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June 23 2024 Reflecting On My Yoga Sadhana: Embracing and Navigating Change, Revolved Lunge (Parivrtta Anjaneyasana) and making Abbie's Spinach Strawberry Salad





Yesterday I was reading some work I did around a 30-Day Living Yoga Sadhana in 2019 during my yoga teacher training. A yoga sadhana is a spiritual yoga practice that sets aside regular time for people to work on themselves, discover their life’s purpose and live as they desire. We did this for 30 days and wrote about it. While all the details may not be appropriate to share, the experience and sentiments possibly are. It was with trepidation that I read what I wrote.  Through my sadhana practice, I wrote that I understood that I wanted to live the rest of my life as a person who lived life a bit more gracefully, with peace, and wanted to find more simple joy in my days. I acknowledged that I needed to make some changes.  I assessed my current state and contemplated the negative samskaras that I had been repeating.

 

Loosely translated, samskaras are brain imprints that develop early in life and can be positive or negative and manifest in habitual behaviors/tendencies. Many of these focused on interactions with my family and conflicts I was experiencing with my job as a banker. On the positive side, I found a passion for learning in my yoga study (readings, philosophy, history) that I had not felt since earlier in my professional banking career.  As I read this yesterday, I reflected on where I was at the time I wrote it and where I am today.  The trepidation I admitted to earlier was a concern that as I read, I would discover that five years later, I had not moved forward in my practice. Happily, I discovered that I feel comfortable in the progress I have made, but also acknowledge that there is still work to be done. Part of this goal will become easier as I move into retirement (from my day gig) at the end of this week.

 

Through sustained focus and meditation on our patterns, habits, and conditioning, we gain knowledge and understanding of our past and of how we can change the patterns that aren’t serving us to live more freely and fully. — Patanjali, Yoga Sutra III.18

 

We all have samskaras both positive and negative, it is how we choose to manage them, especially the negative ones, that matters. As Sri Krishnamacharya said, “yoga is the process of replacing old patterns with new more appropriate patterns”. We plant seeds in our mind and, given enough cultivation, they flourish. We create limiting beliefs and we develop knee jerk reactions to situations that keep us from fully being our best selves. I am going to share a little (edited) bit of the road map I wrote for myself after my sadhana which may be helpful to you in your yogic journey.

 

  • Make space to start each day with a little meditation whether it be walking or sitting and enjoying a few peaceful moments. Each day find something to be grateful for and say it out loud (to myself).

  • Transcend negativity.  Try to practice non-engagement when others revisit time worn grudges and gripes. Do not engage in unproductive or mean-spirited banter. Treat everyone as mature adults and expect that they will do the same (even when they don’t).

  • Give your work and other commitments 100%, learn to walk away after that to have.

  • Hug your loved ones, don’t treat them like hired help, say thank you.

  • Make space to practice yoga every day, even if only for 10 minutes.

  • Burn up the samskara of wishing certain people were different, embrace the good and practice nonattachment on the negative.  We cannot control what others say or do but only how we react.

  • Make space to be in nature every day.

 

As I read through what I wrote (and edited out some of the more embarrassing admissions), I am filled with such gratitude for where my yoga journey has brought me. I am so grateful for all of you that read this and/or practice with me. That is a gift that brings me the joy I seek.


For more reading on yoga sadhna and samskaras, I have a few links to articles I especially enjoyed.

 

 

 

Note on picture above: My YTT friends will tell you I have the book in the picture above, Desikachar's Heart of Yoga, memorized. They are partially correct.😂😅😂

 

Our Practice – Change with Revolved Low Lunge (Parivrtta Anjaneyasana)

 

When practicing revolved lunge (low with knee down or high with knee raised) we envision reaching north, south, east and west finding our best selves!

From Down Dog, step your right foot forward between your hands, place your right ankle under your right knee, lift your left inner thigh up, and extend through your left heel.

 

Keep your left hand to your mat or a block underneath the left shoulder and reach the right arm up to the sky.

 

Lengthen the left side of your waist forward and keep lifting your left inner thigh up. Get as much length as you can from your left heel to the crown of your head, and as much length from your left hand to your right fingertips. Take your gaze toward your right hand.  


Alternatively, left knee can be on the mat.

 

 

Meditating – On Change

 



Your life is a sacred journey. It is about change, growth, discovery, movement, transformation, continuously expanding your vision of what is possible, stretching your soul, learning to see clearly and deeply, listening to your intuition, taking courageous challenges at every step along the way. You are on the path… exactly where you are meant to be right now… And from here, you can only go forward, shaping your life story into a magnificent tale of triumph, of healing, of courage, of beauty, of wisdom, of power, of dignity, and of love.  ~ Caroline Adams

 

Nurturing with Food – Abbie’s Strawberry and Spinach Salad

 



I have featured this recipe on the blog before, it was created by me to bring to my friend Barbara’s daughter Abbie’s bridal shower several years ago. Like Abbie, it combines the perfect blend of sweet and salty! Since Abbie just had a beautiful baby girl (Eloise the adorable), and it is the end of strawberry season, it seemed the perfect time to post it again. And Congratulations Abbie!!!

 

 



See you on the mat,

Namaste,

Julia Anne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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