Sadhana is a Yoga and Acroyoga practitioner. Acroyoga is a combination of Acrobatics and Yoga, and includes lifting poses often.
Sadhana found yoga to be intertwined with her roots as she was introduced to Bhakti Yoga from a very early age and her first encounter with yoga was at Sivananda Ashram in Kerala and little did she know back then that this experience will be a life changing experience for her.
Sivananda Ashram is located in Trivandrum and is surrounded by the natural beauty of Neyyar dam lake and beautiful coconut trees.
Let's learn more about Sadhana's journey in her own words. (You can follow Sadhana's journey here through her Instagram handle: @yogawithsadhana
How did you start your journey as an Ayurvedic practitioner?
Born and brought up in the chaos of old Delhi, India. I was drawn towards bhakti Yoga from a very early age, inspired by my Father I spent my summer vacations in gurdwaras doing seva, chanting and grasping what ancient scriptures talked about as a kid while all other children of my age group enjoyed playing outdoor games.
The seed for me was planted back then or even before (from the past lives).
I grew up seeing financial challenges throughout my childhood and started working right after my school. In my 2nd year of college my father passed away and I had the responsibility of my family so I continued doing the job I never enjoyed. I spent over about seven years working in different shifts, which was exhausting for my body, mind and soul, hence during that time I went through all sort of negative emotions from self hatred to self destruction.
Also read: Concept of Mental Health in Ayurveda
And after the bowl was filled to the brim I went on a quest to empty it.
It was year 2015 when I went through an emotional breakdown which had piled up for some years, I quit my job, left my family, started living a life of a nomad backpacker travelling solo in India trying to find the meaning of my existence. While everyone questioned my choices I trusted my inner voice and was ready to give it all to find my purpose of my life.
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And every time hearing the word "Yoga" kindled an unknown spark within me. But I wouldn't know until I get on the mat.
After exploring many religious pilgrimages, meditation techniques when I had my first encounter with Yoga in the divine ambience of Sivananda Ashram, in God’s own country Kerala. I had no clue that it is going to change my life completely.
A deep transformation took place over the course of over four years as I dedicated my life solely to Yoga, Meditation and self exploration.
What inspired you to take the path of Yoga?
It was an urge to change my physical and mental state that inspired me to take this path.
A huge emotional baggage that had manifested in my physical body (excess weight) and emotional body (depressive thoughts) and through Yoga I found clarity and a way to release all that was unnecessary and simultaneously working with things and people who resonated with me.
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The journey has been a liberating one.
Tell us what a typical day in the life of a Yoga practitioner looks like?
Everyday is simple yet challenging :
Having a proper routine (Dincharya) while keeping 5 points of yoga as daily sadhana :
1. Proper Breathing - I start my day with deep abdominal breathing in bed as soon as I wake up and conclude the day with the same , breathing meditation before I turn in.
2. Proper Exercise (Asana) - I make sure to do 2 hours of Asana each day. And managing classes and work around it.
3. Proper Diet - what you partake becomes the part of you , here I try to keep my doshas in mind and look after what I eat should be in favor as per my Ayurvedic Constitution and balanced diet.
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4. Proper Relaxation - Good rest is as important as every other thing so making sure to have good seven hours of sleep and avoid using mobile 1 hour before I get in my bed and give myself time to contemplate on my day, maintain my gratitude journal.
5. Proper Thinking - How you think, drives your vehicle, so being mindful of thought patterns, words and actions at all time comes naturally as self enquiry.
What keeps you motivated to do what you do?
It's the journey itself, each and everyday making time for that one thing which brings me closer to myself and makes me happy.
And the joy of exploring and sharing the tools of yoga and meditation for my own well being as well as others.
What are your three favorite healthy habits you practice regularly, taken from the philosophy of Ayurveda?
1. Following a Dincharya (routine) of waking up/sleeping and taking two meals on the same time as suggested in Ayurveda
2. Feeding the mind with some good reads as daily Svaydhya, the fourth niyama of Yoga philosophy.
3. Daily yogic Kriya ; Kapalabhati (as per ayurveda it balances my kapha dosha too) and Nauli to strengthen the abdominal muscles and massage the intestines.
Nauli is one of the kriyas or shatkarma from yoga. The exercise helps in the cleaning of the abdominal region - digestive organs, small intestine- and is based on a massage of the internal belly organs by a circular movement of the abdominal muscles.
How do you think Ayurveda and Yoga relate to one another? How can the awareness of both be increased?
Ayurveda and Yoga goes hand in hand.
Yoga asanas tone every area of the body, and cleanse the internal organs of toxins, which is one of the goals of Ayurveda. A practitioner aims to cleanse the nadis, or channels, and balance the tri gunas (sattva, rajas, tamas) with different asanas and pranayama but trying to do that without using the ayurvedic principles for removing ama (digestive impurities) or practicing without the knowledge of one's prakriti (tri doshas) is like hopping on one leg.
Also read: Take this quiz to Find Your Guna
That's why traditional yoga schools have always taught Ayurvedic principles as well as Yoga asanas, because the two are so interdependent.
Social media is a great tool to reach out people to create awareness about these tools of well being or I personally feel that Yoga and Ayurveda which is the art/science and true wisdom of life should be taught as academics in schools so from an early age.
What is your message to all Ayurveda, Spiritual, Yoga, and Healthy-living enthusiasts?
Give this body and mind the right nourishment it needs.
As a yoga student the most important lesson for me has been acceptance and trust.
Acceptance of this body, mind and all of life that bring across us and welcoming everything with the trust in the heart as Nothing happens TO us, but FOR us !
Which Amrutam product would you love to try?
That's kind of you , I'd definitely like to try some hair and face care products :)
Rediscovering Ayurveda is Amrutam’s series of blogs wherein we interview various men and women for their views on Ayurveda. Even though, India is the birthplace of Ayurveda, with passing time it has lost its original importance as a school of life. Indians now refer to it as a school of medicine. Certainly, Ayurveda is much more than that.
So, we at Amrutam have decided to find out what Ayurveda means to people in the present day.
This is the eighteenth article in Amrutam’s series of articles called Rediscovering Ayurveda, which aims to understand the idea or perception that modern-day men and women have about Ayurveda.
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