In the midst of Sunny Sundays in the desert (who doesn't love those?) I'm contemplating life after another 40 Day Sadhana.
Part of my work as a teacher, also includes my constant self-work, shadow work and healing. And Sadhanas are as one of my teachers puts it, my "life support".
A Sadhana is a committed daily practice to support your life, to nourish your life and to sustain life. Small, simply, daily rituals that become like prayers. They include Pranayama, movement/asana, Meditation, Mantra and Mudra and of course journalling ( amongst others things) and I find them INCREDIBLY informative, transformative and expansive. I find that to be guided along with a teacher, the most transformative method. Keeping me accountable and stretching in all the ways I need to be stretched and nurturing me in all the ways I need to be nurtured.
Most importantly, and often the most confronting and difficult parts of these Sadhanas, is that I find they highlight to me, all the ways in which I contract. I tend to see all the ways in which "I" am tight, tense, in pain, no creative enough, not smart enough, ( you get the message) i tends to highlight to me all these things.
Ways in which I block, sabotage, chicken out, don't do the work ~ all those old patterns, what in Yogic tradition we would call our Samskaras. Samskaras are the "deep latent patterns that cause us to have an experience of being separate from the whole...They drive ALL our unconscious behaviours in life".. Sutras 1.18-1.19 from Tantra of the Yoga Sutras by Alan Finger.
How then, do you go about working through these Samskaras? You get still, you meditate, you chant Mantras, you breath. You DO the work. Maybe its therapy also. But at the heart, its constant dedicated action, awareness and surrender, sound familiar. It should do, we've discussed it in a few blogs back and also in last weeks topic.
But what if I could change how I saw this? instead of all my contraction and seeing that as innately negative, could I see it all as just part of the path to expansion, and a place to allow more freedom and growth in?
As you start to intergrade perhaps your Yoga a little more fully into your life, you will perhaps start to create your own Sadhana. Your own daily prayer for life support.
You start to see now that it all comes back to the practice. Just how willing are you to do the work? If you know what will support and nourish you, what will nurture you through it all, will you choose to do it?
Take some time this Sunday eve or even Monday eve, to as my teacher likes to tell me: ( full credit here to my divine light @to_Yoke | Phoebe Jones, for these 3 words, ( to which I have added my own twist) :
REFLECT || On your month that's been and where you can forgive yourself. Where have seen expansion and where have you seen contraction. Can you note it as just those words, no negative or positive emotions attached.
TRUST || When I trust my expansiveness, my full and completeness, what will my day look like? How Can I allow contraction to make room for the expansion?
DIRECT || In days where I find myself deep in my Samskaras ( my patterns, my old habits dying hard) where and how can I direct my energy through these days? what practices could I incorporate to sustain me?
What will your Sadhana look like these next few weeks of July?
I'd love to know. DM or email me if you'd like some support or accountability. Or even perhaps 3 Private Sessions to set up your own Sadhana practice.
I'm a Yogi, tea-lover, wanderluster, truth seeker.