Becoming Minimalist?

Becoming Minimalist?

Sauca= cleanliness

This is one of the niyamas according to the Yoga Sutras of Pantanjali.  Cleanliness can mean that of the body, but it also refers to cleanliness of one’s environment.  The thought is that if you are in a space that is clean and organized, your mind can be the same.  The order of the space around us can often reflect the order of the space within the mind.  I have seen a lot of articles recently about becoming minimalist*. I love purging and have recently gotten rid of excess furniture, children’s items and clothes; but an article I read this weekend made it even more personal.  It had to do with clothes and your closet…

This was an article about a woman getting rid of all of her clothes.  Needless to say, I was intrigued.  I read the article (below) and then clicked on a link from the article (below as well).

Why I Got Rid of My Wardrobe–

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe–

It was all about simplifying your closet to just a few pieces for each season.

  • 15 tops
  • 9 bottoms
  • 2 dresses
  • 2 coats / jackets / sweaters
  • 9 shoes

Since I teach yoga for a living I made a capsule for each season, as well as a modified version for teaching yoga:

  • 15 tops
  • 6 bottoms (3 capri, 3 full length)
  • 2 jackets / sweaters

The authors of the articles were doing this to help themselves look better and to not waste time and energy on things that don’t suit them.  I have always loved the idea of becoming minimalist and often purge my closet, but not like this. I have always purged when I buy something new; but this takes it to the next level.  I like the idea of not have excess, of not having to overthink, to just have a few staple items that I love.

This is how I found myself cleaning my closet from 9am until 2pm.  I now have five bags of clothes and a box of shoes to donate to Shepherd’s Gate (a women’s shelter).  My closet is only half full, but I love everything I have.  Someone else may love those pants that just didn’t fit right or that shirt that was the wrong color for me.

I may not be all the way minimalist, but this was a great way for me to start.  I love the simplicity and the fact that I can share the things I no longer need.  I haven’t been shopping since I purged, but I have a feeling it will allow me to be more mindful of my purchases as I have a set number of items in the closet at one time.  I am curious how this will seep into the rest of my life and how it may impact my kids as we really look at what we need and how much we truly have.

Minimalism doesn’t have a set of prescribed rules. It is about not allowing possessions to rule your life.  I love this article that has frequently asked questions:

And I love this as it ties so beautifully into yoga (

Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom.

That doesn’t mean there’s anything inherently wrong with owning material possessions. Today’s problem seems to be the meaning we assign to our stuff. We tend to give too much meaning to our things, often forsaking our health, our relationships, our passions, our personal growth, and our desire to contribute beyond ourselves. Want to own a car or a house? Great, have at it! Want to raise a family and have a career? If these things are important to you, then that’s wonderful. Minimalism simply allows you to make these decisions more consciously, more deliberately.

Have any of you gone minimalist? If so, what was your experience?  What articles helped you along the way?  Has it made an impact on your daily life?

I have a feeling as we become minimalist it will make us more mindful every step of the way.  Hoping this is not a passing phase, but something my family can take to heart as we move forward in our world.


Elizabeth Delaney