Once in a while when I notice my drawers and cupboards begin to overflow, I’ll start pulling out old unwanted things and throwing them out. These “cleansing episodes” always leave me feeling somehow lighter and happier. This is in contrast to my other half who often refuse to part with his belongings. To put it in a nice way, he may be being sentimental, but to me that’s a sure way to let unnecessary clutter accumulate. I guess that is why the Chinese have the tradition of spring cleaning every new year. As the Chinese saying goes, “If old things don’t go, new things will never come.” I think the essence of the spring-cleaning ritual is captured in the virtue of aparigraha, one of the yamas in Pantajali’s Eight Limbs of Yoga that means non-hoarding or non-attachment. Be it physical objects, negative thoughts, bad habits or toxic friends, we should learn to let go of the things that don’t serve us anymore.
Vania (YTT200 Jun-Aug’18)