What if I told you that spiritual growth is possible for anyone committing to only ten minutes of your day? This probably sounds like a cheap commercial where the salesman promotes a magical cure-for-all that will most likely turn out to be a waste of money in the end! However, what it is offered to you is completely free and personal. It is as simple as committing daily to a small amount of “me-time” during which you focus on your inner peace. You may be surprised by the change it will bring to you. This commitment is called Sadhana.
What is Sadhana?
Sadhana, from the Sanskrit, means daily spiritual practice, or, more precisely, “methodical discipline to attain desired knowledge or goal”. It is a way to connect with the divine inside of each of us by a daily practice of your choice. The practice is a way to connect You to You. That is, your ego-self, which is small, limited and separate from everything else, to your Higher Self, which is infinite, unlimited and connected to All that Is. It is a fundamental tool to work on your inner self and reach your goals.
Yogi Jaggi Vasudev aka Sadhguru describes Sadhana as:
Everything can be sādhanā. The way you eat, the way you sit, the way you stand, the way you breathe, the way you conduct your body, mind and your energies and emotions – this is sādhanā. Sādhanā does not mean any specific kind of activity, sādhanā means you are using everything as a tool for your wellbeing.
You can practice Sadhana by picking any activity as long as you conduct it with awareness, discipline and the intention of spiritual growth. You should incorporate it into your daily routine and commit to it for a certain amount of time, usually for at least forty days. The number forty is a master number that has great significance in many spiritual traditions and many cultures. According to experts, it represents a period of purification. In traditional alchemy, for example, there is a mention of the forty philosophical days as a recommended period of purification, purging and refinement. In the Bible, the number forty is used 159 times and it symbolises trial, testing, or judgment. In the Hindu tradition, the word Chalisa means “forty verse” prayer. It is derived from the Hindi word “chalis” which means forty. In a Chalisa, the acts and deeds of deities are recalled in these verses to aid the devotee to meditate on righteous and noble qualities. In the yogic tradition, it is believed that if you practice something for forty days it becomes a part of you and it will be hard to stop.
Some examples of Sadhana include:
- Mantra or affirmation
- Yogic asana practice, like surya namaskar (sun salutations)
- Studying of spiritual texts
- Walks in nature on a daily basis
- Mindful eating
What are the benefits of Sadhana?
- Commitment: Sadhana is a means whereby bondage becomes liberation according to historian N. Bhattacharyya. Even though it takes a short amount of time, Sadhana requires a daily commitment. This means you are putting yourself first and you are taking time for you. You will cultivate your inner strength with Sadhana and you can use this base when you face difficulties in life.
- Discipline: Even with a short practice of Sadhana you will find yourself finding excuses to keep you from your daily practice. But forcing yourself every day to do your practice will build discipline. You can channel this discipline into other areas of your life as well. This will give you the power to work for things you truly want and not get distracted or unmotivated by the little voice in your head.
- Evolution: Sadhana practice makes sure you take your time each day to grow as a person and increase self-awareness. No matter where you are in life, Sadhana can help you grow little by little each day.
- Staying Present: With Sadhana you will practice staying present each day and cultivate peace of mind. Your attention and reflection will increase. Your skills in bringing your mind into a calm state will be enhanced. With the ability to live in the present, you will feel free from the burdens of the past and the future. This newfound clarity will give you more strength and ambition to work for your goals.
- Connecting deeply with the Self: Sadhana practices help you connect with your inner divine and take time each day to get to know yourself better. You will feel more connected to your body, your mind and soul with Sadhana. This will inevitably increase your awareness. Sadhana helps you to have a more authentic life. It is a source of inspiration and guidance. You will connect with your inner guide. This will also help you to process your emotions in a more healing aspect and live a more spiritual oriented life.
- Foundation: With 10-30 minutes of daily practice you can plant seeds and grow them daily. This foundation provided by sadhana will open the door for you to take more time for yourself. Your journey of self-growth will get deeper and deeper each day. You will become more and more mindful of your self-growth and will always find time for it with the daily practice of Sadhana.
- Positive Feelings: Working on yourself each day, reflecting and committing will make you feel great. You will go to bed knowing you have done something for yourself each night. You will gain control over your calmness in difficult situations. With this inner peace and confidence, your levels of anxiety will decrease.
- Healthier lifestyle: With a daily healthy habit such as sadhana, you will devote yourself to a healthier lifestyle little by little. You will become healthier in strength, energy, and agility.
Sadhana can be life-changing in many ways. This is a very easy practice that doesn’t require anything else other than a fully committed heart and is a must-try for even the most skeptical people. Sadhana can give you the inspiration or boost you need to keep going in the hardest of days, where you feel lazy and tired. It is a way to show love and care to yourself every single day. Your commitment to yourself will pay off as a spiritual connection and increased well-being.
Invest in your well-being, gift yourself some self-care time. You’re welcome to join our online workshops targeted to make you feel good, confident, and whole.
Bhattacharyya, N. N. History of the Tantric Religion. Second Revised Edition. (Manohar: New Delhi, 1999) p. 174. ISBN 81-7304-025-7
Damiani, M., (2021, May 16). Should You Start a Sadhana? 6 Benefits of Daily Yoga Practice. Gratitude Grace Glamour. https://www.gratitudegraceglamour.com/should-you-start-a-sadhana/
Grant, K. L., (2019, March 19). What is a Sadhana and Why Do I Need One in My Life? The Yoga Lunchbox. https://theyogalunchbox.co.nz/what-is-a-sadhana-and-why-do-i-need-one-in-my-life/
What is Sadhana? – Definition from Yogapedia. Yogapedia.com. (n.d.). https://www.yogapedia.com/definition/4994/sadhana
Wikimedia Foundation. (2021, May 15). Sādhanā. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%C4%81dhan%C4%81.
The What & Why of Sadhana. Isha Sadhguru. (2019, October 15). https://isha.sadhguru.org/us/en/wisdom/article/the-what-why-of-sadhana.