Svadyaya, is a Sanskrit term that means self inquiry, self introspection or self study.
Many people are suffering from some kind of dis-ease in their body, mind and spirit or a combination of these. We feel disconnected from ourselves, each other and the environment. Taking the time to really enliven our senses, to feel, to taste, to hear, to smell, to see the intricacies and the magic of life connect us to our True Nature as we learn to tap into the Universal Flow of our existence.
One way to live a radiant life, free from suffering, whether that be self imposed or because of external circumstances, is to deepen our questioning of Self, the practice of svadyaya. As we learn about ourselves on a deep and intimate level, we begin to realize our own Truth! For example, I may be suffering from depression because I can't let go of the past and to try to soothe myself, I find refuge in food, alcohol or drugs. If I succumb to unhealthy habits, I may become overweight, an alcoholic or drug addict or a combination of these. What I used to originally alleviate feelings of depression will actually accentuate and intensify my depression over time with continued use. Yoga & Ayurveda teach tools and techniques that enhance healthy lifestyle practices.
Ayurveda postulates that everything in the universe is derived from varying combination of the 5 elements (earth, water, fire, air and ether). These elements are grouped into 3 categories, Vata (wind), Pitta (fire) and Kapha (water). Dosha means organization, impurity, fault or mistake. They are the psycho-physiological principles that come together in different combinations to make up who we are. Each person has a different interplay of doshas within that are determined at the moment of conception, which is called Prakruti, our True Nature. It is determined at the moment of conception and relates to your genetically inherited physical and emotional qualities. Prakriti specifically relates to those qualities, characteristics and tendencies that are stable. For instance, while you may experience temporary changes, like gaining or losing ten pounds, feeling nervous or irritable, developing a cold or flu, etc., in the natural course of life you will never gain or lose five inches on your height or experience a change of eye color.
In Ayurveda, seven dosha-predominant Prakritis are described: Vata-predominant, Pitta-predominant, Kapha-predominant; three dual Prakritis, where two doshas are equally, or nearly equally predominant: Vata-Pitta predominant, Pitta-Kapha predominant and Vata-Kapha predominant; and one Prakriti that has all three doshas equally prominent: Vata-Pitta-Kapha predominant.
Our current state, known as Vikruti, is the ratio of doshas within us which can vary and change throughout our lives, according to our age, diet, environment, thoughts, seasons, and time of day. Vikruti reflects how we have been feeling over the last 3 months.
When the doshas are in balance we experience health and when out of balance, create dis-ease.