Aparigraha: Letting GO!
I have returned once again to my beloved book, The Yamas & Niyams by Deborah Adele. The Yamas & Niyamas are 2 of the foundational limbs of the 8-Limbs of Yoga. We can think of them as guidelines, disciplines or observances that can be used to guide us on our path of life. I also like the reference to them as "jewels", for they are like "rare gems of wisdom that give direction to a well-lived and joyful life.".
This week I am exploring and living with the Yama Aparigraha, which translates or is interpreted as non-possessiveness, non-attachment, non-greed, or simply Letting Go! The question for me, and that I invite for you as well, is "What do I need to let go of?". When we let go fully, we allow change to happen and open up new possibilities in our lives.
As I dive into the question I am looking first from the perspective of my body. As a sensation scientist, I am exploring where in my connective tissue, muscles and ligaments am I holding on. Connective tissue is designed to bind and connect everything inside together; however, if it gets to tight (holding on), it creates pulling, tension and pain. I notice these sensations in my right shoulder and shoulder blade, and in my left hip. So I draw my attention to these areas as I practice Principle 5 of the Nia White Belt, Awareness, and move, stimulate and explore, allowing the connective tissue to let go. Our bodies are amazing, and if I listen to my body and allow her to guide me, I can self-heal. It is what I do continually throughout my day!
I am also being more with my breath, and focusing on the exhale...letting go. When I fully exhale and let go, I create so much more space inside to fill my body with Prana, life force energy. Everything slows down and I can be fully present in the moment.
"The Breath as a Teacher: What if we could trust life like we trust the breath? What if we could take in all the nourishment of the moment and then let it go fully, trusting that more nourishment will come? Just like the breath gives us nourishment, so does life in the form of homes, work, relationships, routines that bring ease, beliefs, stances and images of ourselves. There is nourishment until we get attached to these things, often unconsciously, and then disturb ourselves with expectations, opinions, criticisms, disappointments, all because we forget to trust life, exhale, and let go. Like the breath when it is held too long, the things that nourish us can become toxic." From pages 91 & 92 of The Yamas & Niyams by Deborah Adele.
Emotionally, Aparigraha invites me to look at what emotions I am holding on to. Every emotion has its time and place to be expressed; however, if I hold on to an emotion like depression, anger, jealousy, it can get stuck in my connective tissue and also define who I am. What if I could move the emotion and let it go? What space would be created for change and growth?
Mentally, Aparigraha invites me to look at my thoughts and patterns. What am I clinging to? What images or beliefs about myself and others am I holding on to that is binding me? The best way for me is to practice this is to pray, meditate and write down what I am grateful for each day. Any thoughts that are not serving me release (at least for a moment!!), and I am able to open to the goodness of life around me. "Clutter in our physical space blocks our ability to physically move, while clutter in our minds blocks our freedom to expand and have space for the next thing life wants to bring us." From page 96 of The Yamas & Niyams by Deborah Adele.
Letting GO physically, emotionally and mentally allows my spirit to be free and fully expressed, so my unique light can shine. And that is really what we want in life; to shine our light and make the world a better place. What are you holding on to, what can you Let GO so you can fully express your uniqueness and step into your greatness?
I'd love to hear from you, your thoughts and process. Please email me!
I'd also love to see you in class....HERE is my class schedule.
I encourage you to buy the book by Deborah Adele; I have provided the link to her book within my blog. You don't need to be a Yogi. What is so beautiful about her book is how she practically and simply explains each one of the Yamas & Niyams. It is a book I return and return and return to!