Creating your own sacred space
As yogis, we are students. Not just students of the asanas but also students of the mind, of the body, of the spirit, of the Universe.
We are students of ourselves. We explore what our external bodies are capable of. As we advance, we explore the darkest corners of our souls — the stuff we’ve buried to survive or to conform. Because we believed vulnerability was weakness and anger and sadness were its ugly step sisters.
Great students don’t need any more than their will, their mind, and a great teacher. But a nice classroom sure doesn’t hurt.
You deserve space. We all deserve to have a sacred space that is only ours — where we can retreat to go within as we study the depths of our soul.
I’m fortunate at this time in my life to have an entire room. There’s no furniture except my zafu and yoga props. When I step in that room all the weight from the outside world seems to wash away and I am able to focus on my studies.
I realize it’s a privilege to have this room. Someday I will sacrifice this space for a wee one but I will still reserve space. You don’t have to have an entire room.
It could be a nook in your attic.
A corner in your office or bedroom where you can set up an altar.
A special area in your garden that’s just for you.
And if there is no physical space, your mind can take you to one. In fact, even if you have an entire meditation house I think it’s wise to reserve a special space your mind can take you. Because you can go there whenever you need to, wherever you are. (Mine is the woods.)
Creating your sacred space
So let’s talk about this space you’re creating. It’s yours, and the rules are yours to make. However, here are some “rules” that I keep when it comes to my space for inspiration.
1. Make it yours
You could fill it with candles, flowers, crosses, Buddhas or photos. You could fill it with nothing, making it a crisp and clean space to help you declutter your mind. Make it look, feel, sound and smell “right" to you. Consider your intention for the space and design around that. But also trust your intuition. If a little puppy figurine is really speaking to you, put it in your space. It doesn’t have to make sense to others to make sense to you.
2. Respect it
Space has as much power as you give it. I hold a high respect for my space. This is a spiritual place. Whether you practice meditation or prayer or both, you are filling your space with alllllll the good vibes. Honor that power. Which leads me to the next “rule."
3. Keep it clean
My house isn’t always clean. (Gasp!) But I keep my sacred space — the “yoga room” — clean. Because if it’s not clean, it’s distracting and can be stressful instead of spiritual.
4. Use it
Again, your space is as powerful as you make it. If you don’t use it, it loses its power. It’s like an empty church. An empty church might be beautiful, but if it’s not being used for congregation, worship and prayer, it’s just a beautiful empty building.
If you don't yet have a sacred space of your own, perhaps you've found your next summer project. :)