Aurora Week Five: Space Element

The Magic Is In The Space

This week’s class:

In this week’s course:

  • Before Clarity
  • Intuition and Body Whispers
  • Look To The Stars

Before Clarity

The most important yoga practise takes place off the mat, when life throws at us challenges and we realise that, in that moment, we have a choice as to how to respond.

Perhaps more than ever, this is what we need right now, to take our time on or mat, so that we can better cope with what is going on in the world around us.

There is a saying:

“Out Of Chaos Comes Clarity”.

Sometimes it feels like everything is falling apart, when actually things are happening which are actually re-aligning everything.

Think about how a snow globe works. Sometimes everything needs shaken up so it can land differently.

The challenge is maintaining our balance and managing our emotions when the **** hits the fan.

One of the most important ways that we can take care of ourselves through this time is to “take some space”.

When something happens that upsets our balance, it is not advisable to react from that place. We need to stop and sort out our “state” first, then we are better placed to respond and make good decisions.

{I added in this section below as this week provided the perfect example}.

When I heard the news two days ago that Croatia were placing border restrictions on other countries, meaning that those coming in from the UK would have to have 14 days of quarantine. This has a huge impact on my yoga retreats, andmeant that the first few at least were unlikely to run.

I felt the anxiety in me building, I couldn’t work out what I had to do, as my nervous system had gone out of balance. My mind starting running away with me, thinking of worst case scenarios, then trying to problem-solve.

Then I remembered to STOP. Take space. Sort my state out first.

I decided to take the rest of the day just to tend to myself and my own wellbeing, knowing that if I did this, I would be able to respond better.

I grounded myself with a walk, I swam in the sea to clear out the negative energy I had built up, I took some time in the sun, took some deep breaths of fresh air, and I felt better.

It all started with space though. All creation starts in the ether, a place of nothingness.

I stopped and took space.

That space, that pregnant pause, is the difference between reacting and responding.

In Victor Frankl’s book “Man’s Search For Meaning”, was this quote:

The key to freedom and happiness is in the SPACE.• 

Intuition and Body Whispers

You will hear me saying in class:

“The Magic Happens In The Space”.

We can apply this to the physical body – this is where we find new freedom of movement, and where we release the energy blockages. Finding that space can be so freeing, and can literally change our whole physiology.

It also applies to the space we need between movement sections – taking that rest to give the body a chance to process what it has done, to integrate the work that has been done, to recalibrate.

Taking that space also allows us to observe what is happening. We put the mind into “witness” mode and we start to really listen to the body and what is going on. 

I call this “listening to the body’s whispers”, and this is also known as our intuition or somatic knowledge.

Our bodies have an innate wisdom, the part of us that knows what is right for us in any given situation.

When we are quiet, and when we practice listening to our body’s wisdom, through the practice of yoga or any other form of mindful movement, we can take this wisdom off the mat and help it guide us in any given situation.

The only way to do this is to “take space”, to stop and listen. You can do this in Savasana at the end of a yoga practice, the relaxation phase, but it is also a good practice to take some time each day for this.

A 15 minute check-in once a day, sitting or lying and breathing, can be invaluable.

In Ayurveda, it is advised that we do this somewhere between the hours of 2pm and 6pm, and we lay or sit still for 15 minutes at least, and listen to our bodies, and use this time to guide us as to how much energy we have for the rest of the day, and make a decision as to how we strike the balance between rest and movement for the remainder of the day.

Tuning into the body’s whispers is the secret to sustainable self-care. Let the body guide you and you will find yourself open to a more expansive world.

A body scan meditation such as this one here will help you tap into your somatic wisdom

Look To The Stars

When you find yourself overwhelmed by what is happening within you or around you, it’s a good idea to look up to the stars to remind yourself of all the infinite potential and possibilities around us.

Especially when it seems like all is falling apart, when things don’t seem to be going our way, the stars are a great reminder of all that is so far untapped potential.

There are often other ways of looking at things, other options available to us than the ones we have perhaps become attached to, and other paths forward that we may not have considered.

This is where the pause of “taking space” is useful. 

When the mind is full, it is difficult to be able to see clearly, there is literally not the space for any new and creative ways of tackling a problem, so we remain stuck in what we only understand in that moment.

Taking time to look at the stars will help clear some space in the mind, so that the part of us that sees a bigger picture can start to take over.

Have you ever been stuck in an “A or B” decision, and then realised that there is a much better C option  that you haven’t thought of?

EXERCISE:Think of where you may be stuck in your life at the moment, and make a commitment to take some time out to look at the stars, or the open sea, not to think about the problem, but just to look….. then let it go for a while, and see what crops up in terms of a solution.

Let me know if any magic appears…..