I’ve always been open to experience and saying yes comes naturally to me. But I’m beginning to realise that saying no or not doing everything I
want to do gives me more head space and keeps me calmer. Buying less then feels better than cramming my basement flat with more stuff. After being pushed out of the sitting room by a new sofa and the office turned toy room, our wide hall has become my yoga space, but it’s rapidly filling with my husband and daughter’s clutter. Argh! How can I twist properly in Jathara Parivatasana (a supine twist) when my legs get tangled up in Lottie’s trike or a campervan cupboard waiting to be sold on eBay?
In fact the solution lies in the twist, which is a great example of how being squashed can be a release. BKS Iyengar calls it the ‘squeeze and soak’ method where the action of twisting the spine squeezes the muscles, spinal disks and abdominal organs. When you release, blood floods back into those areas, bringing nutrients and improving circulation.
Seated twists like Bharadvajasana (named after an old sage) are a great way to detox. It reminds me of one of The Gruffalo Songs by Julia Donaldson. ‘Wise old man won’t you help me, please? My house is a squash and a squeeze.’ He tells her to bring in a pig, chicken, goat and a cow until the house is at bursting point. And then she takes them out one by one. How much better does she feel? Which is exactly what twisting does in yoga. You squash everything up and then release creating room to breathe, a refreshed spirit and sense of calm. Time to clear out the hallway.
I wrote this piece a few years ago but wanted to share it again. Having moved into a tiny house, decluttering remains a top priority. But where am I meant to put all the artworks that my daughters bring home from nursery and school? Do other parents secretly recycle at night?