Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Yoga and Hoarding

I have recently found out that I'm close to some people who hoard. Without going into detail about who they are and the fascinating details about what's like to hoard I'll just post my thoughts about hoarding and how we all do it some ways and how yoga can be used to approach hoarding.

Yoga is the process of letting go of what's not you. In yoga, we let go of extra weight in some cases, but really the letting go is of old habit patterns and ways of thinking and acting that are not in alignment with who we really are. When we practise the yamas and niyamas for instance, we can go through a process of witnessing ourselves in our lives, waking up from habitual ways of being so we can live more consciously.

Some of us hoard weight. We started off thin as youngsters and then over the years, we kept adding and adding and not being able to shed what we didn't need anymore and eventually it can weigh us down so that we're carrying extra weight and it damages our health. Hoarders are like this with stuff. Some of us can relate because maybe we've held on to some things that are no longer needed or used and we can't really store those things anymore but we try. I've written a few posts over the years of my own personal struggles with letting things go.

Yoga also works like a digestive system. It can help us to integrate the things that have come before so we can take on more of life. Not just food that we take in, but experiences. Yoga helps us to get current in our lives, so we're not bringing along a bunch of stored up feelings or things to deal with.

People who collect stuff often don't have a way to get rid of it. I found that in my own experience. There was a system that brought stuff the house, but the system that recycled or donated stuff wasn't as efficient. When we see potential value in items, that can outweigh the cost it takes to keep the items around, and we'll keep on keeping things that have potential use, but not actual use. Those projects we meant to finish. The scrapbooks we mean to put together. The books we will read. It can really expand from there.

Letting go of bad habits whether they're destructive to our health - both physical and emotional/mental - or just displeasing to others, is often a really difficult process. We often keep these bad habits in place for a variety of different reasons, however, they often bring about very similar results: isolation, shame, loneliness, lack of vitality and many other symptoms.

I think that the teachings of yoga have helped me witness myself and my patterns in my own life and it has helped me have a lot of empathy for the people in my life who are uncovering their own patterns. Yoga for hoarders will be coming in the future!

(The picture is from a Google image search for hoarding. I'll see if I can get my own shots for future posts.)


right now yogini said...

Sometimes, I wish I could start out fresh without a single possession. I think I collect stuff because I'm afraid of disappearing. The weight of stuff is burdensome but less scary than being invisible. Shedding stuff takes courage and the knowledge that no thing will solidify us. we are space moving in space. Thanks for this reminder, Jamine!

20 York Street said...

Fantastic insight into hoarding and how to use Yoga to help alleviate this problem.

It is very hard to let go, be it grudges, lost love, broken dreams and material possessions. It's a constant struggle esp. for some people!

thank you for this!

Bonjour, come say hello!
Twenty York Street

Twenty York Street

Urban Girl said...

interesting to think of weight gain as hoarding weight - really great insight!

Urban Girl @ Heartfelt