It happened on Thursday.
It was the end of the week, as here in New Zealand we celebrate Waitangi Day on February 6th which was Friday last week.
I finished work and met my partner at his workplace to catch a ride up to his boss’s house to get our car. His boss lives on top of a hill with panoramic views of Wellington, and he invited us in for a drink on the patio. A couple of wines and some conversation later, it was back to our house for a much needed meal.
And then, pleasantly relaxed after a couple of glasses of wine, and satiated after a satisfying meal, I realised I hadn’t done my sadhana. And it was edging toward bedtime. With a slight buzz remaining from the alcohol, and a full stomach from the meal, I was faced with a choice. Either I sat up and waited until my stomach was empty and the alcohol had processed through my system. Or I went to bed without doing my sadhana.
Day 35! Only five days left to go! How could I have let this happen!
I was loving the daily discipline of my sadhana, and finding it so easy to fit into my daily life. So easy that I’d become complacent… and as a result, missed day 35. And with the way it works when you’re doing a Forty Day Sadhana… that means I have to start all over again.
As I lay in bed contemplating this “failure”, I watched the thoughts generated, of judgment and failure… and let them go. Whatever. So I made it to day 35. I’ll just start again. No big deal. Stuff happens. There was a calm sense of acceptance, and without energy to feed their whispers, the thoughts soon melted away.
The last week or so of the sadhana, I’d been struggling with feeling breathless. I often needed to revert just to breathing in between the stomach pumps and mantra. Yet I noticed after the missed day… the sadhana seemed easier. I made it all the way through without having to take any extra breaths.
This week is teacher training with Twee Merrigan, and it’s going to be a very busy, yoga-filled week. So, I’ve decided that while I may do the sadhana if I have time, I’m going to officially start my forty day sadhana after the teacher training. Looking back, even though I didn’t complete this forty day round, I’ve noticed the most amazing benefits. I feel like I’ve burned through so much conditioning and samskara that just wasn’t serving me anymore. My ability to witness has increased, and I find myself about to see life as it is much easier.
So this is the last post on this sadhana. If you’ve been following along, I encourage you to start a sadhana of your own – simply a forty day spiritual practice. Sodarchan Chakra Kriya has been ideal for me at this stage in my life, but you may find something else that calls to you – maybe something as simple as committing to five sun salutations every day for forty days.
I know that my experience on Day 35 has shown me the importance of a morning practice, and of being constantly aware of priorities. It’s also reminded me that it’s the daily process and our attitude that matters far more than success or failure.
As I remind my students in balancing postures – we fall out because we’re human, we get back in because we’re yogis. I’ve fallen out, and next week, I’ll be getting back in.
Read the final post in the series: