Confessions of a 4-Decade Yoga Hoarder

Oct 22, 2018 | Yoga Sequences | 13 comments

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.

 

13 Comments

  1. I really had to laugh reading your ‘confession re hoarding’ as I could say ‘ditto’. I also have all my class plans and other sundry notes since I began teaching all those years ago and just get distracted reading through them when I think I will clear them out…..the result being they are all still in the cupboard.

    Reply
    • Hi Jane,

      I think I still have some notes (thankfully, not so many any more) from Nature Care!

      We just need more cupboard space!

      Kindly xx

      Reply
  2. I loved this post too, as I sit at my desk with folders of favourite sequences and notes from classes all around me. Similarly I get so easily immersed in them and looking up things that interest me that the time just disappears. A guilty pleasure!
    A friend introduced me to your blog a few years ago and I have so enjoyed how real your writing is for me. Thank you!
    Carolyn

    Reply
    • Thank you, Caz. Are you a yoga teacher?

      I love that expression, ‘guilty pleasure’. I’m sure if you’re teaching that you are passing the results of your pleasure time on to all of your students.

      Kind regards….

      Reply
  3. Whoaaa! Sounds a bit like an encouragement to… hoard…

    Reply
    • Like some cheeses and wines, lesson plans can improve with age, Michael….

      Reply
  4. Same. Do you notice how the plans have evolved over the years? I teach a theme per term and think I have a theme covered the next time I teach it, but it’s always surprisingly different.

    Reply
    • Hi Sue,

      Yes, my teaching has changed as I am now older and so are my students. My archived plans are easy to adapt because the basic structure of them is good. I’m startled sometimes in seeing the dates go so far back!

      Kind regards and Namaste

      Reply
  5. Eve – not only every class plan but every note from every yoga teacher training or workshop I have done since 1993…..yep…from time to time good intentions of culling but then I start reading ‘inspirational’ quotes from mentor teacher over those years and im gone!

    Reply
    • It’s true for me, too, Rea. I’ve attended quite a few workshops and ended up with notes that haven’t seen the light of day again.
      In a way, this has made me more cognisant about the handouts I create or even the material I put into my workshops. If it’s not going to be memorable, well, maybe it doesn’t go in. It’s not necessary. Usually what does stick is the energy of the teacher and the interactions I’ve had within the workshops or trainings.
      Kindly, E.G.

      Reply
  6. Just today Eve I found two boxes of yoga books, journals and sequence plans in my shed- I was in the shed to do a ‘clean up’ but those boxes went straight back on the shelf to stay! Precious memories of the late 90’s practising with you Eve. I hope to one day to dive back in to those boxes and rediscover!

    Reply
    • Oh, Kiah, I have such fond memories of your teacher training and your fledgling flights at Simply Yoga. I still have copies of some of those sequences, too!

      Do you still do yoga? Teach? and what about those kids–all grown up?

      Missing you….

      Reply
  7. Hi Eve

    Why don’t you publish them online in ebook format, then you can say goodbye to the hard copies without thinking you have destroyed something of value.

    Reply

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