Beyond Asana: My Goal

For my second experiment I aimed to deepen my personal sadhana practice. I have always known that yoga is more than just an asana practice, but fell short on incorporating Pranayama into my own practice. I avoided Pranayama because I was not comfortable meditating alone, and questioned if I was even doing it correctly. When we practiced sadhana during class I always left feeling content, clear minded and at ease, I decided I wanted to cultivate these positive outcomes into my own everyday life.

Prior to this experiment my yoga practice consisted of getting up at 5 a.m. oil pulling, a gentle oil massage, shower and then 30-45 minutes of asana practice followed by 5-10 minutes of mediation. I had to be finished with this whole routine by 6:20 a.m. so I would have time to get ready and off to work. Some days if I were running late or if I felt inspired to add more asana or take longer holds the first thing to go was my pranayam practice. On the days when I did have adequate time to mediate I was unable to get comfortable and found myself thinking about everything I had to do that day. I would tell myself I would sit for at least try for 10-20 minutes, but would be so restless after 5 minutes I stopped trying.

I was aware that needed more time to meditate, but figured at least I was doing everything thing else in my routine, so what was the harm in not meditating. After sharing this issue with a teacher, he suggested I work primarily on my sadhana practice and leave out my asana practice. Therefore, I hypothesized if I devoted my morning routine strictly to sadhana I could deepen this part of my practice and add it together with the asana practice later on. I also hypothesized that a consistent personal sadhana practice would welcome the same peace and mindfulness I achieved during our class sadhanas.