Crafting A Path of Practice
As a long time practitioner of yoga and yoga teacher, I know that each person who unrolls their yoga mat has their own reason for practicing yoga. Perhaps they’re after a stronger, more supple body. Maybe they need to clear their mind. Perhaps they want to feel more grounded. Or more relaxed. They may need the time and space to heal. Each person who chooses to practice yoga is looking to accomplish something or be transformed in some way. The word sadhana is a term from the yoga tradition that refers to a path of practice toward a particular goal. Its literal definition is a means of accomplishing something.
However, this idea of sadhana and practice is not limited to what you do on the yoga mat.
Here is an expanded definition of sadhana from Maya Tiwari, a beautiful brahmacharini, yoga and Ayurveda teacher, author and founder of the Wise Earth School:
“Sadhana is a Sanskrit word whose root sadh means to reclaim that which is divine within us, our power to heal, serve, rejoice and uplift the spirit. Sadhana practices encompass all our daily activities, from the simple to the sublime - from cooking a meal to exploring your inner self through meditation. The goal of sadhana is to enable you to recover your natural rhythms and realign your inner life and daily habits with the cycles of the universe.”
There are many ways to reclaim your natural rhythms and realign your inner life and many kinds of practices you may choose to incorporate into your life.
Some practices you choose may come from a tradition like yoga and some may come from your family’s spiritual heritage or from other traditions that resonate with you. Get curious about practices you have learned and practices you are drawn to incorporating in your life. Learn about and respect the lineage from which they came.
There are movement practices such as yoga, breathing practices, tai chi, qi gong, dancing, mindful walking, and nature walks.
There are contemplative practices such as meditation, prayer, centering, yoga nidra, reading sacred texts, and quieting and clearing the mind.
There are practices that use the voice such as chanting, praying, creating affirmations, and singing.
There are generative practices such as journaling, making a gratitude list, painting, drawing, music, and preparing and serving food.
There are ritual and cyclical practices such as seasonal cleansing, ritual purifications, full moon or new moon practices, spiritual and religious ceremonies and ceremony days, ancestor honoring practices, and vision quests.
There are relational practices such as dialogue, story telling, deep listening, and circles.
There are activist practices such as pilgrimages, vigils, protests, marches, and bearing witness.
Inquiry: Creating a path of practice
If you already have a practice that you do for personal or spiritual growth, I invite you to consider why you practice.
If you don't already have a practice, what intention might you have for creating a personal practice for yourself and what might that look like?
How might a path of practice support your personal development, spiritual growth or enhance your wellbeing and your engagement as a healthy human being on this planet?
What if any practices would you like to commit to daily?
What if any practices would you like to commit to weekly?
What if any practices would you like to commit to monthly or seasonally?
What resources or support do you need to be successful in creating a practice for yourself?
I invite you to check out the following resources for building a personal practice:
Yoga offerings including livestream classes, on-demand videos and private sessions
Integrative coaching to support to support wellbeing and personal growth