I’m laying on the floor of the quiet yoga studio, accompanied by mats, books and a couple sleeping yogis. We just completed our first official Aquarian Sadhana and we’re taking a break before teacher training officially starts up for the second day.
I got up before 4am to make it here by 5 – not something I’ve never done in my life, but certainly not my usual. Per my self, I was up until almost midnight last night, partially because I had to write yesterday’s blog but mostly because it was nighttime and I always come alive at night. Needless to say, 4am came mighty early and there were at least a couple moments during our Sadhana shavasana and meditations that I felt myself waking, so I imagine I was drifting off to sleep despite myself.
Of course, now that I have an hour to rest, my coffee has fully kicked it! Alas, I am settling for a reclined position and getting ahead with this post (mostly so that when I get home later I can pass out without worrying about it lol). Seems like a good plan, albeit sleeping right now would be better.
What is a Sadhana?
“What is Sadhana? It’s a committed prayer. It is self-enrichment. It is not something which is done to please somebody or to gain something. Sadhana is a personal process in which you bring out your best.”-Yogi Bhajan
In Kundalini yoga, we are encouraged to have a personal practice or Sadhana. Most often Sadhana’s happen in the morning before the start of the day. This is so that the entire day experiences the benefits of your practice, but it is possible to practice it at other times. The important thing is to have a disciplined daily practice in which you show up to meet with the divine and align with your highest (least dense/frustrated) self.
A Sadhana can be simple. I’ve heard from our trainer that we will be assigned a 3-minute daily practice for the weeks in between this training and the next 3-day weekend intensive in order to simply start making the habit for ourselves. However, traditional Sadhanas are 2 1/2 hours long and some, like the Aquarian Sadhana, follow a strict kriya and meditation schedule.
My First Taste of Tradition
I have been attempting to create my own Sadhana practice for months, if not over a year already. Throughout this period of time I have experience stints where my intentions have been very successful, yet there have been other breaking points that have proven more distracting and difficult for whatever reason (grandma’s health scares this summer and prepping for my showcase last month both come to mind). I am certainly excited to start trying again though, especially gradually and with the support of my trainer and the other students.
That being said, I think my longest personal Sadhana to date was probably just over an hour. This morning’s experienced easily doubled that and had me squirming (when I wasn’t falling asleep).
There were moments this morning (and yesterday, and during White Tantra last weekend…) when my ego was SCREAMING at me: “what do you think you’re doing? Whyyyyy? You hate this! STOP! Your back hurts, your hips hurt, your knees hurt… You can’t even stop fidgeting, you’ve already failed, just GIVE UP!” Yet, it can’t seem to understand that all its desperate pleadings and bullying only serve to convince me of my need for this practice even more.
Progress, not Perfection
The thing is, Kundalini is a personal practice. Most of the kriyas and meditations are done with your eyes closed, specifically to encourage deep internal personal reflection and growth. That means, no one is watching me and my ego squirm, they’re all dealing with there own devils – no, on this mat it’s just me, Spirit and my ego.
I see me squirm. I hear the voice of my mean and cruel ego trying to bully me. I experience the subtle and gentle encouragements of Spirit: “keep going, you’ve got this, YOU ARE SO STRONG! Rest if you must, this is for you.”
Sadhana, even the traditional Aquarian Sadhana, isn’t about obtaining perfection. There’s no right or wrong way to show up on your mat, the key is showing up. The daily discipline then contributes to progress.
There are few joys as rich and fulfilling as witnessing your own progress, personally, with only Spirit and your ego as witnesses. Small things, like bending a little deeper, filling your lungs a little more and holding a posture for even just a second longer than last time become milestones and PROOF that you truly can overcome all those nasty little things your ego wants to get on you about.
It is in the difficulties that we are given the opportunity to build true strength.mayryanna
Alright, back to class. Love and blessings my dears!