As I sit here in my studio, alone waiting for my students to arrive, I can’t help but feel totally present in this empty space. There is something tremendously powerful about an empty space. For some, the energy could be described as intimidating, lonely, and at times daunting. I get that. Often I have thoughts like...
“What if I can’t perform today? What sequence shall I take my students through? What if they (students) don’t connect with me?”
Just as a writer may feel nervous about a blank sheet of paper or an artist his canvas, the idea of an empty space can be absolutely terrifying for people - so much so they walk away and never begin whatever they set out to do. But for me, I see possibility. The opportunity for creativity. The chance to explore new horizons and travel beyond them. A journey I experience as a solo practitioner and of course, as a teacher. The same applies for my students. Whilst our journey's will look different, the destination is what we share and all work towards.
Every morning at 4.00am when I step onto my mat for my self practice, there is always of a moment of nervousness about how my body will feel that morning. Being alone in a room with only my body, my mat and my mind makes for a confronting but powerful introduction to the day.
"Do I have the energy to practice? Can I really be bothered? Will I find the strength to move into asanas which are more challenging than others? Can I push myself a little further today or will I allow the lazy, I-want-to-go-back-to-bed part of me transform my practice into a gentle one?"
Regardless of the messages I tell myself each morning, the possibility of being creative with my body always remains, just as the same possibility is available to every student who walks into their yoga studio, or begins writing in a note pad or taking brush to canvas.
Over the years, it is in the space, in this empty space, that I have cried, laughed, bled, been bruised, fallen, experienced immense strength, developed flexibility, and felt (or conversely numbed) every inch of my body. It is in this space where I’ve truly begun to heal my body and mind - but only through surrendering to it, to this empty space of possibility. Surrendering and being vulnerable to the practice and what it offers.
Scoliosis has meant chronic pain in my lumbar for as long as I can remember. Stress has led to all sorts of digestive problems. But this space, this practice, has taught me how to manage these challenging areas of my life. And whilst it is confronting to move your body in ways that could aggravate a pre-existing condition, it is through allowing myself to be creative with my body that I have learned to trust it. That I have learned just how powerful I truly am.
So as I sit here in this empty space, I feel nothing but gratitude for it and it's lessons. For being forced to explore who I am. To become my own devils advocate. To cultivate the person I want to be and rise to the challenge.
This space has encouraged vulnerability, belief and stillness. From here, I know the possibilities are endless.
Much love and hugs.