For me, there is nothing more relaxing and rejuvenating then those first few moments on my yoga mat. The simplicity of the practice has always connected with me – nothing more in front of me but my mat and perhaps a few yoga props. I quickly become aware that this is all I’m going to need for an hour or two, and I delight in the simplicity of that. We tend as people to have many things on the go, responsibilities, things around us and stuff to get done. However, when we turn to practice, all of those things fall away, which can be a true gift of calm.
When I began to experience that freeing sensation on my mat many years ago, I could not help but wonder what ‘practicing’ yoga off of my mat might look like. What if I began to try to simplify my ‘off the mat’ life as well? These thoughts took me down yet another yoganic road, and the results for me were exhilarating.
I began this journey by decluttering the various spaces in my life. Getting rid of things that were no longer useful or important provided me with space; this was not unlike the space that I seek to create in my body during a yoga practice. Simplifying also enables me to find things that may have been misplaced or forgotten.
When our lives are cluttered it is very difficult to breathe – imagine a drawer that is jammed with things and so full that it can barely be opened. Now imagine that drawer is your body; it is impossible to find calm in chaos or simplicity in clutter.
Although the positive effects that simplifying can have are far from a new concept, there was a time in my life that it was new to me. When I share how I have simplified things with friends and acquaintances, I can often see the light click on with them. After all, who doesn’t want to experience more space and less confusion?
Fall is an opportune time to get rid of things that are no longer serving a purpose, and this in turn can make room for the things we really need to surface. Finding space on and off our yoga mat may just be the tune up we need.