Change is the only constant we know in life.
It is the one thing we can depend on. Yet, when it comes up for us, how do we face it?
Most people resist change because it’s uncomfortable and new. As humans, we are conditioned to fear the unknown. But, the death or transformation of one experience to another simply clears space and creates the opportunity for the birth of a new one.
Do you have a feeling of anxiety or excitement? How are you moving through space? What energies are you carrying forward from one space to another? It’s interesting to contemplate these questions for self-inquiry.
The five rituals for transitioning spaces came to me based on a deep desire to honor spaces that are important to me. The spaces I have spent time in without feeling like I’m rushing until the very last second of my departure such that I am not anticipating the predictable chaos that comes along with any transition. It means slowing down, setting an intention, and tapping into a feeling of grace, ease, and fluidity.
How are you in times of change? Wouldn’t it be the ideal to move from one space to another with grace, ease, and fluidity—without resistance and with excitement rather than anxiety?
We can start to pay attention during our yoga practice how we flow from one posture to another; reflecting how we transition from one experience to another. Paying attention to the space between moments can be just as relevant and powerful as the moments themselves.
Creating space for the transition allows us to tap into the natural rhythm of movement and breath—stillness in movement.
I write this to remind us all to slow down and take some time as we transition from space to space, and place to place.
Here are five ways to honor transition space.
1. Reflective Gratitude: Taking some time to reflect upon the experiences shared in that space will surely fill you up with all sorts of emotions, so choose gratitude. No matter what happened there—good or bad, dark or light—finding gratitude for all the moments will leave you feeling excited rather than anxious about moving forward.
2. Plant/Flower Bath: A shamanic ritual done with local plants and flowers from the land, is meant to wash away any energies that don’t belong. A death and a rebirth, if you will, clearing and cleansing the way for new seeds to be planted and fertilized.
3. Smudge: Sage is used specifically to open and close spaces. You want to make sure to smudge all corners of the house, inside, outside, and yourself. This sacred smoke will leave you feeling clear, spacious, and reenergized.
4. Offering: Dedicate your last yoga practice or meditation to the space, and use the practice as an offering. Some other types of offerings to leave could be crystals, cacao, tobacco, flowers, or something else in nature to show a part of you remains in that space. This offering can leave you feeling grounded before movement and leave with the feeling that “home” is inside of you.
5. Traveling Mesa: Carry a mesa with some of your favorite crystals and sacred objects that are close to your heart. It can come with you everywhere! It’s the last thing I put out when I arrive and the last thing I put away when I leave to initiate the “opening” and “closing” of the space. I am able to connect on a spiritual level, and the contents of my (or your) mesa can be used for healing. It brings old experiences into new spaces and sends positive vibrations into the space.
As yoga teachers and practitioners, we get to practice transitioning on the mat and notice how it reflects in our transition off the mat and into the world.
I encourage you to notice more spaciousness and attention placed on the journey from asana A to asana B, or perhaps the pause at the top and the bottom of the breath, rather than the breath itself. Create awareness and gratitude for where you have been and where you will be going, and make the transition a series of rituals rather than a rush out the door.
Use this as an opportunity to play with time. Go from anxiety and resistance of leaving a space, to excitement and joy at entering into a new one. Use these rituals to help slow yourself down and pay attention to the details of the journey as you let go of the destination.
The path will reveal itself as you are walking it. Find presence, because, with presence, the time is now. How do you want to be moving through space? For me, it is with ease, grace, and fluidity.
Author: Randi Schiffman
Editor: Taia Butler