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Refuge - The Search for Safe Space

This month my intention is set on “refuge”. Refuge is a condition of being safe or sheltered from pursuit, trouble or danger. Of course I find a biblical scripture to ground me in my intention and this month that is Psalms 45:1 - “God is our refuge and strength [mighty and impenetrable], A very present and well-proved help in trouble.”

In the yoga community, a space that is known for being predominately white in the United States, there is a search for a community space that is open, inclusive, non-judgmental, and where people can be their authentic selves. for minorities, this “safe space” can be challenging, particularly when you have a lot of people that don’t know or understand “micro aggressions”. I'm moving this journey of how to create this safe space within the studio I own in Charlotte, NC, Charlotte Family Yoga. The practice and philosophy of yoga is a beautiful, inclusive, peaceful, gentle - yet strengthening, and loving experience. How can we create a space that provides all these wonderful qualities?

I turn to the bible, more specifically, the fruit of the spirit, for that refuge. Peace, love, kindness, joy, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Walking with Christ provides access to all of these characteristics! These principles are my bedrock/foundation of living a peaceful and more content life!

What does this look like in action? How can this help create the safe space we all crave? It has slowly become second nature to me now, but, each time I log into a Zoom call, enter a space to teach, create a post to social media, I ask myself - how is your heart space? Are you moving in love from a place of peace with joy and kindness? Are you gentle with yourself and others as you practice self-control? Are you in a place of not only feeling good but displaying goodness and faithfulness to your word through actions?

I love to add yoga to my devotion to God and His word. I pray and will sometimes read my Bible scriptures sitting on my mat and the two have become safe space for me. The physical practice slows me down, the meditation provides me with additional space to pray, and focusing on the breath allows me to enjoy the breath of life that God has given as well as clear my mental capacity to soak in more of his presence!

Because I trust in Him (the creator of this universe), I have joy and find REFUGE in living according to His Word! I pray that you will bask in the presence of our creator and experience refuge in HIM, on and off the mat!

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