There is a productivity specialist named David Allen who I have followed for awhile. He’s written several books about getting things done.
I saw him lecture about 8 years ago and one thing he said really stuck with me and came up today in my yoga practice. He talked about strategic clear space. His example was if you are in an alley and someone is coming after you, there are not many options because of the limited space. Where as if you were in a field and someone came after you, you’d have lots of option because of the abundant clear space. He uses this as a metaphor for the work he does because his programs help to clear the mind of the many to dos so you have more “strategic clear space” to think about the bigger, more important stuff that you want to get done in your life.
I like that. But what I really like is seeing how that strategic clear space idea applies to the breath in yoga, and to our bodies. We often talk about feeling pressure. Stress is a feeling of heaviness. Your body starts to feel pressed into places that offer few options.
Imagine the breath, every breath, as a beautiful iridescent bubble expanding the energy resources of the body. With each breath reducing the stress of every cell as it becomes more buoyant and expansive, bringing in that wonderful resource of oxygen to make more strategic clear space in the body.
But how? Yoga is all about finding and abiding in the breath. Every breath. Finding that way to keep lightening the load. Every exhale is a little magic carpet that can transport the heaviness of life out of your body to make room for lightness of the breath to take its place with every inhale. Remember when you had that lightness of being a carefree child?
Can you just feel that in your body as you sit for a few moments breathing between the activities of your day, in the grocery store line or waiting for the train or your child to finish soccer practice? There are these in between moments. They are ripe for taking into the breath to making more strategic clear space, and allowing room for more joy in your life. This is yoga. Be careful. It could change your life.
Be well…it’s a state of mind.