"We are our own sacred space..."

"In thinking about the temple, I have been thinking a lot about sacred geometry -- the mathematical principles that guide the design and construction of our sacred spaces; our temples, churches, mosques, synagogues. We as humans are drawn to admire these principles both in nature as well as in the built environment. And the human body itself is designed with these principles in mind, we are proportioned to mimic these patterns that we see in nature. So we are our own sacred space. Which then leads me to think about how you treat a sacred space. It's not all about geometry. A space is sacred because of intention. You want to keep it clean, to take care of it. To offer it great things so that it can provide for you. We do the same with the body. We come to yoga to clean things out, remove what doesn't serve us, open ourselves to things that do. We give to our own sacred space, so it can give to us." - Leah, Jai Yoga Arts


"The temple is within us..."

Tall Statue

"I love that we are recognizing sacred spaces in ourselves and our lives. I certainly find my bedroom to be one of my temples. I have a small alter for my meditations and my windows face east so its very energizing to practice here in the mornings. Keeping this space clean and calm definitely keeps me at ease. However, when the weather is nice I find myself abandoning this temple to be outside. Living in New York I think the city's parks are all temples in themselves. There's something very cleansing about laying in soft grass and breathing in (relatively) fresh air especially in a place that calls us to spend most of our time in buildings or surrounded by concrete, these green spaces are all the more precious!

When I am with a few of my very close friends, whom I don't see often, it feels like we create an importance and attention in our time and place together very reminiscent of a sacred space. It makes me feel like it's less about the actual place and more about the energy and attention that we bring to it, that's what makes places and spaces sacred to us. The temple is within us, and we just have to discover how to awaken it in our external lives. I think I'm going to start figuring out how to let this temple resonate in more outlets of my life so I can find the sacred importance in everything I do!"  - Lauren S, Jai Yoga Arts

"The Inner Temple"

"The sound of singing bowls transmit a frequency, a silent humming of energy. There is one near each chakra, tuning the spokes of the wheels to source. It is a hymn of my love affair with the Divine.
The scent of incense smoke petitions the spirits raising consciousness. Swirls, looping around each energy center collaborating in a purification rite ...a passage.
Red roses with thorns mosaic my temple floors so that every step is a reminder of my cyclic nature and that my blood mysteries are a sacred sacrament.
My womb the organ of dreaming is the living altar of my feminine soul. She is adorned with salty, sweet, earthy flavors of prayer, meditation, worship.

Close your eyes right now. Breathe into your womb space. What colors, sounds, smells, textures create your Inner Temple?" - Vanessa, Jai Yoga Arts

Mosaic Temple

"When I call to my mind the temple, I call to my mind the feelings..."

"Om jai jagdish hare
swami jai jagdish hare
bhakt jano ke sankat
bhakto jano ke sankat
shaname dure kare
hari om jai jagdish hare

Every Sunday morning, even when we slept late at the sleepover the night before. Dad always woke us up in time to pray at our mandir (temple) in the bedroom. To this day my best friends and I remember it like it was yesterday.

My religion is my culture, in the essence of my being. Ask me to explain it and I struggle to find the words to describe the feelings.

As I journey along, I feel closer to this that is indescribable. I entered many mandirs last year, in the Himalayas down to the southern tip of India. Each glowing with energy, and vibrant with spirituality. It was in the south that the layers fell away the most. Each temple constructed from the center out. The maze of pathways to lead you from the outer world around and around, deeper, more entrenched. A shoeless, wide eyed, humbled being seeking not one thing but a feeling. The smells both fragrant and pungent, the sight, dark and cavernous, the feel, cold, cool, stuffy, or clammy, as the sun continued down and the feels, enveloping, engaging, and powerful.

When I call to my mind the temple, I call to my mind the feelings. Home, love, spirit, culture, tradition, energy, strength, solitude, darkness, reverence, companionship, quiet, openness. May your temple set you free." - Tejal, Jai Yoga Arts

Temple Meditation

"When I think of a temple, a 7'x3' block of space comes to mind..."

