Like Autumn leaves-Allow Change and Let Go…Transition to Fall evokes the potential for change, for letting go and easing away from the bright, heated energy of summer, to the cooling, slower energy of Fall. Taking our cue from the changing Autumn leaves, may we embrace change and release (where we’re able) whatever’s weighing us down. Now’s a great time to practice Svadyaya– self reflection, self study and refinement. It’s the 4th personal practice, or Niyama in the yoga traditions and an invitation to approach seeing ourselves more honestly and objectively so we may learn more about relationship to self & the world around us. Now’s the ideal time to let go of old hurts, patterns or habits that keep us small and that distance us from meaningful connection to our values, our communities and our commitments. We can use the practice of svadyaya, combined with movement and breath, to really recognize what serves us and what does not. Is change uncomfortable? Can you loosen the grip on perfection, resentment, busyness/overscheduling? Take time to notice what causes the small and larger sufferings throughout our day or week or month and how we interpret disharmony. Is the disharmony really there, or is it simply our perception of it? Do we really not belong in this group, or class or community, or is it merely our misperception of it that’s the reality. I often will take a microscope to situations in which I overreact, feel uncomfortable, speak without thinking, or make a cursory judgement with the justification that I know what’s right. In doing so, I’m better able to determine whether my response is automatic, patterned, controlled by my past, or born out of feeling disconnected from my core values. So, what do we do with disharmony? Do we seek its source, do we lash out and blame, retreat or shut down? Sometimes we do all those things! But Svadyaya (self-study and reflection) lends us the magnifying glass to seek the source of the why and refine again and again. Self knowledge with the realization that our outer shell was, is and will continue to constantly change. But our unique spirit, inner light-our essence-remains unchanged & ever present. Let it shine!
here are some ways we can bring a practice of svadyaya to our everyday lives1. Swapping our narratives/perspectives for more positive ones (the yoga teachings call it: prhatipiksa bahvana The moment you have an unpleasant thought or judgement, replace it with its opposite. “I feel fear”, replace with “I am fearless!” 2. Work with a Mantra like “So Hum” (I am that) Inhale “hum”, exhale “so” or choose a mantra for where you’re at now. Perhaps, “breathe in calm, breathe out worry” or “breathe in strength, breath out doubt” 3. Be witness to your own life-acting as an observer in your regular activities. Observing curiously your work/school commute, washing dishes, making a purchase in a shop, listening to a friend. These are all opportunities where we can observe ourselves and how we move through the world. Adding to this by journaling every day for week or more about what you could’ve done differently that day. Not to judge yourself, but to look for patterns in behavior so as to refine your actions & reactions going forward. 4. Practice Tree Pose (vrksasana) regularly until you can hold the pose with ease for 2 minutes on each side Please do stay in touch and share how your Svadyaya practice goes for you ? You can send comments here below and feel free to share any of my blog posts with friends and family? “ we cannot love or hate something about another person in the world unless it is already inside us first” Deborah Adele