It seems all my studies for the last 4-5 years have helped me see that pulsation is central to life. For expansion to occur, there must be a contraction, a drawing in, a resting, a concentration of energy. Ultimately, inevitably, what follows is expansion.
My latest training in Crania-Fascial Therapy (CFT) provides a good example. (That outcomes in this therapeutic modality are measurable is a plus because it also makes the scientific mind happy). In CRT the therapist gently palpates muscles and applies light pressure to expose relationships among muscular and fascial structures. When palpated, constricted places tend to initially tighten further, revealing those relationships to the therapist. The practitioner’s role is to then give additional permission for the body to complete that contraction.
What follows is a release, an expansion accompanied by a full, satisfied inhale and experienced in the body as a deep stillness. Importantly, we are able to sense the expansion and contraction of the brain before and after treatment as the body itself rests in its newly expanded form, quiet, satisfied.
This experience of expansion often comes as a surprise, because we rarely recognize the degree to which our muscle systems tighten and fascia becomes constricted in response to stress and trauma. Nor do we see that places we thought were the most restricted can be eased by expansion elsewhere. What the client does realize is how good it is to open up and settle into a recovered state of fullness.
When the opportunity to relocate the studio appeared (yes, rather quickly), I was not surprised to observe that Yoga Loka is itself going through the same process of contraction and expansion. The studio has been at the same location for 13 years. And while it has served us well, and stability can be good, stagnation – constriction – can also occur. As with constriction of fascia, stagnation can also occur without it being recognized.
I like to believe that things happen for a reason and that opportunity shows itself when the time is right. When I met Jonathan Perlstein, the new landlord, and he became excited about creating a new space for us, that was one good sign. When the current landlord was unwilling to make our new rear entrance safe, and students arriving for class were having more and more trouble finding legal parking, I figured this was the universe saying something.
So, we will be contracting into a smaller space for six months to a year, followed by an expansion in the permanent location, when we will be able to take a deep exhale and rest.
Of course, contraction itself yields benefits. When we contract a muscle it gets stronger. When we rest into ourselves, we get to better know ourselves. With this move I already see our community getting stronger, pulling together even to help with the move. We get to know ourselves more with any move, which is one of the reasons we do asana! We come to more clearly see our preferences, our likes and dislikes, as we inhabit any new space.
I am so appreciative of the community that has grown up around Yoga Loka. And I am so pleased we are taking the next step in our journey together. Thank you.