Sadhana: Daily Practice

Nirmal Lumpkin

One of the foundational practices in Kundalini Yoga is called Sadhana.  The actual word "Sadhana" can be translated in many ways:

  • doing what the teacher told you to do
  • pre-dawn meditation
  • daily practice of yoga
  • cultivating a life of service
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Sadhana is a commitment to connect to your soul and clean out the patterns of your mind.  One of my favorite lines from Japji says (loosely translated):  

When the body is dirty, you wash it with water.  When the clothes are dirty you wash them with soap.  When the mind is dirty you wash it with meditation and chanting.  

For me sadhana is usually not easy....and usually not blissful.  It is a challenge each day to get myself to sit down and do some yoga.  But without fail I always notice that days when I manage to do yoga and meditate before I leave the house....are better days.  I get more done, feel more connected to myself and less reactive to the people or situations in my life.  Even so, I sometimes find that my ego wins and I slip out of doing a daily practice.  So, I have to re-dedicate myself to my practice on a regular basis.  I like to use milestones to get myself re-invested: the 40 days before my birthday, the Solstice, the new year....all of these are great reasons to start (or re-start a practice).  But really....so is today...and tomorrow....any day that you can make some time is a good day to practice.  

One of the things we find when we practice on a regular basis is just how much our mind and state of being change from moment to moment.  I am NOT the same person I was yesterday.....my mind when I sit in meditation is spinning it's new story today.  But if I can stay steady, and keep practicing no matter what my mind (or the world) is doing....I can start to find the thing in me that doesn't shift from day to day.  You might call it Soul or Truth or Self or maybe, even, God.  But there is something there that feels peaceful, blissful, steady and safe…. And when I do my sadhana I feel that thing more often and more expansively in all moments of my life.