Niyama 4: Svadhyaya – Self Study/Self Reflection
Your teacher can open the door, but you must enter by yourself. -Chinese Proverb
This niyama asks us to look within and study the self. This is swimming your deep rivers- the facing of our inner truths, the battle of our inner demons, meandering the labyrinth that is us to find the heart of us – our True Self, the self that is guided by spirit. Swimming your deep rivers means facing the truth about yourself in order to weed out false beliefs and reconnect to your Highest Self.
Many believe that Svadhyaya means studying the yoga spiritual scriptures, and yes, that can be one avenue of self study. But it goes beyond that, deeper. What works for one will not be what works for another. Study many forms of insightful, self-help, self-improvement and personal growth literature. Study the great texts – all of them. Study modern self-help books; find what works for you. Take a personal growth intensive or course. (The More to Life Weekend was a major jump start for me in my path of growth.)
Learn from others.
Do personal growth work.
Find your courage. Swimming your deep rivers can be a daunting task. It requires you to see both the truth of your highest self and the ego self.
“Svadhyaya is not the answer. Svadhyaya is the question being asked.”
I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.
For Personal Growth:
Choose one personal growth, self-help, self-improvement book or spiritual text to read. Commit to reading it and completing any exercises within.
Suggested Reading List:
Radical Forgiveness – Colin Tipping
The Work – Byron Katie
How to Heal Your Life – Louise Hay