Lately, I’ve found myself in conversations centering around developing a sacred space. This means so many different, beautiful things and is extremely specific to the individual. We all crave a sanctuary. Well maybe that is assumption or a better phrasing could be that we all crave a place of sanity and calmness. I desperately do and for many, many years failed short of making this an intentional act of developing, creating, and re-forming this space.
My grandma was my sanctuary as a child. She was the one person I knew I could fully trust and would receive unconditional love. Even walking into her empty room as a kid would bring a sense of calm to my often chaotic childhood. I knew I was safe. I knew I could be myself. I knew that this was forever…or so it seemed until I lost my grandmother 2.5 years ago. I remember coming back to visit while I was living in Philadelphia, walking into her room and just curling up on her bed and playing with her arthritis swollen fingers. We wouldn’t talk alot, it really wasn’t needed. We had lived together since I was 3 and we knew each other fully. Sometimes the greatest expression of love is a silent presence. Though this wasn’t mobile and I struggled when I was far off in grad school or working in Egypt. I struggled to find this sanity in a world that seemed completely hopeless at times.
After grandma’s passing, I went into a pit filled with false sanctuaries that only led to temporary escapes from reality. It took about 2 years for me to wake up and remember to live fully and that involved changing my entire life: physically, mentally, and spiritually. This personally meant becoming a vegan, seeking a unbiased opinion to discuss issues that I usually avoided, seeking and staying with my faith community, oh and finding my running shoes again. (And this could not have been accomplished without the constant encouragement of my dear friend, Amanda. Who made an entire switch of lifestyle for herself and has been my inspiration to keep going.)
I believe this shift naturally led me to rediscovering yoga. Yoga has solidly become my mobile sanctuary. The challenging postures, the focus on breathing and staying in the moment, learning the 8 limbs of yoga which has helped me to start peppering my life with what I believe is my purpose as a human being, has let me find myself again. And I actually love myself which I haven’t said…well…really ever. I use to believe that showing emotions and fully laying your barriers out there meant that you were weak individual that wouldn’t survive a slight gust of wind. You would shatter. It is really hard to describe but yoga has allowed me to face my emotions and let them flow (sometimes they flow without my will but that is ok) and to let others see and here and know my soul. I am a fragile soul but I am also a strong soul: both exist at this moment.
Whenever I step foot on my mat, either in my apartment, office floor, or at Blue Yoga Nyla, I feel at home and that I have found a sanctuary that can move with life experiences and will meet me wherever and whatever I am. I have been blessed to have wonderful yoga instructors that graciously guide you and remain honest and transparent through their teaching. So, thank you Stacey and Steve, for being a light!
“Within you there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself.” Herman Hesse