In theory, we all want more time, more space, right? But the reality of adding space into your day is often quite different. Think about what you do when you’re waiting to meet a friend or for the bus. You scroll, you read, you listen; to the point where even the idea of going somewhere without the security of your phone feels uncomfortable – its too spacious.
Soon after I made the commitment to a restorative yoga practice (20 minutes most days) so much in my life has changed. I talk about creating spaciousness through rest because this is what it feels like to me – I rest and then I have more time because my thoughts are clearer, I’m more switched on. I’ll plan yoga classes with ease, I’ll write a blog post without a second thought. I’m just happier.
then everything started to fall away
What I didn’t expect to happen from my practice was that so many things in my life would fall away in the creation of this spaciousness – small things – my wardrobe, which already felt very small, halved in size. When I opened the door the morning following the final cull I panicked; it was so empty. My first thought was what have I done?! Until I was soothed by the fact that everything in that space I actually wanted to wear, and felt good wearing. And why should I (or you) wear anything else? That was weeks ago, and I haven’t missed anything yet.
It happened with big things too. It happened with work. For context – I have always prided myself on how hard I work. Defined myself by it, even. I started working as soon as I legally could, and felt a deep sense of accomplishment working a minimum of 30 hours a week at two different jobs while studying full time at Uni. As much as it created my whole identity, interestingly enough, I never felt fairly compensated for it. Did I do anything about it? No. I just worked more. It was my thing. This has carried on my whole life, but not to the extent it has over the last three years in which time I’ve never once had a dedicated day off.
To be clear; I do love working, but there is obviously a line, right? I love teaching but no one loves the transit before and after class, let alone when you’re moving between multiple locations and multiple forms of transport over the space of a single day. No one loves getting home at 9:30pm and waking up at 5:45am. While I’ve slowly been making my schedule a little more streamlined over the years, it had always remained too full.
After my recent trip to Montana, that finally changed. For the first time in three years I have a dedicated day off. I have a schedule that I can complete without feeling the weight of total exhaustion on the final bus home. A schedule that is spacious. Work I feel well compensated for. And guess what. It’s fucking terrifying.
Two weeks ago I resigned from a studio based on a gut feeling, a gut knowing, rather, without much time to process it. The spaciousness increased way beyond what I had planned for. I moved into a deeper level of discomfort. Much like the empty wardrobe the following morning I woke up with a sense of what have I done. But already this excess space is being filled with more of the exact work I have been yearning to do.
the magic of a working 1:1
My intention from the beginning of this year was to dedicate more of my time to working one on one. The group restorative class or workshop is a special experience and one I love and recommend as a student and a teacher, but to work one on one with this practice of course takes it to a different level. So far, working individually has taken a few forms. In person deep relaxation sessions; unlimited props, the opportunity to be set up in poses for your body and your needs, swaddled, cared for, and nurtured. And distance sessions; to assess your relationship with spaciousness and rest, to get clear on what stands in your way and to create a schedule and a practice you can stick to and build on over time. This practice might be a combination of a few things; restorative yoga and rest practices of course, but coupled with additional tasks; cleaning out your cupboard, arriving to work 10 minutes early every day, setting aside time to read fiction, to curate your instagram; whatever makes your heart sing.
For example; my current favourite spaciousness practice is transforming stressful commutes into weekly highlights. My regular, two bus, dreaded, anywhere between 1-1.5hr commute to Maroubra has shifted into this: a single bus trip to Coogee, an hour or two for coffee, writing & class planning, and a stunning coastal walk by the water to the studio. It’s become something I truly look forward to, often turns into a co-working session with a friend and is honestly, a session of pure magic. Rest and spaciousness isn’t always about doing nothing. It’s about valuing your time and energy, and taking actionable steps to make it a habit and a routine, even when that feels uncomfortable.
Without knowing it, after overloading my schedule and my life for years and feeling its impact on my immune system, my hormones and my creativity (I stopped writing for two years!) spaciousness was the exact medicine I needed. You can do everything right – eat well, yoga, exercise, drink plenty of water, work in a field you love, surround yourself with great people – but if you don’t have time to rest, everything will feel strained and the joy in everyday moments will be harder to locate.
what is your perfect working day? don’t think about it too much. what does it look and feel like for you?
list all the things that prevent you from living this
what associations do you have with rest? be honest. (guilt, lazy, not possible for me etc)
what is taking up too much space in your life? (a person, types of thoughts, clothes, worries)
commit to one thing you can do this week for rest and spaciousness
Feeling the call for more support and guidance? Let’s work together to create a plan that brings a sense of spaciousness, or yutori into your life; and notice how everything changes.
Sessions are tailored to suit individual needs and will look different for everyone and take place in person or online. If you’re unsure, get in touch for a complimentary preliminary consultation to see if we’re the right fit.