A couple of years ago, I heard one of my favorite Bikram Yoga teachers tell us as we settled into our first belly-up Savasana in class, “Don’t be afraid to let go of things that no longer serve you.” This was the first time ever in my yoga practice where I really listened to what my instructor said in class, took it to heart and immediately applied it to my life off of my mat. At the time, I was going through a rocky part of life. My marriage was starting to fall apart and I was super unhappy at my job. I did the only thing I knew I could do – dived head first into my yoga practice with a 30-Day Bikram Yoga challenge. I figured if my life was falling apart off my mat, I could show up on my mat each day and help put the pieces back together.

When Kim made this profound statement in class, I mentally agreed with her. I thought about all of the negative thoughts that had been rolling around in my head. All of the negative situations I’d been going through recently. The toxic people who had shown up in my life. The lightbulb went off for me immediately – I’m the one who should be in the driver seat in my life! If someone or something wasn’t making me happy, it should be perfectly okay to let it go to make room for the thoughts, situations and people I did want in my life. After class, I started taking action. The planning for my big release had begun. At the time, I had no idea just how big this release was going to be. In a couple of months, I’d enroll into a 200-Hour Hot Power Fusion Yoga Teacher Training at CorePower Yoga. Eight months later, I’d file for divorce from my husband. Seven months after filing for divorce, I’d quit that stressful job and start teaching yoga full-time.

This experience was one of those really powerful “ah-ha” moments, thanks to yoga. It was an incredible life changer. I feel like all the really good stuff happens in yoga. Fast forward a little over a year later, I circled back around to this experience and decided to use it as a theme in one of my classes. When I set the intention for class, I told my students to give themselves permission to let go of things no longer serving them. I asked them if there was something in their life that they’re holding onto that no longer serves them – negative thoughts, negative feelings, an unsatisfying job or a toxic person. I then asked them to take a moment to reflect on anything that had been weighing down on them lately and posed the question, “Is this something you can let go of?” Then as a class, we all took a nice, deep inhale through the nose and then open mouthed exhaled to let that shit go. I didn’t say shit in class, but you catch my drift.

Yoga for me is a lot like making a trip to the Goodwill. Not a shopping trip, but one of those “I-spent-all-weekend-cleaning-out-my-closet-so-now-I’m-donating-all-of-this-crap-I-don’t-use-to-the-Goodwill” kind of trips. Each time I come to my mat, I have the opportunity to spring clean my soul and give away all of the stuff I don’t need anymore. Only instead of doing a trip like this once or twice a year, I get to get rid of that shit multiple times a week.

Give yourself permission to let go of the stuff you no longer need without feeling guilty about it. Make room for the good stuff – the positive thoughts, the positive feelings, positive opportunities, positive people and of course more yoga.

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