Yoga is the experience of constant evolution towards yourself. The ultimate goal of any yoga practice is to attain moksha, meaning liberation or freedom. The 8-limbs of yoga are the stepping stones on that path towards that freedom or liberation.
The Niyamas – Svadhyaya (SVAD-YA-YA) or self-study
The term Svadhyaya literally means ‘one’s own reading’ or ‘self-study’. It is the fourth Niyama of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras and has the potential to deepen our yoga practice way beyond the mat.
Svadhyaya on the mat
Studying our habits on the yoga mat can go a long way towards recognizing our habits off the mat too. The way in which we practice yoga is actually very reflective of the way we practice life…. and a person’s physical yoga practice often reveals a lot more about them than they may think.
When we’re on the “magic carpet” mat, there’s nowhere else to hide. The daily distractions of phones, chores, emails, and TV are no longer there to take our minds away from ourselves. We actually have to pay attention…. This can be a little intimidating at first, and a yoga practice can sometimes reveal more about where our problems are rather than how perfect we are – which as we know, is very good for destroying the ego.
Watch your thoughts, they become words; watch your words, they become actions; watch your actions, they become habits; watch your habits, they become character; watch your character, for it becomes your destiny. – Author Unknown
“The pathway to an abundant life is to have a mind open to everything and attached to nothing. For many, the portal to our potential is shackled and padlocked by heavy chains of FEAR. As humans, anything we first encounter, posing a threat is feared until it is understood. To open the lock and remove the bondage of fear, we must use the key of knowledge and wisdom. We always must always maintain a mind capable of change. When our information changes and as more scientific data comes in, we must be willing to alter our conclusions.” – David Scott
“So you built the cage, piece by piece, day by day, year after year. You hardly noticed the days you finally entered; closed and locked the door. Now you feel so stuck, isolated and hopeless. You want someone to come rescue you from this prison, but only you have the key. You alone, have always had the key. You just gave your power to others, when it was within you the whole time. Turn the lock and set yourself free.” – David Scott
If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re misinformed.” – Mark Twain.
“Leaning to unlearn is the highest form of learning.”
“Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.” – Anthony J. D’Angelo
“Being a student is easy. Learning requires actual work.”
“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” – Henry Ford
“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change. Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” – Albert Einstein
“Change is the end result of all true learning.” – Leo Buscaglia
“The mind that opens to a new idea never returns to its original size.” Albert Einstein
“Once learned, the wisdom of knowledge cannot be taken from you by thieves or rust away like metal.”
Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin
We always resist when we feel we are being pressured or sold: Sir Winston Churchill said, “I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught.”
“Minds are like parachutes — they only function when open.” — Thomas Dewar
“It’s amazing what ordinary people can do if they set out without preconceived notions.” — Charles F. Kettering
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” – Mahatma Gandhi
“Science at its best is an open-minded method of inquiry, not a belief system.” – Rupert Sheldrake
“If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts, but if he will content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.” – Francis Bacon
“At the heart of science is an essential tension between two seemingly contradictory attitudes–an openness to new ideas, no matter how bizarre or counterintuitive they may be, and the most ruthless skeptical scrutiny of all ideas, old and new.” – Carl Sagan
General Yoga Quotes
“Where there is anger, there is always pain underneath.” ~Eckhart Tolle
“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” –Joshua J. Marines
Suffering is not holding you, you are holding suffering. – Buddha
“Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking more than you need.” — Khalil Gibran
“You will know you are rich, when you find yourself content and happy with whatever you have.”
“Some people try to be tall by cutting off the heads of others.”— Paramahansa Yogananda
“In lifting others we rise ourselves.” – David Scott
“There are two things in life you will never have to chase – True Friends and True Love.”
When you show deep empathy toward others, their defensive energy goes down, and positive energy replaces it. That’s when you can get more creative in solving problems. – Stephen Covey
“Worry doesn’t help tomorrow’s troubles, but does ruin today’s happiness.”
Worry often gives small things a big shadow.
“Forgive others, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace”
“We don’t have to agree on anything to be kind to one another.”
“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”
“Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” Oscar Wilde
“Those who judge others will never understand and those who understand others will never judge.”
The first to apologize is the bravest. The first to forgive is the strongest. The first to forget is the happiest.
“Maturity is learning to walk away from people and situations that threaten your peace of mind, self-respect, values, morals and self-worth.”
“I have been a seeker and I still am, but I stopped asking the books and the stars. I started listening to the teaching of my Soul.” – Rumi
“In the end only three things will matter: how much I loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.”
“If I have harmed anyone in any way either knowingly or unknowingly through my own confusions, I ask their forgiveness. If anyone has harmed me in any way either knowingly or unknowingly through their own confusions, I forgive them. And if there is a situation I am not yet ready to forgive, I forgive myself for that. For all the ways that I harm myself, negate, doubt, belittle myself, judge or be unkind to myself through my own confusions, I forgive myself.”
“I’ve been looking for a long, long time, for this thing called love, I’ve ridden comets across the sky, and I’ve looked below and above. Then one day I looked inside myself, and this is what I found, a golden sun residing there, beaming forth God’s light and sound.” – Rumi