How to integrate practices with daily life?

Have you ever struggled to integrate the spiritual practices with your daily life? Have you ever felt overwhelmed with all the practices you learned?

I have gone through some ups and downs myself.  Eventually I found my own path.  I would like to share some tips with you. Maybe it can be helpful to you:

1) Define your drive

It is not easy to combine all the practices with a full-time job, family commitments and social interactions. Sometimes, it can become overwhelming even counterproductive.

When you are at your lower point, remember to ask yourself these two questions: Why am I doing all the practices? What is my drive? Then, look deep within yourself and answer them sincerely.

BSP and Samyama had shown me a dimension of life I would have never imagined. Having experienced the profundity of the tools I was given, I want to keep them alive within me. I know they will take me to another dimension. This is my drive.

So, what is yours? Why are you doing all the practices?

2) Define your daily ritual

It is not easy to dedicate 7-8 hours to be on the yoga mat every day. What to do when you cannot do them all? You can start with defining your own daily ritual.
Firstly, observe your body to find out how many hours of sleep you need? What time in the morning you can wake up consistently? How many hours a day you can dedicate to the practices? Maintain this schedule consistently.

Then define a fundamental layer of your daily practices. This is your base line. Regardless what happens in the day, these practices must happen. It can be something like Kriyas; Bhuta Shuddhi + Kriyas; or Hatha Yoga + Kriyas. Whatever you choose to be as your base line.

Then you define the add-ons. These are the practices you can alternate. It can be something like: Mon, Wed, Fri – Surya Kriya + Angamardhana; Tue, Thu, Sat – Yoganasanas + Surya Shakti. With this alternation, you can practice them regularly in alternative days.

The key is to be consistent and increase in moderation. After a few weeks, you will see your daily ritual becoming your second nature.

3) Make use of the breaks

At the workplace I saw many people taking long cigarette breaks. +30minutes lunch break is a good time for socialization. Instead, you can also make use of them for some midday practices.

For more than 8 months now, I have been using my lunch break for practices e.g. Angamardhana or Surya Shakti (in winter), or Shambhavi (in the summer). When others have their after lunch dip I was fully energized. Enjoying some fresh fruit afterwards and I was ready for the second half of the day.

Are there some gaps during the day you can use for a short practice? It can also be Isha Kriya, Nadi Shuddhi or AUM chanting when you are not in an empty stomach. You will see that even a short break like this can be very supportive for the rest of the day.

4) Your breath is the lifeline

There is also an important sadhana you can do throughout the day: breath watching. It means to maintain a moment to moment awareness of the in and out movement of the breath, the sensation as it passes through the system. This is known as Ana Pana Sathi Yoga.

When Krishna said “the true is at the tip of your nose”, he was referring to the breath. Breath watching is one of the fundamental practices in Bhuddism. In Osho’s “Book of Secrets”, he explains 112 ways of reaching enlightenment through observation of the breath.
You can get initiated to breath watching by Sahdguru during Samyama program. It is a powerful practice. The beauty is that you can do it anywhere and any moment. An empty stomach is not needed.

Do you have experience in breath watching? Are you able to maintain the moment to moment awareness of your breath? I am curious to hear your experience.

5) Reduce working hours

If financially possible you could also consider reducing your working hours. Since 1 Jan 2020, I have reduced mine from 40 to 32 hours a week. Tuesdays and Thursdays I have the afternoon off. With this space, I can finish some housework and dedicate time to my practices. It is fun and spontaneous.

Of course, with reduced working hours, you will have reduced income. You do need to draw a line here: how much money for living is enough for me? Define that then for the rest, you can focus on what is truly important for you.

Maybe you want to spend more time with your family or develop a hobby. There are many things you can do, or simply do nothing, simply enjoy the day. By trading off your working hours with less money you will get so much more in return.

Everything is Sadhana (spiritual practice)

Sadhguru said that “Sadhana is not the way, but without sadhana there is no way”. It is important to realise that sadhana does not have to happen on the yoga mat. Everything in life can be a sadhana.

Be grateful to the the ups and downs you experience and define your own path. Everything is within ourselves. The only hurdle to prevent “me” to realise my “self” is “I”.