One of the Yamas is Svadhyaya and is roughly translated as self study. There are many ideas about the study of the self and as is the case with most people, I have participated in my share of self study......well, I have participated mostly in self-improvement.I think self-improvement is the standard western way to practice Svadhyaya. You know, setting goals and measuring progress..... Surely self-improvement was what I was taught as a child.
Mercifully, about 10 years ago, before i practiced yoga,I was shown another possibility regarding the self study I had always known......meditation. Meditation was a great relief for me as it released me from the harsh judgement, required improvements and inevitable failures previously demanded.
Ultimately, there is no right way to practice svadhyaya.....it is completely individual. The only wrong way to do it is not to do it!
I think my way is the kindest......For me, svadhyaya is being consciously, compassionately and fully present with myself without talking to myself. For me, self-study is keen observation with expectation of insight coming to me.....and it always does.