Yoga Philosophy – Swadhyaya

Study thy self, discover the divine.

— Patanjali’s Yogasutra, II.44 [31]

I question a lot about most of the things, and usually it’s easy to find the answers with a few clicks. 3 weeks into this course i have been asked more questions by the Master that couldn’t be searched as quickly in my head as google.

  1. How do i define myself?
  2. How would others define me?
  3. How do i want others to define me?
  4. How do i think about the world around me?

I mean, it is not difficult to pick out a few personality adjectives to answer and close off the topic when i get the similar questions going through a job interview, meeting new people, to somedays questioning in the head when going through a setback. But again, who am i really inside? What are the gifts of me that can be shared with the world? Some people are born with the gift of great self esteem and while I didn’t grow up liking myself, i tried different ways to push different buttons and boundaries to try divert the negative energy to positive one.

Swa = Self, Dhyaya = Study

Taking away our profession, external projected labels, Swadhyaya is about looking deep inside us and identify who we really are.  It starts from observing and be aware of your feelings when you relate with different people, observing how we feel when Commuter A (or yourself) grumbling behind Commuter B who is casually strolling in headphones watching video on the phone without judgement but assessment. Assessing your feeling why somedays you just didn’t want to talk to anyone at all, assessing why you yawn a little more on other days.

This self-study, in Yoga, is not merely contemplation of one’s own motives and behaviors, but also of one’s circumstances and the environment one is in, assessing where one is in one’s life, what is one’s life direction, if and how desirable changes may lead to a more fulfilling Self.[50][52][53]

As i grow older, as much as i feel that the discovery of my inner self has gradually developed, i still do not have the immediate answer to the questions right now, and the journey goes on..

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