Practicing svadhyaya is regarded as a niyama (positive or righteous duty). When studying one's self, it is ultimately possible to discover the greater Consciousness that is present in the whole universe and understand how the individual self fits into that Consciousness.
Meditating while practicing yoga is one way of carrying out svadhyaya. This is often done by repeating a mantra in order to silence thoughts in the mind and turn attention inward rather than outward (pratyahara). Self-study in yoga also means studying the body and understanding its needs and limitations.