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Creating Space


There’s nothing like a sweaty yoga sequence to inspire my instructor to expound about space. She insists that yoga is all about creating space between the shoulders and the ears, behind the shoulder blades, between the vertebrae, around the hips, and even between the toes. I wipe away the sweat running down my scalp wishing I had less space between my hairs, but I think she’s on to something bigger than yoga.

I also noticed that my meditation teacher has a thing about space. He creates a place for meditation a few times a week that consists of a hardwood floor, a few cushions, incense and a singing bowl.  And of course a meditation app. He rents the studio, shows up, rings the bowl, keeps the time and holds the space for anyone who wants to share it. His absolute commitment makes it sacred.

Then again maybe the most sacred space is between people. Of course there is personal space, but I’m more intrigued by what my friend Sue shared about inserting a tiny pause between sentences to make room for thinking and mutual conversation. Just a tiny pause can change the rhythm of a dialog and pry open a crack for an idea to sprout from that otherwise can be suffocated by a burst of words.

But I’m getting a head of myself. I can’t think about any flower-power-life-altering-stuff before I clear my house, my car, my room, my desk, my Facebook from things that don’t serve me . As comedian Gorge Carlin put it:  “A house is just a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff.” I could not agree more, stuff clogs my thinking and my ability to focus on what’s important.

To that end, I carefully vet whatever comes in and out of my life. Before a new thing enters the house it must apply for a visa.  On the flip side, I only think briefly before I throw the thing out. I surround myself with well-designed and useful things; otherwise they end up on the curb in short order. Significant others get an extension. 😉

But perhaps the ultimate lesson in clearing comes from nature itself. That’s why I’m drawn to the desert. I was raised there, I met my wife there and I left miles of tracks there. In the desert only the truth and the unobstructed view of the horizon survive. It’s nature’s best showroom. The next best thing is Burning Man, which is already on the bucket list!

For me, my yoga mat is my 2,040 square inches of  space that I can roll up and carry on my back wherever I go. When I unroll it, I create a sanctuary where I am comfortable and open, and utterly free to be myself. So come on over and hang, there’s plenty of room. Down dog is optional.

What is your favorite space? Please share below.


About Ronen Yaari

I’m no guru and I don’t have hundreds of hours of certifications. All I can claim is that I did not squander the time that I was given so far. I took care of my body from an early age and realized that a fit body was going to be the vehicle of choice to propel me around the planet to find what I was supposed to find. I ran marathons, biked continents, climbed glaciers, walked across states, sailed oceans, explored reefs and floated myself over yoga mats. If the sun is down I’m a sleep and if it’s up I’m outside. My biggest accomplishment by far is creating a family that enjoys each other and puts up with me.