Along with the practice of asana (body postures), pranayama (energy based breathing practices) and Yoga Nidra (guided relaxation meditation), there is another aspect to develop towards our higher evolutionary growth.
SWAN meditation is a practice of self-study, evolved by Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati, to assist in managing our minds, understanding and developing our personality and giving us clear direction in life.
SWAN is an acronym for: Strengths, Weaknesses, Ambitions and Needs and can help us understand our own nature and to accept ourselves.
Week 1: Identify Strengths
Strengths are qualities, skills, talents and characteristics that support and help us to evolve. Strengths can be applied positively and constructively in life.
Week 2: Identify Weaknesses
Weaknesses are deficiencies in our personality and attributes of our character that hinder our progress or growth (ex: apathy, anger, procrastination). Most of the time we are influenced by and try to hide our weaknesses. Overly focusing on weaknesses overshadows our strengths. When listing weaknesses, be sure they do not outnumber your strengths.
Week 3: Identify Ambitions
Ambitions are what we want to do in life and the driving force behind our actions. Ambitions can be based on fear, desire, power or a natural love of life. In identifying ambitions, be sure to not let them outnumber your needs.
Week 4: Identify Needs
Everyone has needs: physical (food, water, clothing and shelter), mental needs (ex: desire for satisfaction and purpose in life) and spiritual needs (ex: inner harmony and balance with nature). Take time to identify your physical, mental, emotional, personal, social and spiritual needs.
By understanding their unique expression in our life, a creative, dynamic and clear mind results.
“Ultimately, through the practices of SWAN meditation, a stage of integration is reached wherein the different levels of the personality, instinctive, emotional, mental and psychic, are able to function and coordinate harmoniously.”
~Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati
We will explore SWAN meditation further in the next “Illuminate” yoga blog. Stay tuned (in)!
Hari Om Tat Sat
© Copyright 2013 – All Elements Yoga – Gail Seckrettar