By Jamie Lugo, April, 2018

My husband and I recently returned from a six-month sabbatical. We quit our jobs, moved out of our apartment, then left our families and dogs behind. Off to travel the world, we were going places we’d never been and seeing things we’d never seen.

As always there was a catch: I had to fit everything I needed for six months in a carry-on bag.  Additionally, everything I had with me, including any hand luggage, had to be under 30 lbs., total. Anyone who has ever traveled with me knows that I am not a light packer. I am the one with the Band-Aids, the allergy medicine, the six pairs of shoes for a weekend trip “just in case”. As you can just imagine, traveling with a small bag for six months was EXTREMELY challenging.

To keep my carry-on light, I had to adopt a “one in / one out” policy. Almost every single day of the trip, I looked at something in my bag and asked myself, “Do I really NEED this?” And every time I got rid of something and my bag felt a little lighter, I realized that I felt a bit lighter, too. It was like a weight had been lifted off me.

We all know what this feels like. Cleaning out a closet, ending a toxic relationship, throwing away all the receipts in your purse—basically emptying excess baggage. There is a sense of lightness that comes from simple subtraction.

Spring is a really beautiful time to get rid of things, to do a cleanse (physical or spiritual) and relieve yourself of some baggage. Spring is a time is for new growth. New growth cannot happen if there are weeds, old roots or untilled soil. Right?

Yoga can be a powerful tool in helping you lighten the load. It’s never easy because you are going to have to get rid of some things you would rather hold on to. You are going to have to let go of old ideas about yourself.  You need to ditch some of that old stuff in your closet that is holding you back. You are going to have to shed things that are keeping your soil hard and impenetrable. It’s not easy but even a little shedding goes a long way.

Jamie Lugo

Born and raised in Northern California, Jamie graduated in 2006 with degrees in both dance and psychology from the University of California, and moved to NYC with intentions to pursue a career in dance. Instead, after her first yoga teacher training at Pure Yoga in 2010, Jamie began teaching immediately. She went on to study with Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman, and after 4 years as a mentor at Yoga Shanti she is now a faculty member in their 200-hr teacher training program. Jamie is heavily influenced by the profound teachings of Pema Chödrön, and she considers Ani Pema to be one of her greatest teachers (although they have never met).

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