Considering the fact that in most yoga classes you will stay within the boundaries of your yoga mat, there's so much space to be discovered. It still amazes me that my yoga mat is a pretty small space that not only manages to make me feel secure, but gives me the opportunity to explore so much more.
Admittedly, we occasionally spill off our mats for a few breaths if a posture requires us to take the feet wide or flip into 'wild thing', but generally speaking we stay firmly grounded into the same place. It can feel safe to know that nobody else will invade your mat, you can challenge yourself, maybe wobble over and even take a well earned 'rest' in child's pose. Your mat is a sanctuary. It's comforting to find yourself inside the boundaries for an hour or so.
However, then there's so much space to be discovered! All the thoughts that often run through my head simply disappear in a yoga class. My mind feels free of clutter and I can move my focus to my breath. Often the mind space feels more open and expansive, the lungs begin to work harder to take deeper breaths.....arms reach further and with enough patience we can explore a physical opening in the hip sockets, shoulders and chest. We can find a greater sense of length in the spine as we're encouraged to stand taller, more room to fold forward and bend backwards as we warm the muscles and challenge our flexibility. It's a gradual process over weeks and months, but we start to watch ourselves grow in many ways during our yoga practice.
Maybe the greatest opportunity to find space comes in the form of an open mind. Yoga brings together thousands of years of tradition. Certain classes and teachers may invite aspects of story telling involving Hindu Gods into your practice, ideas of chakras and energy channels, or they may even encourage you to work with the power of the moon!
So although you may never leave your mat, think of all that space you have created to leave behind unwanted thoughts and open up to new postures, ideas and people. Think of your mat as a flying carpet that transports you to somewhere new with each teacher, lesson theme and style of yoga.
May your mat not only be a sanctuary in difficult times, but a place to grow, explore and learn: A journey inwards.
Namaste Tracey x