Why 4am Sadhana? Are you crazy?
Why I do 4am Sadhana...
I often get asked why in the world would I get up so early to practice? It's a fair question, based on our society. It's not the norm in America, but in many countries around the world, it's common practice to rise before the sun for morning prayer.
Sadhana means daily spiritual practice. You certainly can do it any time of the day - so why 4am?
Because the 2½ hours before sunrise is the most potent time to connect to the higher realms. Known as the Amrit Vela, or the period when the veil is the thinnest to the Divine, this time is precious. The sun is at a 60-degree angle to Earth, so you are picking up the solar wave as it's rising. Anything you do during those 2½ hours is 40x more powerful.
Think about how peaceful the early morning is. No noise, no chaos, no stress from hours past. It's easy to see how this naturally serene time calls to the higher realm so easily and quickly.
I haven't been doing 4am sadhana for years, mind you; I was gradually guided to this next layer just a year and a half ago.
I'd have to say since God led me down this path, the path of yoga (to yoke or union with the Self) over 17 years ago, I've continually witnessed a constant shifting, layering and awakening process occur.
It's not something you are making happen. It's the result of daily practice of staying on this path. It's how it works. It just takes you there.
I believe when the soul is led to the yoga mat, it was meant to have this healing and awakening in its current incarnation. At least that's been my experience, and I've witnessed it countless times in my students and my community.
I read somewhere that the very least we can do is give 10% of our day to God, our Higher Power, the universe or whatever description works for you.
And that's where my heart is now. It started with exposure to the Song of the Soul (Japji) a 20-minute prayer that is chanted. I first used to just listen to it while dressing in the morning or having breakfast. It's in Gurmukhi (language from the mouth of the guru), so it took awhile to learn. Then I committed to a 40-day recitation to really learn it.
Next I switched to doing my yoga practice before sunrise and listened to a few of the Aquarian Chants (mantras for this new age we are in) while on the mat. I was getting up at 5:30 am, which felt big back then!
Before I knew it, I was drawn to getting up earlier and earlier, a little at a time, because my heart wanted more time in sadhana. It became my "cup of coffee," that strong emotional pull for something that I couldn't live without. And to be honest, the 40x more powerful fact was also a huge motivator too!
So what was happening was I was getting fed from something way bigger than myself, and it gave me the strong mind and will to get up and do this for myself. If I could have done it by myself, I would have done it a long time ago.
I was basically shifting my clock gradually and got used to getting up earlier and earlier. Yes, you have to go to bed earlier, but that's better for us anyway. To get on nature's clock is immediate balance for us. We are one; most of our suffering comes from going against nature.
I quickly started seeing and feeling this huge sustainable energy and connection to something bigger then I've ever experienced before. It had to be the early sadhana!
I noticed I could go into work so filled with light and love to really be of service. Seriously overflowing with joy, love and light, it was crazy.
Work and teaching became even more effortless than when I started meditating more than 8 years ago. I noticed a huge shift then, but this took me to another ethereal level!
On most days I get up now between 3:30 and 4:30am. And yes, you've done the math, I don't get 8 hours of sleep. I don't seem to need it.
Here's the crazy fact: I've been so healthy since starting early sadhana and my schedule is busier than ever. I've been amazed by how I haven't picked up viruses. It has to be the sadhana. It strengthens your auric field (your protection bubble) and keeps it "up!!"
I AM realistic and adjust to my life. On days I don't have the time for a long sadhana, I shorten it. I meditate, do some yoga and then listen to mantras while dressing/eating/or walking the dog. There's always a way to include it in my day, every day, in a meaningful way.
Whether a long luxurious sadhana or a modified version, I still feel super-fed and supported to go out into the world and hopefully not let my ego run the show.
The key is showing up consistently for MY soul so as to keep my vibration as high as possible. This way I can keep my heart and eyes on the real Guru and listen for my divine orders all day longâ€¦â€¦â€¦.