Yoga Principles



This month, we are highlighting the fifth and final Yama, or yogic guideline for healthy, happy living. Aparigraha is the virtue of non-possessiveness, non-grasping, or non-greediness. When we grasp onto things ~ possessions, beliefs, outcomes, or anything else that no longer serves us ~ we exert unnecessary energy and create tension in the mind and body. In contrast, when we let go, we open ourselves to fresh ideas, relationships, and ways of living in harmony and balance.

Here are a few tips for practicing Aparigraha on and off the mat:

  1. Let your time on your mat be a celebration of movement and your body. Focus on doing your best in each moment and not on what the pose/movements look like or the outcome or gains or your practice.

  2. Take this practice off the mat, focusing on doing right or doing your best in everything you do without attachment to and outcome.

  3. Keep your desire for possessions to what is necessary or important. Do you really need 5 white T-shirts in your drawer? Clear some space by donating duplicates or clothes you no longer wear.

  4. For one week, monitor how much food you throw away. Next week, make a list of what you will really need to reduce your purchases and save money and waste.

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