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A Sacred Space

I grew up in Iowa and almost all of my family still lives there. Every year at Thanksgiving and usually in July - I come back. There's something really amazing about coming back to my roots and remembering where I came from. That, in and of itself, is sacred; however, that's not what this is about, though it does set the stage.

My best friend was murdered in June of 2016. I went to a yoga class the night I found out and it was so emotionally traumatic that I would become physically ill every time I touched my mat. So, I stopped going to yoga. I kept trying to go; but, the nausea would overcome me and I'd have to cancel my class.

Five months later, we made the annual Thanksgiving trip to Iowa and for some reason, I brought my yoga mat. I'd never been to a yoga studio in Iowa before; but, I started researching studios and signed up for an evening class at Evolve Yoga & Wellness. I knew nothing of the studio, knew no one there, and more importantly, no one there knew me! I desperately wanted to get back to my daily yoga practice and I needed a fresh start - a time and place with no emotional memories of the trauma of that summer.

While I preach about the importance of connection, the LACK of connection was my greatest ally in this situation. I had no connection to the space, the people, or the room. It was an empty vessel that could handle my hurt without fear or hesitation. I had a messy practice in the physical sense; yet, on a soul level it was beautiful, healing, restoring.

The owner of the studio, Erin, was there after class and we immediately connected. I had the chance to tell her a brief version of the story and how important that practice had been. I needed her to know, I needed to thank her, and I needed to express gratitude for creating a space that gifted healing to my broken heart. Erin and I became friends and we've stayed friends. I've connected with some of the other students and teachers at Evolve and always make it to class regularly when I'm back in town. And, it's always healing. It's always exactly what I need.

I'm in Iowa and while my time is especially short this week, I made a point to go to class last night. I'm always thankful for the wholeness that washes over me when I walk in the door. I need the reminder that healing comes- that I can survive even the deepest of wounds. I need this place where I am free of reputation and expectation and I can have the messiest practice I need in the moment.

I remember that my practice is for ME - it's not for the person on the mat next to me. Evolve has become sacred space for me. A place that connects me deeply to my own vulnerability and strength. The space is sacred because it brought me back to myself when I couldn't find me in the darkness and despair.

I don't have another chance to practice at Evolve this trip; but, it's ok. I got what I needed and hope that the space receives from me as well.

I share this mostly as an expression of deep gratitude for an unexpected place that offered a needed gift at the perfect time; but, also in hopes that when you are hurting you can find a sacred space for healing. I hope that you will believe in the healing that comes from tragedy. I hope you will allow yourself to be vulnerable and strong. I hope you give yourself time to grieve and allow restoration and healing to come.

#yoga #healing #grief


©2020 by Kristin Benton.

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