When I was in my early 20’s I developed a weird compulsion for vacuuming my floors. (I say weird because my mother can attest that I was not compulsively neat in high school and my floors then we’re covered in clothes and teen fashion magazines).
However, in my 20’s it was the first time I lived in an apartment by myself, not a room at home, not a dorm but a small apartment (with not much floor to vacuum but still a place I lovingly called home). I didn’t sweep the floors or vacuum up dust because there was something inherently dirty about the space. It was a lovely space in a lovely city, but the reality of this world, this material realm, is that dust collects. A practice of cleansing is needed to maintain the beauty that exists in a pure state. Apartments are like our bodies and minds, in that they provide a home for beauty and life, but they require upkeep, love, and care. There are 6 main categories of kriyas or cleansing in yoga philosophy. These kriyas are practices meant to be repeated again and again by yogis, day after day, week after week, month after month, just like we brush our teeth. At Jivamukti Yoga Teacher Training we were given excellent instruction and we practiced these 6 kriyas. For me, unlike Asana and meditation, they were not as easy to continue on a daily basis after returning to my daily life after teacher training. Chapter 6 in Sharon Gannon’s Magic 10 and Beyond book, called sweeping the way, established a solid kriya practice in my daily life.