The beating of a shaman’s drum, the labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral, stone monuments in Ireland, a Hopi medicine wheel, the ancient art of feng shui; they all have something in common. Each in their own way are methods developed by different cultures to create harmony between themselves and their environment. Temples throughout history, from Stonehenge to the Great Pyramids, attest to humanity’s desire to create sacred spaces that open a doorway between Heaven and Earth.
Today, our modern cities are testaments to a chaotic world of unbridled growth. Electromagnetic stresses, pollution, and negative vibrational energy currents plague us to a degree that is unprecedented in human history. These conditions hardly seem conducive to carving sacred spaces out of our steel and iron jungle. However, by using the science of yoga and the wisdom of the ancients, it is possible to create a space of harmony in our own homes.
Just as humans possess a meridian system that carries the currents of life energy throughout our bodies, the earth contains its own system of meridians. When they are open, flowing and healthy, so are the systems of the earth. Many of the earth’s “meridians” are polluted with electro-stresses and negative vibrational toxins resulting from past conflicts and violence that are stored in the energetic records of the land itself. These energies can affect the land’s inhabitants, resulting in imbalance. Fortunately, these energetic currents respond positively to spiritual impression. The vibrational stresses of the average home can be transformed through the same yogic techniques that transform those stresses in our minds and bodies.
To bring harmony and purity to our homes, we first have to understand that our external environment is only a reflection of our inner state. In The Upanishads, one of the great ancient yogic texts, we are reminded:
“As is the atom, so is the universe.
As is the human body, so is the cosmic body.
As is the human mind, so is the cosmic mind.
As is the microcosm, so is the macrocosm.”
From the atom to the cosmos, Nature’s laws and order are reflected. All of life is connected to this same order: the human body, our homes and the cosmos.
HARMONIZING OUR HOMES WITH YOGA
While yoga can restore the flow of Ch’i through our bodies, the same yogic practices of meditation, sacred movement, sound, and ceremony can also create balance, flow, prosperity and peace in our homes. Thousands of years ago, people knew that meditation, ritual and ceremony were essential parts of keeping the harmony between humanity and nature in balance. While this is a tradition lost to most of us in our modern culture, yoga holds a key to its revival.
Clear the Clutter: One of the first steps in any yogic practice is to clear and still the mind. This allows us to align us with the Source of our Being. Similarly, when we clear our homes of external clutter, we allow the vibrations of a natural order to permeate our surroundings.
Breath: Perhaps one of the most powerful tools in yoga is the use of the breath to align us with the divine cosmic breath. This cosmic breath is the rhythm of life itself. The cycles of the seasons represent the inhalation and exhalation of all life. In the winter, when the force of life is receding, it is not a good time to start new activities, but to dissolve old attachments and connections, to go within.
In the summer, when life is bursting forth with abundance, it is a time for new projects and activities. By synchronizing our home activities with the cycles of nature, we align ourselves with the natural pulsation of Life.
Balance: Achieving a balance of mind, body and spirit is a core aim of any yogic practice. In our homes, this is achieved by paying attention to the five elements: earth (body), water (emotions), air (mind), fire (spirit), ether (prana or sound). Become mindful that your home has a balanced representation of each of the elements. A home that is predominantly governed by one of these elements over the others will bring its inhabitants out of balance.
Movement: In yoga, certain movements of the body can stimulate the production of specific hormones, and can restore the flow of Chi’ in the body. Likewise, homes that incorporate aspects of sacred movement will rejuvenate the environment.
Sound: Nada Yoga means “union through sound.” It is the ancient spiritual art and science of inner transformation through sound and tone. Russill Paul, the author of The Yoga of Sound, writes, “through Nada Yoga, we can fine-tune our bodies and our minds to resonate with the harmony in all of creation, from atoms and cells to flowers and planets.” Throughout the world, temples have employed sound to vibrate heaven into the sacred meridians of the earth.
The Vedas state that mantras chanted continually have the power to purify and rejuvenate the environment. When we offer sound as vibrational medicine for our homes, the result is a harmonizing of our environment with that “music of the spheres.”
Form: The asanas of yoga were first devised to mirror the forms in nature. In so doing, our bodies and minds were put into tune with that natural order. The same is true of architecture that repeats the patterns and harmonics found in nature. Nature does not have straight angles, it flows in curves and spirals, and so when we see examples of spirals, like a winding staircase, or the flow of water in a waterfall, we feel an instant harmony. Certain mathematical harmonics attuned to nature achieve similar results. The architectural harmonizing with nature has been the main focus in the building of cathedrals and temples throughout the world.
Ceremony: In yoga, the yajnas, or fire sacrifices, are a ceremonial bridge between the inner and outer worlds, between human and the divine. Fire transforms all things into their most subtle essence. Whether applying the fire of spiritual practice (tapas) or the actual flame of a candle, fire transmutes and refines both our inner and outer environments. The ritual of placing a problem at the fire of a candle each night relieves the mind of the problem. Rituals dedicated to the divine fire are known to purify the environment on physical as well as subtle levels.
Now is the perfect time to make our homes our temples – places where the sacred vibrations radiate out to heal our families and communities. While our modern times have created more complex problems, they have also created different solutions to the same age-old quest: creating sacred space on earth. By harmonizing the vibrations of our space, and creating sacredness among the mundane, we can transform our homes into sanctuaries of harmony.