Enjoy poems about coming home by Kripalu Poet Dana Fauldsand Yoga Teacher/Therapist Julie Rappaport.
Read how German poet Ranier Rilke, writing over a hundred years ago, imagines what “coming home” is like inside.
Read a student’s "Coming Home" story, and tips from Luann for being “at home” with yourself.
Learn how wonderful coming home can feel…from Kripalu’s Stephen Cope in his article, “Coming Home to How It Is.”
Welcome to Dream Yoga…and Welcome “Home” to Yourself! A Student’s Story From Luann
A recent experience here at Dream Yoga Studio emphasizes just how important it is to keep coming home to yourself. A student I have not seen for over a year recently returned. She had been through a lot of personal turmoil in her absence from Dream Yoga, but seemed to be more on the upside of this “darker night” of the soul now. However, when she saw and hugged me, she started to cry.
My understanding of this, which I confirmed with her, is: When she saw me, she remembered the times on her mat—in savasana or corpse pose—when she was at peace and “at home” with herself. Her soul remembered itself—its true nature of love, light, peace and joy. Not a state of worry or stress. Not a sense of imperfection. Not confusion, sorrow, turmoil or grief.
In essence, this student had the ultimate yoga experience. This is what yoga is about. It aims to help us remember and realize our true nature…to help us come home to who we really are.
We can do this on the mat and off. Simply breathe in and ride your breath home into your heart. Let your breath take you inside, where the silence is. With each out breath, each exhalation, relax into your inner stillness. Go into your “still point”—an emptiness at the core of your being where you can find peace.
“Just keep coming home to yourself. You are the one you’ve been waiting for.”
-- founder of The Work
Dream Yoga’s Home Page says, “Come Home!”
This is because…many folks through the years have said that coming to Dream Yoga Studio is like “coming home.” The Studio is very comfortable and friendly…and students say they feel it's a “home away from home.” But our Studio—like yoga itself—can also be a “respite” from many of the concerns and responsibilities that can await us at home or work. Little respites reduce stress, and help us approach life with a clear mind and a more open heart.
There’s another way to look at “coming home.” The practice of yoga can be similar to the experience of traveling. In the poem to the right, Kripalu poet Danna Faulds describes yoga as “a journey and a coming home.” Just like geographic travel, the biophysical and emotional travel of a yogic path pushes us to experience every unknown sensation, so that we can find our center.
Why do we bother to try to stand on one foot or twist ourselves into a pretzel? Besides some physical benefits, we are learning to observe ourselves through the journey of sensations. Every day and every pose are completely new and different, as our minds and bodies are changing constantly. As yogis, we try to experience every possible combination of sensations, and then we learn to identify the one and only thing that stays constant throughout every single asana and meditation: our true self. We come home to who we truly are.
May you have the joy, comfort and excitement of “coming home”… again and again! We at Dream feel blessed to be a part of your journey.
When we’re at home with ourselves, we’re fully embodied. We feel grounded, well, peaceful and self-accepting. We’re less likely to worry. We’re not overly concerned about what anybody else thinks or says that isn’t loving, kind or helpful.
Yoga, meditation, prayer and other contemplative practices can help us be more at home. Whatever you do—it could be gardening or playing music—you know you’re doing something good for you…if it helps you feel at home. Grandmaster John Kells of the British Tai Chi Chuan Association says, “If there isn’t a feeling of coming home and finding a lively peace within, then you are missing the point.”
To come “home” to yourself, first be aware of your foundation. Feel your “home base”—your seat on your chair or cushion, or your feet on the floor. Then bring your attention to your breath at the tip of your nostrils. Follow your breath inside and become aware of your heartbeat and your body’s sensations. Then simply relax and BE. Can you give yourself permission to simply be at home for awhile…and not have to DO (or over-do) anything for a few moments or longer?
While you’re home, you can check out how it feels to be there. Be aware of openness. Tightness. Aches and pains. Level of energy. Heat. Cold. Tingles. The nature of your mind and emotions. Your sense of aliveness…or deadness.
Fully embody what’s real for you, so you can know your truth in this moment. After that, you can decide if you need to take better care of your home. On the yoga mat and off, this means not pushing, forcing or doing things that harm your structure and destroy your peace in body or mind. It also means cleaning house--having discipline and working hard enough to get rid of tensions, toxins or other harmful elements.
Psychotherapist Stephen Cope is a senior Kripalu Yoga teacher, author and Director of Kripalu’s Institute for Extraordinary Living. In this article, he investigates how and why practices like yoga and meditation create a sense of well-being and ease.
Recently, I was talking on the phone with my friend Sandy, who had just gone through an unexpected relationship meltdown. Her partner, Tim, she said, had suddenly developed "intimacy issues" and had fled the relationship "like a rat off a sinking ship."
For an hour or so, we talked about the difficulties of her situation. She expressed her sense of disorientation and sadness. Toward the end, she said something interesting: "Thank God I have my yoga practice." I could feel the gratitude in her voice. "It’s a little island of sanity. Like coming home. That hour between 7:00 and 8:00 a.m. has become the most important hour of my day."
Musing over our conversation later, I thought I really know what she means. Coming home. That’s my experience precisely. I go to my yoga mat almost every afternoon around 4:00. I look forward to it, and most days I find it remarkably soothing. As I go through my little rituals of preparation—rolling out the mat, tidying up the yoga space, perhaps putting on some quiet music—my body begins to relax. Even my mind begins to relax. And this happens before I’ve done a single posture.
Almost everyone I know who has a regular yoga practice experiences some version of this feeling. But how does it work? How, exactly, does yoga cultivate this sense of well-being—one so profound that it can antidote even Sandy’s current emotional devastation? … MORE
Breath of Life
I breathe in All That Is- Awareness expanding to take everything in, as if my heart beats the world into being.
From the unnamed vastness beneath the mind, I breathe my way to wholeness and healing.
Each Breath a "yes," and a letting go, a journey, and a coming home.
-Dana Faulds (From Go In and In: Poems from the Heart of Yoga)
Ah, not to be cut off
Ah, not to be cut off, not through the slightest partition shut out from the law of the stars.
The inner -- what is it? if not the intensified sky, hurled through with birds and deep with the winds of homecoming.
--Ranier Maria Rilke (From Ahead of All Parting: The Selected Poetry and Prose of Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Stephen Mitchell)
Experience has shown me that everything seems to flow well after yoga and meditation practice.
Connecting with my breath, moving through skin, I traverse muscle and bone and wash up on the shores of my own being.
--Julie Rappaport, Yoga Teacher & Therapist 365 Yoga Daily Meditations (2004, Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin)