Photo of street art, a huge pile of books falling out of a first floor building window

Yoga Practice Hoarder

I have an admission. It’s a confession about hoarding. No, I’m not a conventional hoarder. I don’t save newspapers or clippings. (Well, only if they are about me). I don’t collect memorabilia either.

Actually, I’m pretty good generally at de-cluttering. I periodically ‘green bag’ my clothing. I have no trouble putting items out for council clean-ups.

So, what’s my problem?

I hoard yoga sequences. When I write out a plan for teaching, I will use it for my own practice and for my classes over the week. But I seldom throw these programs out. I save my designs, and I keep other teachers’, too. If I do a class in San Francisco or Byron Bay or even with local teachers, I will ask for that teacher’s written plan.

After almost four decades of yoga practice and teaching, I have filled seven lever arch files. Each of these holds 500 A4 pages. In addition, I have a box of programs still to be filed which I haven’t been able to face as yet. There’s just one more area of hoarding. These are the folders from my retreat and workshop plans I’ve kept for years.

Image of 7 lever arch files on a shelf

I reckon that saving stuff runs counter to one of Patanjali’s key precepts. It’s the one that warns about attachment and possessiveness. In Sanskrit, the practice of non-attachment is called Aparigraha.

The Aparigraha antidote to keeping all my papers would be to practice letting go. I have considered it. Once in awhile (this morning, for instance) I will take down a notebook with every intention of pruning it. But instead, I start reading the pages. Very little gets discarded, but I’ll often find an overlooked gem, like the one below.

I can offer you a lovely sequence dated 5/1/93. I hope you enjoy the practice. If you do, let me know. There have to be some benefits in being a yoga hoarder!

Eve’s Yoga ‘Relaxation and Pranayama’ Practice

Poses:

Supta Virasana

Supta Baddha Konasana

Virasana, Forward

Setu Bandhasana on Bolsters

Sarvangasana

Ardha Halasana

Setu Bandhasana, bolsters

Supta Baddha Konasana in Savasana

Pranayamas:

Ujjayi Pranayama

Nadi Sodhana

Kapala Bhati

For the pranayamas, give yourself time, sitting or lying, to feel the sensations of your body. Listen to these sensations, especially the impulses that we miss in our normal activities. You want to turn your attention inward by degrees, away from the busy-ness of your day.

Keep letting your mind come to rest on the immediate experience of your physical body. Invite your thoughts to slow down.

Then, become conscious of your breathing. Especially, invite your breath into the parts of your body that feel stressed or tense.