In the early days of my Hatha Yoga study I was privileged to be taught by the powerful, beautiful and eloquent Angela Farmer, who I notice is still working and teaching all over the world (http://www.angela-victor.com). She had a little phrase that gave me, the struggling – and very stiff – young yoga aspirant a real breakthrough in, well, in breaking through the necessary discomfort of stretching bits of your body that have been locking up since you were a baby. ‘Make space in your hips’ she would say, and magically I would be able to let go and manage another inch or so of movement.
You make space in your joints. To stretch, you let go so that space opens up. In meditation, you do the same thing; let go and make space in – for example – the base of your spine, or your throat. Muladhara, the root chakra alive and alight right down there round your perineum, responds. It warms up and glows, carrying you, light. Vishudda, the throat chakra, lights up as you relax the muscles in your throat, let go, find space. Your tongue shrinks – it’s normally absolutely charged with blood and saliva, animated and irrigating your throat. You’d be amazed how much less room it takes up in your mouth and throat when you let it go. Your brain relaxes, and lo and behold, your mind quietens.
The chatter of the wandering mind needs links to keep going. Random thought links or leads to another random thought. As you find space in your throat and brain, so those links begin to fade and disappear. You might have one single random thought make an appearance; watch it, let it go. It won’t any longer have the power to carry the link to the next one – you have found space, the distance is too great. A thought simply pops up and fades, like a small, cheap firework. A little spurt of sparks, then nothing. Mental silence. Bliss.