A yoga journal can serve a crucial role in expanding one’s awareness beyond the practice of yoga and meditation and integrating it into day-to-day, moment-to-moment life.
“The very nature of what we do is to awaken the energy of consciousness, to practice in a way that sheds light on our self-imposed limitations, and invites us to think out of the box and develop our intuitive mind. Being able to live from our intuitive mind is one of the main goals of a Kundalini practitioner.” – Kia Miller
“You need a practice to be conscious and to adjust your Tattvas to act with dignity and divinity.” – Yogi Bhajan (The Mind, page 47)
Journaling serves you throughout your 40 or 90-day Sadhana practice. Writing keeps you in the now. By writing down my intentions for each practice, and logging my yoga and meditation experiences with the guidance of my 40-Day Sadhana Companion, I identify wanted and unwanted thinking and behaviors.
How to Begin Your Journal
Begin your 40-day diary simply. Let’s assume that you’ve chosen your practice. Write down the name of your kriya and/or meditation of choice. Note the length of time that you will be doing this particular set. The details are very important and you need to have them down to refer to and to keep up the same pattern. That’s how change is accomplished. Repeat and repeat and repeat.
Next, write why you have chosen this particular practice. The “why” may change over the duration of the 40 days. Note your intention or goal. Meditate on that.
I encourage you to meditate on the intention for 1-3 days as you embark on these new thoughts produced through the longing for a new You!
Write for 40 Days
Scribe not only experiences that are positive, but also all that occurs to you over the next 40 days. Deeper introspections call for watching what happens around you as well as inside you.
Write each day after your sadhana. Consistency is key!
Be the Observer of Your Feelings and Reactions
A married couple shared an interesting 40-day sadhana experience. While practicing the same meditation in the same household, they had very different responses to the yoga. The wife had mostly positive experiences, while her husband had all negative.
Your perceived negative and positive perceptions are reflecting the energy in your aura and the auras of those in which you come into daily contact. The perceptions are filtered through your mind.
“Happy and unhappy belong to your mind, not to the world.” – Yogi Bhajan
Energy levels and emotional ups and downs show the change that occurs as well. You can chart these emotions by drawing a simple graph or creating a mandala of color.
That mandala or graph represents the 40-day journey pictorially, which some people relate to more so than a written roadmap. Just as you may travel with a digital or paper roadmap or written instructions, they help you to reach your destination.
Other Questions to Consider Asking Yourself
What has been a challenge for you? The yoga itself or the getting up or the repetition of everyday? Am I physically better? Do I look forward to greeting the day?
Noting the changes is key to the process of realization.
Check in with your intention on day 11. This is a number that holds reflection and inspiration. Reread your pages daily and see what you have learned about yourself. It is one way to see progression and to move into a deeper experience.
Day 22 is another high spiritual number for revelation. What are the changes? Have others noticed anything different about you? How could you spread the light today?
If possible, jot down even one or two words each day as reflection. These will be your mirror as you approach day 40 and help you decide whether or not you would like to continue on to 90 days.
Forty days will embody new experiences or increased competence and abilities. Ninety days will clear our subconscious and build new habits. One hundred and twenty days will allow our subconscious to realize awareness of the change in our daily lives.
You may experience any or all in the first 40 days.
As you end your journal, check in physically, emotionally, and mentally with yourself. There is proof in the pudding. Notice if you have identified and wish to purge any parts of your self that need change.
Remember, this is just the beginning. The more you practice, the deeper the impact of the meditation and/or yoga set you choose. Think of your journal as a filing system that keeps track of your process.
Get excited for more sadhana inspiration in next month’s blog post, where Kathe shares tips and tricks for keeping up for the full 40 days!
Kathe Forrest/Siri Kirin is the author of The 40-Day Sadhana Companion: A Guided Journal (formerly titled Keep the Change). She is a mom, grandma called Nonni, yoga teacher, herbalist, and nutritionist. She lives deep in the heart of Texas and volunteers through her local hospice and herb society.