August is the perfect time to carve out some time for you and your family, to find space. By creating spaciousness, you can find your centre again. I’ve been focusing on space on the mat, too. The space I’ve been looking at in my own yoga practice is the space between the inhale and the exhale. There’s a natural pause right there.
Have you ever delved into that pause? More experienced practitioners will know the pause well, and will be used to the feelings, thoughts, emotions the crop up as a result of checking in with the pause.
In life, we often focus on the action – the drama – the main activity. But the real stuff of time, the nuts and bolts of what our lives are about are often in the spaces between the drama. So is it with yoga. The teacher will guide us through our inhales and exhales – and that’s where the drama, the sound, the movement, occurs. But next time you roll out your mat, time a few moments to consider the spaces in-between the inhales and exhales.
See if you can extend those moments.
My favourite breath for practicing to is a four part breath – inhale for 4, rest at the top of the inhale for 4, exhale for 4 and rest at the bottom of the exhale for 4. I find that one soothing – and of course you can start to play with the proportions. You’ll find a more soothing breath where the exhale is longest, the pauses long, and the inhale is slightly shorter. But you can play with it.
The beauty of focusing on the space between the drama, is also found in our physical movements. Find spaciousness as you move.
My preferred practice is a slow hatha or a yin, precisely so that I can find, as Clive puts it ‘space where the body can settle, where the body can receive the benefits of the experience’.
This week, in amongst all the activity, all the inevitable drama of life – see if you can focus on the pause between it all – you may be surprised what happens!
Kat and Team MFML