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Wide Open Spaces

Resist the urge to fill the open spaces with things.

Last night I watched a documentary on Frederick Law Olmsted. Even if you're not a history person, his name may sound familiar. He is the man responsible for so many of the beautiful parks in the United States. A few notable places he designed include Central Park in NYC, Boston's Emerald Necklace, and the landscape for the Capitol Building in Washington D.C.

Olmsted believed in the power of parks for bringing peace to a city environment, and for creating community within nature. One challenge he faced was people trying to take away the park space for THINGS. It might sound something like this: "Oh! Look at that beautiful green open area! Let's fill it up! How about a statue? Or a fountain? We can do anything, we have so much space!"

Olmsted advised people in the moment, and for the future: "Resist the urge to fill the open spaces with things."

There is so much potential in open spaces. Potential for play, connection, reflection.

Do you see the yoga in this?

The open space is the quiet within. The stillness. The open space is what we create on our mats, with our breath. The "things" are all the distractions. Here's what preserving open spaces might look like for us:

  • Breathe before inserting an emotion.

  • Pause before reacting to a negative comment.

  • Choose to be quiet instead of talk.

  • Close your eyes for a few minutes instead of going on your phone.

  • Eat mindfully instead of while doing a million things.

  • Find gratitude for what you have rather than yearn for what you don't have.

We don't need more things. We need open space.

Yours in Yoga,


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