In Nature, Winter is a time of release and turning inward. Spring is a time of renewal and moving outward.
What are you willing to release in order to be renewed?
Along with the Asanas that we practice in Yoga, there are practices known as the Yamas and Niyamas. These are considered practices that will bring more peace of mind while the Asanas bring more comfort in the body. Not to say that these are separate.
I'd like to bring the focus to the Yama known as Aparigraha (Acknowledging Abundance or Non-grasping) and the Niyama known as Saucha (Purity or Cleanliness). See where I'm going? When seen in a linear fashion, Aparigraha is just before Saucha. The two nicely coalesce for the purpose of "Spring Cleaning."
Aparigraha asks us to focus on gratitude and what we have, so we do not find ourselves overly attached. Moving from a sense of gratitude, we would be more likely to allow things to flow through us rather than holding them in an attempt to feel secure or avoid the discomfort of a feeling of lack. Many traditions point out that our attachments cause us suffering. Clutter in our space clutters our mind. In her book, The Secret Power of Yoga, Nischala Joy Devi offers this view of Aparigraha: "Acknowledging abundance, we recognize the blessings in everything and gain insights into the purpose of our worldly existence."
Saucha asks us to focus on simplicity and purity. Again, a sense of clearing clutter. Yoga practice also includes cleaning practices known as Kriyas, while the Asanas are also meant to cleanse the body in many ways. Some would also include a sense of humour as part of this practice in order to not take life so seriously and simplifying life wherever possible. Nischala gives us this: "Through simplicity and continual refinement, the body, thoughts and emotions become clear reflections of the Self within."
The Yamas and Niyamas, like the Asanas, are meant to be personal practices that help us know ourselves better and find a sense of balance or ease even when there is effort. Play with these ideas for yourself. Where can you notice abundance in your life that may give you more ease in releasing what is no longer serving a purpose for you? What are you grateful for? Do you have a gratitude list? Where might you simplify or cleanse to create more ease or spaciousness? Spring is often a time of food cleanses, as well as house cleaning. Clearing the clutter and the cobwebs inside and out.
To take this further, I'm offering a Yoga Nidra workshop on March 19th (the day before Spring Equinox) to help with clearing mental, emotional and psyche clutter. As within, so without. As without, so within. More details here.
I'd love to hear what you think/feel in the comments below or email any time.