"When I think of a temple, a 7'x3' block of space comes to mind. The caramel-colored hardwood floors, the screened windows transmitting early morning quiet, punctuated by the language of neighborhood animals, unknowable yet familiar, as comforting as the light sweat that kisses my brow and back as I conclude my sun salutations. I used to beg of technology to fill that little space with tempos and rhythms, Hare krishnas and ancient psalms, but now I find an unmatched music in my breath. As I move, as I flow from one posture to the next, I can feel the rest of my day also smoothing out before me. Though I do not know what will happen, I have found my center, the sacred undulations of my diaphragm and lungs promising that I will be OK. That I may be filled with joy and acceptance at what happens, and learn from discomfort. This is my practice, and it's not exactly a beach in Bali, but inside it feels just about the same. My mat, my heat, my breath, and the living room space cleared just enough of its furniture - this is my Temple!" - Chelsey, Jai Yoga Arts

Temple Steps

"One of the notable things about temples..."

Temple Keepers

"One of the notable things about temples, is that they are constantly attended to. The temple is cleaned every day by the people who are devoted to the space. In temples it's monks, at Jai it's the teachers and seva's (volunteers). Today lets give thanks to our great teachers and volunteers who make Jai a clean and special place for us to come and release our cares. In this clean space we can see clearly. In a cared for space, we feel cared for. These are all the qualities of a temple. A space for us to connect with our highest self." - Ella L, Jai Yoga Arts

"I see the Temple as the place where I find peace..."


"For me, I see the Temple as the place where I find peace and comfort throughout each day.  It is an ever changing place, that ebbs and flows like a tide.  It is that moment I wake up and see the light coming through my bedroom windows, and enjoy quiet before my schedule takes over.  It is the notes of my favorite songs that I lose myself in on a long subway ride.  Or hearing my mom’s voice for just a few minutes during a busy day at work.  The moments that may be fleeting, but bring you back to the present, to yourself.   That wash away the worries and frustrations that life can challenge you with, and let you just be. Jumping onto the couch with my dog when I get home and looking into those big, brown happy eyes.  Savoring the flavors of a delicious dinner and appreciating the guy who made it for me.  Walking into Jai, rolling out my mat, and feeling at home.  Ready to teach, learn and practice.  And ready to embrace the next hour as time for myself, to nourish my body and mind, at the beautiful temple that has become such a happy space in my life :)."  - Erin B, Jai Yoga Arts

June's Theme: The Temple...


The Temple...

In Thailand it seems there was a temple on every block. Great big beautiful buildings made of rounded edges and glittery gold. Statues of the buddah in meditative bliss. Archways, flowing staircases, and reflection pools. Spaces where the only purpose was to come and re-ground, re-center, become calm, and feel reverence for life. 
The people would kneel and take three devoted bows before the buddah's feet. You could tell that these bows cleansed their spirit, relieved their pain and re-set their soul.

It got me thinking that these sacred spaces were the reason the whole country felt at peace. I never felt rushed there, I felt respected and honored by each person I interacted with. I never felt harassed, or pressured. And there was a lite of genuine joy in each person's smile. Just as you are what you eat, our digestion includes the visuals we create around ourselves. To an American, it may seem a waste of space to devote an area just for soulful contemplation. But the spaciousness of such devoted places manifests inside our very being and turns into expanded time, expanded joy, valuable things that cannot be purchased with money.
Temples can come in many forms. Churches, art studio's, the stage, your place of yoga, a corner in your room. I hope everyone can find and expand their temple, as I know that expansion grows on the inside as well as out.

I hope that Jai acts as a temple of space for people. When you come here, feel the devotion of so many practitioners and teachers. See the open space as your space to dissolve obstacles and create newness. But also, be sure to create your temple within your space at home, and within your own body.

In the spaces you live and work, is there something beautiful to look at that brings you peace... Is there a picture, or an ornament that gives you a breath when you look at it... Do you devote time to keeping your space clutter free so that you can feel peace... No question marks, they are your own answers. And for the temple of the body, can you carry inside you some place where you can look to at any time of day or night... A beautiful place, a memory or a hope that is comforting and re-assuring. These are the temples within and without.

June's poem:

There is a temple nearby. It is open from dawn till dusk and then again all throughout the night. Around the corner, up the stairs, in the fold of your clothes. The temple radiates goodness, relief, peace. There is a glow it holds as the night crawls in. A glow  from the light of wisdom and courage that you've grown. Now, outside yourself, be washed by your own reflection. Drink the radiance that is at once, yours and mine and for all to absorb. Renew, reset and restore, at the temple.