Saturday, April 01, 2017
Self-study is the fourth Niyama .
Self-study means to seek out knowledge that supports your health, gives you clarity, helps you to discover truthfulness and brings harmony to your life. This should be done in thoughts, words and deeds.
With any type of study the cooperation of the body is needed. The health and welfare of your body is therefore very important. Correct posture, proper breathing and caring for your health allows you to study yourself and all the component parts of your body, mind and soul. By understanding what your body can do you can direct it to control your thoughts and your words.
Understanding yourself you begin to understand all of life. This consciousness is then used to expand outward towards others. Use yoga to study yourself. When in a pose are you comfortable or stiff? When the body is free of all toxins (pride) physically and mentally it is fluid. If it is stiff and tense it will break.
Once upon a time there was a mighty tree and a small weed sitting by the river bank. The tree looked down at the weed and said, “Hey you puny little weed, how you can stand next to me? I am tall and strong. Aren’t you embarrassed? People will see you next to me and laugh at you. Why don’t you move somewhere else?”
The weed replied, “Tree I did not come here purposely. I just happen to be here. Please pardon my appearance.”
The next day a heavy rain came inundating the jungle and causing a heavy flood. When a river floods it erodes the banks and pulls down anything in its way. With tremendous force the water tore the tree from its roots. But the humble weed bent down and flattened itself letting the water run over it. When the flood passed the weed rose up looking around it wondered what happened to the tree. In the distance it could hear the tree. “I’m being pulled down the river. I should have been humble, simple and flexible like you.”
We need to be strong like steel. But remember steel is also flexible. Crude iron is strong and hard, but it breaks. Just like the weed be humble and flexible in body, mind and soul. Removing toxic energy keeps the body and the mind healthy. A healthy body – mind keeps the soul on the spiritual path.
Intellectually seek knowledge that supports your health. Remember your words indicate the nature of your being. Choose them wisely. Walk the path of self-knowledge grounded in compassion and understanding. This is soul walking. Be knowledgeable.