yoga benefits: give a little, get a lot
posted: July 6, 2010
Need a pick-me-up? You might need some sadhana in your life.
Been having a lot of bad days lately? Feeling a little down in the dumps? Sounds like me a little while ago. For the longest time, I couldn’t figure out why my days were getting progressively worse. I was sleeping well. Health was good. Work was great. Family, friends and relationships were wonderful. There was no obvious reason why I should feel so lousy.
One day, I sat down for coffee with a friend. She asked me how yoga was going. I paused. Yoga? What yoga? I suddenly realized I hadn’t practiced in more than two weeks. In the winter, while I was doing my yoga teacher training (yogis go through slumps, too!), I was practicing almost daily, sometimes several hours a day. I cannot recall one bad day during that time. It dawned on me that this was the reason my days had started to go downhill – I had been neglecting my sadhana.
Your daily practice can be a walk, reading, or being near the ocean.
Sadhana is a sanskrit word referring to a regular yoga and meditation practice. It is recommended that we practice two and a half hours daily – before sunrise when the world is quiet – in order to keep our minds, bodies and spirits healthy. The duration of two and a half hours is determined by the law of karma: everything that you give, you get back tenfold. If you devote two and a half hours of energy to your practice, you get twenty-five hours worth of energy in return – that takes care of your whole day, plus a little extra to put in your back pocket for later.
Two and a half hours a day sounds like a lot, especially with our busy, modern schedules, and doing it before the sun comes up is just not going to happen. Going by the law of karma, if you devote just an hour at any time of day to your practice, you get ten hours of energy back. This covers the average work day, including commuting time. After realizing how much of an impact a daily practice can have, I now find at least one hour every day to devote to my sadhana. For others experiencing bad days, remember: “practice” doesn’t have to mean your typical yoga class. It can be taking a walk; listening to music; relaxing with your coffee and the morning paper – whatever benefits your body, mind or spirit. Yoga and meditation mean different things to different people so find the version that works best for you and reap the karmic reward. Happy sadhana!