Packing for any trip whether it be for a weekend, week or months, we are guilty of packing way too much! During the preparation for my trip I kept saying to myself I’m travelling light. No pressure there then!
When I see others who have packed light I get the same unpleasant feelings surface as those on my yoga mat, when I see the perfect Uttanasana (standing forward fold) I consider my practice a failure. When I return home from a holiday I dutifully unpack anything I didn’t wear, which is about 80% of the contents, and when I have rolled up my yoga mat I try not focus on the desire to have the perfect hamstrings. Whilst our limitations shroud us, we nurture our needs to not only push ourselves to a limit but carry on repeating behaviour, which potentially harm us both physically and emotionally too.
Every time I travel and see the smug-hand-luggage only types I feel a failure and these frustrations are the same I take off my mat. I know I’m projecting unkind thoughts and maybe actions towards those who have the perfect packing and practice too.
Patanjali’s first principle of the first limb of the eight fold-path is the virtue of non-harming, Ahimsa. The Yoga Sutra serves as a guiding ideal map for all. As yogis and humans our actions towards the self and others must have integrity, trying to lead a sound and moral life, which brings me back to tolerance. Our every thought and action has the potential of an attachment, which can cause pain not only to ourselves but others too.
A commitment to Ahimsa non-harming will bring peace in our lives, we become more sensitive to our thought patterns and the way we carry subtle pugnacious actions within our minds and bodies.
I remember our family holidays camping how excited we were to be going on holiday and when we arrived the anticipation of what lay ahead. Not a jot to do with what to pack or not. That feeling of your first view of the sea and running towards the sea through warm soft sand, eating ice creams, which were melting faster than you could eat, love laughter and memories were made.
Finally, be mindful about Ahimsa when you’re packing, It helps not only in our choices and actions but our daily life too. I have found that the best way to approach my packing is to have a lengthy cooling down period of a week or so. Lay everything out and edit accordingly. Keep revisiting and revisiting your packing and anything that does not make the cut a day before you are leaving either pop it back into the drawer or better still donate it to charity!