I had the opportunity to have a night away at Marlfield House last week. (The upside to being married to someone who got some lovely presents for his 50th birthday.) The photo above is from a glorious yoga practice I got to do there, on my own, with just nature as a soundtrack. A yoga mat and a little space is really all you need but sunshine and birds singing are a beautiful bonus.
Space is the key thing, though isn't it? I'm aware of how I'm inclined to fill the spaces in my day with random phone scrolling and noise, blabber inside and outside my head and even just convincing myself there's things I have to do. It's hard to resist. Hard to leave space for emptiness. It's not that I am always doing something. It's just that I resist leaving space to do nothing. And yet it's often in the spaces where clarity appears. Ideas form. Solutions raise their little voices.
I know that to shape ideas, even something like class plans, I need to sit down on my own, close my eyes and give it all my attention. It works, every time, but boy do I fight that sit down, usually until I'm up against a deadline.
I don't think I'm alone in this. I think our world is pulling out attention outwards more and more all the time. Shiny distractions and offers of noise are always at our fingertips. It's so tempting and it's not good for the head!
When you come to your yoga mat to practice, you are giving yourself space. A class with others is particularly helpful in giving you that space because there's a deadline. You have to show up on time. You have to turn your phone off. You've committed to the practice. Now you can listen in. You feel the subtleties of what you're holding in your body and in your head. You realise you're breathing. In this space, anything can happen.
"All creativity comes out of inner spaciousness." Eckhart Tolle