The Yamas: Aparigraha by Lena Schmidt

The yogic journey, as defined by Patanjali (the ancient sage said to have authored the Yoga Sutras, a foundational text of yoga) is an eight-fold path. The eight limbs act as guidelines for how to live a healthy and meaningful life, tuned into ones own purpose and spiritual nature. The eight limbs are yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, and samadhi. Over the next few weeks we’ll be diving deeper into each of the 8 Limbs here in this blog and in the Thursday, 9:00am, Yoga 1 class at the North Park studio. Enjoy your journey!

The first limb of the eight-fold path is the Yamas, or attitudes and behaviors towards others. The Yamas are basically the moral “don’ts.” The 5 Yamas are Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Aparigraha, and Brahmacarya.

The fourth of the Yamas is Aparigraha. Aparigraha is non-greed, not seizing opportunity, or non-attachment.

We can practice Aparigraha in yoga by:
*be willing to let go of worries and thoughts
*be willing to let of your day as you transition into *yoga mode*
*let go of tension in your body
*let go of attachments to the teacher (found out there’s a sub for your favorite class? Go anyways! You might learn something new, meet someone inspiring, or think about something in a new way)
*let go of attachments to a certain spot in the room (always in the back corner? check out the view from up front! always in the front row? try out the middle, see how it changes your perspective)
*let go of attachments to your favorite poses or variations of poses (Just because you CAN put your foot behind your head, check and see if your body really needs/wants that today. Just because you finally figured out how handy those trusty blocks are, check and see if you actually need their support today.)

We can practice Aparigraha in life by:
*letting go of personal “stuff” (this is the “baggage” you don’t need to carry into that next relationship or bring up in that next argument)
*donate household items and clothing you don’t use to a women’s shelter or thrift shop
*release attachments to people who aren’t bringing joy, peace, and wellbeing into your life

Practice tips: Releasing attachments doesn’t mean you are a free floating blob of a being with no favorite anythings or friends to depend on. Aparigraha is about not being greedy, not hording, and releasing that which is not serving your truest, best self. Knowing that you are someone who mostly enjoys one-on-one hangouts with friends, doesn’t mean you can’t hang with a group. Knowing that you just love curry with tofu and broccoli and therefore never order it with potatoes, doesn’t mean it’s not worth a try ☺ Journal/meditate/reflect on what things, ideas, and people are essential to your life and happiness.


 
 

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