My teacher dropped the s-word into class this week. Sādhana. He glossed it as ‘daily devotional practice’ or something like that. Then he tried to qualify this, to restate it, perhaps wanting to soften the definition somehow. I don’t know, I’m just guessing from how I remember it.
I sometimes wonder how many people in my class do practice daily. I never hear anyone talk about their home practice, only about which classes they attend. And there’s the inevitable 30-day challenge tracker in the hallway with the rules stated at the bottom — that classes of only an hour’s duration don’t count… I guess home practice wouldn’t count either. Perhaps keeping up one’s personal sādhana is not worth celebrating. Or perhaps it just doesn’t need tracking! I don’t mean to criticise either the studio or my fellow yogis. I get that a studio needs to encourage regular attendance and I understand that yoga for many of us is something of a recreational or social activity, whatever else it might also be.
But I got wondering about all this during a phone call with my mum today. She’s still thinking (sooo much thinking!) about her yoga practice and whether she wants to continue. Today’s conclusion was that she’s ‘not committed enough’ to carry on. In a bit of classic ‘all or nothing thinking’ she believes that attending a weekly class isn’t commitment enough and that if she can’t manage more than that she might as well give up. This seems an enormous amount of guilt and a weight of expectation, all relating to a practice that is fundamentally rooted in compassion!
And that’s just some thinking about ‘daily’. Never mind ‘devotional’….