Finding your Liminal Space
Sometimes spiritual practice doesn’t actually look like spiritual practice from the outside. Towards the end of my undergraduate degree, in my dissertation I explored ritual dance, how that had looked and what it might look like today. In that article I explored the concept of liminal space, a sacred place where somebody’s identity is either stripped away and changed through spiritual practice or reaffirms their identity to that which the person ascribes themselves to. However, in the post-modern era the same action could have no meaning whatsoever if the person ascribes no spiritual or sacred meaning to it; liminoid space. The crux of the matter in the postmodern era, is the intention of the practice and whether the actions being undertaken reaffirm your identity to a particular ‘tribe’ or thing you hold sacred.
Ok, so that sounds complicated, but it really isn’t. I am a very spiritual person and one of the spiritual practices I ascribe to, is my yoga practice. However, for him that shall remain nameless, yoga is just exercise. For me, my practice is liminal, for him it is liminoid. It really is about the intention you have when you unroll your mat. To complicate matters further, there are occasions that I perform my yoga practice for the stretch, not the soul. At those times even my practice could be deemed liminoid. But mostly, I yoga for my soul as much as my body, liminally.
To me, movement has always has a spiritual element because it connects me to my true self. It helps me strip away the filters and stories of my daily life and access the real me, hidden below those other layers. Personally, I find barre work in Ballet sacred too, because it gives me a great sense of inner-peace and connected-to-my-true-selfness that my yoga practice gives me. But I have been dancing since I was really little. For me there is real magic in the ritual of barre practice. The same sense of oneness people describe in Tai Chi and yoga. So Ballet barre work is as liminal as unrolling my mat to me, but I digress.
Today my spiritual practice came through the unrolling of my mat. We had an amazing super-moon this week but I hadn’t felt able to honour it properly till today. I’ve had tonsillitis for three weeks and I am only just recovering now. So when that beautiful full moon hit, I was still very much in the rest and heal phase of recovering. Today I finally felt up to moving, albeit slowly and gently. I love my yoga practice but up until recently I worked shifts and couldn’t commit to a class, so I joined the online studio one0eight. For today’s ‘honour the full moon’ practice I chose the Full Moon yoga Flow led by Rachel Brathen, (link below), known as the Yoga Girl in the big wide world . I love that she offers space in the practice to set your intention for the practice. Mine today was to honour the full moon and reconnect to the universal energy flow. This particular yoga flow is really gentle, and left me feeling blissfully calm, peaceful and centred, connected back up to my real me. Liminal space indeed.