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My Body Is A Temple, My Heart is a Shrine

Updated: Apr 20, 2023

Stephen in headstand pose bound legs variation at Lake Wasdale

Here I am in Headstand bound legs variation, stretching out my thighs, from my trip to Lake Wasdale on Monday, making the best of a single day of sunshine amongst the rain. This variation forms the body into a Stupa shape, evoking the famous phrase about our body being a temple, and our heart a shrine. St. Paul famously said a similar thing when he said our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. You could say our body is our doing centre, our mind our thinking centre, our heart our feeling centre, and our soul our being centre, and the goal of all the poses in yoga is to facilitate the awakening of our feeling and being centres. Our doing centre, our body, is active, and our being centre, our soul, is reflective, and headstand pose perfectly expresses the blend of active and reflective. Whilst our body is engaged in balancing upside down, at the point of balance the pose requires very little effort, and we have the sensation of being suspended in space, deliciously hanging loose, whilst fully and keenly aware. The head is placed symbolically below the heart, and the top of the skull is magnetised and stimulated by the ground, increasing the feeling of activity in inactivity, and inactivity in activity. When you feel the flow of your soul, the magnetic current of presence, the spiralling energies of ascension, the electricity of increasing intensity, the gathering together of your essential being—the fullness of life, as Jesus liked to say, you don’t need to justify yourself or preen your image, or prove anything to anyone. At that moment when the silence rings with a sound, the stillness acquires a flow, and our focus melts into a feeling, our heart awakens, and we realise that ‘The Kingdom is at Hand’, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and the peace, love, and wisdom we crave is already within us, flowing like a river into and out of the ocean of universal being.

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