Sadhana. It’s a Sanskrit word (the ancient language of yoga),but have no fear. Sadhana is just a word that means “dedicated spiritual practice.” In fact, without knowing the word at all, you might already have a sadhana. Do you pray nightly before going to bed? Do you meditate? Do you say grace before meals?
These are all examples of sadhana.
So why is this so important? And what if you have no religion or spiritual beliefs?
No matter your spiritual persuasion, a sadhana offers you the experience to tap into your own person, without the influence of an outside perspective. This time gives you the opportunity to reflect, to connect, and to remember your value system, which can get buried in the buzz of our day to day life.
Your sadhana can be an opportunity to connect to your god, to your spirit guides, or simply to yourself. You can pray, or chant, or sing a hymn, or silently meditate, or deeply introspect… And if none of those sound good, you could also find a few things each day to be grateful for, and focus your awareness on that gratitude.
Just a few minutes a day can leave you feeling more grounded, more content, and more aligned with your personal beliefs, so that all of your decisions, actions, and relationships are on the same page. And when all parts of your life are in alignment with your deepest truths, you experience more flow and open yourself up to greater joy and contentment.
How do you start a sadhana if you don’t already have one?
1.Decide what kind of sadhana you’d like to experience.
Your sadhana might be a prayer, a hymn, or a chant. It could also be a period of silent meditation or internal reflection. Even reflecting on three things per day to find gratitude for is a great start – you can express this gratitude on paper or keep it present in your mind.
2. Choice a dedicated time and space to practice.
Make sure this is in alignment with your natural rhythms. Meaning: don’t dedicate yourself to a daily 5 am sadhana when you hate early mornings! Choose a time that will have little opportunities for distractions, and a place that is meaningful to you. (If you’re limited on places, just make it your own – bring a small vase of flowers, an important image in your spiritual tradition, or a special item that holds meaning for you.)
It sounds the most simple, but commitment is often the most challenging piece of any new habit. Choose a certain number of days (40 is a natural sadhana practice commitment time) and make yourself practice, even when it’s not convenient. You’ll find it tough to carve out the time some days, certainly, but the feeling of calm and overall alignment that you’ll get is worth the extra time in your day.
If you get to the end of your commitment period and haven’t noticed any changes, evaluate the methods your using – some people will naturally resonate more with silent meditation, while others might enjoy writing out their gratitude lists.
Whatever your preferences, a sadhana can change your life by simply bringing more awareness to your everyday decisions – making your life more vibrant and attuned to your true life values. And when your life values and your actions are aligned, you experience a deeper amount of contentment. Sadhana on!