It really works!! Really. Really. A little over a year ago I decided to challenge myself and do 365 days of Sadhana, that is, to get up before the coming of the light (yogis refer to it as the Amrit Vela-time of great nectar), practice some yoga and meditate, by chanting the mantras for the Aquarian Age (total 62 min).
I’ll begin with the failures or, more gently, my stumbles. I mostly succeeded in keeping the promise I made to myself in that I did it every day but one, Valentine’s Day. In a benevolent act of self love during the most inhospitable time of the year, I chose to skip my sadhana on the day of love. Towards the end of my challenge, in the middle of the longest days of the year, I did not rise before the sun on numerous occasions. She just couldn’t coax me out from under the covers, even with her sweet summer, morning breezes, much before 6am.
Okay here are my victories. It has been a very remarkable year for me. I began my journey in the expansive, endless-sky, desert town of Espanola, New Mexico, long-time home of my spiritual teacher, Yogi Bhajan. I took my meditation journey home to Massachusetts, and to my ever expanding joy, realized I was able to sleep a little later each day as autumn began shortening our days here in New England.
For two chilly November days, I woke in the whee hours and did Sadhana with my inspiring step son in upstate New York at the ‘Castle,’ of a famous actor who hired him to do some detailed wood-work. Back at home during the darkest winter months, I chanted with other yogis in Millis and Franklin and was lucky enough to be part of introducing 18 amazing teacher trainees to the group sadhana experience.
Early spring brought me to Pura Vida, the pure life, of Costa Rica where I rose and stepped out on a balcony overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the pulsing rain forest every morning for seven days. I timed it so that as I began chanting the sun’s rays would graze the tops of the trees and the world would open up before me like the colorful flowers punctuating the landscape. Pure Bliss, just like waking up with God at your side!
June found me at a Reserve and the rambling Martha’s Vineyard family home of dear friends and fellow teachers, where we lead a weekend workshop. We woke to hundreds of swans landing in the brackish waters of Great Pond. The Fourth of July holiday brought me together with very dear friends on the Island of Chincoteague, off the coast of Virginia. I find meditating on islands yummy– with the ocean surrounding the land and all those wonderful negative ions clearing out those unwanted thoughts.
My dreams came true at the end of July, when I woke up in Paris and still did my Sadhana, sneaking peaks at photos from the prior day’s travels. In August I was pinching myself as I opened my eyes in various towns along the Loire Valley in France. I love France! I won’t even begin to get into what I love about France here because this post is getting too long as it is. Let’s just say I was very, very happy there.
The summation: 365 days of Sadhana made me stronger, more resilient energetically, healthier and happier. I was less tired and less crabby. I ate better and had a better outlook. We even made more money for part of the year.
It is a panacea. Honestly, I believe it can cure anyone of just about anything. Go figure. I had no idea the power of that regular a practice. I found the closer I woke to 4 am, the better my day was as a result. The days I woke up later and felt less enthusiastic about my practice were not so good. I found I could anticipate certain challenges and in a sense work through them during the meditation, clearing my emotional system for the day.
I want to thank my husband, Guruatma, for his unwavering daily support, participation and leadership. (He is leading Sadhana several times per week at our yoga studio, Franklin Yoga & Wellness.)
Try it, you’ll like it. The only caveat is that it takes about three weeks 21 days or so to get over the super tired feeling.