Discover Your Authentic Self Through Yoga


Exploring Swadhyaya: The Study of Oneself

Yoga offers a complete system of spiritual development through the Eight Limbs of Yoga. The second limb of yoga is known as the Niyamas or self-observations. When broken down even further there are five areas of self-observation with the fourth one being Swadyaya. When translated into English the term Swadhyaya means self-observation. Self-observation can be interpreted as many things and can be accomplished through many means. One way, for example, is to study sacred texts or scriptures to help us understand ourselves better. Other approaches include meditation, journaling, modern day therapy or simply talking with friends or family members who know us best.

I believe we best learn about ourselves through our relationships and daily interactions with the people around us. Over time we may be forced to change some of our attitudes, patterns, habits or inclinations because our old ways are just not working for us. These patterns are often hard to recognize, even harder to accept, and hardest to change. However, we might also be compelled to change some things about ourselves because we think that changing will make us a better person, make us more likeable, make us more successful, or because we want to please others. Doing this almost always results in failure.

The truth is who we are is part of our DNA. Anyone who has ever had children can attest to the fact that certain personality traits are evident almost from birth. Traits not taught to them by either parent nor by any caregiver. No matter how hard we work on changing ourselves there are some things that make us who we are and to change them would be fraudulent to our true selves. In fact, we all owe it to ourselves, to everyone we meet, and to life itself to always be an expression of our true selves. Trying to be anything or anyone else would deprive us of our true authentic self. Being inauthentic deprives the Universe of who we came here to be and what we came here to express.

Self-development and self-growth are all important practices to reach the ultimate goal of enlightenment or union with the Divine but we must tread lightly on the path and not lose the extraordinariness of ourselves along the way.


Natalie Rivier

My passion for health and wellness reaches all the way back to my grade ten physical education class. In high school, I was a typical teenage girl – out of shape. But, in grade ten my best friend and I signed up for a specialized Phys-Ed class called “Fit for Life”.  Only seven girls signed up for the class, so the teacher was able to work slightly outside of the curriculum.  We did weight training, running, cycling, yoga, and all kinds of fitness related activities. Even with little agility or speed, I absolutely loved it. This course showed me the other side of fitness; I felt empowered because I could actually do the activities, and I could see improvement in my abilities over such a short period of time.
From that day forward I have embraced an active lifestyle, and felt inspired to show others how easy fitness can be when you can find something that works for you. From there, I became a certified group fitness instructor, certified personal trainer, certified aqua fitness instructor, hip hop dance instructor, and most recently have become certified as a yoga instructor. Yoga has been a deep part of my physical and spiritual practice for close to 15 years now.
At the age of twenty five I attended the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition and obtained my diploma in Natural Nutrition, as well as the “Registered Holistic Nutritionist” designation. The program was so life altering that I bought the school. I am currently the Branch Manager, and owner, of the Ottawa Branch of the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. I also own a business called Resort to Wellness, where I travel around the world training resort staff in health and wellness.  My most recent work was in Vietnam, at one of the top 100 resorts in the world.
I specialize in motivational workshops on health and wellness, and have presented to numerous organizations, corporations, and schools. I have worked in wellness clinics, schools, chiropractic clinics, and within the corporate sector as a nutritional consultant for over a decade.
Blog: Nutrition With Natalie
Twitter: @natalie_rivier


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