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Sadhana Studies Journals: Jacqueline Erwin

by Jacqueline Erwin

Back in September, I got an email from Adeline Yoga about Sadhana Studies. Curious, I read through the program description. By the time I’d finished the email, I knew Sadhana Studies was the next step I’d been circling around for years.

I was more or less sold on Sadhana Studies from the get-go. Other people in my life? Less so. “You have no time,” my loved ones said. “How are you going to add one more thing?”

I didn’t have a good answer then, but I do now. The effects of adding Sadhana Studies to my life are clarifying rather than crowding. Sure, there’s the homework, classes, daily home practice. And yet, these practices have been intensely illuminating.

Picture a jar full of rocks. This is easy for me to do, since I am a big-time sentimental rock collector. I have rocks from the beaches I played on as a child, the island where I was married, the mountains where I have backpacked. These rocks, in their metaphorical jar, are the like the commitments that make up my life. Each vitally important to me, but all taking up space. Adding Sadhana Studies has been like pouring water into the jar. It surrounds and cushions the rocks without making the jar overflow. It allows me to work in the space between my commitments—in the places that are truly me, not a role or responsibility that I have taken on.

Some rock collection favorites

To give an example: a compromise I’ve had to make is getting up earlier to accommodate my home practice. Anyone who knows me knows I am the exact opposite of a morning person. In fact, my husband sometimes jokes that I’m not fully awake until halfway through my commute (a scary thought, since I drive to work). But here’s the thing about my morning practice: it wakes me up in the kindest way. Sure, I still contemplate smashing my phone to pieces when the alarm goes off. Once I’m up, though, I am happy to count on sirsasana rather than coffee to bring me into my body.

The bottom line? I’m a better human for being in the Sadhana program. In one of the videos we recently watched for homework, Geeta Iyengar describes Sadhana as the yoking of all efforts and available tools towards achieving a goal. The goal? Self-improvement. Being who I am, I put effort into just about everything that I do. But before Sadhana Studies, I rarely put enough effort into myself, into making myself the kind of person I want to be: for myself, for my loved ones, for my students, for the challenging times we find ourselves in. Mr. Iyengar’s words on the subject ring particularly true: “When your body, mind, and soul are healthy and harmonious, you will bring health and harmony to those around you and health and harmony to the world—not by withdrawing from the world but by being a healthy living organ of the body of humanity.”


Thank you Jacqueline, for sharing your insights! Curious about the Sadhana Studies program? Want to learn more? Visit our website, and stay tuned for more blog and facebook updates on the program and its students.


Jacqueline Erwin is a poetry fanatic, oyster enthusiast, and middle school teacher living in Oakland. When she’s not practicing yoga at Adeline, she’s reveling in the great outdoors (and sometimes doing yoga there, too!).