sassy sadhana muse

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“however many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them?” – buddha

bonjour from a writer’s spa in breathtaking taos, new mexico. i’m here working on a new weekly column for the examiner, my next book proposal, tranquilology, and teaching yoga to a group of 30 fabulous souls. drawing from hip tranquil chick (namely chapters 3 and 12) and the june newsletter muse on spiritual activism, i recently held a teleclass for women from around the globe on the 8 petals of a “sassy sadhana.” since i believe do-gooding and living yoga off the mat are such potent pieces of our spiritual practice, i wanted to share highlights from the call with our phenom tranquil space community.

as wikipedia explains, sadhana is a term for “a means of accomplishing something” or more specifically “spiritual practice.” the term sadhana means spiritual exertion towards an intended goal. the goal of sadhana is to attain some level of spiritual realization, which can be enlightenment, pure love of god (prema), or liberation (moksha) from the cycle of birth and death (samsara). i think of sadhana as how we live our life in order to obtain liberation from monkey mind, bad karma, and negativity, and to experience an overall level of tranquility. the term sassy simply adds a dash of flair (and fun) to the practice!

the 8 must-have petals of sassy sadhana are:

  1. niyamas (dos): purity, contentment, austerity, self-study, surrender to god

  2. yamas (don’ts): non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, moderation, greedlessnes.

  3. give mindfully, buy locally: reuse ribbon, tissue paper, gift bags; avoid purchasing gifts with a lot of packaging; give alternative gifts (visit,,; make something – even a card with stamping, scrap booking materials, or a collage of cards you’ve received; support local designers; shop at farmer’s markets; buy local produce and products.

  4. meditate/do yoga: take some time in your day to just be; sip tea; sit still; observe your breath; move mindfully through your next sun salutation; connect to the earth; sit on your cushion and repeat a mantra; chew your food slowly – all these can be forms of meditation.

  5. go green: cut out use of paper towels; wash laundry in cold; use energy efficient bulbs; surround yourself with something alive (bamboo stalks are easy and very zen); clean green (tips on p. 155 of hip tranquil chick); eat your veggies; wear eco-friendly fabrics; reduce, reuse, recycle.

  6. live by example: read the poem “guest house” by rumi; let your light shine; remember that actions speak louder than words; inspire others through how you live your life; choose to make a difference.

  7. do-good: volunteer; host a charitea soiree (how-to at; give of your resources – time, expertise, money; smile and compliment others.

  8. be a good citizen: visit local restaurants; read the news; vote; form opinions; read; watch documentaries; support local arts; pick up trash on the sidewalk; support your friend’s creative endeavors; plant flowers on your windowsills and outdoor spaces; hang a birdfeeder.

these 8 petals are not all-encompassing as i know there are so many ways we can practice our sadhana. my hope is that these tips offer you a dose of inspiration and a few new ideas on how your yoga practice on the mat can translate into your everyday life. we all have such amazing potential and using it to spread tranquility around and within us is a noble and worthy goal.