That was the direction from our yoga instructor this morning. “Take up as much space as you can.” She was guiding us into straight leg triangle – Utthita Trikonasana – and wanted us to expand, expand, expand our bodies. “Take up as much space as you can,” she offered.
I did. I eased, and eased further, into the pose, while I also thought back to a friend of mine from years ago, from my 12-step programs. She too was a recovering anorexic, and she used to explain her starving herself as a way to take up as little space as possible. She had felt too huge, too much (she was anything but) and wanted to shrink herself. To disappear, if possible.
That is our disease. It tells us to retreat. To get smaller. To diminish ourselves in any way possible. If we’re less, we won’t get noticed. If we ask for less, and need less, we won’t be disappointed, and we won’t get in trouble.
I like taking up as much space as I possibly can much, much more.
Extending myself in my yoga practice helps me claim my place in the world. Extending ourselves in the world helps us show up more…and show up more as ourselves.
Take up space. Breathe deep. Laugh loudly (and often). Call attention to yourself and affirm your spot in the universe. Confirm your being – and the essential nature of your being.
I think back to my friend who tried to shrink herself to oblivion, and I hear my yoga instructor’s invitation to expand ourselves, even past our so-called limits. I’m pretty certain that many, if not all, of us deserve to take up more space and live in more love and joy.
Take up as much space as you can.
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