The Art of Aparigraha (Non Attachment)

Aparigraha is one of the yamas set out in the 8 fold path of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. It translates as non attachment or non grasping. To hold on and to let go are states in duality. We too often look for a sense of certainty in life, and try to hold onto people, places, times, our careers, our roles, our youthfulness, our children. We hold tightly onto narratives about how things are, or how we think they should be.

The truth is that life is impermanent, and constantly changing. Life flows and demands that we change with it. We have to learn to let go and learn to go with the flow of life. Our lives are defined by losses and gains, chapters which open and close, people come and go, we change our careers, we move, the economy changes, our children grow up, society changes, our bodies grow older.

Our expectations on how things should be is different to how they actually are. Holding on means that we get stuck in a situation, or a way of thinking and resist the natural flow of life. We can’t hold on to anything, because nothing is permanent.

Can we learn where we hold on too tightly, and when we need to let go. Often when we do let go, we become more free. It might be something concrete, a possession, a relationship, a place, a circumstance, a habit, or something more subtle like a story, a belief you hold that is no longer serving your evolution, or allowing you t grow. What is the present moment asking of you?

Can you learn to more present to the ever changing world around you, and the constant stream of beginnings and endings, arising and falling or phenomena.

We can use our yoga practice to explore where we hold on, both physically, and psychologically. We can simply come home to the innate peacefulness within, and find ease with the moment exactly as it is. We learn there is nothing we need to hold onto. We can reveal a sense of innate inner wisdom which knows exactly where we are attached, and when to let go. We can accept ourselves, and this moment exactly as it is without any expectation that anything needs to be different, or that we need to hold onto anything. This is the art of practicing aparigraha.

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