There is for every spine, an optimum space that it can find, at any one time, set in the context the ‘conditions held’ in that moment in time, in the present. Every day we meet the body, we welcome the relationship to it as we step towards forwards into our lives or indeed as Yoga people do, onto the mat. We consciously welcome ourselves and all that we bring.
How often do we project expectations about how our practice is going to be, or what we want to do, or achieve?
All this internal conversation – acts as impingement, it gets in the way!
It begins the process of inhibiting the SPACE in the body, before we even get to the mat. I can begin to understand why the practice is better started early in the morning before the mind has had a moment to rev itself up into ‘construct’ about what it is it wants us to do, and instead how its perhaps better to take with us, the space of the dream world, where things are wide and fluid in the mind. We can then move with our soft and open mind – directly into ‘conscious felt sense’ of the body, merely listening to the qualities of sensation and presence and deepening into this as a direct relationship to ourselves.
As the mind machine, with its nitter natter of mind matter, begins to awaken; along with it comes habitual thoughts, desire to take over, and then in confusion we begin to believe that we need to control it – ‘the mind’ as well. The mind however, its a tool to use and I believe that awareness can bring us greater freedom, both in body and mind, as they weave their tapestry of continual refective relationship. So we need to be awake, to be careful with this process. Never to block the mind, or control the mind, but to consciously offer ‘mind’ a wider card spread of thought possibilities.
It is through this awareness of how mind affects our cells and tissues, that we can be inspired to ‘create’ something else. The desire for a wider thought realm, not the one that locks us into the body and into the humdrum of hamster wheel mind. A new thought offers a new feeling and a different perspective, one that ultimately offers us a greater freedom.
So when we have a thought, that makes us feel bad, we can notice this….. and where we ‘feel’ the effect of that thought in the body and offer a new one….. we have made new SPACE.
Yoga so aptly describes, the ‘MIND” as a tool for us to direct and use, not allowing it to run us – without conscious awareness of it doing so. It can lead us in circles more often than not – for large periods of our waking life, we spend it turning the same old wheels of thought – the hamster wheels of the mind. (Or is it just me? :))
Yet, mind needs containment and direction to find its potential and its ultimate freedom and ‘SPACE’ . So that we can remain wide enough to be open to recieve ‘Universal Conciousness’ the ideas, inventions, the lightneing bolt of ‘I’ve just had an idea pop into my mind’ that seems to sit in a big vibrant field of potentiality. We are in a huge sea of mind/conciousness – yet we limit its potential to inform us, by being too fixed in our own ‘How it is-ness’. We are all guilty of this, sticking to the way we see it, the way we feel it, and yet if we zoom out a bit, and realise the disco ball of 3D mind that we inhabit – habitually only allows us a few squares of mirror space at any one time to inhabit and reflect the light in, so we shine there, but there is a 355 degrees of mirror ball left – to open up to at any one time. I hope you enjoy my metaphor!
This kind of wide space is also needed in the body. It is actually reflected in the body. We can use the Pratyhara, (the turning of our senses inwards) to bring us into a fuller experience of ‘felt sense presence’. The mere being with ourselves and our bodies without the construct of ‘should be’ and ‘could be’ and ‘I will’ – feels like fluid, water free to run. It feels like SPACE. So perhaps we can learn to hold our own minds, as wide as they can be, receptive and fluid – with space enough for the organising winds of all matter, to preside over all that is present; welcome the organising winds, their precedence and authority without intervention.
The physical fluid body can begin to feel its embryological origins and soften, it too is governed by the greater winds of the vital forces, in creation from the moment of conception to the moment of passing. We can actively affect the body with mind, with the support of strength, focus and stamina – the holding we create in our Yoga Practice for ourselves, with active mind on muscle and tissue. This process of Supporting the Space, and supporting the fluids of the body is central to finding our core, our support and our connection to ourselves, to everyone and everything in this huge universal matrix we inhabit and share together.