I can sense it happening, a slight vibrational shift of energy at first; a hint of noise breaking through the silence. And then, all at once, it is here; unsettling anxiety, a deep contraction in my body. My first reaction is always the same.
Change something. Shifting my external world will surely bring me happiness. Creating a peaceful altar, painting my room or rearranging my furniture will create the space that I need to dissipate these feelings in my body. Initially, the shiny new arrangement of furniture drops me into a greater sense of ease, delighting at the shift of external circumstances. A few short hours later, happiness seems to slip away and I drop back into distress.
I’ve spent years going through these cycles of looking. Desperately grasping for the perfect sacred space outside myself; the magical configuration of furniture and trinkets that would lead me directly to lasting freedom. It didn’t happen that way.
It was Utthita Trikonasana that lead me into sacred space. What I was longing for had nothing to do with altars and furniture. After years of practicing, and a yoga teacher training, suddenly and with no warning, triangle pose shifted my life. I was drawn out of my cycle of thoughts and into my feet and the simple connection to foundation and unwavering support. Followed by an awakening to the presence of strength in my own body, not just to hold the pose, but the ability to expand beyond the edges of my body. And then a tranquil stillness right at the center. That was it, sacred space!
This sweet pose gave me enough space to see that my body is here to serve my spirit and if there is danger present, my body shows up to protect me. Our asana practice is a refinement of perceptions. Witnessing the paths in which our thoughts can take our bodies into reactions and staying present to the innermost space, the witness. It is there that we can guide our bodies back, out of reaction and into the sacred space.