The Spaces Inbetween

When I first started to learn about the 5 elements in nature: Water, Earth, Fire, Air and Space, I was confused by the last one – “Space”. But space is nothing? I couldn’t have been further from the truth. Space is everything…

Think about a cluttered living area – furniture and ‘stuff’ everywhere you look and move. How would that make you feel? Think about how you feel when you are working non-stop without a break. Or when somebody talks to you incessantly, without giving you a moment in between their sentences. I think you’ll agree with me that all these situations could feel rather overwhelming and possibly leave you feeling quite tired.

Then think about a song and the spaces between notes and lines. Those spaces often invoke more emotion than the notes themselves. How do you feel when looking out over a vast ocean, or up in the starry sky at night – into actual ‘space’? I’m sure you will agree with me that space certainly can’t be ‘nothing’, like I originally thought.

Our bodies need space too – space between meals, space between breaths, space between organs and muscles to allow the energy to flow and even space within each individual cell. Not having this space could be as detrimental to our health as not having air or water!

It’s important to bear this in mind when you start your movement practice. Give yourself space – space between each workout, space within each workout. This space will help to prevent injuries and actually helps your body to grow stronger. It’s easy to push yourself too hard when your movement practice makes you feel good and energised. “If a little makes me feel good, more will make me feel better!” Wrong! I’ve made this mistake many times – to my own detriment!

So what I’m saying is: allow your body time to recover between movement sessions; if you start to feel drained, give yourself and extra day’s rest or do a gentle practice. It’s the space in-between that allows your body to grow stronger and you will feel this in your next practice. Connect to this rhythm within your body – the rhythm between movement and stillness. This will help guide you in your practices.

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