The Space Between…

Sometimes when I am teaching, particularly a Hatha class or maybe a Vinyasa Flow and I invite the students to pause for a moment, I can almost feel the wave of annoyance ripple through the room.  What!? Pause!? We don’t want to pause. We don’t have time to pause.  Go, go, go…I get it. I feel that annoyance myself, often.  Not only when I am taking a yoga class, but at stop lights, in the grocery store line, waiting for someone to put their shoes on.  Go, go, go…

The space between in yoga can be many things.  It can be the space between your inhale and exhale, the space you are trying to lengthen between your ears and your shoulders, or the space between your thoughts and your actions.  Our bodies are wonderful creations; they were developed when a quick reaction time was essential for survival, often you didn’t have a lot of time for thought before taking action.   If we were faced with a tiger we needed to react immediately.  We are inherently ready to fight or take flight. (See my last blog…Fearless)


*Immediate response probably needed here.

Today’s society reinforces this need for immediacy, a quick response time.  We have an expectation to always be on, to be ready: at work, at home, even socially.   Do you ever feel like you need to respond to an email immediately?  Or are annoyed if someone else doesn’t? Both happen to me all the time.  If I remember to pause, not only do I get to decide if an immediate response is necessary (not usually), but my thought out response is always well, smarter, than my instantaneous one.

Girl Computer

*Hmmm, maybe I should think about this?

The space between we practice in yoga class, not only helps us calm our fight or flight instinct; it also can slow our other, somewhat animal like tendencies.  When I am stressed, in the mode of go, go, go, I tend to become like a chipmunk storing up for winter, devouring as many acorns, or in my case, chocolate peanut butter cups I can get my paws on.  However, when I am able to take a breath and find that space between my thought and my action, my action becomes a choice and not just a reaction.


*Hey, are those peanut butter cups?

A great yoga class is built to help us practice that pause, that rest, that space between.  And because our minds and bodies are awesome, the more we practice this in yoga class, the more we practice it in life.  After all, it’s probably part of our DNA as well.  Our ancestors probably didn’t go looking for the next tiger immediately after fending off the last one, they probably rested, maybe even in Savasana.


*Whew, that’s better.

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10 Responses to “The Space Between…”

  1. Sharel says:

    Cara-Lynne i am really enjoying your blogs! I especially related to the previous one about breathing. I could really relate!

    • Cara-Lynne Auld says:

      Thanks Sharel, I really appreciate the feedback. And yes, you are right, breathing is so important. I have to remind myself of that everyday.

  2. Brenda siebarth says:

    Pausing in life seems to be the hardest thing to long as we keep going it dosent leave room for our mind to think.we just think about what is happening .not about what will,has maybe.great blog….

    • Cara-Lynne Auld says:

      That’s a great point Brenda, it is hard to stop, pause, give ourselves (and our mind) some space, especially in our busy lives. Thanks for the feedback.

  3. Wendy says:

    Space between thoughts and actions so that we may have choice not just reaction….. what a great piece of advice to digest.
    Have just read through all your posts with my morning coffee and really enjoyed the quiet of the morning and the time to reflect. Your wise words mixed with a little light hearted humour make the blog so easy to relate to. Well done old friend!!

    • Cara-Lynne Auld says:

      What a beautiful compliment Wendy, sincerely, thank you. A cup of coffee, quiet and reflection sound like a perfect start to any day. Namaste, Cara-Lynne

  4. Christine says:

    The space between is truly beautiful.
    The squirrels are busy. The birds are busy. The next tiger can wait. I am enjoying the show.

    Great job Car!

    • Cara-Lynne Auld says:

      Thanks Christine, I really appreciate the feedback and support. And good for you for enjoying the show of spring, the theme for the next blog…stay tuned.

  5. Oh, I love this! I have a go-go-go tendency, and sometimes when I’m lying in savasana, I start thinking of all the things I have to do that day. Eeek! Bad! It’s so important to be able to find space in your day to just BE.

    • Cara-Lynne Auld says:

      Thanks Nicole, I really appreciate the comment. You are right, Savasana can definitely be difficult. That’s probably why we need it so much. Namaste, Cara-Lynne

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