Updated: Nov 30, 2020
In my yoga training, the yamas + niyamas were pared down to single (or hyphenated) word definitions. This is great for starting to understand the 8 Limbed Yoga Path, but for more fully comprehending this journey, it's important to dive deeper. For me, finding ways in which to apply these concepts into my daily life is most helpful.
I'll be jumping around over the next few months between the yamas + niyamas, and this week I'm taking a look at the niyama: aparigraha.
As this is the week of Thanksgiving, for some of us a time filled with family, friends, and food, this particular week might feel strange. For some, myself included, this week could be looking like staying home and figuring out how to make Thanksgiving food for yourself. Personally, the week has been quite challenging, coming to terms that staying home is the safest option is a hard decision to make. Although it could improve our chances of being able to go home over the Christmas holiday. While the emotions we may be currently experiencing are deep and painful I've actually found comfort in remembering that the moment is, in the grand scheme of things, fleeting.
How is this related to our yama: aparigraha for the week? In a typical yoga class you probably hear this observance defined as "non-attachment." Or as the famous words of a Frozen song remind us to let it go.
Actually, if I really think about it, these lyrics might ring a little closer:
Ask anybody why we livin' fast and we laugh, reach for a flask We have to make this moment last, that's plenty
Scratch that this is not a moment, it's the movement
Am I/are we holding onto past moments of glory, achievement, or family fun, rushing through the present seeking to feel the same sensation once more? Within aparigraha, I'm reminded that nothing stays the same and holding onto past moments or sensations prohibits new ones from being experienced and felt. Quite literally, just as with material objects, letting go makes space for the new.
So find that comfortable seat, take a deep inhale breath. Pause. Let that air swirl through your lungs and course throughout your body. And exhale. Make space for the next surge of breath, the next moment, a new sensation.