Day 17 – Yoga Challenge

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Ali reports: An important principle of yoga is self-study (svādhyāya). Svādhyāya is one of the niyamas, part of yoga’s personal code of conduct. Self-study means we take responsibility for our thoughts and actions, carefully disentangling society’s influences from our own motivations and behaviours. Through self-appraisal, we become more aware of how economic pressures and environmental factors sway us to act in certain ways.

The principle svādhyāya (self-study) involves us using the moral compass of yogic understanding to guide us towards truth and self-control.

Svādhyāya also means we pay attention to how our individual agency affects others, being mindful of the way we act both in public and private. As a result of keen self-observation, we can see the amount of time and energy we spend in social engagements, in relation to the time allocated for everyday responsibilities (like yoga practice). We make sure time and energy expenditure works in our best interests, as well as the best interests of people and causes that matter.

Over the last few days and weeks of our 40 Day Challenge, I realise just how much extra time I spend in actively managing and publishing on my ‘social media’ sites: website blogging (, editing ‘Sadhana Yoga’s new Facebook page, adding posts to Google+, checking signatures on my online petition, researching facts on yoga and yogic texts.

On the one hand this creates a robust and interactive online community, which means interesting people, interested in yogic healthy living, can share information, ideas, and photos. On the other hand, when too much time gets eaten up, important projects (such my new yoga book and art work!) fall by the wayside.

Ali says: It is important to balance time, in order to balance life.

Good cause: Stop problem gambling in Wellington:

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Gambling is explicitly anti-yoga, and can lead to social dysfunction and financial ruin. Moreover, gaming machines, such as slot machines, are potentially on the increase in Wellington. Wellington City Council’s policy on “non-casino gaming machines – or pokie machines and gambling at TABs” is currently open for public input. The opportunity for written submissions will close at 5pm on Friday 22 May 2015.

Public Input – Review of the Gambling Venues Policy 2010

Wellingtonians can have a say on the Council’s policy on gambling venues and Pokie machines, helping to prevent the broad spectrum harm that arises from problem gambling and associated behaviours.

Because yoga – as a lifestyle choice – helps people release stress and overcome depression, people suffering from addictions, such as gambling and excess alcohol consumption, can gain recovery by forming a more positive relationship with one’s self.


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