I used to run my life on auto pilot- doing the same actions every day, thinking the same thoughts, many times feeling numb and dream like. That was a time in my life where I felt like I needed to just survive to get to better things, and often I would succumb to habits that weren't always best.
As I began to grow in my yoga practice and incorporate Ayurveda into my life the act of mindfulness started to crop up in areas of my life. At first I didn't understand it as mindfulness, but my practices on the mat were translating to my everyday life. I began to create mindful daily rituals. These rituals were moments of mindfulness in action, serving myself and my partner, and eventually friends and family.
These acts, these rituals of mindfulness are called Sadhana. Sadhana means a spiritual practice- but when you begin to create sacred living as a way of life you are in fact living a spiritual practice in every moment.
Sadhana is living in the present moment, operating from the higher self. Creating daily ritual that does not just selfishly serve you but serves others.
Ways to incorporate Sadhana into your daily living:
Waking | Waking up mindfully with a prayer of gratitude before you leave the bed, repeating a meaningful mantra, reciting an affirmation.
Morning | Practice self care rituals in your morning routine to set your tone for the rest of the day. Create time to practice abhyanga, anoint yourself with oils, move your body through a yoga sequence.
Eating | Prepare your meals with a prayer, mantra, and gratitude. Give yourself time to not rush through meal preparation. Light a candle and bring mindfulness to every step of cooking- seeing the colors, smelling the fragrances, feeling the textures as you go. Set the table, eat slowly, enjoy those who dine with you, even if its the cat.
Coming Home | Decompress at the end of the day by creating a coming home ritual. Set this time to meditate and come into the present after a long day of work. Take this opportunity to get outside and do a walking meditation. A coming home ritual can be as simple as lighting a candle and expressing gratitude for a safe journey home.
Bedtime | Bathing, writing in a journal, reading a spiritual text, meditation, chanting mantra can all be a part of unwinding for the night.
The art of sadhana is simply bringing mindful awareness to the practices at hand. There is no auto pilot in sadhana, every action and practice is done in mindfulness and by remaining in the present. Every action becomes devotion to spirit and living a life of meaning.
Photo | Brooke Lark