As I look out at this March snowfall, I am having a hard time believing Spring is almost here. The Spring Solstice, or Vernal Equinox, falls on March 20th this year. It occurs when day and night are equal. The equinox brings the balance of light and dark to alert nature and ourselves that it is time for an awakening and rebirth. This is the perfect time of year to think about clearing out what is not serving you, both metaphorically and physically, making space for gratitude and grace. This practice will lead to a more authentic and satisfying life.
In yogic philosophy, the Yamas are a guide to how we treat the world around us. The concept of Aparigraha, the fifth Yama, is about letting go of ideas, thoughts, and emotions that drag us down. It asks us to live simply and with generosity towards everyone. When you clean out and organize that pesky junk drawer (I have two) you feel a weight lifted and more energetic. You have opened that drawer on many occasions, thrown something in, an object you are not sure if you want to keep or not and then shut the drawer. You would like to forget about all the dead batteries, old stamps, and phone chargers that are heaped in a messy tangle. You promise yourself that you will organize it later, and then vow to forget about it. But like that negative thought you let rent space in your brain, that drawer finds a place, somewhere deep in your consciousness, to nag at you each time your walk past it. As you let all those thoughts and junk drawers weigh heavy on you, you have no room for new healthy and productive thoughts.
In addition to the 5 Yamas, there are 5 Niyamas which help us to find balance and peace within ourselves. Saucha, the first Niyama, could apply to this time of year as it asks us to clarify and purify our body, mind, and soul. A new beginning for this season of rebirth, enabling us to find a balance in our life and facilitate an inner calm. One way to clear your mind this spring is to get in touch with nature, such as taking a mindful walk in the woods, concentrating on all the new growth and the unique sounds as they float by. As your mind and body relaxes, contemplate what you can do without. Take the time to renew your commitment to self-care.
In your commitment to self-care, join me on Sunday March 18, 2018 at Exhale Yoga from 12pm-2pm in a Restorative Yoga class accompanied by the beautiful live music of Michelle Qureshi. We will celebrate the expanding light by opening our hearts to all the possibilities spring has in store for us.