My Sadhana Journey: Diving into the Deep

by Leonie Dijkstra

After my first Mysore class almost three years ago, I realized I was hooked. I fell in love with the energy in the space, the breathing sounds, and people concentrating on entwining themselves in all kinds of complicated positions. It felt like coming home after a long journey. From that moment on, I stepped on my mat every day, and slowly, my world turned upside down. I could not fathom what was happening to me. Suddenly, so many lifestyle changes happened, my relationships with friends changed, and the way I experienced the world around me became totally different. All these changes in my life fascinated me, which awakened a need to learn more about Astanga yoga and its deeper meaning.

I attended several workshops and retreats at home and abroad with well-known Astanga teachers, devoured every book I could find on Astanga yoga, listened to every podcast ever recorded, and even followed a (vinyasa) teacher training to get a better understanding of what was happening to me. I truly enjoyed immersing myself in this new world that opened up to me. At times, I felt overwhelmed and, sometimes, somewhat scattered: so many new inputs, so many varying (and occasionally contrasting) views on the same practice, and so many teachers who, at times, required very different things from me ;-).

After this intense first year, I needed stability and grounding.

 

The Sadhana Program came at just the right time: deepening my own practice for a year and exploring the world of Astanga under the guidance of my beloved teachers turned out to be the greatest gift I could give myself.

 

At that point in my life, it was meant to be.

In this year, I not only learned more about meditation, pranayama, kriyas, and asana and how to integrate them into my daily life, but my practice also developed into a life tool, adding structure to my life, helping me deal with life challenges and to reflect on what was happening in my mind every day. I learned to connect better with my body through my breathing and to be conscious of all the various sensations I was not aware of before. And, of course, I learned to attune my practice to what I need most at that moment.

Although nobody could have foreseen that the program would suddenly have to be changed halfway through the year due to corona, the practice's value suddenly became crystal clear to me. Because, especially now, we are all challenged to apply our yoga practices to our daily life, which, perhaps, intensified my experience of the sadhana program even more.

At the same time, I have also experienced the past year as a precious journey of self-discovery. I uncovered qualities and patterns I was not aware of and was repeatedly confronted with my deepest fears, worries, resistance, and ego. I learned to face them, on and off the mat, instead of continuously avoiding them.

Following this Sadhana Program with teachers who not only see you on the mat during the training weekends but rather follow you for a whole year and dive into the deep with you, is super valuable. I am incredibly grateful for the safe haven that Claudia and Eva created during this transformational journey in which I could discover, grow, and connect with myself.

Each weekend felt like a mini-retreat, where I could forget the world around me for a while. In the past year, countless seeds have been planted, and some have already blossomed. But I am only at the beginning of this lifelong journey and look forward to discovering, feeling, and experiencing even more in the years to come. And I envy all the students who still have this program ahead of them because no matter what, it will be a journey of a lifetime and one they will never forget.

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Interested in taking part in this workshop? See our workshop page for more information.