An alien concept to some, daily practice for others, necessity to all.
Living in a world full of distractions and “things we need to do,” tall buildings and little boxes that take us from place to place, work and other commitments we have to keep, makes it ever the more so difficult to find space, internal space and external space. It would be the most wonderful thing if, whenever we needed space, we could get on our walking gear and walk for miles and miles with no one around, finally reaching the top of the most beautiful mountain where we can see to what looks like the end of the earth and beyond, feel into the space of it, and then return home all ready and set for the days and weeks ahead having had the injection of rejuvenation that nature always lovingly brings. It’s incredible when we can do this, maybe on our days off or on our holidays, but what about when we can’t? What do we do when we cannot do the activities we need to help give us that little bit of a break, that little bit of time needed to find some space?
I like to believe that we as individual humans are all a creation of the Universe itself, made up of stardust and magical energy, inhabited by old and new souls. As Eckhart Tolle beautifully puts it “You are the Universe, expressing itself as a human for a little while.” – a sentence that straight away brings about a sense of release and relief. The Universe (or God) holds an infinite amount of space… so much space that our minds cannot comprehend. Predicted 100 billion galaxies, 200 billion solar systems, all containing magical stars, suns, planets, moons and all the other formations and creations that we have no knowledge of and probably never will. So, if the Universe holds this much space and we are a creation of the Universe, then we also must hold a magnitude of space within ourselves that we have the ability to connect to and move from in day to day life.
When you think about the human body, it is made up of what we call systems; the nervous system, respiratory, digestive, endocrine, excretory, reproductive, skeletal, the immune system etc. The circulatory system links the whole body with its network of blood and blood vessels, carrying around oxygen, hormones and nutrients. We hold trillions of cells within us, creating and distributing, healing and working every minute of the day and night, from the moment of conception to the day we die. Our systems and organs and everything within us works together to form our bodies, everything within us works as one to create the best expression of the human body as possible. Then we have the energetic body, energy extending beyond our physical body to the subtle body, allowing our energy to communicate with those surrounding us. We have a soul. We have consciousness. There’s approximately 7.7 billion of us! And we each have our very own little Universe. Truly mind blowing.
When we start to look inward and explore our inner environment, we begin to feel into the magnificence of the human body. The practice of yoga and meditation helps us to direct the mind away from thoughts and to our physical and energetical experience, we practice this with non-judgement, allowing ourselves to just be in our experience without expectation or comparison, simply practicing the art of being aware and observing. As we start to learn to slow the mind we feel some tension release, as we move through physical tension and take our time to explore and get to know what is there, truly feel it, we are then in a better position to allow that tension to soften. This softening of mental and physical tension starts to create internal space, as the practice starts to flourish then this inner space becomes more and more present and more constant.
When we have our moments of bliss, maybe on a mountain top, swimming in the open sea, or spending time with loved ones, we feel completely content, we feel spacious as though nothing could disturb that peace. Then things start to fill that space again, when we have to return to the more erroneous tasks that life brings we quickly lose the space we had in that moment, and everything starts to build up once again, stresses, anxiety, worries. However, when we learn how to find this space inside us, when we stop and drop inwards, find the stillness, the peace - we have this available to us whenever we need it. It’s always there within us, serving us as a constant guide and friend. We then start to take our actions from this space, we may find that for example, in a situation where we may have once felt rage we stay calm, or we find the inner strength to do something we have always wanted to but has previously always made us feel anxious, that something then becomes our favourite activity, or maybe we find that in a room full of noise we can find peace. This seemingly simple practice has the ability to open up a whole new world to us, helping us to stay more grounded and focused even through the toughest of times, and enabling us to find beauty in the little everyday experiences in life.
If you would like to learn some of the techniques we can use to help us find inner space, then please join us on Friday 1st February at 6.30pm. In this practice we will be guided by the breath, practicing pranayama (breathing) techniques to help calm the mind and move our awareness into the body, we will practice gentle movements and postures to help to release and soften physical tension, and meditation to allow for stillness and time to sink deeper into our experience of finding space. If you have any questions or would like to book ‘Finding Space’ please email firstname.lastname@example.org.