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” Svadhyaya means to get close to yourself, that is, to study yourself. All learning, all reflection, all contact that helps you to learn more about yourself is svadahyaya.  T he term  is often translated as “the study of ancient texts.”  Yes, yoga does instruct us to read the ancient texts.

Why? Because we cannot always just sit down and contemplate things. We need reference points. For many this may be the Bible or a book that is of personal significance; for others it may be the Yoga Sutra. The Yoga Sutra says, for instance, that as we progress in our self-examination, we will gradually find a link with the divine laws and with the prophets who reveal them. 

from The Heart of Yoga, by Sri T. K. V. Desikachar