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Do you ever feel like once you open yourself up to some sort of advice or guidance, it's like the signs are EVERYWHERE, and maybe they've been there all along and you've just been missing them?
Well that is how I feel this week, as I continue my teaching series on the 10 Living Principles of Yoga- the Yamas and Niyamas. This week I've focused my yoga classes on Niyama 4: Swadhyaya, the practice of Self Study. A practice of swadhyaya is strengthened by any activity that raises conscious awareness of self. So an asana (yoga posture) practice and/or a regular meditation practice are certainly on the list. But so are writing, dancing, musical expression through singing or playing an instrument, and playing a sport.
It's unique to each individual, but you KNOW when you've found it, because you experience more and more FLOW moments: moments when time stands still, you are fully aware of and focused on all that is happening body and mind, and present with each moment as it unfolds.
Swadhyaya is great when the moment is enjoyable- when things are going as you want them to; the tough part about swadhyaya is follow through. Often as we become more in tune with ourselves, we become acutely aware of the things in our lives that need to shift in order to become who we are meant to be. And even though the answers are usually quite clear, we want to run away or block that message like crazy! Because change is scary and it's hard and we hate the unknown so much that we would rather STAY STUCK and UNFULFILLED than take a step into the dark.
So what I'm asking of myself and you is to allow a slowing down this week. Pause and reflect. Write down thoughts as they come up. Be brave, and embrace the necessary changes to enter your next phase of growth and evolution as a human being. You and the world will be so glad you did.
Peace and courage,