Why do you think yoga has become so big over the last 10 years?  I started doing yoga in 1979 with a “guru” in the field, back when I lived in New York City.  Dharma Mitra taught in a third floor walk-up in a rickety old apartment building on the corner of Sixth Ave and 14 St, and I would tredge up there after a long day of dancing and waitressing only to get pushed and pulled Indian style for the next 90 minutes.  

That is definitely not the American style these days, which is quite a relief, but there is something to be said of the kind of focus and clarity that defined my yoga teacher’s ways.  

I was one of only a few students, and would sometimes bring along of friend who would inevitably cry or get mad at some point in the class and walk out, so I did learn to keep my “yoga” obsession to myself, but I was hooked.  (Dharma Mitra had already created a mega poster with all of the asanas (Positions) which boosted him into instant fame, so I am sure he softened a lot along the way, and I have followed him over the years enough to know that he is very famous now).

So why am I recounting this story to you?  I was a very impressionable 22 year old at the time, and I was immensely affected by Dharma’s simple lifestyle.  I believe he was a “Sunyasan”, which is someone who abstains from intimate relationships in order to devote all of one’s time to meditation and practice, and for me he represented a choice of lifestyle that brought clarity, simplicity, and focus into his life, and subsequently into mine.

As the years piled up for me other priorities took over, including my own career and marriage, but I never forgot the experience I had with him..  

And as things tend to circle around, I find myself in a phase once again, of wanting to let go of possessions, clothes, “extras” that are clogging up my home and interior life. And to that end, I start to think about my teachers and the influence they had on me.

So what do you do to start to “let go and simplify”? First of all, there is your physical space. Is there anything that has been collecting dust, or that you don’t really see anymore? Could you recycle, give away, or throw it away? Is there anything that is broken, that you have intended to fix but not gotten around to it? Do you have excess clutter in your space, or in your closets? Are there expired spices in your spice drawer in the kitchen?

I could go on, but do not want to send you spinning into overwhelm, which would defeat our purpose here today!

Let’s start with just one room. Choose a room, and bring a garbage bag with you. Go around and place 20 things into that bag…that is how I started decluttering my home. I was actually amazed that I could come up with 20 and more objects that I didn’t need and didn’t really resonate with anymore.

You see, the physical objects in your space have a connection with your emotional wellbeing. As you take the deep die and start to actually decide if you want that object, you start to become more empowered. Why? Because you have let go of something internally as well as externally. And this good feeling starts to encourage more of the same.

You can do one room now, and then another room next week, or one closet, one junk drawer! You get the idea. Just know that you will be getting lighter and more free with each little choice you make. It brings you more fully into the present, and more fully into your body. We were made to dance and be free, and even carefree in life, not bogged down with history and “stuff”.

Let my yoga teacher be an inspiration to you too today, and let your new simplicity start to settle in to body and mind!

(The next training that I want to do with you, will be about this topic; how to release, let go, and simplify in order to have more space, more freedom and more breath…)

Friday, June 2nd at 12:00 EDT. Not to worry, I will send a link for ZOOM a few days earlier!

Love, Diane



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