Last Monday the offering to Be Yoga class at Tranquilo, Oak Cliff, Texas, was “create your own Sadhana”. After posting the homework on the class Facebook group, I thought I’d share the insight with my blog.
As we enter the yoga world, most of the time through a physical practice guided by a teacher, we progressively start feeling other benefits than just physical wellbeing from our group practice… But lot of times that peace, wellbeing, serenity, joy that we experienced on the mat, soon vanishes when we leave the class. How do we extend the effects of yoga into our daily life…? How do we learn to systematically apply the same attitude we have on the mat, outside the mat, into our daily life, into the world…? As anything else, it is a learning process. And the best way to learn is to practice!
But realistically, when we look at all aspects of our lives, we all are experiencing different events at work, with our families, in our relationships, in our understanding of the world, that make us unique individuals. So one recipe cannot match and fit all. There are certainly tools that are universal wisdom, practical for all of us at various levels and through different variations or expressions. It’s just a matter of finding which one(s) work specifically for you, at this stage of your life.
Then my favorite recipe is probably not yours… This is what Sadhana is about. Exploring, discovering, searching for tools that speak to you and bringing them together to help you grow in your own life.
Yoga teacher Iyengar defines Sadhana as follows:
Sādhana is a discipline undertaken in the pursuit of a goal. Abhyāsa is repeated practice performed with observation and reflection. Kriyā, or action, also implies perfect execution with study and investigation. Therefore, sādhana, abhyāsa, and kriyā all mean one and the same thing. A sādhaka, or practitioner, is one who skillfully applies…mind and intelligence in practice towards a spiritual goal.
At large, my understanding of Sadhana is “personal practice”… Bring together a few simple elements or tools – cooking healthy foods, starting a yoga asana practice at home, meditating, spending quality time reading and/or feeding your mind and spirit with positive “fuel”, etc. Establish a sacred daily routine for yourself as if you were putting together a recipe. By implementing and practicing that little self-established routine, you’ll connect with awareness to your Inner Creator and discover the power of life and happiness you already have within you.
Dedicating time to yourself as a sacred appointment with yourself, even if it’s just a few minutes at a time to start with, will bring you peace, clarity of mind, confidence, faith, and a positive attitude towards your life to make wiser decisions, to grow healthier and stronger relationships, to release fears and to embrace life as a wonderful treasure.