Spring Cleaning: The Drunk Yogi Way
by Liz Sherman
Ah, spring. The time of year when we see signs of renewal, growth, and possibility all around us. Whether it is little green shoots poking through the ground, or the days getting longer again, spring brings us a beautiful energy and the potential to change our course.
Perhaps that is also why spring often brings spring cleaning. A time for us to physically change our space and let go of things which no longer serve us and set us up to move in the direction we want to move in.
But whether you live in a 200 sq ft studio in Manhattan or a 2000 sq ft house in Austin, spring cleaning can feel seriously overwhelming. We are, at the end of the day, attached to our stuff. We bought it for a reason, we feel some sort of emotion or memory when we look at it, and, like our moms always said, we “might need that someday”.
Ready to tackle it? Below I present Drunk Yogi spring cleaning tips:
1. Honor yourself as you clean.
Just the same way no one goes from yoga newbie to yoga pro overnight, cleaning in a way that isn’t overwhelming takes time and practice! As with all things - your authentic self is enough and is beautiful. So if your authentic self needs to do spring cleaning all at once or over two weeks, the result is no less wonderful or beautiful. Focus on what YOU need, and don’t compare yourself to others. For me, I can handle about one room a weekend. Otherwise I end up sitting with a pile of things around me feeling seriously overwhelmed and get nowhere.
2. Marie Kondo has it right: ask, “does this spark joy?”, and then some.
Marie Kondo has been everywhere recently - and if you haven’t watched her Netflix series or read her book, go ahead, we’ll wait right here. Done? Cool. We think Marie has it right - do not keep things just for the sake of keeping them. Keep them because they spark joy for you and you feel genuinely moved to see them. However, we implore you to take it a step further and ask “does this spark joy, or would this item serve someone else better?”. One of the amazing effects of Marie’s show is that it is inspiring people to minimize. But, it is also leading to a whole lot of donations to thrift stores, who aren’t totally jazzed by the whole thing. Definitely, definitely donate your unloved items, but first check these criteria: 1) Will someone else actually get benefit from this? Your threadbare dishrags probably aren’t going to bring someone else a lot of benefit, and you’re making disposing of them someone else’s problem. 2) If it will benefit someone else, do I know someone personally? By giving things directly to someone else you’re not only reducing the burden on thrift shops, but you’re making a connection - something we absolutely love to do, which is why it’s part of each and every one of our classes. 3) Is there a community organization you can donate to? I absolutely love my prom dress - it makes me feel like I’m in a James Bond movie (Class of 07 had a lot of Bond-themed activities), but I am quite certain that it would be better used by an organization that gives prom dresses to students who can’t otherwise afford them.
A side note - I’m in the market for a yogurt maker. Keep me in mind if you find one!
3. Throw out only as your absolutely very last option.
When I moved from NYC to India, I had very recently started making a conscious effort to lower my environmental footprint. And wow, what a confronting way to realize how much stuff I had that I wasn’t using. While I knew how to recycle things like plastic bottles (ack, I’m cringing), I was totally at a loss for what to do with other items - especially things like broken jewellery, mismatched socks and lidless Tupperware (I know you feel me on that one!). Did it take me some extra time to figure out how to repurpose it? Sure did. Did I get it done while lessening my environmental impact? Yes. So how’d I do it? I joined community and zero-waste Facebook groups and simply offered up the items. My broken jewellery got snapped up by someone who runs jewellery-making classes at a local museum, and I was able to recycle my cloth and other items. Google (or Ecosia - who plant trees when you search) is a wonderful thing - so much info on how to give things a new life!
A side note: in the interest of taking good care of our planet, if you need to replace some of your items (I’m looking at you, lidless Tupperware), check out some waste-free options here.
Ready? Good. We know you can do it. We find that when you make space both mentally and physically, good things come in to fill the void. And remember, at Drunk Yoga we always think you’re good enough just as you are. If you need a break from the intensity of this process, join us in class or get some good vibes with our at-home video series.
Happy cleaning, Drunk Yogis!