It’s marathon week so I’m not running much and my physical yoga practice is significantly restricted. But I’ve been a resourceful yogi and found other ways to practice since I’ve got lots of ideas and philosophical “stuff” (yes, that’s a technical term) floating around in my noggin lately as a result of my yoga teacher training.
This morning, with no workout or mileage requirement on my calendar, I started cleaning at 6AM. No, this is not my natural tendency but my mom is going to be in town for a visit tomorrow so that meant I needed to do some serious cleaning – not to “keep up appearances” (my mom and I are WAY past that), but because if I didn’t she would be physically unable to get into the guest bedroom. Let me explain.
With me recently quitting my corporate job and working from home for myself, I had to set up an entire office space. In my typical style, I didn’t give myself much time for that process to happen so, essentially, what I did was clear out one of the spare bedrooms by moving all the crap that was in that room into the guest bedroom – actually, think less “moving” and more “dumping”.
The guest bedroom had become part trash heap and part hodge-podge of miscellaneous crap that I didn’t have time to deal with. As far as the spare bathroom which I’d been using as my main bathroom due to the shift in my “office hours”, I’d sort of adopted a “spot clean as you go” approach. Long story short, the guest living quarters had been in a state of disarray for months, an relatively untouched black hole of who knows what.
Naturally, the day before my mom was scheduled to arrive for her visit seemed like the perfect time start the cleaning process.
In my cleaning frenzy very early this morning, I hit the guest bedroom hard. I put away all the stuff tag had been lying around, washed the sheets, made the bed (even putting the “fancy” comforter and pillows on), dusted, vacuumed and opened the windows to freshen the room a bit.
Then, I tackled my bathroom, applying a bit of elbow grease to the tile floors and shower. I wiped every inch of that bathroom and even took the Drano to the super slow shower drain to help clear out the pipes.
The Yoga Sutras call this observance sauca – or cleanliness. As a fitness expert, I initially interpreted this to be keeping the body and mind clean by eating well, exercising and practicing good hygiene.
I sorta thought I’d already checked this one off the list as complete – I mean, I do a good job of keeping myself clean – I shower on the regular, meditate and – for the most part – don’t put a lot of crap into my body (sometimes some whiskey, a martini and some gummi bears sneak in but who’s counting, right?).
However, until today I didn’t notice that I’ve been missing a key piece of this. In the same way running and my physical practice detoxifies my body and mind – my internal space – I failed to see the significance of tidying up the space that surrounds me every day.
It makes perfect sense if you think of it this way: if you walk into a spa that’s dirty and cluttered, are you relaxed? No, of course not. But if you walk into a spa that smells fabulous and looks spotless, you’re immediately at ease and ready for a rubdown.
So today my yoga practice involved cleaning the space around me, taking out the trash and washing away the old stuff that no longer serves me. Very therapeutic.
Now, don’t worry, I’m not getting on the housecleaning bandwagon anytime soon but there’s really something to this act of cleansing the space around you. Today, I was draw into it – I craved it – and it was really very satisfying.
In many ways, it was the same feeling I get from taking a shower – all the junk is washed down my now superbly functioning drain 😉