It feels so good to get rid of stuff you no longer need – to clean out cluttered closets and overstuffed drawers, to dump moldy food sitting in the back of the fridge, or to vacuum up all the dust bunnies hiding under your furniture.
This yogic principle of cleanliness or “saucha” not only applies to your home, but also to your body, mind and emotions. This spring, take time to do some deep cleaning in those areas of your life that are often overlooked:
1) Stop cluttering up your calendar and overscheduling yourself. Say “yes” to those commitments that are in line with your values, and a polite, but firm “no” to those things that steal time away from the people and things that matter to you.
2) Clean up your diet. We all know that highly processed foods and excessive amounts of alcohol can pollute the body and create brain fog. Replacing these empty calories with more veggies, fruits, protein and whole grains can help you drop excess weight. Plus, all that high fiber acts like nature’s broom, clearing out your digestive tract and making you feel more open and energetic.
3) Calm your busy mind with a few minutes of daily meditation. Instead of popping out of bed and immediately tackling your to-do list, take 5 to 10 minutes to sit and meditate. This will help you feel, more grounded and clear-headed, setting a calmer tone for the rest of your day. If you’re having a hard time getting started, put it on your calendar and choose the same time and place to meditate each day, so you develop a fresh routine.
4) Stop bombarding your senses with negativity. TV, social media and video games can clog up your brain with violent images that replay in your mind. Expressing yourself using harsh, hurtful words can also be toxic to your relationships. Choose sights, sounds and words that leave you and the people around you feeling more open, peaceful and at ease.
5) Release deeply held tension through a regular yoga practice. Using deep breathing and movement, you can wring out stress and tightness in your outer body and cleanse your inner body with fresh blood and oxygen. Because your mind, body and emotions are connected, when you stretch and open up on a physical level, this feeling of spaciousness can transfer to all levels.
6) Find a healthy outlet for pent up emotions. Instead of bottling them up, give yourself time and space to experience your feelings as they arise – whether they show up as tears, frustration or regrets. Try journaling, taking a walk or talking to a trusted friend or professional. Holding on to anger, fear or resentment can weigh you down and prevent you from moving forward in your life.
When you let go of unhealthy habits and clear out the rubbish in your physical, mental and emotional self, you free up more space for new opportunities and people to enter your life.