3 Benefits Of Daily Sadhana Practice
Sadhana generally refers to spiritual practices that help us reconnect to our divine nature on a daily basis. It can also mean any practice that we regularly perform in order to attain a particular goal. Typically, sadhana includes daily breathing, yoga, exercise, and meditation practices that harmonize and benefit our body, mind, and soul. Sadhana practices will support any health-oriented or spiritual path that you are on. It’s based on ancient principles and the science of the breath and the healthy flow of prana (vital life force energy). Since prana is the pivot point between body and mind, regulating prana automatically harmonizes our body and mind and leads to greater physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. If you currently have a daily sadhana practice and are happy with it, then by all means stick with it.
But you should definitely experiment with various practices and find the simplest ones that resonate with you.
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Sadhana practices help:
- Harmonize our body and mind
- Decrease habitual imbalances
- Regulate our flow of prana
- Calm our mind and nervous system
- Relax our body
- Enhance immune function
- Improve digestion
- Improve sleep
- Allow us to be more present
- Enhance concentration and Improve mood
- Aid detoxification of body and mind
- Connect to our divine nature and life purpose
When we regularly connect to our innate wisdom, which is our natural state, we naturally achieve greater health in our body and mind. Sadhana works best when integrated into our daily routine, offering well-being and sanity for a lifetime.
Ayurvedic principle: Subtle precedes gross
One of the fundamental principles of ayurveda (knowledge of life) is that subtle precedes gross. Whatever occurs on the subtle level will eventually manifest on the gross physical level—if the occurrence on the subtle level continues long enough.
Subtle influences cause both health and disease. Physical ailments and authentic long lasting healing both begin on the subtle plane. For example, to build a house from scratch, you first have the idea to build, followed by the vision, a plan or blueprint, and the collection of the materials and workers you need. Once the plan is clear and the materials and workers are ready, the physical manifestation of the original “subtle” idea of the house can begin to manifest. In this example, the idea of the house is on the subtle platform. The final product of the finished house is on the gross platform. If the subtle planning phase of the house has serious faults, the gross structure of the house will be significantly compromised.
Everything that exists, good and bad, begins on the subtle plane. When the subtle plane exhibits consistently imbalanced thinking and energy, negative symptoms must eventually appear on the physical or gross plane of existence.
Alternatively, balanced and empowering activities and thoughts on the subtle plane have a positive impact on the body and mind. Sadhana, which directly works with our subtle energies—the elements, prana/chi, and the subtle body—has extremely healing effects. Many sadhana practices recommended in the have benefited humanity for thousands of years and continue to do so for practitioners all over the world.
Three Types of Exercises
Ayurveda speaks of three different types of exercise: internal, external, and mixed (internal and external). Incorporating all three into your life nourishes and balances not only your body, but your mind and spirit as well.
Internal exercise is most subtle, acting immediately on the subtle plane. Examples include:
- Pranayama (breathing exercises)
- Japa or mantra meditation
- Yin and gentle forms of yoga
- Tai chi Qigong
Attention is directed internally and focuses on the mind, subtle body, meridians (chi energy channels), nadis, and pranic flows of energy. Either very little or no external movement is required for internal exercise; however, there is a great deal of subtle movement that occurs within. Internal exercise works directly with the subtle elements (mind, intelligence, ego, consciousness). It balances vata dosha (ayurveda air element), regulates prana, and supports the nervous system. It decreases stress and anxiety while enhancing peace and calmness. Through the inward attention of internal exercise, the potential for soul awareness arises.
External exercise is purely physical and focuses on muscles and bones as well as the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Its purpose is to achieve greater physical strength, expand lung capacity, and improve cardiovascular health and endurance. Its other benefits include stress reduction and detoxification. Some examples of external exercises include:
- Weight lifting
- Competitive sports
- Strenuous yoga
Mixed exercise is a combination of internal and external exercise and includes such practices as:
- Hatha yoga
- Kundalini yoga
- Some forms of martial arts
- Meditative walking or jogging
- Meditative swimming
- A combination of yoga, pranayama, and meditation
Mixed exercise incorporates mindfulness and inner awareness along with physical exercise and movements.
Based on the principle of subtle precedes gross, subtle exercise has the most powerful and long-lasting benefits because it harmonizes our body, mind, and soul. It can also be practiced for our entire lives and will benefit and nourish us even at the moment of death. Mixed exercise is an ideal combination of internal and external. It sufficiently strengthens our physical body while balancing and healing our subtle body.
Sadhana helps integrate our inner and outer aspects. It therefore supports us in becoming fully integrated human beings. Ultimately, its ideal to include all three types of exercise, but the emphasis is always placed on mixed and internal in order to nourish your body, mind and soul! You and your life are worth it!
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