Today is day 9 in a row of my 40 day “sadhana” (pronounced SOD-NUH) which, to be honest, has a different meaning to me every time I say the word. I looked it up in my Kundalini Teacher Trainer’s book and at the simplest form, a “sadhana” is a daily spiritual practice.
Which sounds simple enough until you keep reading. When you keep reading, you find out that the most recommended way to do this particular Kundalini Sadhana is that it is not only a “daily spiritual practice,” but also one that they recommend starts before sunrise, at the same time every day, and happens right after you take your cold shower and put on loose fitting white clothes. (In an ideal world, of course).
I don’t know about you, but when it’s still dark outside, and I’m just awakened early from a cozy sleep in my bed, the last thing I want to do is take a cold shower. BUT, that’s what they recommend to get the circulation going.
I have to be honest, just getting up before sunrise and trying to get on my mat at the relatively same time every day is quite a feat for me, so I feel like throwing the cold water in there might just be a bit “putting the cart before the horse.” Or rather, might be making the horse want to go back to bed without ever getting the cart from the stall at all.
I try to be a “good yogi” but I sometimes resist it. Or rather, I question it. Like “wait…why am I doing this again?” And “if I’m not dedicated to doing this 10 hours a day for the rest of my life on top of a mountain is it even worth it?” And what does “good yogi” even mean anyway?
And even more than that…when do I push through what is uncomfortable for the sake of transformation and when do I go back to bed because I could use the rest?
So…I peeled myself out of bed after a few snoozes this morning. The first 5:30 am alarm was, for lack of a better word, alarming. That kind of alarm that shakes you awake suddenly and abruptly from delicious deep sleep to wide awake panic. There was no easing into it. No warning awake moments. It was straight up dream and then straight up awake. And so I snoozed a few times to give myself some time to decide whether or not I was going to uphold my commitment or not.
By 6:00 am I decided that yes, I was going to uphold my commitment of my morning sadhana. And so I get up and start the shower and wait for it to warm up. Feeling proud for getting up, and a bit bad for not wanting to do a cold shower, again, but then I got over that real fast. One step at a time I tell myself.
Get into the groove. One change at a time. The only way to build a house is “brick by brick.”
After the shower I towel off, put on my sadhana outfit, which basically looks like my yoga outfit, or my walking outfit, or my “I’m not putting on a full outfit so I can sit on the couch and do my work for the day” outfit and I get on my mat.
I begin the kriya (the yoga “set” for the day…or rather, the completed set of actions that go in a specific order for a specific amount of time for a desired outcome). And I blast the song “I am Happy. I Am Good” from my little computer speakers while I begin, and a little smile upturns my lips. I can feel it in my cheeks. Uplifting them.
It is literally hard to be in a bad mood when there’s four minutes straight of “I am happy I am good” coming at you.
And for a brief moment, I look out the french doors that are draped with bougainvillea and look out into the yard with the bird bath fountain, and the trees, and the pool, and beautiful rose bushes…and I feel peace.
I hear the chirping birds, the cars pass by. And I feel happy. And good. And all the stress, worry, conflict, struggle, decisions up in the air, drama, and feelings I woke up with, just weren’t there. Not in that moment they weren’t.
Even though this moment did pass, it was still imprinted into my psyche. It showed me that it’s possible. That shuniya state, or state of calmness, stillness and presence and where peace is possible. And that indeed I can be happy and be good even when things are hard, sad, or tough. Even if just for a moment. Which is better than nothing. And I’ll take it.
And this made me remember why we wake up at 5:30 to get on the mat. Or do anything we set out to do. Or uphold any of our commitments to ourselves. Because enough moments of doing that, enough moments of busting through the blocks, enough moments of allowing yourself to see peace, make you realize that in fact, you are happy and you are good. And the more moments you realize that, the more happy and good your life is in general. You are calm and you are peaceful. Deep down in your core if you let yourself access it and get quiet enough to see it.
Not everyone has to get on a yoga mat at 5:30 to see this. I truly believe that we all find our own ways to happiness, and no way is better than any other.
But do consider that perhaps a slice of yours lies right on the other side of something you didn’t think you wanted to do.
What might that be for you right now? I want to hear about it in the comments below.
Have you ever done something you originally didn’t want to do and it added value to your life? Have you found a moment of happiness in a least likely place? If so I want to hear about it blow.
See you tomorrow at 5:30 am.
P.s. Just wanted to make the note I don’t think there is such a thing as a “good” or “bad” yogi. I was just running you through my thoughts. I feel that as long as we are acting in alignment with our best selves, doing the best we can everyday, and loving ourselves, we’re winning at life.
P.p.s. There is no one way to do sadhana or do life. Find something, one thing, that you want to try, and try doing it. That’s Wildheart.