First off, you might ask, what is svadyaya? For those that have been practicing "yoga" a while, you know it is one of the niyamas. For those that are newer to the practice, it's an introduction to something new beyond the asana (physical) practice.
Yoga Sutras: Sadhana Pada
Svadyaya, self-inquiry, encompasses all learning, reflection and experience, which result in a greater understanding of our own fundamental nature. It includes the study of sacred texts or any books that resonate with us in a way that moves us toward the light. Self-study is perhaps the most crucial of the niyamas because at some point we must all reconcile to the fact that although higher consciousness is within everyone’s grasp, no guru, priest or other person can do the work for us. Sri Ramana Maharshi, the great Indian saint who left his body in 1950, advocated self-inquiry as the primary proponent of sadhana (daily practice). He guided his followers toward freedom from ego-illusion by instructing them to always look to the source of the “I-thought.”
If you have attended my yoga classes before, I constantly ask this question and challenge YOU to take your own inventory. From this place of self-inquiry, where are we showing up? where are we not? When we reach a plateau, how do we continue to "stoke the fire" and commit to growth?
This has been coming up in several areas in my life: in marriage, as a student, as a teacher, in my professional work, etc.
In marriage, I continue to ask myself, how can I keep showing up BIG for Shadd? I am learning that it's the smallest things count the most. Continuously practicing listening, patience, and compassion, and did I mention patience:) Thinking outside myself. Being more selfless and more of a team player.
As a student, carving out the time to get on my mat with other teachers that inspire me to GROW outside of what I KNOW. Taking the time to read the books that inspire me to learn more about Ayurveda, health, and wellness. I love knowledge but it's experience where we gain wisdom.
As a teacher, it's been listening to my students. So many of you (friends and family included) are challenging me out of my comfort zone and for that, I am so grateful. I have been teaching Power Vinyasa/Vinyasa flow for a while now and there has been a tremendous shift in my teaching. I am passionate about the vinyasa practice AND I am excited to keep on learning.
Most recently I have been reflecting on what it is to be an "instructor" and what it is to be a "teacher". For some, they might be the same thing. For me, it's different. My highest intention is to "spark" the self-inquiry within, whether it be through my verbal instruction, assists, or inspiration. Coming up on seven years of instructing yoga, I feel like I have reached a plateau and I am committed to my growth. In my very first teacher training with Baron Baptiste, I remember that we had to stand up in front of the group of 100+ and we had to commit to the process and commit to making it good for ourselves and for everyone sharing the experience. I am still commited to that....I am committed to becoming a better yoga teacher.
There are some exciting things in store for deepening my studies/teaching in the upcoming year:
• continue teaching in the prison (and igniting some other projects for Community Yoga Austin)
• Street Yoga Training
• completing Anusara™Immersion with Christina Sell at Breath and Body Yoga
• diving more into Ayurveda
• completing final module (Chakra Vinyasa) with Shiva Rea to complete my 300hr Prana Flow™ TT
• leading some retreats that have been in the incubator for quite sometime
And the years to come...
• Therapeutics training
• A.R.T. training
• Ashtanga TT
• Human Anatomy
In my professional work, it's how can I continue to show up BIG everyday for our clients. How can I support in making the entire process amazing from start to finish? How can I be that source of inspiration that gets them excited about all of the amazing POSSIBILITIES that are available at their fingertips. This work is an extension of the yoga practice, really! I LOVE what I do and LOVE the amazing people I get to co-create with on a daily basis. SO much gratitude:)
All things to ponder, grow, and reflect upon...
If you are interested in learning more about deepening your "yoga" practice, join me this weekend at LifeTime Fitness South as we dive into the Eight Limbs of Yoga and discuss how we can incorporate the yogic principles into our daily routines.
LIVING YOUR YOGA
Saturday, November 13
Register at Member Activities or at mylt.com
***As a side note, we are currently working on opening workshops at LTF open the public.