We often live cramped lives, even in the widest open spaces on earth. We are bound by our many responsibilities, congested motorways and way too crowded subway cars, shrugging our shoulders and squinting our eyes towards computer screens, following rules and regulations, our own self-imposed inhibitions, and by blocked energy and old patterns of behavior. What if we allowed ourselves more space? What if we allowed ourselves to open up?
The more I practice, study, and teach the more I learn about creating space. In yoga we root down and lift up and out of our joints to essentially create more space within our bodies. It feels so good to be supported by the earth (floor) underneath you as you reach up and open up. This action is the same in Tadasana (Mountain pose) as it is in Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle). All poses require this as well as breathing with intention. At the end of your asana practice you have created more space in your body. This not only benefits all of your physical systems but also your blocked energies (chakras) which will shift. You physically open up to heal. You open up by creating space- even if you never leave the dimensions of your mat.
In my pranayama breathwork and meditation practices the elements are the same but the tools are different. We root down by laying on a blanket on the floor or sitting up on a bolster with an aligned spine. We reach up by looking within. Instead of moving into a pose we burn sage or palo santo to cleanse the space of negative energy, use essential oils to assist in opening chakras, and hold onto ocean stones or crystals to keep grounded or to hold vibration. As we look inward and breathe, and only focus on the breath, the opening happens. We solve problems or answer questions we couldn't before, we see more clearly, we sharpen our intuition, and we shift energies to find self-love and empowerment. It can go very deep.
The asana yoga practice helps us get to a place where we can quiet the mind and sit. It is simply preparation for meditation. Breathwork takes us to another level, a deeper understanding of who we are. I'm so lucky to have these practices in my life, but they are only useful if I create space in which to practice them. Can you create the time to bring more of these practices in your life? Can you create a space, perhaps in your home, that is your space in which to practice? I recently carved out a corner for meditation in my apartment. I even made my own pillows from beautiful block print indigo fabrics from India! Having this space has made a world of difference to me being able to dedicate time and space to my practice. It doesn't have to cost a lot or take up that much room. A special pillow in your favorite corner is all that you need to start! Create a space, to create space!
I am now offering private yoga sessions in Manhattan (Chelsea/Union Sq.) at rented studio spaces. Book a session to learn how to create more space within your physical body. My spring session of Morning Glow (gentle flow with chakra balancing) group classes will be starting again in late March- stay tuned! I end all of my yoga classes with guided meditation. I have also completed level 1 Breathwork Healer Training with my healer, Erin Telford, and will be completing level 1-3 with David Elliott in New Mexico in June. I'm so excited and I am already able to offer Breathwork sessions to you all! Breathwork healing has made a huge impact on my life so far. In one session you will feel a deep connection to your inner most self and find relief and healing. I offer private breathwork sessions and will be organizing group sessions very soon. If you are curious about what breathwork healing is all about, read this article from Well + Good. Of course, let me know if you have any questions or comments!
"Practice and all is coming." Pattabhi Jois
Feeling depleted by the bombardment of current events and news? Refill your well.
Photo credits: Karen LaPorte