5 elements

For the past several weeks I have been speaking about space in my classes.  This subject first came to me while feeling very claustrophobic in my own life.  A little background with me.  I don’t hide my emotions easily.  If I’m sad… I LOOK sad.  If I’m happy… I am the bubbliest thing on earth.  My class themes usually come from a very personal place in my life.  I usually try to bring either what I need in my own life or what the people around me are struggling with to my students.  For example, if I am feeling very child-like I teach a class on finding your playfulness on the mat.  If various people around me are dealing with loss – I try to bring compassion and acceptance of emotions into my class.

So back to space.  This is such a complex subject in yoga.  There are so many ways to find space: physically, psychologically, mentally, spatially, metaphysically, etc.  So now we are going on 6 weeks talking about space.  Seriously.  First we started out very basic and brought space in our bodies through stretching and expanding through the breath.  From there we have explored space for our yoga practice, space to be unique, space to be exactly who you want to be, and space to be in the present moment.

Whew!  Is it sad I think that space is pretty awesome?  There are so many ways that space can come into our yoga practice and into our lives.  Every time I think that I’m running out of space to talk about space (yes, I meant to do that), I come up with another way that space can come into our lives.  From the moment we wake up we are creating space; space in the world for ourselves and our ideas our personalities and our voices.  There is no way to avoid creating space.  So… in that inevitability, shouldn’t we be mindful about creating our spaces?  Shouldn’t we care about what we put out into the world because eventually whatever we put out there comes right back to us?

Today I challenge you to choose one aspect of space (see list of suggestions below).  Take a WHOLE day – from the moment you wake up to the moment you finally curl up for the night – and think about that space.  Make those conscious choices.  Choose what type of space you put out there.  See how that affects the space of those around you.  Just this day. Just this moment.  Create your space.

Examples of SPACE:

  1. Space in the body from stretching (muscles and subtle body space)
  2. Space created in the body from the breath (prana).  Where does the breath go? How deep is the breath? Etc.
  3. Space for your yoga practice at home (asanas, meditation, etc.)
  4. Space for your yoga  practice in your everyday activities
  5. Space for creating your creativity
  6. Space for your childlike aspects (curiosity, looking at life with fresh eyes)
  7. Creating space for your personality in your yoga practice (dancing to music, paying attention to transitions)
  8. Creating space to be silent

You see where I’m going with this, right?  So try it out.  Think more 8 full limbs of yoga rather that just asanas/ poses.  Let me know what you think.  How does being mindful of space affect you?