Among many spiritual practices, there is one word that stands out as authentic. This word is Sadhana. To me, it means a practice that one does on a daily basis to hold and honor the inner light that we all have. It can be as simple as repeating a prayer, a mantra for a specific number of times. It can be taking five conscious breaths the moment you wake up and then again in the evening just before you lay your head on the pillow. It can be more complex as doing a particular meditation at the same time every day of the week. Each of these activities carry there own individual benefits.
All religions at one time or another have built their faith on a daily practice as a testament of their faith. The Sikhs are known to rise at four am and take a cold shower to start their day. The Catholics use to refrain from eating meat on Fridays. The Orthodox Jews carry on their lives through a well-traveled, very specific way of living as their ancestors did before them.
Sadhana, as a rule, divides the disciplined from the undisciplined. Who does this “act” for their divinity or for the divinity that is before them; on an altar or in a temple? If asked by one of my yoga students what is it that they could do in a daily practice that would be considered as “doing sadhana”, I caution them to start off with something small.
My Guru told certain students to do a particular sadhana anywhere from 30 days to one year, and if they forgot to do it for one day, then they had to start all over again.
In summary, it is a mystical, spiritual practice that is done on a daily basis that fuels the desire of an individual for the divine and increases their awareness.
Swami Laxman Das Jaya aka John Shinavier, MA, 500hr RYT
Keeping Your Spine Supple and Age with Wisdom
As we age, we shrink. When your spine becomes tight and stiff, it slows you down as you begin limiting activities that once you did easily. Now you might find yourself running after your children, and doing a lot of lifting and playing with them and this activity alone requires a Spine that needs a daily tune-up.
I have continued to do Yoga for almost forty years now. Through several careers, injuries, sports etc.. I did Yoga because no matter if I was running miles everyday, earning a Black Belt in Taekwondo, weight lifting, playing Tennis, or ocean swimming, I always remembered how my body enjoyed itself as a child and I wanted to keep myself as close to that ideal as I could. So no matter what activity I did I always included Yoga. As I continued, I learned the mysteries about how one can use the Breath for energy, vitality and then, a door opened to Meditation. I have all these tools that I have shared with individuals and groups. Now, I live in Los Angeles and am looking for private clients who not only want, but need to have something that they can integrate into their lives that will bring it back into balance. I have clients that require only a session for a refresher, and I have those that I teach for 90 minutes a week. I am as thrilled as my students that what took me so many years to understand they are getting much faster than I did. That is what a true teacher is. Their lessons, teachings are written on their bones (as my beloved teacher use to tell me.) So when someone in session asks me a question, the answer comes and it is like I am hearing the answer in the same moment that they are.
Go to my Web Site at https://johnshinavier.com/yoga-instructor/ or go to https://www.thumbtack.com/profile/services/Gko2ZG9HhMNLfQ/ for more info. Call me at 310-402-3130
Like the above picture of the large statue of Lord Siva, that was swept from its temple high in the Himalayas after an unusually large spring melt at the source of the Ganges River in India, if one practices yoga on a daily basis with meditation, they reap over time a solid base of mystical personal experiences that no matter how the world swirls around them, they remain like Siva, impassive in ever changing surroundings.
So, it looks to me that Lord Siva got tired of his temple and decided that he wanted more of the Mother Ganges around him. Symbolically, it’s a perfect picture of what is known in India as Siva/Shakti (male/female). Siva, with his great heart and devotion to the Mother, holds her fiery Shakti (energy), as She flows around Him.
For those who are seekers looking for a spiritual path that is outside the boundaries of most religions here in the West, some will be attracted to the movements of Yoga with its graceful transitions and challenging asanas. Yoga, if done as part of a spiritual practice will, in time reveal to the student who their Beloved is, If they don’t know already, and bring them closer if they do.
By going inside one’s self through meditation and yoga, one becomes strong in body and subsequently can hold the spiritual energy that awakens in their spine. This experience awakens their memory to their link to the Divine. The journey is long but is so worth it.
Swami Laxman Das Jaya
aka John Shinavier
Shares his guru and Her “Kali Natha Yoga” every Saturday at 3 pm for 90 minutes at: 4870 W. Adams, 90016
4870 west Adams Blvd Unit B. (Dharma Yoga) Call 310-402-3130 for more info.