Self-study is an important aspect of yoga. Looking at yourself and trying to figure out who you are and what you believe in is essential to beginning on a path of yoga. The self is always being worked at – and worked upon – in the quest to fulfill the ideals of yoga and to be sure that your own truths are met and experienced. There is no room for the ego, attachment to material things or a lax attitude toward harming others – whether it be from gossiping, negative thoughts or hurtful words. The more you begin to look at yourself and see what is standing in the way of your contentment, the more you can begin to break down the current construct of your personality, defenses and habits to become LOVE ITSELF. Infusing life with positivity, honesty, care towards others, gratitude and compassion helps to return us to our natural state of bliss. We begin to see the world for the love that it is because we are embodying that love and coloring our perception. It is a lifelong journey inside ourselves to discover our inner peace and therefore the peace of the universe.
Svadhyaya also means reading yogic books and studying the sutras and scriptures, the source materials of the practice of yoga. The closer we hug these texts, the more complete our understanding of them becomes. Staying close to the sources and returning to our old favorites with the fresh eyes of our current experiences is how we stay on the path and continue to grow as yogis. And you thought the studying was over, right?