The Space Between
By Heidi Reige
As a self-proclaimed Wanderlust “Groupie” (This is my 5th festival) I’m always curious to explore the unique subtleties that make each festival different. I appreciate how the booking staff at Wanderlust uses a beautiful blend of local and international talent to fill the teaching staff. I attended Mike Nichols’ class early on this time, entitled… “Upside Down and Inside Out,” and was pretty encouraged by what Canada has to offer the world of yoga. Mike shows up like a beam of light in a room. He is completely present, full of focused energy and thankfully beautiful…a sort of Jesus/ Hollister model with approachability and an entirely humble spirit. The class was challenging, and fun. He spoke of how to engage ourselves within a challenging practice by utilizing the space within us, the space around us and the space between. He explained about how the molecules that surround us are not actually touching, but surrounded by a powerful, limitless force field that we constantly have access to. This was a pivotal concept… one that I will take home to a pretty tough audience, my 16 year old son, who thinks a lot of this “energy” stuff is B.S. ;-) .
Photo by Paul Jensen
At one point in the class, when attempting an arm balance that I’ve always had “trouble” with (I’m sure my upper arms are too short!), I experienced a fall that crunched all my fingers. Compete with internal and external sound effects, of course, this was a fall directly a result of my own not listening, gripping my body (fists specifically) and giving up. It was one of those annoying hurts that was painful enough in the initial moments to bring me to child’s pose, breathe in what happened, cry a little and move on. Afterwards, I compassionately realized this was a perfect example of how I get in my own way by not utilizing the space between of listening, breathing and staying present.
Photo by Paul Jensen
Another otherworldly aspect of this class and Mike’s theme was a common thread we share. We both were honored to know a common teacher: one that has since passed, but I felt Constantine’s presence fully throughout Mike’s class. Though I’d never even heard of Mike before this day, I knew he had worked with Constantine Darling. Constantine was one of those guys you just don’t forget. He had worked in dance, theatre and movement for most of his life and had an entirely unique way of looking at all things kinesthetic. The space between is often filled with angels if we are open to recognizing them.
So the space between is a powerful place to access. If we acknowledge it, it can contain unspeakable and often unseen treasures. It can school us, enliven us, motivate change in us, and hold us steady and grounded through difficult maneuvers. Or, if you make the choice, the space between can topple us.
We all choose. What are you choosing to see in this vast and powerful field?