Svadhyayav: the Niyama of Self-Study

The fourth Niyama, Svadhyayav gives us freedom from past habits and suffering. Svadhyayav means: self-study and introspection.

Ultimately if we take the time to study ourselves, to observe our habits our ego we will find inner growth. This growth can come by taking time to meditate, breathing exercises, or simple vinyasa poses that open and align our chakras for supreme balance.

Working through the yamas by being kind, genuine, not stealing from ourselves or others and letting go of what simply does not serve us.

The Niyamas are all about filling ourselves with love, finding our center to allow gratitude, working hard to create space for introspection, letting go and being present in the moment. This practice of self-study gives us freedom and helps us overcome challenges in life.

Self-study is important because it can help deepen your yoga practice well beyond the mat. Your mind, body and soul will thank you for being so loving and caring when it comes to your ‘self’.

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra states, "Study thyself, discover the divine" II.44.

The more time we spend getting to know our ‘selves’ and figuring out what we are not, the quicker we get to a place where we can focus on who we truly are and what we need to live a positive, beautiful life.

There are thousands of yogic texts, like the one above, that can help us better define who we are in Svadhyaya and help us grow within to promote the fourth Niyama.

If we apply the principles of Svadhyaya to our daily lives we will deepen our yoga practices, release tension, and begin to live our best ‘selves’ one scripture, meditation, breathe, and yoga pose at a time.

Just keep in mind that your time on your mat is yours and that everything else can be let go in order to come to true realization in Svadhyayav.


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