We all need space. I don’t mean physical space, although we do need that too at times. I mean space within our physical bodies. I realize this is unusual coming from a yoga instructor. Instructors usually refer to “holding space”; metaphysical space. But I would like to talk about how physical body space is important for mobility.
Our bodies are so tight from sitting all day. We sit to eat, to get to work, to work, for meetings, to watch TV, etc. Then when we move, bend or twist our physical bodies, with our joints compressed because of the tightness, we run the risk of increasing wear and tear on bones and tissues as they rub against each other. For those who work out this can be even more of a concern. I work with body builders who have built strong muscles but they are so taut that they are compressing their joints and each time they wish to bend or twist, to look to the left or right, they need to turn their entire bodies because they have lost mobility in their torsos or cervical spine, either from lack of use or overbuilding. Many have low back pain because of the tightness.
So. How do we create the space we need in our physical bodies? We make mindful movement. We think before we move. For example, before we twist to the left, we inhale, expand our ribs, reach the crown of our heads (the top of our heads) to the sky, create space along the spine. Feel space being created in the spine. And then when we bend of twist we use the space we have created. Before we move our arm up or down, we reach the arm to open the space in the shoulder socket before we move the arm. If we consciously create space before we move we can feel the opening in the body, maintain or increase mobility, and be limber for when we need to move quickly, for example a slip.