Five o’clock comes early every morning.
I am not a morning person, and never really have been. I would much prefer to sleep until 7 or 8. But I have come to realize that I am a better person when I get up early in the morning and spend time in sadhana.
Sadhana (pronounced sod-na) is a daily spiritual practice; anything you do each day to connect to your Soul. It might be yoga asana, meditation, mantra, prayer, pranayam, or anything else that nourishes you at a deep level. In the words of Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa, sadhana is whatever you do consistently to clear your own consciousness so you can relate to the infinity within you.
When I began a daily yoga practice, I would do my sadhana at night. It worked for me for a while, and seemed a great way to end my day. It soothed me and settled me, allowing for an easy transition to sleep. Yet for reasons I can’t remember, I decided to switch to an early morning sadhana rather than before bed.
In Kundalini Yoga we get up very early for sadhana, ideally two and a half hours before sunrise. This time is called the amrit vela, or ambrosial hours, and is considered to be a sacred time of day, perfectly suited for a spiritual practice. The Earth is still and quieter, and meditation is more accessible. The idea behind early morning sadhana is to spend a tenth of your day devoted to feeding your spirit, and then your sadhana will carry you through the rest of your day.
That has been precisely my experience. Getting up early each morning, no matter how difficult it may be to actually get out of bed, has proven to be an effective way to maintain connection to my truth. My sadhana is a treasured time of the day for me, and is deeply a part of who I am. I learned years ago that it’s not worth it to skip it. There is no reason to skip it. No excuse. Not even when traveling, because sadhana is portable; it comes with me camping, to the beach, to the city, and on retreat.
The best part is, once you start (and by start I mean completely give yourself over to it), sadhana never stops. To borrow a line from Ram Dass, at first you will think of your sadhana as a limited part of your life. In time you will come to realize that everything you do is part of your sadhana.