Create Some Space…Start Now!
Spring is the season of renewal, bounty, abundance, fertility, and love among other things. But the Universe doesn’t provide us these things without a little effort on our part. We have to create the space for them and thereby invite in all of the positive things that we want in our lives. As a yoga teacher and student, I hear the phrase “create space” thrown out a lot. But what do we actually mean by it? Well it actually means a lot of different things, some of them on the mat and some of them off the mat..
In a Pose
Most often, the idea of creating space comes up when we are performing a posture and the teacher says something like, “create space in the hips.” What they usually mean is that we have a certain amount of heaviness in our bodies that we are unaware of most of the time. Some of this comes from our muscles not being used in the best way possible to support our skeletal structure. If we can strengthen and lengthen a certain area, we can create a feeling of lightness or space that lets certain movements get easier over time.
One way to support this creation of space is to think about what direction your are putting your effort into and then create a line of effort in the opposing direction. For example, if you are in Tadasana and you lift up from your heart and head, you should also be pressing down into your feet. This pressing down actually creates more room for you to lift up. This can be applied to almost any posture. Another way to create space in a posture is to have that posture take up as much physical space as you can bear. I mean take as wide a stance as you can in plank, downward dog, or any warrior pose. And really reach through your fingers in whatever way they are reaching. By pulling yourself apart you literally give your body more room to exist.
Breathing is literally the act of creating room in the body ("breathing room"). When we breathe, we use our muscles to create greater volume in the lungs. The increased volume decreases our internal air pressure compared to the atmosphere and so air rushes into our lungs to equalize the pressures. The more volume we can create, the more air we can take into one breath, increasing efficiency per breath.
By creating a single point of focus (the breath, a mantra, a visualization, a diety, etc), we declutter our minds and create space for true inspiration, love and joy to arise. So go on…start decluttering that mind.
In Our Living Spaces
Keeping your living space neat and tidy is important for mental clarity, but creating space goes one step beyond. Getting rid of things we don’t need – clothes, books, papers, that souvenir that has no use – actually allows us to create room for things we actually need and want right now. Cleaning house actually allows us to live more in the present. And if we are able to give some of our things away to fill someone else’s need, then we might be getting some bonus points with Karma, too, which can never hurt.
There are countless other ways to create more space in our lives and thereby live more fully in the moment. Start small, but start now. The season is right.