – like Wahe Guru or OM).

 

When we repeat a mantra from the heart, it has the power to unite us with our true divine nature.

 

 

Svadyaya: the sacred study of the divine through scripture, nature and introspection:

Om Bhur Bhuvah Swaha / Tat savitur varenyam // Embracing earth, heaven and beyond / the sacred source is revealed.

 

Alexa Nehter

 

 

 

 

 

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