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  • Barbara Newman

Creating Space in Body and Mind


When imagining the concept of space, thoughts of outer space, space in a car, the house, at work, or storage space on the phone may come to mind. What about the space created inside the body by breathing? During an inhalation, space is created in the belly, chest, back, and ribs as they expand. As breath is inhaled into a specific body part, it becomes apparent the body is simply a cylinder for breath.


Space is created in the body during yoga. When a yoga posture is practiced, stretching and lengthening creates more space inside the body. On the mat when fingers and toes lengthen, they actually take up more room on the earth.


Along with generating more area in the body, the mind also expands. By accepting whatever the body is capable of doing and understanding that it’s okay, room is available for one’s practice to grow. Since varying degrees of flexibility are required to do a posture and every day the body is different, practice is never exactly the same. Perhaps one week a shoulder stand is accomplished, but the next week legs up the wall is preferred. Giving leeway to oneself to listen to what is best, enables recognition of feelings that exist in the moment. Having an open mind provides space for change and creativity.


Practicing yoga involves:

Breathing

Moving

Being flexible

Listening

Connecting

Releasing thoughts

Increasing space

Transforming


During breath, movement, and meditation, the mind becomes quiet and thoughts are set free. By one releasing what no longer serves and allowing noise to disappear, new space is opened for whatever change is desired. When you let go of one thing, whatever it is, there is now room for something different and perhaps transformative.


Being a yogi means that one is consciously creating space in life for yoga. Taking the time to practice, even if it’s just for a few minutes a day, makes it easier for someone to be open to others. Working, doing errands, and constantly being busy puts people on autopilot, and there is no awareness to being open to new possibilities.


By creating space in yoga practice, there is a letting go of expectations and learning to be flexible in thinking and moving. As this space is created, there is room for anything to happen, to welcome the unknown. We realize we have the freedom to change, grow, expand, and evolve to be the best version of the self.

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