As I move forward in my Yoga Teacher Training journey, I start encountering feelings that I didn’t pay attention to before. One of those feelings is the feeling or letting go. Letting go can be at so many levels: of something that bothers us, relationships, a job that doesn’t suit us well, of negative feelings that keep dragging us in our search for our goals. But there is one that we definitely have power over: letting go of so many material things that we don’t really need! If we look around us, do we really need, or even appreciate all we have? If we were to move across the country or abroad, would we be willing to pay thousands of dollars to drag all that “stuff” with us? So many of those things have a sentimental value for us, but are those feelings positive, uplifting, or do they keep dragging us down, causing in many cases nostalgia or depression?
As with any large effort, getting rid of everything we really don’t need at once can seem, and it is, a large effort, but if we break it down into smaller tasks it becomes a lot more manageable, and we get one extra benefit: we start enjoying the satisfaction along the way.
So, the first step could be our closets: just open the door and take a look inside, we probably have a handful of clothes and shoes that we wear all the time, and underneath, or behind those, we have a whole wardrobe that we don’t even remember we had. Things we bought that we probably didn’t even like, gifts we received from someone, or simply clothes that either don’t fit, or they are not of our taste any more! Without getting to attached to them, just put them in a bag and donate them to a charity organization, imagine how many people may benefit from something we don’t even remember we have. By doing this, feel the satisfaction of letting go! And take advantage of that feeling, and move towards other rooms at your home.
We could even have some real treasures in our collections of things that all they are doing is getting dusty and taking space. How about trying to sell a few of those items in ebay and see if they sell? Maybe we could use that money to pay off some debt, which is another great way of letting go!
My personal attachment is with books, I love books, the real ones, not necessarily the electronic ones. I have boxes of them, some from my studies that I probably will never look at again. How about selling them in half.com for a modest price, and then maybe some student can benefit from it without having to pay a fortune buying new textbooks. Also, there are bookstores that sell and buy used books, who knows, maybe it would help us pay for that workshop we have been looking forward to attend but that seems a bit too expensive . And there are always the public or college libraries, some of them would be willing to accept those book, and then a huge number of people would benefit!
And what does this all have to do with yoga, you may ask? It is part of it, since letting go is something the yogic lifestyle strives for. We try to let go of our feelings of frustration during a class when we can’t quite reach that posture, or when we feel tension in our muscles and we finally let go, allowing the body to melt into a nice and deep yin pose. We try to start each practice letting go of all the obstacles we faced during the day that we were able to conquer in order to make it to the mat!