I recently completed a 90 day sadhana. One of the most common questions I get asked as a kundalini yoga teacher (besides what is kundalini yoga?) is what is a sadhana? and why would you do that? Well, here you go!
A sadhana is a daily spiritual practice. Something that connects you to your deepest self (dare I say soul); everyday. Why would you want to do that? The idea is that we have these neuropathways in our brains (old patterns) that we want to re-direct, or at least affect. We all have left over patterns or ways of being from our childhoods that no longer serve us. We don’t want to keep repeating these patterns in our lives again and again. Especially as adults! These patterns can be things we say to ourselves over and over (that most likely are not true), or ways of being in the world, that don’t work for us anymore based on how we survived our family dynamics.
Every spiritual path I know of has some sort of daily practice. In kundalini yoga we say it takes 3 minutes to affect the magnetic field, 11 minutes to change the nerves and glands, 22 minutes to balance the three minds (positive, negative, neutral) 31 minutes to affect the cells and rhythms of the body , 62 minutes to change the gray matter in the brain, 2 1/2 hours to change the psyche, the whole being. So you decide how long you want/need your sadhana to be. I would say at least 30 minutes-1 hour a day to see the positive effects in your life. Not only will you feel more centered, clear, and happy, you will be less stressed.
After being on a healing path for over 20 years, the only way I know to truly correct/change these patterns in our brains and lower stress levels is meditation and yoga. Kundalini yoga is a powerful tool to use because it uses mantra (sound current), pranayama (breathing techniques), mudra (hand gestures), dhristi (gaze of the eyes) and asana (posture) in one practice.
The “aquarian sadhana” is a practice most American Sikhs do (and many kundalini yoga teachers). This is a special sadhana at 3:45 a.m. done everyday until 6:30 a.m.. Here is a GREAT description: https://www.3ho.org/kundalini-yoga/sadhana if you live in the LA area http://YogaWestLA.com has it everyday, and its FREEEEEE, so try it!
I have done the aquarian sadhana many times in my life, and every time I do, I love it and feel great. But you don’t have to do all that. The latest 90 day sadhana I completed took about 45 minutes, and I did it at home first thing in the morning (around 6:30 a.m. most days) before I did ANYTHING, that is KEY. I did the “Kriya to Experience Your Own Greatness”…..it was GREAT 🙂 I saw huge shifts in my life, the way I dealt with stress, my daughter and my husband. It’s really true if you change yourself you can change your (the) world.
Students ask me all the time, “if I don’t want to do aquarian sadhana, can I just pick a kriya to do everyday and just do that?” Absolutely! I always say pick a set (kriya, it means action, or set of exercises) that you really like. If you go to a kundalini yoga class the teacher would be happy to help you pick one or try this site: http://pinklotus.org they have some great stuff.
Find a special quiet sacred space you can create in your home (mine is between my bed and closet!). Clear it of clutter, put an altar or something sacred, pictures of saints or people who inspire you. I also have a prayer box full of prayers for people I am sending good thoughts to. Really just anything you love that inspires you, make the space yours! Put fancy pillows, pictures, there are no rules. If you have an extra room that’s even better!
Sit down, be comfortable, tune in “Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jg1J6_d_wjE here’s how. Then begin your kriya. Here’s a FREE 15 min. one from me! http://southbayyoginis.com/video/ at the end, rest for a few moments on your back and then sing “May the long time sunshine song” to yourself. Do it first thing in the morning everyday. If you miss it, do it whenever you can in that day. If you miss the day completely, you have to start over…..40 days in a row!
Then, begin your day and let the magic begin. You can keep a journal, write down things you would like to accomplish or write down things you wish to release, dedicate your sadhana to someone as a prayer, really anything. Some say it only takes 21 days to change a habit. In kundalini we say it takes 40 days to change a habit, 90 days to confirm the new habit, 120 days you have mastered the new habit, 1,000 days the new habit is who you are, so try it for 40 days (or more) and let me know what happens!
Sat Nam (truth is your name) and happy sadhana,
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