So I have had a little while to sit back and examine my practice (forced by pregnancy to suspend the jumpy-pumpy-up-down-like-a-yo-yo-in-a-snowglobe yoga). And with this time has come an interesting chance to view what
it is that I really see as the essence of yoga for me. That is undoubtedly the "Sadhana" which means:
"to practice something as a discipline, in order to learn from it, and make it a regular life habit."
In my life there has almost always been some form of yoga, whether I was in a yoga-room trying to kick some Kauna (compassion) into a myself and others, or just commuting in London trying to remember some Ahimsa (non-violence) towards the faceless masses. For me the ability to apply the philosophy of yoga to my external life is what has kept me so inspired for so long.
It is constantly offering us a micro look at our inner minds and bodies, and gives a practical way to learn how to take these lessons out into the world. And one of these is that we are in need of a way to connect ourselves to our higher intensions. It is only when we are lead by these that we begin to create better bonds to ourselves and others
One way is to build a daily practice, and burn away the excuses
Buliding a daily Sadhana or practice is the same in yoga as in almost all of the religions. To destroy, create or rebuild something within our lives, there is considered to be a 40 day cycle, where if we create an intention and build it in to our life for the full term then we will have the choice "To be, or not to be" whatever it is.
So why not try it? Pick something that is holding you back, whether its a lifestyle habit, like you find yourself drinking a little to much (What you?.. never!) or a need for a new routine, or just telling people you love them (not everyone all the time, it loses something when you turn from your lover to the postman and say "I love you too"), or to destroy an old habit- Like hitting the snooze button (8 times then calling in sick), try to get straight up (as David Life said the hardest thing he did each day was get out of bed).
Using the Shiva energy of destruction, to destroy an old habit, or thought pattern, and to create a new one. By committing to creating a Sadhana, whatever it needs to be for you now. You give yourself the tools to change. All of life is yoga, and it is in our intention that we offer the most beautiful parts of ourselves.
Here are just a few ways to get started:
- Give yourself a million chances and embrace the messiness of life. Just do your best.
- Live your life based on what brings you the most peace and happiness. Run your own race. Don't do upward dog because that's what's best for the person next to you.
- Listen to yourself the most. Gather the advice of others but at the end of the day make your own best decision.
- Keep building new routes in your mind by learning new things, make the ordinary things extraordinary, stop replaying the same thoughts.
- Yoga is the anti-victim mentality. Don't worry if things don't always work out. Keep trying. Begin again.
- Your nature is to keep expanding. Allow yourself to be creative, and to become your ever-growing infinite potential.
- The best things in life cannot be measured. Instead of thinking so much, feel more with your heart.
- Laugh more.
If you can come to a place where it's harder not to do your Sadhana/practice than to just do it; then you're there. As we will only ever do the things we enjoy forever. It becomes clear that you being drawn to action by the highest part of you.
The Yoga Sutras state 1.14:
"When the practice is done for a long time, without a break, and with enthusiasm, then the practice becomes a firmly rooted, stable and solid foundation."
And not to be out done, the Hatha Yoga Pradipika says:
"Yoga is for the sick, the old, the young and the disabled, and the able, the healthy and the really sick, and the really old, its just not for anyone who is lazy!"
For more information about Nova Milesko and her Teacher Trainings and Workshops check her website affinityyoga.com or try her Yin class on Tuesdays 5pm.