Editor’s note: Kate Connell is a passionate private yoga teacher who helps yogis create and sustain an at-home yoga practice they love. The Mat Mate, a weekly newsletter, is a free tool in supporting you in your process — whether you are flirting with, establishing or sustaining a perfect-for-you practice at home. You can sign up for this free newsletter and learn more about her local private yoga offerings on www.youandtheyogamat.com.
By Kate Connell, community contributor
In Sanskrit, the word “sadhana” refers to a home spiritual practice of accomplishing something.
This can translate into a few different forms of practice in daily life. Personally, I use the word sadhana to differentiate a period of time to devote to a specific home practice that has an intention, various components that align with the chosen intention and is a daily practice for a specific period of time with a start and an end date.
When planning for a seasonal sadhana, you should consider the following factors.
1. Intention. When starting out with your sadhana creation, it’s important to start with the intention behind your period of practice. Having a strong and moving “why?” will draw you to the mat day after day. It also will align your purpose with the elements of your sadhana.
2. Components. Like a general home yoga practice, your sadhana should have some essential elements that line up with your intention and fit into your yoga practice. At a minimum you want your sadhana to include:
l Physical postures/asana
l Breathing exercises/pranayama
The postures you select, the breathing exercises you choose and the closing meditations you engage in will all tie into your intention.
3. Additional/optional components. Beyond the three foundations of your sadhana, you may elect to focus on elements that deepen your practice while aligning you closer with your sankalpa (intention). Consider the inclusion of the following:
4. Duration. It’s important to set your sadhana for the right length of time. Twenty-one, 30 and 40 days all are great lengths of time to consider when picking a duration for your practice. All of theses periods have evidence of being powerful lengths to create new habits, with enough time to bust through resistance. Pick a duration that challenges you but also feels doable.
5. Beginning and ending with meaning and ritual. Consider starting or ending your sadhana on a symbolic day that holds meaning for you, such as:
l A holiday
l A new moon
l A beginning of a season
l A day with symbolic meaning
When creating your sadhana, remember to create a practice that supports your desire to feel your best and use the above suggestions as a way to customize and deepen that practice.