mindfulnessshadow workyoga

Make space for people

By April 18, 2013 No Comments


In practice this evening, our instructor Emily said something that really hit me. While in a rather intense pose, she said, “Make space for people.”

She went on to invite us all to breathe into the pose and focus on making space for the people in our lives who we may be angry with. It really affected me.

As I continued breathing fully into the pose, I began to let go of the anger I’d been feeling towards my ex and two of his close friends, people who used to be close friends of mine as well. During the breaking up process, I felt abandoned by them. I was angry that they had chosen him over me.

My ego took a hit. I was pissed at my ex for not encouraging them to maintain their relationships with me. I’d even brought this point up to him and he’d responded by saying something along the lines of, “I can’t control what other people choose to do.”

But that pissed me off even more! Why wasn’t he on my side? Why wasn’t he chiding them on my behalf? Why was he still friends with the type of people who would abandon me at a time where I needed them most? Why was he still going out and having fun with them knowing that they’d left me behind?

While breathing and making space for the three of them I was able to see clearly that my ego was the biggest reason that I continued to hold on to this anger. I felt self righteous and hadn’t made room to consider what they might be experiencing.

By making room for my ex, I was able to move through my feelings of ownership over him and who he was spending time with.

In just one yoga class, essentially one hour, I was able to let go of a large burden of anger. I left the class not caring about the situation anymore. I simply made room to experience my anger fully, made room for the fact that I had no way of understand the entirety or complexity of the situation from their points of view, and then I just let it go.

I also realized that there have been a lot of times in my life when I’ve expected (and sometimes demanded) that my friends align with my feelings about other people. In some kind of ego trip, disguised as a “test of loyalty”, I’ve asked others to not maintain friendships with people I’ve had a problem with. This type of request is unfair and immature.

I finally realized that if this group of friends I felt slighted by didn’t see enough value in our friendship to maintain it throughout a difficult situation, well then, that in itself is an excellent reason for me to just let it go.

Authentic connectedness with others involves moving through life with the understanding that there will be both fun and difficult moments. The types of people who understand this are the types of people I want to be friends with.

Thank you, Emily, for teaching me about making space.