Find Your Yoga Peace by Getting Rid of the Extras!

Susan Grossman

Yoga has always represented a safe haven for its practitioners.  When the world starts to close in, we yogis hit our mats to find strength and solitude. Breathing deeply, and gracefully flowing from one asana to another, the pressures of life begin to fade. As soon as practice is over, though, the world often rushes back, trying to claim the peacefulness the practice has given to us.

As yogis, we can struggle with maintaining our peaceful feelings while off the mat. An upsetting phone call, irate customer or difficult boss can press us in all directions. As the pressure moves in, our feelings of calm dissipate until we have a chance to renew on our mat. Our yoga mat is the place where we can be alone to recharge and may seem to be the only place where we can truly live our yoga.

In some ways, though, we may be creating unnecessary, peace-stealing, pressure for ourselves. Often we overlook the extras that subtly add up in our lives. Extra weight on our bodies, bulging closets, disorganized kitchens and over-commitment can steal our mental and physical strength. Extras steal our time and energy and ultimately, our peace.

When we allow extras to grow, we sacrifice the fertile soil of our minds and spirits. Extras are like weeds that inhibit the growth of our fruitfulness. Organizing and slimming down our possessions and schedules, along with our bodies, creates a beautiful space in our lives for our yoga to grow.

Our yogic philosophy is so deeply connected with our minds and spirits that we cannot simply practice on a physical level and allow the rest of our lives to become chaotic and out of sync.  Practicing our yoga off the mat by organizing our lives will help to root out the weeds that inhibit the growth of our fruitful plantings.

Taking Inventory of Your Extras

How do we begin to clear our garden of weeds and tend to our fruitful plantings?  We begin by taking inventory of the areas that steal our mental strength, and over which we have control.

1. What's Hiding in Your Closets?

Most of us will find plenty of extras in our closets. Our closets usually house extras that we don’t need, use or want. Instead of working around those items, we should donate or recycle them.  As we continue working throughout our homes and desks, we need to continually ask ourselves if our possessions are necessary and/or life enhancing. If not, we must let them go. Slimming down our personal space will result in more time to dedicate to yoga practice, meditation and deep introspection.

2.Overeating Can Steal Your Energy

We should also be cognizant of the amount of food that we eat. Our bodies are the direct conduits for our yoga practice. Keeping our bodies healthy by not over-eating will greatly assist our yogic efforts. We should lovingly dedicate ourselves to serving our physical bodies in an optimal way and to making a concerted effort to treat our bodies in the most respectful way possible.

3. Learning to Say No

Finally, extra responsibilities can also weigh us down. Extra, optional duties beyond our limits will steal our mental peace. Before we say, “Yes” to directing yet another social group or volunteering for a benefit, we need to know if we have room in our schedules. Often we say, “Yes” when we have no reserves in our schedules and cannot fully dedicate ourselves to the task.

The only way that we can know if we have the time and energy to fulfill another social responsibility is by organizing and prioritizing our schedules. Once we have a full understanding of our schedules, we can more easily decide whether or not to take on additional, time-consuming responsibilities. If we do have the time, then we can say, “Yes!” joyfully with full intentions of dedicating ourselves to the task.

In summary, let us take the time to slim down this fall in the areas of our lives that are robbing us of peace. Let us get rid of the extras that are weighing us down and stealing the peaceful, joyful fruit from our lives. When we shed the unwanted extras, we will usher in the sweet and delicious nectar of our yoga practice that will also feed our spirits when we are off the mat.

Susan Grossman is a yoga teacher based in Warsaw, Indiana. She is a contributing author for three ebooks, “Get Fit for Your Pregnancy:  Simple Exercises to Look Great & Feel Energized Through Your Pregnancy,” “Body Sculpting Exercise for Women Over 40,” and “Fat Blasting for a Shapely Butt and Toned Thighs.”  She teaches weekly yoga classes at her studio where she works with many individuals in the beginning stages of their yoga journey, as well as, individuals who are over seventy years of age with mild to moderate health considerations. Susan also instructs kettlebell classes.  

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