Constant Clearing

By Laura Mills

Twice a year I try to wash my windows, at least the ones most spotted with water marks, dirt, cat nose prints or anything else. And afterwards, I am always amazed at the difference a newly-cleaned window makes to my view.

I’ve heard several teachers mention it, but I agree that cleaning is a powerful metaphor for yoga as well as many other positive methods we employ to release inner build-up. We accumulate grime all the time: emotions, stress, attachments, and other residues of life. And in order to restore our optimal views, we require elbow grease in the form of a physical practice that focuses our minds. We practice asana on a yoga mat, compose words on a page, play music on an instrument, run miles on a trail, or any of a million combinations of those and many other pursuits. And our ultimate goal in pursuing any of them, I believe, is clarity.

But like windows, we accumulate grime again and again. It’s humanly normal, and it calls us back to our practices over and over yogis to their mats, writers to the page, artists to the easel, and so on. The scenery changes with the seasons, of course, but any time we see clearly the view is spectacular and definitely worth the effort.