So truly, the practice of this Niyama can be worked on through building and maintaining a mindfulness and meditation practice. This is why the most sacred part of the yoga class is savasana.
Savasana is a resting pose. It is the final pose of the physical practice of yoga-- sealing in the work that was done linking the body to the mind and maybe even the mind to the soul.
In savasana we lay still and focus on meditation. We try our best to place our attention on the breath instead of on wandering thoughts and personal attachments.
It is our opportunity to detach from anything that is plaguing us or occupying our thinking. Our chance to let it go. It is hard. Most of us lay in savasana constantly chasing our thoughts and reigning them back in to focus on the breath. But if you have done this successfully, even for a few brief moments, you recognize the sense of inner peace that washes over the body in that time of undisturbed inner silence.
Because our minds attach meaning and feeling to every single thing we experience, we wind up having this reality that exists in our heads, compiled with a lifetime of associations and automatic thinking patterns. We attach to our thoughts, to our experiences, to people, to possessions. We walk around in a fog of thoughts and attachments day in and day out—typically avoiding the opportunity to practice clarity until we lay down for our final resting pose of class.
So we end our physical practice of yoga by attempting to clear our minds. When we try this, when we really devote energy to it, we start to realize the typical thoughts that creep in and disrupt our inner peace. We become aware of the difference between our true self and the self that we might know better in day to day life. Our true self is the self that exists when everything else washes away. Our true self emerges when we quiet our minds and connect to our souls. We realize that all we need exists within us and that true knowledge and wisdom can be gained from looking internally instead of externally.
Practice this enough and find that you don't need to look for a sanctuary in anything but yourself. It is a profound goal to work toward, one that doesn't come easily.
So savasana is an easy place to start practicing svadhyaya, as each yoga class prompts us to spend time in quiet meditation. However, building a meditation and mindfulness practice is where the true ability to practice svadhyaya occurs. For now, if you are just beginning this process, begin to appreciate the benefits of savasana and work hard to clear your mind of thoughts during this time on your mat. Once you are comfortable here, think about looking into a more extensive and consistent meditation practice in your daily life.