Tuesday, April 16, 2013

holding the space

A new, hippie-ish, phrase I've heard a lot recently, bit it's growing on me.

I had an amazing yoga class last night. I suspect that listening to people go on and on about how much they love their sport must be up there with as boring as listening to their dreams, but nevertheless yoga last night was inspiring and therapeutic and cleansing and just ... amazing.

One thing I love about yoga is what a solitary pursuit it is. My teacher likes to say that no matter how large or small the class, it's just you and your mat, and what you make of it.
The space to think, or not to think, is limitless, and what I found myself thinking about as I sweated it out through the movements last night was another solitary space I've been occupying recently.

I bought myself a stand-up paddle board a couple of months back, to punt around the lake and work the core and have a water sport all of my own, and I love it. On Sunday I went out, exploring further from home than I've done before, and found myself alone. So rare.
Alone but for a million coots, a couple of hundred ducks, a handful of pelicans, jumping fish, sail boats in the distance, a lone canoeist arcing through the water in front of me. Glassy water and perfect sun on my shoulders. Alone and chanting, in my head, 'hold this space, hold this space, hold this space, hold this space because you know you'll need it.'
But I also needed to focus on cutting my paddle through the water, 'don't drop it, don't drop it, don't drop it', the growing ache in my shin muscles (yup, who knew one had shin muscles right?), looking out for patches of dense water weed, and as with most things the magic got lost a little in the detail.
I came home happy and tired, but wishing I could have crystallized the feeling, caught it in amber to hang round my heart.

And then during yoga last night I did. I revisited the water, and in complete clarity brought up all the things I'd  experienced on Sunday afternoon - the smell of the water, the sounds of the water birds, the wind whistling through my paddle, the impenetrable mass of the lake, the freedom and calm, completely without concerns about falling in.
While my body exerted itself in other ways my mind floated like a bubble over the surface of the water, I found the space was still there, and I held it.
I hold it still.

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