I have not yet researched where the Sanskrit word sadhana might have first appeared, even though I tend to enjoy etymology. I was first exposed to the word in reading Iyengar’s Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
Sadhana has come to be associated with “a spiritual practice.” I prefer Iyengar’s definition of a methodical, sequential means to accomplish one’s aim in life.
I define sadhana as the things I do intentionally and with regularity right now to be the best me, tweaked over time — my beloved scientific method applied to myself.
My yoga practice is not my sadhana. It is simply part of my sadhana, right now and for as long as it serves me.
There are no short-term goals associated with my sadhana. It is simply the system I follow with the ultimate goal being able to look back and say I am content with the man I became.
It is a practice. The practice is not about achieving any level of success but simply doing the things I’ve set out to do. There is no audience to perform for here. It is just me and my practice.
Here are some aspects of the current state of my sadhana:
An intention to do yoga daily. I have both an Ashtanga yoga practice and a very healing, meditative Hatha yoga routine.
An intention to read daily, if only a snack of a paragraph or two. Hopefully I find something I find profound to note or share.
An intention to write an essay every 10 days or so based on whatever comes to mind.
Being intentional about not only spending time with, but being present with the ones I love and lead. My mantra for this is prioritizing humans.
I practice not responding immediately to any information that elicits an uncomfortable emotional response. I then check my motivations for responding, and respond only if necessary.
I attempt to maintain a tidy home. This is a struggle for me as my brain tends to live elsewhere in the problems I’m trying to solve.
Maintaining sobriety is always a practice.
Most of these things take a relatively small amount of time, yet can feel like fighting a battle to adhere to my own intentions.
But if I could do it all perfectly, it wouldn’t be called “practice.”
As always thank you for letting me share.