Well here we are again friends, day 1 of a new 40 day sadhana!
I thought about calling this a weight loss sadhana but realized that what this sadhana is about deals much more than with just losing weight. It’s about achieving a healthy weight, be that one pound less, forty, a hundred, more than that, less, or anywhere in between. It’s about being healthier, feeling better, and as with all sadhanas, making a change in our habits.
First some confessions on my part. At the end of our last sadhana, the Veggie Sadhana, I made a vow to stick to vegetarianism and even try to go vegan. Well I didn’t end up keeping that vow and meat ended up back on my plate. I could blame it on the holiday season, parties or anything else but the truth is that I made the decision to do it. It was offered to me and I said yes and my entire family followed me.
It has made me reexamine my relationship to food and my addictions. I admit that part of me loves the totally unhealthy combination of salt, sugar and fat. I am like a hamster spinning my wheel once I get going on it too. I eat something salty or fried and then want something sweet and then want something salty or fried again and then want something sweet again. Also I have realized that if it is in my house I will eat it. I have to rethink what I allow into my house.
So for this sadhana here is what we will be doing:
Our Sadhana Guidelines
1. We will write a plan with our goals outlined in it, making sure to keep our weight loss goal one that is realistic and doable.
2. We will weigh ourselves each morning (do this after you have used the bathroom and before you get dressed) and not judge ourselves for whatever number comes up on the scale. We will record our daily weight in our journal.
3. We will keep a daily journal tracking our weight and if possible what we eat that day. Additionally we will record how we feel as how you feel can often dictate what you choose to eat. We will also write about how this process is affecting us and any other musings.
4. We will choose to eat healthy, non processed foods with a focus on fresh fruits and vegetables.
5. We will be aware of our food choices and think before we eat. “Do I really indeed want to eat this? Will eating this help or hinder my goal? Is it healthy and good for me?”
6. We will exercise in some form or another every single day, if even for just a few minutes, we will move our bodies.
7. We will practice our meditation every day, preferably at the same time either when we wake up or before we go to sleep:
First tune in by sitting in Easy Pose (crossed legged) and bringing your hands into Prayer Mudra (palms pressed together with the thumbs against the sternum, fingers pointing upwards), close the eyes and roll them up to the Third Eye Point (the space between your brows at the root of the nose) and chant aloud three times:
ONG NAMO GURU DEV NAMO
which translated means, “I bow to the subtle divine wisdom, the divine teacher within.” and helps you to call upon your inner teacher to assist you allowing for your best experience.
MEDITATION TO BREAK ADDICTION
(Kundalini Yoga, Shakta Kaur Khalsa, p. 163 and Meditation as Medicine, Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa, p. 269)
Posture: Sit in Easy Pose (cross-legged) or in a chair with your spine straight.
Focus: The eyes are closed and focused at the Third Eye Point (the space between your eyebrows at the root of your nose).
Breath: The breath will come automatically.
Mantra: Mentally hear the mantra, “Sa Ta Na Ma.” Lock the back molars together and keep the lips closed. The molars will alternately tighten, then release; right then left, then right and continue, one syllable for each movement of the molars.
Mudra: Make fists of your hands. Extend the thumbs straight and place the thumbs on the temples. Find the niche where the thumbs fit just right. As the molars alternately tighten and release you should feel the movement under the thumbs at the temples. Keep a firm pressure applied at the temples. Keep the mouth closed. Mentally hear the mantra, “Sa Ta Na Ma,” coordinating the mantra with the subtle movement of the jaws.
Time: 3 to 5 minutes. With practice the time can be increased to 20 and ultimately 31 minutes.
End: Inhale deeply, then hold your breath for 20-30 seconds, exhale and relax.
Benefits: To break unhealthy or unwanted habits, there must be a change in the brain chemistry. According to the yogic science, mental and physical addictions are created by an imbalance around the stem of the pineal gland in the center of the brain.
The imbalance in the pineal area upsets the radiance of the pineal gland itself. It is this pulsating radiance that regulates the pituitary gland. Since the pituitary regulates the rest of the glandular system, the entire body and mind go out of balance.
