The Practice of Svadhyaya
We each have a unique personality and unique way of doing things and it’s our personality that shapes and influences how we interact with the world around us and our relationships. In fact it influences our decision making, time management, communication and goal setting habits. And it very much influences how we handle our finances.
Very often we find ourselves studying others instead of studying ourselves to learn more about what we like and dislike, what inspires and motivates us and what moves us to action and what doesn’t move us. Knowing and understanding our own personality helps us to see our strengths and weaknesses from a financial point of view.
In the practice of yoga, yogis are encouraged to practice the niyama of Svadhyaya which means self-study. Svadhyaya involves taking an introspective look at ourselves to discover what we truly want, our motives, habits and actions. The practice of self-study and spending time to understand ourselves a little better is something many of us don’t take the time out to do but it’s a critical step to developing a more conscious relationship with our money.
Sometimes we do things impulsively without knowing why we do them. For example we may find that we regularly make unnecessary purchases on our credit card. Self-examination or self-study helps us to understand why we use our card in this way. Perhaps we enjoy the feeling of being able to buy anything we want or when we spend money it makes us feel better.
This insight can help us to unravel the thoughts behind our actions and the motivations that create the habits we have developed. We create mindfulness in our actions.
For those looking for a more conscious relationship with money, I encourage you to try the practice of Svadhyaya and self-reflection. In introspection we can ask: Why do I act this way? Why do I say that? Why do I do that? Does this make me really happy? Will I regret this later?
My time on and off the yoga mat practicing Sadhyaya has led to many moments of self-reflection and the discovery that I’m holding onto some pretty and some not so pretty habits that influence my behaviours and relationships towards myself, in life and with my money.
Svadhyaya isn’t easy. In fact it can be quite confronting. But by understanding ourselves better we can identify those habits, thoughts and actions that no longer serve us and we can then learn to let go of them and replace them with new, conscious and productive habits to better serve us on our journey.
P.S. if you’d like to find out what your Money Personality is, you can take our quiz here. You will be asked to create a login to our knowledge centre take the test and receive your results.