In the 8 Limbs of Yoga, as presented by Patanjali, there is the notion or regulation of “Self-Study.” (Sk. Svadhyaya). Self-Study is the process of bringing your focus inward in order to see and reflect on your habits and beliefs, and the emotions or actions that result from them. The goal is to understand yourself on a deeper level, and to question and potentially change aspects that do not align with the yoga principles of non-harming, not stealing, lack of greed, etc. The principles and regulations of yoga are stepping stones to realization that we are not separate from the living systems around us.
In 2021, our yogic self-study must encompass the societal inequities around us, and to explore how we can act to address the healing of diseases of addiction, racism, poverty, oppression, and resource distribution. In particular, we are (and have been) in a national health emergency of racist violence.
During February – Black History Month – and beyond, those who care about racial injustice in the US are called to engage in self-study: to learn about the past and present impacts of racism; to explore our own beliefs and actions and what part we are playing in harmful systems; and to bring new knowledge and awareness to action. See how Breathing Space is addressing these issues.