From Foundations to Sadhana: What Is Progress in Yoga?
Progress in yoga can be a bit of a mystery.
We are not competing, we do not receive medals, and we are not “achieving” some ultimate visible and outward goal.
So, when faced with the prospect of “moving forward” in our yoga program or moving up a level of class, there may be some hesitation or question. How do we “judge” progress in a practice that is so internal, personal, and individual?
Foundations classes are designed to help you feel safe and cultivate your self-awareness in yoga. You might love your Foundations class for the powerful feeling of transformation that it brings and soon forget the awkwardness of your first classes.
This makes it easy to become attached to your yoga class, your yoga teacher, and your yoga time. And this makes it difficult to even consider a change in classes, times, or teacher – even when your coach gives you the “go ahead” to do so.
However, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali teach us that attachment (raga) is a substantial barrier to our ultimate progress in yoga.
Starting something new, we expect to feel awkward, out of place, challenged, and maybe even a little uncomfortable. But to throw ourselves into that feeling again and again takes courage, an openness to more change, and a willingness to continually step out of our comfort zone.
This long term, dedicated, and enthusiastic effort to move forward in transformation of our self is what Sadhana of yoga is all about.
Progression from Foundations to Sadhana at SBG takes its purpose from this central premise of sadhana in yoga. It intends to encourage your growth and transformation through new asanas and challenging study where you progress at deeper levels of awareness, breath, and life skills.
The Sadhana program has three levels to give you every opportunity to continue your journey along this path. It follows the journey through the three levels of Kriya Yoga (the yoga of action):
- Tapas (disciplined action)
- Svadhyaya (self study)
- Isvarapranshanani (ultimate surrender to a life practice).
Longer class times and more workshop and class opportunities give you opportunity for physical practice.
Philosophy club and personal study guides provide tools to look at yourself more deeply through the lens of yoga.
And ultimately there are opportunities to incorporate yoga into more and more of your life off the mat, including opportunities to teach others.
Though progress in yoga IS internal and personal, the stages of practice and commitment are clear. Be encouraged to take a moment and check in with yourself often. Be honest and acknowledge your daily commitment to the sadhana of yoga.
Has attachment gotten in the way of your progress of transformation?
Has your yoga class become a comfortable habit and not a tool for change?
Does your practice continue to challenge and bring alertness and enthusiasm for life?
If you are unsure or feel any hesitation, ask your coach! You might be surprised when you open the door to new opportunities through yoga.