The Fourth Niyama, Looking In the Mirror

The Fourth Niyama, Looking In the Mirror


The Yama Yoga Store looks at the fourth of the five Niyamas called,  Svadhyaya. Huh?  Here at the Yama Yoga Store in our attempts of learning Sanskrit needed a little help in pronunciation. See Here: Svadhyaya according to Yoga International means “study of the self; study by oneself; understanding each and every chapter of life separately, as well as in relation to each other; and a thorough study of oneself through the study of the scriptures.”  ( This fourth Niyama is dedicated to self-study but includes a deeper meaning and if practiced floods our lives far after stepping off the mat.  Like most of us if you are very busy and propelling yourself robotically throughout the day it is likely that you don’t get much time to understand you!

Engaging in self-study allows us time to know ourselves and to be aware of the things we do to harm ourselves, especially in situations where the ego arises. The ego means well, but its job is survival…it may not coincide with your intentions or even moral character to get things done.  If left to the devices of the Ego our actions may give us fear, anxiety, and doubt in perpetual thought patterns that become perpetual actions and habits. 


A way to engage in self-study is through the study of Yogic texts. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, or A Light on Hatha, or any texts that help you further your study of Pranayama, Mantra, Mudra, Asana, and Meditation are credible. There is much writing on these subjects on the web. Find trustworthy sites read away and engage in the real practice of what you read.  When I started to read and learn about the Yoga Sutras I slowly considered and implemented them into my life and in turn, this helped me to know myself in regards to my practice and helped me to look at myself much more clearly as I live in the world. It is not an open and closed subject, however, this is an ongoing process. It helps me to help others and also is part of how I teach my students. I can measure my performance through new eyes that do not include the ego.






By taking a step back and using a quiet observance of yourself wearing all of your different hats for even a few minutes a day will help you dissolve some of that story that you tell yourself about yourself. Self-reflect on your relationships with others. A great start to this in the practicing  Svadhyaya is to write down any observance of yourself as if you were someone else.  An interesting exercise indeed…you may be surprised what you might find!



Sat Nam ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ The Yama Yoga Store
Written by Soorya Kirti Kaur

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