What sadhanas do yogis do
Yoga is the daily encounter with yourself.
Meeting myself - that sounds good, I think 🙂
But what does this special encounter look like? Do I have to make an appointment for this? And who meets whom?
I found answers to these questions in the examination of this central yoga term:
Sadhana comes from Sanskrit (ancient Indian language) and means something like "straight towards a goal".
The yoga expert Georg Feuerstein * translates sadhana something different than
Path of realization, on which the seeker (i.e. the yogi) pursues a spiritual discipline.
set out to achieve a goal.
Most people begin the yoga path by attending a course once a week. That’s a great start, isn't it? sadhana.
To sadhana becomes our way in the moment when we dare to step on the mat at home and without guidance. Then when we are really ready to bravely face ourselves every day. We don't do that by knowing a lot about yoga, talking about yoga or presenting ourselves in shimmering clothes on a chic mat.
We meet by practicing regularly. By meeting ourselves on the mat at the same time every day and appearing reliable. No matter how we feel, no matter how we look, no matter what the circumstances are. We are there. That's the only thing that matters. Only then does yoga become an encounter with oneself.
Who spends a while with himself every day, asanas practices, feels his breath and meditates, he comes into contact with himself. Little by little he learns everything about his body, his thoughts, his feelings and ultimately about his divine nature.
The goal of the yoga path is our spiritual development or, in other words, the lifting of our mind to a higher level of consciousness. What exactly this means can never be grasped by our intellect alone, but only experienced.
I think of the words of Pattabhi Jois, the founder of the ashtanga vinyasa yoga system:
Do practice and everything is coming.
Practice yoga and everything else will work out.
What he means by that is that we shouldn't think too much, but just practice. Find a suitable practice that nourishes us and then keep going. Also, or especially when obstacles arise. We shouldn't let ourselves be led astray, because if we persevere we will change, we will grow. We will walk through life more firmly and ride the waves of our existence instead of being washed over by them.
So that our yoga practice bears fruit, Patanjali suggests two exercise principles in his Yogasutrani:
abhyasa & vairagya.
Abhyasa means constant, repetitive doing, like a habit. The difference between abyasa and our daily routines is the high level of concentration.
Sadhana namely that means that in every moment we are completely at what we are doing.
For example, I can brush my teeth while opening the windows to air or turning on the coffee machine. I achieve my goal, namely clean teeth, without directing my mental focus on it.
A spiritual practice, on the other hand, is going nowhere if I had conversations while practicing, listening to music or mentally planning the next meeting. As we already know, daily yoga practice is about getting in touch with ourselves. And that is only possible if we concentrate on ourselves, become still and listen inward.
The second principle of yogic practice is vairagya, which translated means "serenity". Serenity in the sense of non-values. That sounds so simple and yet it is an immense challenge for us, who have learned from childhood to divide the world and its phenomena into good and bad or wrong and right.
These assessments do not exist in yoga. It does not matter whether we put our hands on the floor or on our shins when we bend over, how many thoughts rush through our head in meditation or what feelings we have on the mat. It's all about observing ourselves. Value-free, loving and above all patient.
The ultimate goal of this consideration is the realization that we are neither our body nor our breath. Nor are we our thoughts or feelings. All of this belongs to us, yes, but we are not. We are the consciousness behind it all. We are the silent awareness of what is happening.
Rumi, a Persian Sufi mystic, once said:
Beyond Correct and wrong is a place. We'll meet there.
There, that is, where we truly encounter ourselves and others. Where we don't divide ourselves into worse or better, but look at each other perceptively. There is love. We are free there.
Set out to find this place. Not somewhere out there, but inside you. Start looking at yourself lovingly instead of judging yourself. Every day.
Little by little, through constant, loving, and serene practice, you will come to realize that you are perfect. That is all perfect. That it is good as it is.
Sincerely, Alexandra Maria
For your daily yoga practice you will find concrete exercise instructions from the areas here in the yoga room over the next few weeks asanas andRelaxation.
* Book tip: The yoga tradition - a great work on yoga. Georg Feuerstein gives an easily understandable insight into all yoga directions. This book is highly recommended for anyone who is interested in the background of yoga.
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