Also spelled Svahdyaya
Self-study is an on going process of self-awareness and looking within. We are born into the world with pure, unhampered minds and through time we pick up subconscious influences, perceptions, defenses, limiting beliefs, and more. Svadyaya, the fourth Niyama (personal observances), means learning about oneself.
Most of our actions, thoughts and words are actually unconscious reactions. Knowing what makes us ‘tick’ brings clarity in making decisions to help us flourish and live a more inspired life. Knowing which environments and activities strengthen us, guides us towards positive changes. As we uncover limiting beliefs and things that hold us back, we can begin to heal. By becoming more conscious we discover the essence of who we are. And as we go deeper, we find and connect with the Divine.
There are endless ways to explore the self. Any time we quiet ourselves turning our attention inward and reflect, we learn about ourselves. Here are some practices to develop self-study:
- Try various types of meditation. (Examples)
- Enjoy meditative activities (walking, running, gardening, painting, bathing, cleaning etc.)
- Practice yoga
- Try mantra repetition. (Examples)
- Read sacred or inspiring texts.
- Observe your relationships, how do people respond to you?
- Regularly express yourself through journaling and reflect on it.
- Practice awareness. Become aware of reactions to different situations, how you are affected by different environments, and interactions with people. Notice your preferences, strengths, and weaknesses.
- Ask yourself questions. (Here are 50 questions for you)
When it comes down to it, when we practice awareness and observance, all activities can help us discover something about
ourselves. All are opportunities to understand who we really are and how we operate.
Learning to see things from new perspectives reveals our own mental and emotional boundaries. Practicing this awareness helps us to break forth into higher thinking and growth on so many levels.
50 questions that you can use for self-inquiry