Sadhana

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Unknown “Put you heart, mind, intellect and soul even into your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.” Swami Sivananda

 “Yoga is 99 percent practice and one percent theory.” Sri Pattabhi Jois

For the last two years we have talked about Sadhana in January. (click here to see the last two entries) This year I wanted to do it in December, because In my own life I use this practice as a kind of new years resolution. Each year I pick something that I want to work on, or increase in my life. Sadhana can be translated as a dedication to an aim, or to bring something about. It can also help us to cultivate awareness in our lives. It can be a great way to encourage self care and self study (swadhyaya). I wanted to share my experience with you, and hopefully inspire you to try it!

In 2015 my Sadhana was music. I grew up in a house where there was always music in one way or another. It helps me relax and I love it. When I started to teach yoga I was introduced to Kirtan. This chanting practice is a part of yoga in most traditions. Of course it spoke to me and I felt drawn to learn more. So as the new year came around, I decided to commit to music for my Sadhana. I was not specific about what I would play or what type of music I would work on. I simply decided that I would create some kind of music everyday for 40 days. When the Sadhana began I assumed I would be working on Kirtan and my harmonium skills. A week or so into the practice, I remembered that we had a guitar in the attic. After about an hour of trying to tune it and remember a few chords from my childhood, I called my dad. He is an amazing guitar player. I asked him to help me learn to play. He was pretty excited about my interest. We started meeting up for lessons and I added guitar to my Sadhana time. Some days I would play a song or two, and somedays the sessions would go on for quite some time. Either alone or with other musicians. By remaining open to the experience I ended up learning a skill I had not set out to accomplish. I created a workshop called “musical meditation”, and I connected with my dad in a new way. I am still playing guitar, and working on my Kirtan. After doing 40 days in a row it became a habit. When I skip it for more than a day or two I notice how much I miss it. The pattern has been solidified in my life. This is the point of a Sadhana. It could be purely spiritual like a meditation or a prayer, or it could be something more practical like pranayama or learning a language. No matter what, the idea is that you do it with devotion, dedication and joy. Allow yourself to become fully absorbed in the activity when you participate in it. In this way you are giving yourself a chance to really experience it, and invite it into your life. You might be surprised what doors will open up when you focus your attention. I encourage you to think of something you want in your life and create a Sadhana for the new year!  ~love and light, Robin.

“True happiness is when the love that is within us finds expression in external activities.” Ammachi

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