Preparing the mind for stillness
Why I do a morning sadhana
by Stephani Rosenblatt
I always felt a longing for a dedicated spiritual practice, and even though I had practiced yoga for 10 years, I still didn’t understand what it was to meditate or find stillness. It finally became clear for me when I started a daily practice, or a sadhana as it is called in yoga.
It started out with a simple premise, I would do “yoga” everyday for 40 days and witness what happened as a result. Be it in a studio class, at home or in the wild, it all counted and it didn’t matter what the length of time was.
I choose 40 days because it is said in yoga that it is the length of time needed to break a bad habit. 90 days is needed to establish a new habit, 120 days will confirm the new habit and in 1000 days you will master the new habit.
Sure enough 40 days lead to more, and with the encouragement of a beloved teacher I pondered if I could make this a part of my life every day. Fast-forward to new years day 2014, after 6 months of yoga everyday, I committed to the only new years resolution I have ever kept. I resolved to do my practice, or my sadhana everyday for the entire 365 days of the year. It wasn’t an easy year, I went to India and fell so sick, that the most I could do was listen to a 5-minute healing mantra for a couple weeks, but it counted. There were many days I didn’t do my practice until right before bed and had to wake up the next morning and do it all again.
I haven’t quite made it too 1000 days of sadhana yet, but I’ll let you know what fantastical powers I acquire when I do ;) I’m 913 days in, and I can tell you that I know without a single doubt that what prepares the mind for stillness, is sitting in stillness everyday. What prepares the body for stillness is the yoga asana, or postures we practice so that we might drop into those moments where the body and breath are one. When the body and breath are one we find moments where the mind stills and we connect inward to our deepest desire and potential.
I hope you will join me at 6:30am on Tuesday mornings where we get the chance to do our sadhana in community. We prepare the body and breath to unify with asana so that we might sit in stillness before we start the day. Cultivate your inner radiance with pranayama and meditation, and maybe, just maybe, you might consider 1000 days (or more) of sadhana too.