Last Wednesday I hit the 40 day mark. Forty day cycles paced the calendars of the ancients who tracked Solar cycles instead of our modern day system which tracks the Lunar cycles (sort of). In the old days there would have been 9 such cycles within each year. The number forty signifies the time it takes to make a significant spiritual or mental shift while the number 9 represents mastery. Moses spent 40 years wandering in the desert, Jesus 40 days, while Noah floated on flood waters as it rained 40 days and 40 nights – enough time for a cleansing and total transformation of humanity. These stories are repeated in most of our world religions with similar themes and main characters.
Okay, so what does all this mean in terms of practicing yoga and meditation today? The yogis believe personal transformation can and does occur within a forty day period of time. This transformation may even be more powerful if an intention is attached to the original commitment or goal.
In my case I only want to experience the possibilities of what may happen to my mind, body and spirit as a result of practicing continuously for one year. Already I feel more neutral minded, calmer, and I am slightly thinner. My diet has improved as well.
Each day my Sadhana practice varies from as much as 50 minutes of yoga, and 60 minutes of meditation, to one minute of yawning and stretching for my yoga, and curling up in bed for the last mantra of the series. Still I feel the benefits of a steadier nervous system. And, the most amazing part for me, is that I have done all of this before the sun begins to brighten the sky. I am someone who for years thought I needed 10 hours of consecutive sleep each night. Anything is possible…