Sadhana: My Daily Practice

My Sadhana, or daily yoga practice has evolved through the months I have spent in yoga teacher training with Yoga 4 Love. Before starting my lessons I had never heard of the term sadhana. “Sadhana is a Sanskrit word that means a daily spiritual practice. It’s the foundation for your personal, individual effort to communicate with the divine inside of you and all around you. It is the main tool you use to work on yourself to achieve your purpose in life.” (www.terragraceyoga.com › blog › 40-day-sadhana-practice)

One of the first tasks I had to do when getting started on the 200 hour training was to begin my daily sadhana practice. The director Lisa taught us that it could be as small as lighting a candle every day and immediately blowing it out. You are creating a space to stop and connect with your inner self and be in the present moment. As my knowledge grew about the yoga traditions and the ‘why’s’ behind the physical part of the practice, my sadhana shifted constantly.

Here are many of the options I’ve used:

One of many ever shifting sacred spaces I’ve created for my sadhana
  • journaling
  • reading spiritual books
  • lighting incense
  • using my mala (can be substituted with rosary)
  • lighting candles
  • mantras
  • pranayama (breathwork)
  • walking in nature
  • gazing at flowing water
  • reiki work
  • intentional eating
  • burning sage or palo santo before meditation
  • practicing meta (loving kindness)
  • listening to soothing music
  • learning new healthy recipes
  • using lotions and oils for personal massage

At first when I began I became obsessed with getting everything right. Doing the same rituals over and over again at the same time of day. This didn’t help me in the long run and for my busy life with work, wife and baby it was unrealistic. It made me feel guilty if I couldn’t get the time set aside that I committed to. Once I made sadhana an organic part of my daily activities by weaving it throughout my day, only then did it start to change my life.

I didn’t need to sit on my meditation cushion to reconnect with my breath, or write in my journal at the same time of day. The spontaneity made the practice more pleasurable and less like a chore that needed to be done along with my already too long list. In bringing it into the flow of my life it gave me more opportunities to live in the present moment and see the beauty all around me, even in stressful situations. It then becomes your daily practice and a tool to be used whenever you need it.

If you wish to create more mindfulness in your life, start small and don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself to feel anything. Just light that candle, look at the flame, and blow it out. That simple action is like an acknowledgement that you are worth taking care of, that it is okay to slow down even if just for a breath of a moment. This practice all comes down to convincing yourself that you are worth the time. Your mental and spiritual well being should be at the top of your list. Our culture would say otherwise, so training your brain to believe it is most of the battle.

You are not being selfish by taking care of yourself. You can only lend your energy to others if you have enough reserves to give in the first place. Start loving yourself and it will change the world you see around you. Your intention is the most powerful action you have. It is the difference between misery and true overflowing happiness. Make yourself the priority to avoid burnout. You are needed at your full potential and self love is the only way you’ll get there. Have fun!

Love & Light.

 www.yoga4love.com
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Manifest Happiness

I have been trying to find a daily practice of self care, or sadhana, which is required for my yoga teacher training. I have done a meditation through our MeetUps group of going to a green place on my own before work. Even if no one joins me with an RSVP on the site, I still am holding myself accountable.

At night I have started journaling, using lavender oils on my hands, ears, and feet, and lighting a candle. I have started the audio book “Wishes Fulfilled” on Audible while I drive to and from work and some of the concepts are somewhat hard to swallow coming from my christian background, but one thing has come through very clear. In holding onto negative thoughts and attitudes, I feed the negativity that comes into my life. I can feel a bad day coming a mile away, because I WILL it into being. I know that if I put an intention out to the universe to be kind or see everyone I meet as part of the whole that is in all of us, I will be more understanding and loving in my words and actions.

A pool of water that feels like I could jump into it and never hit the bottom

This concept has completely shifted my thinking and I love the way that it redirects my frustrations, anger and even unwarranted animosity to strangers that I didn’t realize I had. There is the beautiful knowledge that we are all connected and hold within us the happiness we seek. Most look outward, but it has always been inside us, living in our higher selves before we were born and even after we die. This idea is so foreign to me since I was taught that I needed to look up, to a god or deity for help and salvation. The divine is waiting to be found, you just need to look.

Do good, and good will manifest in your life

This gives me such a light feeling that I cannot wait to let go of more pain and suffering that I have held on to for years. Life on this plane is fleeting, we must feel and experience every breath, every second we are alive as a gift.

Namaste

Lots of New Beginnings

I had our first 6am meditation in the park today for our Zen House Tribe MeetUp group. I was by myself, but I was able to scope the place out and find the perfect spot for next time. I understand that it may always just be myself, as 6am is quite early on a monday morning, but it is good to keep myself accountable and also give others the opportunity to join if they so desire, thus creating community.

The weather was perfect, but very muddy

I started my actual teacher training today, talking via Zoom to the director Lisa Ware and a very nice yogini who helped me with the registration process. It is a little overwhelming at first. They use a lot of different applications, so I spent a good two hours of my Easter yesterday downloading apps and signing up for things. But I think I have most of it down.

I took my first class on Youtube and it wasn’t as strange as I thought. I have tried yoga on Youtube alone before and I felt like I didn’t get the same feeling as I do in class. Being there in real life will never be topped, but I really enjoyed my hatha vinyasa class. After that I listened to one of the audios available, chanting with the Chakras. I miss chanting with others, it is very soothing and you feel connected on a deep level to those around you.

One of the assignments is to take a picture of your Quiet place, where you will be doing Sadhana, meaning spiritual excursion towards an intended goal. I feel quite proud of my ‘Red Room’, called that for obvious reasons. It is part of the course that I create and keep a meditation daily routine. At least I have day one down!

My sacred ‘Red Room’

I have tomorrow off so I plan to delve deeper into the log I need to keep and also work on some other homework for my other three classes. (Might have bitten more off than I should have). What seems like a million books that are required reading will be coming in as well from Amazon. Where to even begin? So many possibilities!

Namaste