A regular practice is crucial if you want to progress in yoga. Sadhana refers to a daily spiritual practice which represents a disciplined surrendering of the ego.
Anything that is practiced with awareness, discipline and the intention of spiritual growth can be considered sadhana. It does not need to be a physical activity; even daily self-study of yogic or spiritual texts is a form of sadhana.
Sadhana is also a means of creating a consistent connection with Prana. It encourages us to use self-discipline to achieve power over the ego. With regular daily practice, we continually realign our inner self, slowly progressing towards Samadhi.
Routinely working with the mind, body, and spirit in the pursuit of a spiritual goal is the most natural and efficient way to unravel the ego, to find relief from suffering and to attain peace. Sadhana is the epitome of the slow and steady approach to Yoga that yields the best results.
Design Your Own
When designing your own sadhana, it is important to choose practices that not only work for you, but also excite and inspire you. This optimises your chances of staying committed with ease. It may be useful to vary the practices used for sadhana from time to time, so as to keep the practice from becoming an automated or obligatory routine.
Discipline is arguably the most important facet of sadhana, so it does help to practice at the same time each day. The time of day itself is not important – for some, practicing sadhana soon after awakening helps them to keep up the practice without distraction or excuses, whereas for others, evenings allow them more focus or concentration.
Although sadhana is centred around an ultimate spiritual goal, the practice itself should be undertaken without any specific goal in mind. Sadhana should be practiced for the sake of maintaining the practice, and as a means of cultivating discipline. To focus the mind on a goal during sadhana will bring ego into the practice, rather than the sense of surrender that is required.