How the Japanese art of decluttering sparked joy in my home, my marriage and my yoga practice

This process of facing the things I own, one by one, has brought me closer to knowing myself. In making conscious and careful choices about the objects that surround me, I've honed my tastes. In learning to live with things as they speak to me in the present, not as relics from the past or things I might need in the future, I've learned to live more immediately with myself.

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Hold the Pose. Learn. Change.

When I stay in the pose longer, when I watch my physical and mental reactions, when I finesse the alignment and economize the effort,  I learn and I change.

I've listed below three sequences that have inspired my home practice over the past two weeks. Each can be practiced in 20-40 minutes. Set a timer for the poses with specified timings. I encourage you to hold the poses longer than usual and observe what arises.

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Home Practice Love Affair

A dedicated home practice is a rich playground for exploration, living with questions and treating yourself right. Yoga teachers: This is an absolute must for honing an authentic voice and clear point of view.

I've listed the top five reasons I cheat on my yoga classes with frequent (sometimes twice daily) practices at home. My list includes some tips for getting started and inspiration for falling deeper in love with your own yoga at home. I intend to add to this material in the coming months -- to flesh out the information below with practical guidance on your personal journey.

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Surfing and Falling Down Laughing

According to the Yoga Sutra, one of the five Kleshas (afflictions of the mind) is Abhinivesha, most often translated as “clinging to life” or “fear of death.” This affliction dilutes mental focus and compromises one's ability to discern the real from the unreal – an obstacle on the path towards liberation. It's not that I actually thought I was going to die out there in the water, but deep down we all have an innate survival mechanism that signals a flashing red light when danger is near. The tough part is discriminating between legitimate danger and an overactive mind.

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