Spring is in the air, my nose has what I call the spring itch! That’s one of the things I least like about spring I have to admit. I love the change of season in countless other ways though. There are the obvious ones like gorgeous blossoms and patches of glorious warm sunshine to break up the chill of the days. Less overtly I always get a more subtle kind of spring itch which I can only describe as an itching deep in my soul. It works its way in and irritates me with a constant commentary like “Shouldn’t you clear that cupboard out?” and “How are you going to grow as a person next year?” or “Where are you travelling to in 2019?”
Does anyone else get this spring itch? I’m sure it might sound familiar to some of you. Well, I don’t have all the answers just yet but I take solace in the practice of yoga and take this opportunity to spring clean my mind (I’ll explain in a moment!).
Spring Clean Your Mind With Yoga
For me, this practice really comes back to the 4th of the niyamas (observances) in yoga; svadhyaya which means self-study. It can mean study of texts but primarily it relates to understanding oneself. Self-study allows us to see our own true nature through the contemplation of things that happen in our lives. This then gives us an opportunity to learn something about ourselves as we make mistakes or when things work out well along the way. Examining our actions becomes a mirror to observe our motives, thoughts and desires more clearly.
In our yoga practice, we can do this exact same thing. We find out what our body can and can’t do, how we might feel about that and even emotions that may be invoked by being able/unable to do a particular posture or practice. Habitual ways of moving or recurrent thought patterns may also become apparent as a result of this practice.
Meditation Practice To Spring Clean Your Mind
- Sit comfortably in an upright position, how you are now is just fine!
- Close your eyes and begin to tune into your natural breath
- Bring to mind any thoughts, ideas, or beliefs that feel like they aren’t serving you right now or have become irrelevant to your current situation
- One by one, or all at once, see if you can connect to what their original purpose was. Do they have a reason for still existing and taking up your mind space? Is there something further to explore or is it time to return that energy back to your main reserves?
- When you come to the realization that it’s time to let go of mind clutter—much in the same way you would give away a piece of old clothing that you never wear anymore—thank it for having served its purpose and take in any learning or wisdom it has to impart and then say goodbye…
- Next, imagine erasing it from a chalkboard to reveal a fresh, clean surface.
- Once you’ve cleared away that which no longer needs to occupy your mind, spend some time connecting to the open space you have created in your internal world. The space that you’ve cultivated doesn’t mean the mind is now empty. Rather, see it as being filled with the element of space, which represents potential and possibilities
- Next, invite in a new thought or belief in the form of an intention for something you would like to happen in the coming days, weeks, or months. Perhaps there is an old idea that you want to take off the shelf and revisit. Maybe starting the project that’s been in the back of your mind for years.
- Bring your new intention to the forefront of your mind and imagine planting it like a seed in that newly fertile space.
- Then, let go of the intention, trusting that the Universe will work out the details. Take a few slow, deep breaths before opening your eyes.
Happy Spring Cleaning x
Author: Charley Hickey C-IAYT is a practicing yoga therapist and senior yoga teacher who runs group and private yoga classes in Applecross, Bateman & Fremantle, Perth. She also runs specialised yoga workshops for yoga students & yoga teachers.
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