From walking to Santiago de Compostello to travelling to Mecca, from visiting the ghats of Varanasi to driving Route 66, a pilgrimage can offer us experiences of challenge, curiosity, inquiry, joy, creativity, and confrontation. A pilgrimage can be defined as a journey centered around a spiritual goal. That goal can be a personal mission—fulfilling a promise, paying homage, or simply engaging in self-discovery.
At the heart of the notion of pilgrimage, though, is the intention for the external journey to activate a concurrent inner journey, allowing the yogi to emerge transformed. The physical act of making a pilgrimage creates a purposeful daily structure different from our everyday routines. The shock of being pulled out of our daily habits sparks change that can be tricky to achieve in our familiar surroundings. And here’s where it gets sticky, because, of course, not everyone has the practical means or the physical ability to undertake the travel of a pilgrimage. So how can you make the inner experience of pilgrimage accessible right here and now, wherever you are? How can you nurture a transformational experience within the familiarity of your daily life?
Fortunately, there are many ways to do this. For a month, commit to one of these seven pilgrimages you can make from your own home and see what happens.
Note: For each of the following inner explorations, journaling can be very helpful. Even writing one sentence a day to describe your experience will help you to remember your journey, reflect upon your process, and measure your growth.
About Our Expert
Susanna Harwood Rubin (pictured above) is the author of Yoga 365. She is a yoga teacher, writer, and artist whose work is rooted in South Indian Philosophy. Based in NYC, Susanna teaches internationally through her Devi Soul Yoga, which combines yoga asana with mantra, myth, and mudra. Susanna created Writing Your Practice workshops and online courses. She has been featured on HuffPostLive, MSNBC Today, in Mantra Yoga+Health, elephant journal, and more. Learn more about her on: