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Space Holder

What does it mean to hold space for someone?  I have had space held for me and I’ve held space for people I love— many of them didn’t know it— in our culture many times we want to fill space— and I have spent many years filling space with words, gestures, feelings, physicality.  In fact I thought holding space for someone was filling their space so they didn’t have to be afraid, hurt, or accept their own responsibility.  My teacher Karen, told me once to stop being hyper-responsible— to hold space is to help create safety- not to fill it so the people I was holding space for could not feel.  I found that my devotion to my studentship was the way I could hold space for myself as a teacher.

The heart can think of no devotion greater than being shore to the ocean

Holding the curve of one position counting endless repetition— Robert Frost.

I found that when I held space- really held space that it was never comfortable or clean, it was messy and needed the boundary my space holding could provide— I found that when I held space, the person I was holding space for felt supported to actually filled the space themselves without my hyper vigilance.

I found that I as a student and students that I’m teaching sometimes come into a space- like the studio unconscious and take for granted that the sacred space has been held for them— I have said and students have said to me, this is such sacred space, as if the space itself manufactured itself— I have come to class cluttered looking for clarity as a student- I never knew how much my teacher Karen held for me -without ever saying a word— she was present, and I found her being present was the greatest space holder.

Karen was my touchstone of sacredness in her capacity to hold space— and she became my root and invited me into the lineage of sacredness so that I too could be a touchstone— and that responsibility was a clear indicator of my reality as a teacher.  I was not a performance artist but a space holder— so everyone who came to class could have their own experience, not the experience I hoped for or wished for or even tried to manufacture — but the experience they needed.

I realized this when I began to practice without expectation, my studentship was held by the blessing force of my lineage— and within that blessing force I could expand, learn and pay attention— I laid down roots that created my capacity to sit in the seat of the teacher,

and 12 years later, those roots are what sustain me.

My studentship and my teachings  are grounded in the life affirming yoga philosophy which holds the embodiment of my practice as a vehicle for transformation, devotion and service.  I  am rooted in Anusara and the Tantric philosophy that underpins it by promoting good company as a root of ongoing practice


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