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My Standing Date (a Love Affair) with Sadhana

By Savitree Kaur

Sadhana is my love. As with all loves, I have my ups and downs with him. But this is true love, and I don’t expect a break-up happening anytime soon.

I find Sadhana extremely nourishing and informative. Committing to Sadhana daily is like having a teacher-friend with me by my side at all times. Honoring Sadhana for what he is, and meeting him there from where I am, accelerates the blossoming of an everlasting relationship that strengthens trust, commitment and the ability to listen and respond lovingly.

He quickly turns a spiritual practice into an immediate, practical-use, life-altering tool that is incredibly effective for day-to-day living.

He became a daily non-negotiable in my life pretty quickly. My date with Sadhana happens every morning at 4:30 am. Sometimes I am late (sometimes early!), and there have been occasions when I kept him waiting until later in the day. Sadhana is more challenging to meet with when that happens, and it feels to me like it takes more effort to get in flow with him.

He says it’s me, and I think he’s just cranky for being made to wait. I don’t always enjoy our time together, and when this happens I fake it, because I am told Yogi Bhajan said, "Fake it ‘til you make it." So sometimes I do fake it, and Sadhana doesn’t seem to mind. I think he knows though.

He reflects back how I relate to everything. During date morning, I become very aware of the lifestyle choice that made it more difficult to flow with him, and this awareness offers me a chance to make adjustments. My lifestyle supports Sadhana, and Sadhana supports my life.

In a nutshell, he is always there waiting, and I merely need to show up and be present to our time together and give it all I’ve got, remembering to honor myself in the process. Then he reciprocates with insight, clarity, and both inner and outer strength. It’s a real, two-way relationship with lots of upside.

What do we do for date morning?

Chant. This gives me an excuse to sing, which I almost instantly learned that I love. And he seems to love listening to me. Chanting brings me joy, and it opens up my heart and strengthens my throat center (which helps me express myself), among other things. And it takes me into realms outside of my head and into the depths of my heart. I find it more accessible than silent meditation, visualization and pranayam because these take more mental discipline than I sometimes have.

Mantra slowly replaces the thoughts that ruminate in my mind, making me less neurotic. I chant during my date, and often I continue to chant while I drive, cook, and pick up around the house, taking Sadhana with me into my day. I find a version of mantra that I love and I chant that version until I am totally sick of it. Then I move on to another. The more I do this, the more Sadhana downloads and shares all sorts of incredible insights.

Kriyas. These are basically moving meditations. While I do my yoga, he dares me to throw out duality and find that space of neutrality and surrender. Like the Olympic trainer that he is, he puts me under a pressure cooker and pushes me beyond my comfort zone. Often he irritates me. It is no spa, but with regular practice—and it happens faster than you might think—he helps turn the world into one (or at least into a much more palatable version of life than I had been experiencing).

On cold showers and Japji: While I would love to show up for date morning bright-eyed and refreshed with my circulation and nervous system revved up and ready to go, I can’t always say that I do. When I do, though, the cold shower is like the fountain of youth, washing away anything that might make me think I’m aging. Japji, our love song, and the way that we come together every morning, is truly the Song of the Soul. These two practices are a whole other level of commitment and surrender that are worth beyond their weight in gold.

Why Sadhana:

The way I live the Kundalini Yoga lifestyle is that I make it mine; I make it work for me. And Sadhana enables me to find, and speak with, God. With Sadhana backing me up, I say to God, “Okay, I am doing my part now, and I will do my part off the mat. Now you do yours!” I end with a request that I may be a channel for service and healing to this world. Sadhana is my personal reference that tells God, “Yeah, it’s your turn, you owe her.”

I didn’t find Kundalini Yoga because I want to immerse myself into something outside of me. I found it because I was seeking my own Truth; because I was looking to feel completely whole and aligned in my beliefs, thoughts, words, actions, and life—because I believe that this wholeness will bring me happiness, health and true prosperity. And it is only this that will inspire others to do the same—heal, excel and pay it forward.

I honor Kundalini Yoga for what it is: an incredible technology that, as Yogi Bhajan said, “pokes, provokes and uplifts.” Sadhana, to me, is the key ingredient for getting to know mySelf.

Savitree Kaur is co-founder of Urban Yoga Chicago. Through UYC, her mission is to deliver an experience of connection and share tools to access one’s inner strength & wisdom. She is also founder of blissful hOMe, creator of essential-oil based home cleaning products whose mission is to transform the way people experience cleaning to one that uplifts and connects to one’s space, both inside and out. http://www.urbanyogachicago.org/savitree-kaur-doppelt.html