21-day Sādhanā challenge – What I learnt

I have been wanting to write regularly from quite some time now. It did happen in fits and starts, but didn’t go on to be consistent. We often wait to find the optimum conditions to start anything – be it a new exercise routine, or a new project, or a new way of living. Big or small, we always have an excuse – I will start on Monday (it’s a good day), or I will start from the 1st of the month (if it’s January, then this almost never sticks).

The problem with us is THAT WE NEVER JUST START TODAY.

That’s what I did. I just started today, 22 days back. No optimum time, no fancy calculation, I brought out my laptop and started typing.

If you have been following the trajectory of this series, you would notice that I initially started this as a 7-day sādhanā, and around the 5th day, switched to 21 days.

It’s easier to stick to a routine if you make smaller commitments at the outset, and then increase it along the way.

For example, 2 minutes of prānāyāma everyday for the first week, and then double it the next week. This leads to a sense of achievement – that I was able to complete what I set out to do, and also doubled it subsequently, and motivates you towards larger goals.

I didn’t know what this would turn out to be – what direction it would take, and how I would carry this forward (also, if I would carry this forward). When we start something that we really want to do, it’s ok if we don’t know the destination.

The journey has to be enjoyable, it does not necessarily have to lead anywhere.

Often our decision to do something hinges on the results, the goal, or what we want to achieve from it. This is necessary sometimes – when undertaking a new business venture for example. But matters of the heart and your passion, these can’t be quantified, nor laid out in clinical terms.

If it’s just something that you want to do – then do it regardless of what it achieves.

At the least, the process will make you happy. If you succeed, good, if you don’t, well at least you tried and maybe learnt something new along the way.

Like I did. I learnt how to make creatives, short videos (with watermarks, a suggestion of a friend). I learnt how Instagram stories work (yes, my nieces may laugh at me for learning this so late), and re-discovered Pinterest. I explored Medium for blogging (they have a great feature called Series), and learnt a new feature on YouTube called end-cards. All this in the past 21 days.

But these are the auxiliary benefits.

Each day of sādhanā brought me closer to a certain aspect of myself, and

helped me rediscover a part of me that I didn’t pay much attention to while I went about being busy.

I practiced all the exercises that I spoke about, and I feel calmer, much more positive, and bursting full of ideas at the end of it. It is as if some blocked channel in my body and mind has been cleared, and the feeling cannot be described. I have worked harder than before, putting in at least 17-18 hours a day, but never had a better sleep at the end of it. I didn’t feel lethargic, my mind was constantly at work, but my heart rate slowed down ( I actually measured it). I exercised more, ate better and healthier. It’s as if these 21 days have reset my life, for the better.

Yes, there remains a lot to be done. But I don’t see it as a task – I see it as an exciting journey, full of learning and wonder, and experience.

What comes of it remains to be seen, but I do have some thoughts about it. Each topic that I took up in these 21 days, is a subject in itself, and I will be writing more about these subjects in the coming days and months.

I will also collate the exercises that we tried out, add a few more, and bring to you a 21-day sādhanā that you can do yourself. At home, at work, anywhere really. Remember,

The yoga studio teaches you for one hour. My yog, is for the other twenty-three.

Thank you for reading through, and sending in your feedback. I will continue to write, and expand this concept. So stay in touch:)

My feathered friends have stuck with me through the sādhanā – we are working on something small, but exciting, for them:) In the meanwhile, here are their songs for today!