“Svadhyaya.  Svadhyaya. Svadhyaya…SVADHYAYA”.

I just love saying this word.  It is fun and just tickles the tongue.  Now that  may not really be why it is important, but, hey, we have to enjoy the little things. 

Svadhyaya, once truly integrated and absorbed, is a very awakening concept for the yogi/yogini.  Svadhyaya is translated as self-study, self inquiry, or educating the self.  Specifically study of scriptures/writings/concepts that draw you (the seer) closer to understanding yourself and its relation to the bigger picture.  It is the study of the self, or the seer, with life,or what is seen, in an educational process.

I believe that our time spent on the mat is svadhyaya always.  Whether you approach yoga as a very physical practice or whether you swim deeper into the mind-body-spirit connections that yoga can create, the movement and the breath that yoga draws into our bodies allows us to explore, to pay attention to, and notice what is normally not noticed. 

Life has a way of covering up the real and the now and the truth.  We have to be worried about bills, jobs, kid’s futures, planning for retirement, taking in the vacationing neighbor’s mail, picking up the dry cleaning for the wedding that is tomorrow that we have to pick up a present for while we drop off the kid to bounce in a house that is in a mall for yet another birthday party that we need to wrap that present for, and, oh yeah, we need wrapping paper too!!  And, let’s be honest, that is really that is really just 10 min out of our day, right?!  In the midst of all of that, how are we suppose to have time to understand our life’s purpose?  Sometimes it seems as if our life’s purpose is changing diapers and running carpool!

And, it is…but, it is so much more.  It is the subtle aspects underlying all of our “tasks” that is not recognized.  I believe yoga can bring this “awakening”.  It gives us time to slow down.  As we move into postures that open our bodies in ways it has not felt in a long time, we start to notice the subtle aspects.  We notice that our body feels tight here and loose there, and, oh yeah, ‘I am pretty strong here’.  In time, noticing the subtle aspects of what we do surrounds us more and more.  When changing diapers, may you stop and look into your child’s eyes and see the innocent beauty of spirit that is not yet muddled with stress.  That connection is stored in the heart, and we find compassion later.  When you are running carpool, you here the laughter from children and you remember how you can feel light if you just laugh and it heals the soul from old wounds.  Some things are obviously easier than others to find the shift of perspective.  I am still trying to find lightness while paying bills, hmmmm…

Svadhyaya is a coming to know ourselves better.  It is a way to realize that the fears, desires, and thoughts that we have created for ourselves in our lives are not who we are, but only our reactions to our life experiences.  It is shifting your thoughts from those of weakness when your leg shakes in Virabhadrasana to the strength of your spirit to stay in Warrior despite the shaking.  It is awakening to the life that you are meant to lead and were always capable of leading.  You just had to be aware that you had the tools to do so!

You didn’t realize you were doing all that when stepped forward one more time to warrior I and rose to lift your heart, did you??  Next time you step forward notice specifically the lifting of the heart…doesn’t it feel different? 

 “Svadhayaya, svadhayaya, svadhayaya…” and have fun saying it!! 

reminder: yoga Tuesday (May 24th) at 6 pm at Balance Wellness Center