As part of the Awakening Heart Intensive we are encouraged to do a cleanse and 40 days of committed practice. Sianna says “40 days of committed sadhana is one of the most transformational gifts you can offer to your own great being.” She gave us a list of practices for morning, mid-day and evening and a list of suggestions for setting up an alter. Here is the morning list and a photo of the alter I created:
Setting up an alter to sit in front of & practice
Earth Sky Pranayama
40 Days mantra, 108x/day
Mudra, hold 5 minutes
Meditation 20 minutes
10 minutes asana w/ full danda pranam
After a very busy summer and my upcoming wedding/honeymoon I decided that I have a window of opportunity to do the 40 day commitment if I start it right now. I am on the second day and just redesigned the alter space that me and my partner have in our room, bought some mala beads for mantra and have been adjusting to the new routine. I like to wake up early, do some asana and meditate a little before starting the day. So, that part wasn’t a big adjustment, but just a reminder to stick with it. The mudra and mantra parts are new for me to do on a regular basis, outside of classes, however. And, I am feeling the results, already. Saying hello to the sun, chanting a mantra, doing some pranayama and allowing the mind to settle in and be still before starting the day with a little movement and asana brings me more clarity through the day and more of an awareness of intention behind all that I do.
Establishing rhythm and regularity are essential for sadhana to benefit you in the most optimal way. Sianna suggested many other morning activities, as well as the ones mentioned above. One of which is Agni(fire) Sara(essence). I have been including Agni Sara in my morning routine on a regular basis for the past few months and the effects are pretty amazing. It improves digestion, tones the pelvic floor, keeps the inner organs healthy, helps with proper elimination, cleanses the digestive system, improves circulation to the organs, helps lymphatic flow, improves immunity, removes excess fat around the belly, helps with lethargy and overall dullness, strengthens the lower back, improves communication in the nervous system, increases available energy for the day, helps balance emotional energy, and increases spiritual confidence. It, also, engages the bandhas(energy locks, bonds) when practiced correctly. It is best to learn this from an experienced teacher and should always be done on an empty stomach.