Inner Sanctuary

After yoga classes, I often spend some time reflecting on what happened during the practice.

It’s easy to tune in to results of the physical side of the practice.  Your legs may remind you that you worked hard when you climb the stairs to head to bed.  Your body may feel so relaxed that the usual aches and pains you carry just disappear.

Sometimes a theme or question to ponder may have been introduced during your practice by the teacher.  This too can be easy to return to for reflection and find its way into your conversations for a few days. For instance, during class this week, the teacher offered the question of “What do you need?”.  At the time, it allowed me to remember to adjust my physical practice for my sore back.  Last week when asked the same question, my body responded with tears as we held extended child’s pose.  After class, when thinking about my responses, I was able to adjust my day to honour those responses.   The reflection in those moments was brief but effective.

Other times, moments happen during practices time and time again that become part of the process and escape the post practice reflection.  One such moment is the tuning into my inner sanctuary during meditation.

When guided to acknowledge my inner sanctuary, or place that I feel completely safe and at peace in, my mind creates a list of beautiful spaces, wonderful friends, imaginary possibilities.  However, a few breathes later, my heart gets its chance to show me my real inner sanctuary.  Regardless of how hard my mind tries to override the heart, once I return to breathe, the beauty of the beach of my childhood backyard is always the image that is recalled. It is recalled with much detail during a beautiful sunset. I can look around at all the beauty, there are no gaps or edges of the picture. I can feel the last bit of the days warmth from the sun on my face while the cooler breeze tickles my exposed skin. I can hear the small ripples gently touching the shore, the songs of the birds flying home for the night, the breeze through the leaves of the trees and brush lining the bank behind me.  When I move around in the picture, the rocks shuffle under my feet causing small knocking noises as they settle into a new position.

There is never anyone with me. Sometimes I try to bring someone or something to my inner sanctuary.  I look around for others but it is always just me surrounded by nature. The power and the gentleness, the lightness and shadows, the sound and quiet. A place I use to spend so much time exploring as a child but have only visited a handful of times in the last few decades. A place that has imprinted itself clearly on my heart. A place that holds many memories, both positive and negative, is preserved for me with only peace and love.  A place that will always be home regardless of where I am physically.  A place where I am connected to this beautiful earth.

My Inner Sanctuary.

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Is your Inner Sanctuary always the same space?

Is there a space that instantly brings you peace when you visit or think about it?