The term svatantrya is a yogic concept that has multiple layers of meaning. It literally means sva= self tantrya=dependence and can be translated as self-reliance. It is also described as an energy that emanates from the Supreme consciousness of the divine. Attributes include perfect fullness; self-sufficiency and unlimited creativity.

Spiritual texts teach that everything you need is within in. You can always rely on your self. Everything that happens in your life is for your awakening.

Ultimately it relates to free will- you have a choice on how you respond to your life experiences. Either you can complain and have a “victim attitude” in which life is happening TO you rather than FOR you or you can learn what you are meant to learn and respond accordingly.

You have the freedom to choose. Are you going to make choices to enhance your life with your daily habits, attitudes and beliefs or do you make choices that take away from your life energy?

This is part of the energy of svatantrya. You have the unlimited freedom to Exist, to Know and to Create what you desire in your life.

I look back on my life experiences and recognize times that I looked outside of myself for someone (man preferably!) to come in and sweep me off my feet and take care of all my concerns. Part of the myth of all the fairy tales read to me! Now, I recognize that yes, life is better shared but ultimately, I am responsible for my choices and for what is mine to do.

In our yoga asana practice the poses are meant to free us from blocks of energy and/or pain in our body. To find more spaciousness and freedom in the poses as we practice. To back off when needed and to breathe through it all in order to free ourselves. No one can do this for us- we have to show up on our mats consistently to reap the benefits of the practice.

May you be happy, may you be healthy and may you be FREE!

Janie Gunn