To know oneself is a primary objective of the yogic route. The road to self-actualization or knowing one’s qualities and skills may take time, but through the practice of svadhyaya, or self-study, you can get there much faster than you would if there was no meditative practice in your life.
Self-study is a way to know one’s inner self mentally, emotionally as well as spiritually. Knowing self not only includes knowing the virtues of yourself but also your drawbacks and when you know it all only then you can reach the level of liberation and leads to awakening. When we truly understand, why we have the opinions we have, take the decisions we take or react the way we react, we will understand our true self and get fulfilling happiness and attain freedom. Yoga is all about being free. Here are some ways you can practice to know yourself or your ‘Atman’
One of the ways of acquiring self-awareness is meditation. Meditation helps you calm your mind and control your thoughts and focus on your inner self. It’s a way to obtain a connection with your inner self. It teaches us to become the witnessing presence of our thoughts and emotions. When we step back and step into the witness role, we naturally become more aware of our internal state. There are many ways to practice meditation, learn what works for you and do it regularly.
Writing down your daily thoughts is another way of knowing oneself. However, it will require some time for you to eventually understand yourself. But this practice can help you understand how you have changed over the years. It will also help you find the difference between your thoughts then and now.
· Yogic literature
The many scriptures and books that encircle yoga offer us valuable knowledge into svadhyaya.Yoga is filled with timeless wisdom teachings that lead us closer to self-actualization. There are many books from ancient literature from Bhagwat Gita to Upanishads that talk about yoga. We also have modern teachers who have written wonderful books to help us cultivate self-knowing as we journey along the spiritual path.