Sadhana is a term used in yoga referring to “spiritual practice”. In Sanskrit the literal meaning of Sadhana is “an effort exercised toward the achievement of a higher life purpose”. So, could we say then, that all goal-oriented efforts in life, one way or the other, are different forms of Sadhana? Perhaps. The key is your commitment and awareness of the evolution of your true Purpose. In the unfolding of that Purpose, all the mile stones along the way provide a collage of brilliant colors in the map of your destiny.
Yoga and Ayurveda offer valuable insight on the importance of adding the practice of Sadhana to daily life. One approach to Sadhana through the lens of Ayurveda is called Kitchen Sadhana. This refers to an approach toward optimizing health and well-being through creating a sacred practice in the kitchen that leads to proper diet choices and healthy food awareness.
In Mother Nature, all of life operates through a graceful rhythm of time and change known as the seasons. During a 24 hour day, we experience the rhythm of time and change through the rotating cycle of the sun and moon; or day and night. When we approach Sadhana in the kitchen it is important to recognize which season is current, and what part of the day we are preparing our meals.
The first step in beginning Kitchen Sadhana, is to set a purposeful intention to align ourselves with the natural healing power of Mother Nature, for all her offerings to her children carry the pranic intelligence to bring us back to our natural vibrant state of health and well-being.
When preparing food in the morning time as the sun is warming, a clean environment is most conducive to purity of awareness and elevation of mental clarity and joy. One practice to connect to the solar energy awakening within our digestive system, is to solar gaze with the EYES CLOSED, and allow for a few minutes of sacred silence and appreciation to the Sun (Surya Dev). The Sun provides life to all Beings, and the power to digest and transform our food into life preserving energy- known as Ojas.
When entering your kitchen, cultivate a feeling of creative joy and celebration. Paint the walls a bright sunny color to activate those energies that support intuitive food choices and a strong digestion. Add photos of anything that brightens the mind, and most importantly keep your space clean, as if it were a meditation room; a place to connect with the divine.
When preparing the foods of your choice, following the seasonal guidance and your Prakriti- or dosha orientation, it is beneficial to face East or North if possible. These two directions align the harmonizing energies of Mother Earth, with the process of alchemical transformation that occurs during the food making celebration. According to the Vedic Science of Vaastu, this simple observation alone adds a dimension of pranic preservation to the food, and the mind of the person who is preparing the meal.
Kitchen Sadhana is a joyful practice that holds the potential to nourish us on a physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual level. The celebration of food and health is the reflection of our divine connection to each other and the need we have to love and serve all for the purpose we have each intended to fulfill.
May all Beings thrive in the grace and love of the Divine!
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Tara Devi Singh is a new Sedona resident offering her unique wisdom and healing practices with the community. She is a Certified Yoga Teacher (500 hr), Yoga Therapist and an Ayurvedic Lifestyle Counselor. Please contact her (email@example.com) or (920) 277-2403 for a list of current services, programs, or classes.
(Re-printed from our February 2013 newsletter.)