I have found this Sadhana to be quite different/challenging due to the pranayama practice Uddiyana Bandha. I have had difficulty with the throat constriction feeling so I have been trying to focus on my belly during that part, which I find sometimes helps. I usually practice either golden thread or ujayi breath after to feel calm again as it Uddiyana Bandha make me feel unsettled. The mantra has been beautiful, I preferred practicing it out loud than internal so I have been doing half the mala instead, whilst channeling universal healing. Yin postures have become part of my daily Sadhana also, which I am finding so lovely to practice first thing in the morning. I have been doing a lot of deep reflections on my yoga practice prior to now and I am continuously reassured through my Sadhana that I am exactly where I am meant to be 🙂 x
This month’s Sadhana has felt so simple, gentle and nurturing. I don’t feel pressured at all to do my practice at a certain time of the day and find I can easily modify my practice when needed. I’ve practiced both morning and night, and both options offer a different physical, emtional and energentic experience which has been interesting to explore. I love the cleansing breath practice as an alternative to Uddiyana Bandha breath. It’s extremely cleansing, some days I do more rounds of it depending on how I am feeling and what my body needs to let go of. I’ve also been including more yin poses into my daily practice which has felt incredible in my body. I now crave that sweet release on the daily!
This sadhana has been both beautiful and challenging… it has not been something I have practiced everyday…some days it is the whole practice, other days it has been split practice and other days it has just been a part of the practice. I did not resonate with the mantra, but I feel it will be something I will circle back to and absolutely love.
When the days I have practiced my sadhana I am grateful I have carved out the time to take that time to show up for myself because it has made all the difference in my day. This month I have struggled with the feeling of being a ‘bad student’ and not being capable of showing every day. But it is something I have been working on.
At our Asana clinic I said how much I loved the Sadhana thinking overall it was feeling great. Reading back through my reflections, what a month of changes that I didn’t really notice until looking back (benefit of reflection right there!!). For the first few weeks Agni Saura Dhauti & Uddiyana Bandha were almost easy, this last week I noticed that sometimes they were shorter & the throat constriction was almost instant and quite strong. I was halving mantra & meditation between morning & evening, then found completing the full 108 rounds of buddha mantra in the evening resonated more so. A lot of evenings flowed into some yin & restorative.
I had lots of headaches during the month & found my digestive system to be working better. Lots of different sensations through my body that I will continue to explore.
This last month has been quite extraordinary for me. I found myself experiencing a tsunami of emotions, excess stress and anxiety which were manifesting in my body in all kinds of overwhelming ways. I modified my plan for my Sadhana practice to support what I truly needed, to provide myself with more comfort and support whilst I further investigated the layers of imbalance I was experiencing. I took a good break from work, travelled back home, connected with family and friends and a Naturopath.
Although I felt my efforts at showing up for myself in this sadhana were far from perfect, I tried to remind myself of all I am learning, and best to apply that to myself. Of all the components I was most drawn to the mantra. This was soothing and beautiful and I was able to sit with this silently when so often in other people’s company. I felt the healing qualities for myself and was able to share that healing thought and energy with family who have fallen ill during this time.
I really love that I can already recognise aspects that will stay with me in practice and that I have so much at my fingertips to return to, expand on and share should I wish to. Feeling so grateful.
Well, a month or so ago, I’d built my proverbial, spiritual house up to lock up, even though I’d still been finding it hard to create a daily, routine sadhana practice. It was nevertheless a regular, irregular practice! However this last practice resonated much more strongly with me. The deep, cleansing breath exercises and singing mantra with a mala really settled me into my silent meditation. I explored the breaths standing and in tabletop as well as different ways of saying mantra- quietly, silently or aloud. I had preferences but it really depended on the day. I found myself waking up much earlier and floating to my little space to start my practice with ease. And I made a commitment to myself to make sure I didn’t miss a day, including keeping on top of my reflections. Around the end of March I was ready to extend my little house further and I’d started shopping around for solar providers! Little did I know as I jauntily stepped into April, that Esoterical Cyclone Samskara was heading my little house’s way. She was a doozy, house was totally stripped to it’s bones, clearly there had been need for much more fortification! Despite personal dramas (loooong road trip and some mild intergenerational conflict) and their irritating physical manifestations (won’t bore you with details), some semblance of a practice was maintained during a stressful ‘vacation’, mostly the breath practices and as many mala beads I could get through before my attention was needed else where. Although, I did make sure I held a complete practice for myself before lengthy car journey’s which gave me a sense of security. A point of note is that in my rush to have some peace with the mantra, I spent less time consecrating my practice and space – and I think there’s a lot to learn from that! Now I’m settling back into my slightly hectic, but basically happy home life. There’s a few vestigial samskaras that seem to be lingering, but thankfully there’s a lot of new and positive habits that seem to guide me back to self and ground me in the present. So I guess it’s been a little two steps forward, one step back – but we’re still ahead 🙂
PS. With regards to Andy’s asana clinic questions, throughout my yoga journey, the teachers that have inspired me most have managed to challenge me a little/lot further with a forgiving environment and a healthy balance between humour and discipline, as well as showing some evidence of their own personal attitude to practice.
And regarding exploring all points of contact. When vertical in either sitting, standing or kneeling, I feel I can draw energy from the earth and the ether much easier but it’s tiring and certain aches, pains or staying balanced can be either a point of distraction or for that matter a point of focus! Lying in supine or prone is in many ways the dream which I guess presents problems in itself. Having as much of my physical body connected to the physical ground feels nourishing, inviting and effortless. They are definitely my favourite at this point of my life but it is easy to drift off and lose focus altogether.
I really enjoyed this Sadhana practice. It felt simple and while I broke it up doing the breath work in the morning and the mantra and meditation at night it felt right for me. There were some days where I couldn’t do the breath work ( I also added breath of fire to start my days with this Sadhana) I just felt I would be sick even though I had an empty bell. I really wanted to listen to my body with this and even though I felt a bit of guilt for not doing it I knew it was right choice for me. I often got lost in the mantra and I’m not sure how much longer I stayed with that mantra which I believe to be beautiful and will bring back into my practice later. I felt like his Sadhana had me feeling like I was more in control up until this past week or so where I had things pop up and challenge me, I’m going to keep showing up and keep pushing through.
I feel this new sensation that arises straight after medicine buddha mantra and I am always intrigued by it. I tried to draw meaning about it but that now fades away, now I just sit with that sensation attaching no meaning to it, all I know is that the longer I experience it the more comfort I am in its presence. The awakening of the shifts of vibrations within draws me to feel the vibration surrounding me. I am connected to everything around me. I breath with the trees and birds. My breath is not my breath, as it does not belong to me. I share the air with everything that is me because I am made up as everything and we are all one.
I initially found the practice quite challenging as it brought up a bit of emotion that I was not expecting. Once that settled I found the practice quite grounding, and introspective at the same time. I Also found the practice left me feeling very peaceful that feeling radiating from my belly. I still do my practice first thing in the morning – it’s just a part of my morning routine, my life now. I was doing the mantra as I walked around my garden and time just fell away. I still practice my meditation in the afternoon or sometimes at night if something else is needed to be done in the afternoon.
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