Have you been thinking of your new years resolution for 2012? I wonder why we place so much emphasis on them? Since starting a serious yoga practice several years ago, I’ve stopped putting so much importance on new years resolutions. After all, every 6 weeks or 3 months, I choose a new meditation practice for myself, so essentially it’s like a new years resolution all over again.
However.. I can’t help but miss the feeling that the New Year will commence with a fresh resolve and a renewed way of thinking so this year I have decided that I want to start the new year with a brand new sadhana. The literal translation for ‘sadhana’ is conscious spiritual practice so essentially one could choose anything as their sadhana, from a meditation, a physical practice, even a resolve to abstain from either sex, alcohol or coffee for a period of time.
The idea behind having a sadhana is so that you can decrease a negative type of thinking such as fear or anger, or increase and develop a particular strength such as your confidence or patience. Sadhana is a daily spiritual practice as the daily practice of meditation and mantra is one of the most thorough ways for cleaning the subconscious corridors of your mind. Having a daily sadhana is a cleansing practice. To experience liberation we have to expand our awareness beyond the limitations of our individual consciousness and doing the same physical practice and meditation every day for 40 days or more allows the empowering shifting of our blocks to take place.
There are certain times of the day that are most potent for meditation as its easier to concentrate before the hustle and bustle of the day begins. According to Kundalini Yoga being awake to receive the first solar energy of the day is very important. The 2.5 hours before and after sunrise when the sun is at a 60 degree angle to the earth allows for maximum results.
You know that fresh renewed feeling you have after a holiday? That feeling of being clear like you could achieve all the goals that you set out for yourself? For me personally, that feeling goes away far too quickly once I settle back into my daily work routine. By the 2nd week of January, Christmas seems like it happened in October the year before
In order to avoid this, I have decided to begin my new year with my personal sadhana for 40 days, which is roughly 6 weeks. 40 days is a sacred number that is used across many different cultures and even religions. According to Ancient Yoga Scriptures, it takes 40 days to change a habit, 90 days to confirm a habit, 120 days so that the new habit is who you are and after 1000 days, you have mastered the habit.
If you’re already over committed and feel like this is too much, think of it in a different way. Isn’t the burden of carrying around your fears and insecurities already too much? Surely setting a few minutes a day aside each day to focus on your goal, harness your energy and reprogram your cellular memory is more like an investment in your happiness?
According to the science of Kundalini Yoga, meditating either silently, with a mantra, or with a positive affirmation for specific periods of time alters your mind’s consciousness.
3 mins – affects the electromagnetic field and circulation & stability of the blood
5 mins – brain patterns begin to shift & the magnetic field surrounding the body strengthens
11 mins – changes the nerves and the glandular system
22 mins – the positive, negative and neutral mind work together to clear the subconscious
31 mins – allows the gland, breath and concentration to affect all the rhythms of the body. Endocrine secretions are completely balanced
62 mins – changes the grey matter in the brain. The frontal lobe gets stimulated as do the pituitary and pineal glands
2.5 hours – changes the psyche so that shifts continue throughout the day and are reflected by positive changes in your mood and behaviour.
As you can see, setting aside even 5 minutes a day will help you manifest enormous shifts. If you’ve never meditated before and find it difficult to sit still for long period of time, start your practice with a 5 minute breath meditation so that your body begins to feel comfortable with stillness and repetition of sound in conjunction to your breath. You’ll find that soon enough, you will begin to feel comfortable sitting for longer periods of time.
What is your new years resolution for 2012? Do you have something special that you’re hoping to manifest?