In Sanskrit, the word "sadhana" refers to a home spiritual practice of accomplishing something. This can translate into a few different forms of practice in daily life. Personally, I use the word sadhana to differentiate a period of time to devote to a specific home practice that has an intention, various components that align with the chosen intention, and is a daily practice for a specific period of time with a start and an end date.
When planning for a seasonal sadhana, you should consider the following factors.
When starting out with your sadhana creation, it's important to start with the intention behind your period of practice. Having a strong and moving, "Why?" will draw you to the mat day after day; it also will align your purpose with the elements of your sadhana.
Like a general home yoga practice, your sadhana should have some essential elements that line up with your intention and fit into your yoga practice. At a minimum you want your sadhana to include:
- Physical postures/asana
- Breathing exercises/pranayama
The postures you select, the breathing exercises you choose, and the closing meditations you engage in will all tie into your intention.
3. Additional/optional components
Beyond the three foundations of your sadhana, you may elect to focus on elements that deepen your practice while aligning you closer with your sankalpa (intention); consider the inclusion of the following:
It's important to set your sadhana for the right length of time. 21, 30 and 40 days are all great lengths of time to consider when picking a duration for your practice. All of theses periods have evidence of being powerful lengths to create new habits, with enough time to bust through resistance. Pick a duration that challenges you but that also feels doable.
5. Beginning and ending with meaning and ritual
Start or end your sadhana off on a symbolic day that holds meaning for you.. Consider starting or ending on a special day with meaning to you such as:
- A holiday
- A new moon
- A beginning of a season
- A day with symbolic meaning
When creating your sadhana, remember to create a practice that supports your desire to feel your best and use the above suggestions as a way to customize and deepen that practice!
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