Sanctuary Living by THE YOGA SCHOOL


CONVERSATIONS AT THE SANCTUARY: Entering 2021 with ease and grace

By The Yoga School / December 7, 2020

Release old patterns, embrace new possibilities, and set your intentions for a new year.

In the wake of the pandemic, many joke about how 2020 can’t possibly get any worse. For some, the exhaustion of coping with events in 2020 hardly leaves any room to imagine what 2021 might bring.

“This year, the internal journey for many has deepened in a significant way,” observes Rie Komiya, a Kundalini Yoga teacher and facilitator of meditation classes backdropped by the healing sounds of crystal bowls. Which is why she is conducting a workshop held on 19 December at The Yoga School to help participants uncover the wisdom of 2020 and apply these lessons in the year ahead.

“I hope that people are empowered to create something positive for themselves regardless of what’s happening in the world,” shares Rie, who will guide participants through a two-hour workshop that includes breathing and meditation exercises, intention setting, and two sets of restorative sound baths.

Could you tell us more about the sequence of the workshop?

The first part of the workshop will help you to reflect on 2020, let go of negative emotions (heaviness, fatigue, tension), and come back to your neutral state so that you can uncover the personal growth within. We’ll send our gratitude for 2020 before integrating our learnings from the year so that we can carry this wisdom into 2021.

The second part of the workshop is focused on the following year. I’ll guide participants in a short clearing meditation before we journal our intentions for 2021. All this is done while we are in a neutral state so that our higher self and intuition can guide us beyond the familiar paths or patterns that our thinking mind has established. The ability to tune into our intuitive self might help to precipitate unexpected thoughts or insights. A crystal bowl meditation session will help participants to relax, set their intention, and manifest ideas for 2021.

Your workshop aims to help participants let go of patterns that they do not need. Why do we hold on to patterns that don’t serve us? What are examples of such patterns?

Any practice you keep for 1,000 days becomes a practice that you eventually master. This applies to both positive and negative habits. When the habit is ingrained in you, you need to apply a conscious effort to break the hold of an existing pattern. Sometimes, familiar or habitual patterns may not necessarily be patterns that serve us. Think about how we’re accustomed to starting our day with a strong cup of coffee. Does our body necessarily need caffeine if it has experienced sufficient rest?

Personally, waking up and looking at my phone first thing in the morning is not a preferred habit. When we first wake, our being is so open that whatever enters our consciousness or subconsciousness will stay. This negative intrusion might take the form of the news reporting on the chaos in the world. After this happens, many find it challenging to bring the mind back to a neutral state. So if you cultivate a habit (or have the luxury of doing so) of setting your phone aside for the first few hours of the morning, you create room to go within yourself and set your intention for the day.

How do sound baths help with releasing old patterns?

Sound works on a cellular level. Essentially, sound is simply vibration. When different vibrations permeate the cell, its healing qualities enter the cell to awaken the body’s inner healing wisdom. This inner healing wisdom will help to bring the mind and body back into balance. In this manner, sound baths awaken and harness the body’s natural healing ability. It rebalances the body instead of allowing it to carry negative patterns that don’t serve you.

Why is it important to welcome all possibilities?

When you’re meditating and experience a state of bliss, you may not achieve a similar state at the next session. However, if you drop the expectation of attaining a certain outcome, you open yourself to more possibilities, that of an even more amplified state, or perhaps a different experience altogether. Therefore, remaining open to all possibilities allows you to notice what is working for you and what’s manifesting for you in a positive way. It could be a small thing. Or something even bigger. Think about it this way – if you’re sitting you your room, you can only see as far as the wall might allow. However, once you remove the wall, you can see the beautiful mountain, river, or sky beyond.

What would you say to someone who is fearful of what 2021 will bring?

2020 is already the past. It might be difficult for the human mind, but let the past be the past. If you let go of the expectation that 2021 will be similar to 2020, something different will emerge.