The current lockdown, once again allows the opportunity to slow down, go for walks and relax with a loving partner, or enjoy quality time with loved ones. Or even better, spend some time with yourself, so that you can reconnect to what matters. Making some (me-)time might help to create the capacity to support yourself as a way to come back to balance, to ground, and find connection during these winter months. Doing yoga can help to help create that mental space and clarity as we move into the New Year.
One of the most beautiful things a regular yoga practice brings is space. Space between breath, space in our joints for more easeful movement and of course space in our minds by quieting our thoughts and becoming more present. Taking time to do your yoga practice can create more space in mind and body to recover what is most important to us and discover the path to allow our dreams to unfold – something that we might all need at the moment.
Why Yoga Is All About Creating Space
Some guidelines on how to use your yoga practice to create space:
- Create space in our lives: For most of us, it is a challenge to dedicate yourself to a frequent yoga practice. Only if your consciously create space in yourself, you will be able to bring mindfulness into your life. It helps to create the space to think, and enables us to listen to ourselves and to others, and it gives room for wisdom. Especially now, during this lockdown, try to dedicate 30 minutes a day to yourself.
- Join a yoga practice, any yoga: On the mat, we create space in our body by conscious breathing, we create space in the chest, the back, the belly, the ribs. By lengthening body parts, due to movement, we expand in a different way than when we are sitting at a desk, we use the area around us to expand in our postures. Any type of yoga will do, one day you might feel like a vigorous vinyasa practice, and another day, you just want to lay down in a yin posture – all is fine.
- Leave space for change; every day, every practice is different, and we have to let the posture lead our bodies into it. We can step on the mat with certain expectations, but often, the pose will not match them. We have to listen to how we feel at that moment. Allow yourself to come into the asana with enough room to let it be. This space allows our asanas to evolve, progress, and advance – and eventually ourselves.
- Slow down: Clearing old habits and resisting behaviors is not possible until you slow it way down. In a world that is all about speed, this requires awareness. Especially in these winter months, your body and mind might crave to slow it down. It is ok to slow down, to simplify, to sense, and eventually surrender to these wishes. That is what we call self-care.
- Take an extra moment: After your practice, take a moment to focus on the clarity and calm you have created. Too often, especially when doing a home practice, students tend to skip savasana. If you cannot wait to jump back in to work or your next task after your practice, take a few extra moments to journal about what you want to create this year and what you are going to say “no” to moving forward. This helps to welcome in what you desire and to say “no” to unnecessary obligations and stress so that you can continue to move and grow from a place of more ease.
Taking these tips into account can help to train ourselves to create this space in our yoga practice, we learn to let go of expectations, and we learn flexibility. Once we get used to being open and having room to allow anything to happen, we start to welcome the unknown. Yoga has the ability to create space in our lives; it gives us the freedom to change, grow, expand, and evolve to become the best version of ourselves.
The only thing you have to do it is to allow yourself to let it happen.