Yoga Exploration: Aparigraha

by Katie Bock

Aparigraha .jpg

A yoga exploration can lead you down paths you never expected.  I certainly received a lesson of my own while teaching about Aparigraha, but I’ll tell you about that lesson a little later.  This is our last Yama to explore (Read more about Yamas here).  Aparigraha means non attachment or non-possessiveness.  We can have an attachment to material possessions, money, a person, objects; really anything.  These attachments keep us held to a place of entrapment.  To be free we must let go.

Patanjali wrote Aparigraha sthairye janmakathamta sambodhah.  Sri Swami Satchidananda translation When non-greed is confirmed, a thorough illumination of the how and why of one’s birth comes.

We can live our truth when we let go of the attachments.  Our truth becomes clear to us when our minds are not clouded with attachment.  Debra Adele says “A bird cannot hold its perch and fly.  Neither can we grasp anything and be free.”  When we hold onto all these attachments, we are holding ourselves back from growth and freedom.

Earlier I mentioned a lesson I learned, here it is!  I was teaching a yoga class the one day.  My inspiration was non attachment or letting go of attachments, labels and expectations.  I felt that it was a beautiful class with little bits of inspiration dropped throughout it.  At the end of class I did not get much feedback and I am used to hearing great class thank you.  So for a moment I thought wow maybe class wasn’t so great.  Then it came to me I was expecting to hear feedback, I was attached to that.  And so in that moment I let that go, knowing I had done my best and spread the words of non-attachment.  I had learned a lesson in what I was teaching and that was pretty awesome!

If we walk through life always wanting more and waiting for it to come how can we ever move forward?  The attachment keeps us stuck to that place.  Unable to be in the present moment.  Unable to see the beauty in front of us.  Unable to grow towards a greater life.

Trust in the greatness to come and let go of the attachments.  Life holds so many beautiful things, be open to all the beauty coming your way.  Don’t let it pass you by.  Life is ever changing, be ready to flow with life instead of being stuck to one aspect.

Practice Aparigraha and live free, flowing through the beauty.

Want to dive deeper into non-attachment?  Check out Debra Adele’s book Yamas & Niyamas


Katie B