Use what you have

use what you have

Every few months I take inventory of my ‘stuff’. I peruse my closet for clothes and shoes that are better served as donations;  I take a trip down ‘expiration date’ lane and go through vitamins, prescriptions, lotions, makeup, etc.; and, I take inventory of my physicality. That is, what am I not using very much that I SHOULD, what am I afraid to let go of, and what should change?

Let’s face it, when you hit 40, your body changes.  The exercises that used to come easy, may be the ones that could now cause injury.  And the workouts we shy away from, might just be what cures an ache or pain.

Not too long ago, I was a die-hard Surya Namaskar (sun salutation) junkie.  My mornings consisted of an asana practice that featured a lot of sun salutations with standing, balancing, twisting and inversion poses mixed in, but I noticed that injuries were creeping in.  “Is yoga bad for me?” I wondered?  No, my practice had become, in itself, a samskara — a pattern that wasn’t serving me anymore.

After some assessment, I found that I was gravitating to poses that were easy much to the demise of other parts of my body.  I also noticed that I was avoiding poses that caused pain — and rightly so. But, I decided to investigate the root cause rather than give up altogether.  I’ve since made adjustments to my practice that are specific to my body’s needs, and try to mix it up regularly.

While yoga IS very beneficial for everyone, it’s not once size fits all.  We all can’t be Kathryn Budig (God love her), but like she says, we can “aim true.”

Take stock of your life — physcially, spiritually, emotionally, and posessions-ally. Get rid of what no longer serves you, and use what you have to your fullest (safest) potential.

Namaste,

– Your Charmed Yogi

(Photo: A Lifetime of Wisdom)

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Keep it Simple, Shaucha

Simplicity_Walden Pond_Thoreau“Let us first be as simple and well as Nature ourselves, dispel the clouds which hang over our brows, and take up a little life into our pores. Do not stay to be an overseer of the poor, but endeavor to become one of the worthies of the world,” Walden, Henry David Thoreau.In The Yoga Sutras, a collection of aphorisms on yoga practice, Patanjali explains what yoga is, how it works, and how to purify the mind so it can settle into silence.  The yamas and niyamas are the laws of life and the rules of living and are part of the eightfold path of classical yoga.  Saucha, one of the “rules of living” is most often translated as “simplicity,” “purity,” or “cleanliness.”

But, you don’t have to move to the woods and live deliberately to simplify your life.   Purification can begin with a gesture as simple as cleaning out your closets, donating long forgotten books and shoes, or clearing your mind to make room for…space.

What’s cluttering your cranial cupboard?  For me,  fear is the demon I struggle with that can take up a lot of real estate.  And yet, fear is not only immaterial, but it’s rooted in a fictitious future that hasn’t happened.   You would think that filling your mind with space would allow more negative thoughts to fill it, but it’s just the opposite.   When you let go of the thoughts that pre-occupy and already overworked egoic consciousness, what’s left is infinite space that pushes out the mental chatter.

So, empty your walk-in wardrobe, clear out the closets of your mind, get rid of what doesn’t serve you, and live Shaucha.

Namaste.

-Your Charmed Yogi