I had never heard of the word "sadhana" until my first day of yoga teacher training back in 2012. I've heard it described as a "practice in pursuit of a goal." Our teacher explained that we would each have to do a sadhana that we were to put together ourselves, beginning on one of the new moons that was taking place during our six-month training.
For 10 days, we would have to commit to a physical, mental, and spiritual ritual with the hopes that after that time, we would emerge more connected to our higher selves and closer to whatever we wanted to achieve.
We had to write out our Sadhana prior to the new moon, to have a reminder of what we were committed to for the next 10 days. What I wrote out was my big goal for the Sadhana: To get closer to my highest and most sacred self. To achieve happiness and calm. To love myself unconditionally and therefore be able to love others fully.
Those 10 days of my life were eye-opening. Writing down my intentions made things seem more concrete. I incorporated healthier eating habits, a meditation practice, and guidelines of how I would try to behave for those next 10 days.
I'd recommend this practice to anyone who is looking for help in committing to something, be it a physical practice of yoga, Jiu-Jitsu, running. Or maybe you want to give up alcohol or finally stop gossiping about people. Consider your Sadhana a road map to get closer to the person you want to be.
It’s simple! Here's how:
1. Begin by writing down the purpose.
Choose the amount of time you want to commit to this and the day you want to start. It can be as long or as short as you need. I found 10 days to be a great guideline. Some prefer to go from a new moon to a full moon, which is generally two weeks.
As far as the amount of time, our yoga teacher had us do it for ten days. It can be as long or as short as one needs. The first one I did was ten days and the current one I'm doing is until the end of Spring. I think for simplicity's sake 10 days would be a good guideline. And it is good timing because the new moon is on Tuesday, if you want to add that in anywhere.
2. What is your physical practice going to be?
Are you going to run three miles a day, or do 10 sun salutations and meditate for 10 minutes each morning before you do anything else? Choose something attainable and not overly complicated. Another idea is to make small changes to your diet if that is something you wish to modify; give yourself a list of foods to avoid and foods to enjoy.
3. What other activities will you pursue?
It’s spring ... maybe you'd like to make a commitment to spend at least an hour outside each day; read more and watch less TV. Or maybe your goal is to call one old friend or family member every week.
4. What kind of environment will you keep?
Clutter in your surroundings means clutter in your mind. Keep your home, office, and car clean as a means to open up your heart and mind to fresh and new ideas.
5. What kind of self-care will you commit to?
For this spring, I committed to making sure all of my personal care products are as natural as possible. I decided to take vitamins daily, give oil pulling a try, treat my body as a temple, and practice reiki every single day.
6. Put it in writing.
Make a commitment to yourself to honor your Sadhana. Write it down, sign and date it and put it up somewhere you can see it daily. It’s helpful to keep a journal during this time so that you can look back on your progress.
I wish you the best of luck and success in your journey toward becoming exactly who you want to be in this life!