I'm on a path to open more space up in my life!! As someone with an extremely busy schedule I am coming to value my space (both literally and figuratively) even more. The space of time between teaching classes which is often filled with a train or car ride, time in a bookshop, or time to to myself is something I've come to really value. I moved into a new space over four months ago and my husband and I realized just how much STUFF we filled into our one bedroom space once we moved. In fact the movers commented that they were surprised we fit that much into our small apartment. This was even after a week of really purging things that we decided we didn't need to take with us. I would never consider myself a hoarder or a protector or material things. In fact I feel blessed that as I've gotten older my attachment to "things" has faded significantly. But it was still extremely challenging and uncomfortable to get rid of things. Things I hadn't used in months or even years. I sat with that discomfort and now I can't even tell you the items we got rid of, I have no recollection of them.
In our new place we have a lot more space. It feels weird to have all of this space actually. I've noticed the urge build up inside of me to fill the space in different ways. Maybe another chair here would be great, maybe another picture here, maybe something more decorative here. Each time I'm able to resist this as I come into my light filled space and feel this delicious sense of peace seeing ALL of the space that is available to me. I have room for my home yoga practice (my own inversion wall), my altar (my sacred space), a kitchen table to sit and have dinner, and so much more. I find myself more protective of this space and what I fill it up with. I have found myself wanting to fill the space and almost purchasing something, and I have this moment when I'm now able to stop and ask if it fills the home with some kind of value or meaning. Most of the time it doesn't and so the urge passes and I move on.
My personal space (i.e, my schedule and time) is the same. I'm guessing yours is too. The busier I become the more I notice the importance of how I'm using the time open in my schedule. What are we filling into that space in our lives? What does that chunk of time we put onto our google calendars really mean? Personally I'm stripping away anything that doesn't have meaning anymore. I'm taking stock of my "stuff" and am ready to make space for things of meaning to come into my life. If I have two hours in between classes what am I doing? Am I aimlessly walking around the city or am I sitting in a coffee shop feeding my soul with a good podcast, reading a good play, or using the studio to practice?
How are we opening up and using our space?
It's UNCOMFORTABLE to open up that space. I hated moving. I hated throwing things away. It felt really really uncomfortable. But I did it. We all go through those uncomfortable sensations when we are releasing and letting go of things to make space. Old relationships, friendships that no longer feel right, bad habits, etc. On our mat we are always seeking to make space. Have you ever noticed the postures where you wiggle and hate being still in are often the ones where you need more space in your body? We move because we are uncomfortable. We are making space in our bodies and it sometimes feels really weird. I personally feel this in malasana (squat), pigeon, and any wide legged forward fold. The hips and hamstrings for me historically have been tight. There a lot of old junk in those muscles that I'm holding onto. When I am in malasana I immediately want to get out. The beautiful thing is that if we can breathe through the discomfort we start realize the "stuff" we are holding onto that we need to let go of. When we let go of it, space suddenly opens. Does my jaw need to be involved? Do I really need to grip my fingers? Can I just give over to opening up this space, even though it's uncomfortable? Yes. On the other side of this we will find immense space. Within that space is possibility. Just like George says in Sunday in the Park with George..."White. A blank page or canvas?"
This week on the mat we will be exploring opening up space within our asana practice. As we gaze inward can we ask ourselves..."what am I holding onto?" We can ask this on and off the mat...
WHAT AM I HOLDING ONTO THAT I CAN LET GO OF?
Please join me! I'd love to see you there.