Sādhanā is a discipline undertaken in the pursuit of a goal. In Indian spirituality it is an ego-transcending spiritual practice to deepen commitment and intention on the spiritual path and reap the benefits in a personal way. With certain attention, the sadhana can have benefits for the community as well.
Sangeet is the word for music. I am undertaking a Sangeet Sadhana this month. I have made a commitment to myself to play music during a yoga class everyday for my own spiritual benefit and for the enjoyment of the people in the class.
Playing music is a form of prayer. Just like the practice of asana is a prayer. We come to the mat as devotees, turning to something greater than ourselves. We come as students of our bodies and experience. We bring an open heart and mind and curiosity about ourselves from moment to moment. We open to exploring our imperfection and staying at the edge of our comfort zone.
This is the way I approach music. Playing music in the presence of people who are practicing yoga is the highest honor for me. My intention is for the sounds and words I create to offer a sacred space for yogis to turn inwards and reflect deeply on their moment by moment experience. The best way I know how to offer such a space is by creating that within myself. I come to each class with only a vague idea of what will unfold. I have a few songs and mantras to call upon but I let them shape shift with the energy of the class. I open to being as vulnerable as each student there. I join the practitioners in every way energetically without doing the asana.
My intention for this Month Long Musical Sadhana is to have an opportunity to continuously call upon myself to create sacred soundscapes. I will not be perfect. I will not be polished. I will push myself to the edge. I will do my best to connect with the flow of the teacher and the class. I will put my ego aside as much as possible and serve the higher goal that each student and I myself has come to yoga to realize.
We are all here for the purpose of discovering ourselves again and again. We are here to open our bodies, hearts and spirits to something much greater than us. We are here to move into a deeper awareness of the nature of reality.
Yonat Mayer, leads the band Yonat & Her Muse based in Oakland, CA. Her original musical role models were rooted in blues, jazz and American folk. Having spent 10 years in Israel she is also deeply influenced by Jewish prayer and Israeli soul music. Yonat studied music at Israel’s leading contemporary music school, Rimon and has also been trained and inspired by a practice of Indian Classical training. Yonat experiments with different styles in her song writing, incorporating world music sounds into her eclectic funk/folk/rock style. She is currently raising funds for her next album ‘Wild Heart’. Check out her website for more details. www.yonat.com