‘Sadhana’ is a huge part of your Kundalini Yoga journey, but there are always a ton of questions that come up. (If you’re not sure what sadhana is, click here to visit out post: What is Sadhana?)
A few notes about commitment
Much of the benefit of completing a sadhana has nothing to do with the practice itself: it comes from making a commitment to yourself and following-through with that commitment.
That’s because, in order to follow-through with your 40, 90, or 1,000 day commitment, you’ll have to overcome some of the habitual thinking of your mind. This this gives you an opportunity to learn what beliefs and thoughts are preventing you from being happy.
If you have additional questions, just let me know at jen@HeartCenteredRevolution.com.
Should I practice in the morning or evening?
This question is kind of like asking: is it better to eat a Kale salad or an Spinach salad? The answer is that both are great, but technically speaking Kale has more nutritional value than Spinach.
When it comes to your practice- there is no bad time to practice, however doing your practice during the 2.5 hours before the sun rises (roughly 4:30-7am) is going to make it easier to connect yourself to the Infinite, giving you a deeper practice that you’ll benefit from all day.
What should I do if I miss a day?
First, don’t beat yourself up. Remind yourself that failing to follow-through with your commitment is a great way to learn more about yourself and to build character.
Then, take an honest look at what got in your way so you can identify and overcome that barrier the next time. (Maybe you make the mistake I make of committing to too many things, or making my commitments unrealistic).
The next day resume your practice, and that will be your new Day 1. This may seem punitive, but if you were to continue counting after skipping a day, you’ll be cheating yourself and having integrity with yourself is more important than completing your sadhana a few days or weeks earlier.
On the other hand, if you start over and complete your 40 consecutive days, you’ll learn that you can trust yourself and it will boost your confidence and self-worth.
With this process, sometimes it takes a few months before you complete a consecutive 40-day practice and that is okay! The person who has to start over a couple times is likely to learn a lot more about themselves than someone who easily completes all 40 days on their first try.
What if I get sick during my 40-day sadhana?
When you’re sick is a great time to modify your practice. You don’t want to tax yourself too much, but oftentimes we get sick to help clear something we are holding onto in our body, so it can be helpful to still do a version of your sadhana. To modify for being sick, you can cut times down, or you can visualize yourself doing your kriya, and you can chant silently to yourself for the meditation.
Can I mix alcohol or drugs with my practice?
No! It’s important that you’re sober while physically doing your practice. Ideally you would eliminate any recreational substances that affect your level of consciousness entirely during your sadhana as substances dull or lower consciousness, while your practice is meant to raise it.
But, if you have a glass of wine at dinner or smoke weed during the day and still need to do your practice, give yourself enough time between ingesting the substance and practicing so that you’re not impaired while practicing. (Disclaimer: If you regularly use alcohol and plan to stop using for a sadhana, consult a doctor as alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous even if it doesn’t seem like you’re drinking that much).
What about prescribed meditations?
If you have prescribed meditation, continue taking them as prescribed by your doctor. Don’t use sadhana to replace prescribed meditations. We recommend adding yoga and meditation to your current regimen, and then consult with a doctor regarding any changes in medication that you want to make.
What if I cry or have another strong emotion during sadhana?
Strong emotions commonly come up during a regular Kundalini Yoga practice. These are often emotions that have been stored in the body and never fully experienced or processed. Feeling them during a practice is a releasing that will help you feel better in the long run, but sometimes it can be overwhelming or confusing while it’s happening.
Try to take deep breaths and observe what is happening, letting the emotions come up and out. Don’t try to stifle them. You can even ask the emotion if it has a lesson or a message for you. You also may want to journal after an emotional sadhana so you can gain some insight about the emotions themselves.
What if I see lights, get dizzy, or have physical sensations during sadhana?
There are channels of energy running through your body, and Kundalini Yoga helps to open those channels and balance the energy that is flowing through them. If you see lights with your eyes closed or feel physical sensations, it is likely the opening and balancing of these pathways that you’re experiencing. Many people mistake these experiences as visions, Spiritual experiences, or think they are sensing the Kundalini energy rising. Just observe your experiences and continue coming back to your practice. Try not to get attached to the experiences, or letting your ego turn them into the goal of your practice.
Other notes: if you get dizzy slow your breath down and take a break from the exercise you’re doing. Of course, if you see lights, feel dizzy, or experience pain that is troubling you, speak with a doctor to ensure there is not more physical explanation like an injury or hormone/ vitamin imbalance.
We hope this answered your major questions about sadhana. If you’d like to start a sadhana and want some support, click here to sign-up for our FREE 10-Days of Kirtan Kriya program.