My Inner Landscape
Dive into your inner landscape. The invitation is from our guide in the practice of yoga. I am intrigued. I did not realise that I had an inner landscape. Arthritic joints, sluggish, ageing organs, yes; an inner landscape sounds far more interesting.
I lay prone in Savanasa, the corpse pose. I find this pose challenging. You must suspend reality as you focus on your breath. How can you relax and refresh your mind, with a thin piece of carpet between you, your yoga mat and the concrete floor. Somehow it works. My frame feels heavy, muscles relax and my brain surrenders. Now I am being encouraged to dive into my inner landscape. Am I brave enough? What will I discover?
All I can see is desert: brittle vegetation littered sparsely on arid land. I see warm colours, a wide horizon with spectacular sun rays sprayed across hot skies. Feel the breath and think about what has brought you here. Our yoga instructor has a gentle way of helping us to refocus. We reach, lift, stretch and honour our summer meridians; twisting, turning, listening to the rhythm of our bodies. Extra cushions, folded blankets and thick straps are props I need to maintain my comfort as I visualise myself in Gomukhasana, cow face pose. Sit tall and breathe. It is important to maintain a steady breath as you reach for that sweet spot, where you can learn and change.
I wonder why my inner landscape is a desert. Is it my age? Once fertile, now barren, my days as a luscious beach babe are long gone. Is it related to the strange fact that I was born in the desert? Woomera is my birth place, about 500kms north-west of Adelaide. It was the site of a rocket range as well as a long range weapons testing facility. A joint project between Britain and Australia began secret operations after World War II in the Woomera Prohibited area. Anyone living or working in the vicinity (including my family) has surely suffered the detrimental health impacts of exposure to high levels of radiation resulting from those terrible experiments. The original owners of the Maralinga Tjarutja lands were driven out by the utter devastation wrought by mushroom clouds of toxic waste.
Still, the desert is definitely my inner landscape. It is a myriad of warm colours and textures, deep yellows, rustic orange, rich reds and bold brown. It is not so frightening to be alone in the desert. I am surrounded by heavy silence. I can feel my breath. I have seen my inner landscape as I aim for the union of acceptance and recognition of my divine self.