Practice Svadhyaya (Self-Study) On the Mat

Use asana, mantra, and mudra to help bring into focus the subtle and not-so-subtle ways this niyama plays out in your life.

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Svadhyaya translates to “self-study” and represents our search for meaning. To incorporate svadhyaya into your own life and practice, start with the posemudra (hand-and-finger gesture), and mantra (a sacred utterance repeated continuously) below. Do this practice on its own, add more poses with the accompanying 10-minute video sequence, or link all of the yamas and niyamas together, one pose as a time, forming a sequence.

See also Polishing the Mirror

Svadhyaya Yoga Practice

Hold the pose, with its mudra, for 3–5 breaths, mindfully chanting, aloud or internally, its accompanying mantra.

coral brown, svadhyaya, lotus pose, padmasana

Asana: Padmasana (Lotus Pose)

Come to a comfortable seated pose with the tops of the feet resting on opposite thighs. Sit on a block, blanket, or bolster for additional support, or take Sukhasana (Easy Pose).

See also Three Hip Openers to Prep for Lotus Pose

svadhyaya, coral brown

Mudra: Dhyana Mudra

Bring your hands to the contemplative gesture of Dhyana Mudra by resting them, upturned, at your navel with the right hand on top. Bring the thumbs together to touch at the tips, forming a triangle. Dhyana means “meditation.”

Mantra: Tat tvam asi

Gaze at the triangle while chanting Tat tvam asi, which can be translated as “You are what you seek.” This meditative pose, mudra, and mantra allow you to observe, without judgment, the thoughts, desires, habits, cravings, and repetitive behaviors that cause you to disconnect from the Self. This wisdom is what ultimately illuminates our shadows and sets us free from the bonds of self-judgment.

Watch the video

To tie it all together or to deepen your work around svadhyaya, try this introspective 10-minute practice with Coral Brown.

NEXT NIYAMA PRACTICE Ishvara Pranidhana (devotion to a higher power)
RETURN TO Live Your Yoga: Discover the Yamas + Niyamas