Svadhyaya means self-study. It means consulting the guru and seeking advice from a place of deep knowing. This deep source of knowing takes several shapes. Svadhyaya can be the study of sacred scriptures, textbooks, and ancient wise literature. Svadhyaya can be sitting at the feet of a guru, attending a class with a master teacher, or listening to a lecture or inspirational talk from a knowledgeable speaker. Svadhyaya can also take the shape of turning your attention inward to consult the guru within. Svadhyaya can be deep internal reflection.
As seekers, we must always consider the source of any advice. Where is this impulse or suggestion coming from? Are we being pushed by tides of popular thought, peer pressure, old habits, or feelings of obligation? Svadhyaya is the practice of quieting the “chatter” so that we may listen to our true voice in order to discover, “what is true for me?” This is the motivation behind true yogic alignment to align oneself with one’s truth in all things.
Sometimes when we consult our true inner knowing, we receive the message that we need to slow down and say “no.” That’s the focus of this week’s video practice. We’ll be using the wall to modify poses so we can do deeper, find our true alignment, and at the same time, practice safely and without injury. You’ll notice there are no sun salutes or chaturangas in this week’s practice. The wall class is a great way to modify your practice when your needs include slowing down, healing an injury, or returning to basics to refine your alignment. This wall class has become a favorite for my students over the years and is often requested when I teach, and I hope you enjoy it too!
Meditate & Journal
This week, try sourcing your inspiration from great thinkers and wise works of philosophers. Begin each session by reading a poem, a paragraph or a page. You can pick readings from the list I’ve included below, or draw inspiration from other books and authors you know and love. After reading for a short bit, sit in silent meditation for 15 to 20 minutes, practicing calm steady breath and inner focus. Complete this practice by journaling about your inner reflections as they relate to the reading and your meditation. Consider this an exercise in connecting to your true self and finding your inner voice. Trust your knowing, for the true guru is within!
Suggested Reading & Inspirational Sources to kickoff your Meditation & Journaling:
- Listen to Deepak Chopra’s inspirational guided meditations on Spotify or online
- The Bible
- The poet Rumi’s poems can be found online or in many books of his collected works
- The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali can be found in many different translations and
- interpretations; these are the teachings on which this 10video course is based
- Various Buddhist readings, such as those of Pema Chodron or the Dalai Lama
- Louise L Hay offers many uplifting affirmations and inspirational texts
- Any book or poem written by a wise seeker on the path that uplifts the spirit and inspires
- your meditation practice
I’d love to hear from you as this course series comes towards its close. Please email me, FB message me, or reach out to let me know how your home practice is going and whether these teachings have helped in any way and if there are specific ways you would suggest improvement.
I look forward to connecting with you both online and in person!