4th Niyama- svadhyaya means “studying the nature of the Self.” “remembering to be aware of the true nature of the Self.” Sat chit ananda- sat=itness/the self, chit=consciousness, and ananda=bliss.

–       For me this is like a definition of yoga –Yoga is a practice of self discovery.

–       I had a student once say, for her yoga was like a body-date. A time she set aside a few times a week to check in with her body, and connect with her self.  When we slow down, and take a break from all that very important stuff we stress about all the rest of the day, when we shed the labels we and other give to ourselves then what’s left is awareness and joy (chit and ananda). John Friend says we practice yoga in order remember who we are and celebrate who we are.

–       Beyond all the labels of gender, occupation, interests, relationship status- who are you?

Heart qualities and actions- Acceptance: OTG, Steady remembrance: ME, Celebration/joy: OE

Context statements

–       We come to the mat time and time again with beginners mind and with curiosity- start by accepting where we’re at. With each breath become more awake and self-aware.

–       As you exhale let go of stress and distractions that take your mind away from being here and having this time for yourself.

–       Deepen the breath and notice how that affects the pose.

–       When we are more self-aware and mindful we feel more centered. With practice, when life is stressful or situations are difficult we are more able to respond rather than react.

–       When you hit up against resistance in your body, can you pause and choose to be curious rather than reactive?

–       Yoga is a practice of accepting ourselves and the world as they are, and then responding with love.

–       Draw in with a steady remembrance of who you really are. Extend out in celebration of your uniqueness.