An altar is a place for honoring what matters to you, and though it requires no spiritual or religious associations, I find it creates a bridge to sacred things in life. The altar in our home combines honoring our pasts with what inspires us to live a loving life in the present. Here are some questions I ask myself when creating as sacred space at home or re-arranging our alter, which we do fairly regularly.
1. Will I try to meditate in front of my altar or do I plan to pass by it habitually?
We’ve designated the top of the piano for our altar – it is perfect because we pause by it on entering and leaving the house, and it occupies a space that doesn’t collect a lot of other belongings to clutter its significance.
2. Who or what do I want to honor for the current state of my life?
My husband and I choose to honor the people we’ve lost who have marked our pasts, by keeping photos on our altar. But we also honor each other, and the gratitude we feel for having each other, with origami lotuses that were on our wedding tables and the sage stick we used to ceremoniously mark our wedding spot.
3. What qualities do I need to cultivate in my life right now?
We keep a stone buddha on the altar to remind us to cultivate peace, balance, right thinking, right speaking, and right intentions, which seem perpetually necessary. Right now I am also feeling the need to cultivate acceptance of others and keep from holding on to too many weighty complaints, so I’ve put a feather from our hike over the weekend to brush all that away.
4. What objects symbolize or make you feel a greater connection, to others, to existence, or to the spiritual world?
I find it is important to get a little bigger than oneself, for perspective. For the altar, I gravitate toward objects from nature – dried flowers, feathers, natural minerals, stones, shells, heart shaped rocks. For me, these things symbolize the amazing beauty life produces and that I want to remember to be wondrous of and grateful for. Then I can carry that wonder and gratitude into other aspects of my life.
5. How will I use the altar to connect with it, and by extension, the divine?
I light candles, burn sage sticks, add vases of fresh-picked flowers, finger the mala of beads… You may choose to meditate in front of yours, or sing in front of it, or practice yoga in its view. However you use it, may it bring you healing and inspiration.
Send us pictures of your sacred spaces!
Post to Instagram and tag @ilovenamaste and the hashtag #MySacredSpace
From the clothing and products in our boutiques to the images and flyers that brand us, Helene leaves her mark on us. As our Graphics and Retail Goddess, she is continually shaping the visual look and feel of Namaste. She formally joined the Namaste team in late 2012, but her tentacles reached here many years ago when she was hired to design and print a tee for the original Rockridge studio. She absolutely loves interfacing with the amazing people here and is sure she has the best job on staff. When not thinking about the faces of our beautiful yoga boutiques and studios, she enjoys nature, backpacking, drawing, printmaking, playing with her adorable mutt, and inversions.