The pressure exerted by the thumbs triggers a rhythmic reflex current into the central brain. This current activates the brain area directly underneath the stem of the pineal gland helping to restore balance.
This is an excellent meditation for the rehabilitation process in 1) addictions such as smoking, drinking, overeating or drugs and 2) mental imbalances including subconscious addictions to acceptance, advancement, rejection or emotional love. All these lead us to insecure and neurotic behavior patterns.
The Sa Ta Na Ma mantra means
Saa = Infinity, totality of the Cosmos
Taa = Life (birth of form from the Infinity)
Naa = death (or transformation)
Maa = Rebirth
Panj means five, and expresses the five primal sounds of the Universe. (SSS. MMM. TTT. NNN and AAA.) It is the atomic or Naad form of the mantra Sat Naam. It is used to increase intuition, balance the hemispheres of the brain and to create a destiny for someone when there was none. This mantra describes the continuous cycle of life and creation.
This mantra is a great catalyst for change.
To finish, return to Easy Pose with Prayer Mudra (like we did when we tuned in) and roll the eyes back up to the Third Eye Point, and chant:
twice which translated means, “Truth is my identity.” and helps you to awaken your soul and find your destiny.
8. To eat slower and with more attention. To savor each bite and chew as long as possible.
9. Try to make each meal look pretty on your plate with as many colors as possible provided by vegetables and fruits. Why save the fancy plate presentation for a restaurant? We eat with our eyes first so savor what you are about to eat.
10. We will not judge ourselves! We will be kind to ourselves throughout this process!
11. To remember to reach out for support knowing that you are not alone! Post your own journey if you like, your comments to my posts, ask questions, get answers, be supported – all by typing in the comment section below my posts for the day.
12. We will keep ourselves physically, mentally and emotionally safe being responsible for ourselves and seeking the advice of a physician before doing any part of this sadhana if necessary and at any time during the 40 days!
My journey Day 1:
So my weight this morning was 138, the highest I have ever been. I haven’t been physically active for months. Fibromyalgia has kept me on the couch wrought with chronic fatigue and depression which has led me to eat more and eat the wrong things for comfort which has led me to gaining weight. I know what got me to the weight that I am.
Knowing how you got to where you are today can make a difference in how you will act tomorrow.
I am now seeing a homeopath which is helping with pain and lessening my depression and making a small dent in my lack of energy. It is a start.
And all great journey’s begin with a first step!
I know that with my Fibromyalgia issues that I don’t feel good but I also know that I don’t feel good with extra weight around my belly and thighs. I don’t feel good wearing larger clothes, I don’t feel good after bingeing on a goody that leaves my body feeling desperate for a leafy green vegetable after and screaming, “Why?! Why do you do this to me?!” I don’t feel good being so out of shape that I barely think I could get through one of my own yoga classes if I had the ability to get out on the floor and take it instead of teach it. (Note here, as a teacher we do not do the class with our students! We explain and show how the exercise, meditation etc. is done and then observe, hold the space and keep the students safe by doing so!)
So my goals are:
1. To bring my weight back down to 115, that is a weight loss total of 23 pounds.
I remain non judgmental, kind to myself and know that whatever weight I lose over this 40 day period that I have given it MY BEST!
2. To do yoga for myself at least once a week in addition to working out in some form every single day (as outlined in our sadhana guidelines)
3. To eat less sugar with a goal of no sugar and to increase my vegetable intake with a goal of returning to vegetarianism.
So in essence, my goal is to try my best to try to lose 23 pounds, exercise as much as I physically can each day, do yoga once a week and eat healthier with less sugar and less meat.
Now after you write your initial goals, do what I did here and sum them up with one sentence and notice how I used the words, try my best, those are three important words.
I am starting slowly, as should you. Be mindful of what you eat today but don’t go full tilt boogie and throw away all of your favorite foods or workout for four hours, you will only set yourself up for burnout that way. Today is about writing the plan, easing into the changes and taking that first step!
I’m glad you’re with me!