By the time I graduated high school, I had lived in seven different houses and two countries. Moving around so much meant constantly having to redefine home. As a little girl, it would feel as though I was just settling in somewhere when it was time to move again. I adapted by finding things that helped me nest quickly, like always having my special pillow (which I still travel with!) or putting out picture frames. My family and I were also avid travelers. So, in addition to moving houses, we were constantly on airplanes too. This made for an adventurous, albeit ungrounded upbringing. Even now, my life continues to be such where my karma is to move every few years or travel every few months. Even when my soul is begging to stay put!
How Yoga Brings me Home
The first place I ever really felt settled was on a yoga mat. It was as if all that traveling was really a quest to find this place. I remember thinking to myself, “so, this is what it feels like to be home.” It was not just the soothing walls of the studio or the familiar wafts of incense, but being on my mat and in my body. I realized quickly that our practice can be a way to find home within ourselves.
One of the biggest lessons we learn in yoga is the impermanence of things. How often do we think that if we just hang on a little tighter things will always stay the same? And for some periods of time our lives may not seem to change much, until one day we look back and realize it has in fact has shifted tremendously, right under our nose. I am still not sure what is most disconcerting – taking a sharp turn in a brand-new direction or waking up one day and realizing you no longer fit in your life?
Easing into Transitions with Yoga
It can feel overwhelming at first realizing that existence is one big transition and that everything changes. As a self-prescribed control freak, this has been a lifelong journey of acceptance! The most helpful tool has been a consistent yoga practice. Yoga helps us find home in a number of ways. To begin, yoga is a universal language. Meaning that no matter where in the world you are, and, regardless if you speak a country’s native language or not, you can go to a yoga studio and know what to do. This is partly because Sanskrit is the main language used to teach yoga, but also because of the familiarity of the shapes.
Yoga also helps us find home by connecting us to the present moment. It is in the present, we are most grounded. When things feel like they are shifting underneath us and around us, it is natural to feel scattered and adrift. Yoga teaches us to use our breath and body as an anchor. These are excellent tools to keep us centered when all else seems like it is spinning.
Finding Steadiness Within
Lastly, yoga teaches us that although things outside of us are always changing (a concept called, parkrti or nature), there is a place deep inside us that is unchanging. A place that is steady and perfect. This place, what we call purusha, is where we can take refuge when the outside world is moving around us and because it is inside of us, it comes with us wherever we go. It is here where we learn that home is not a place but a feeling.
Bring home with you wherever you go by practicing this 7-pose sequence. Try it the next time you travel or relocate and want to feel "at home."