Mindful Monday: The Space Between

Hi happy people, and top o’ the morning to you!

First we made the space, then we ate the food, and now we get back to it! If you’re still moving slow after all the much-anticipated Thanksgiving feasting (and days of delicious leftovers), move slowly back into your routine with a restorative class. Our restorative flows are slow and gentle and probably exactly what you’re craving. The yin postures are mostly seated and are typically held for 3-5 minutes at a time, as opposed to just a few breaths. This deep stretching works the connective tissue between your joints and we use a variety of props (blocks, straps, and blankets) to aid in this deep stretching while helping you to calm your body from the inside out. Come prepared to challenge both your body and your mind with a lesson in settling into the discomfort.

The meditation and hands-on massage throughout class makes for one blissed-out yogi, but the true lesson is one that can transform your mental behavior both on and off the mat. Imagine stubbing your toe. Immediately, the physical pain is received and you almost instinctively want to yell out loudly with your favorite profanity. Then, imagine stubbing your toe again. But this time, there’s a small child in the room. The physical sensation of stubbing your toe is the same. Still hurts. But with a tiny human in the room, maybe you bite your tongue. You can protect the child by creating a tiny sliver of space between the action of stubbing your toe and the reaction of blurting out your go-to swear word.

The discomfort that surfaces with longer holds in a restorative class tests us in a similar way. After a few minutes in the same posture, maybe your hips start hurting. Your mind starts racing. You wonder how much longer you’re going to be in this position. Maybe you’re cursing your instructor. Or wondering where you’re going next. Maybe you start to fidget. Enter the lesson: Over time, you’ll start learning to be a witness to your own thoughts. The silent observer. When your physical body starts to feel uncomfortable and that little voice in your head tells you to release from the posture, just label that thought “DISCOMFORT” and then settle in. Just as you’re able to feel the sensation of stubbing your toe and make a conscious choice not to react in the same old way, you can begin to create little slivers of space between action and reaction on your yoga mat as well. Start to honor the space between. It’s in those moments that you’re able to create your own calm.

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