Aparigraha: To let go and let flow

Maggie Eden | 30 August, 2023

            Aparigraha: To let go and let flow

Presumably, we are all quite familiar with the sentiment of "let it go". A phrase used commonly in situations often stressful and out of our immediate control and which may lead us to react with a feeling of "easier said than done!" Indeed, if it were easy, we'd permanently be walking around tall and unencumbered by whatever is causing our weighted shoulders.

In yoga philosophy, meditation and in its physical practice, the concept is explored and practiced at length. Since, in most asana, we are encouraged to find ease and comfort and sink into the postures rather than always to be striving and forcing ourselves into them. The very word asana translates to "a comfortable seat." Hence the practical use of "letting go" as a central theme to many yoga classes. I'm sure most of you would know the simple joy and relief felt when prompted to relax the shoulders and let go of any clenching of the jaw. It is the reason too why many meditation practices are preceded with physical and/or breathing sequences. By first releasing tension from the body we are often more able to slip into a state that is calm, relaxed and conducive to being able to in turn, let go of the turbulence of the mind's 'chatter'.

Patanjali - a great Indian Sage - was the ancient compiler of the Yoga Sūtras that serve as a written guide to the theory and practice of Yoga as passed on from the ancients. Within these texts are detailed what are referred to as the Eight Limbs of Yoga. Simply, they are guidelines on how to walk and live a yogic or spiritual life. Which runs deeper than the practice of yoga asana and meditation. It is an all encompassing way of life. The first limb - the Yamas: are made up of five principles or 'codes of moral conduct' that if lived by encourage us to be conscious and responsible for our thoughts and actions. The last of these Yamas is the principle known as Aparigraha. It is most associated with the idea of letting go, since it is translated and described as a virtue of "non-attachment" or non-greed, non-grasping, non-possessiveness. The study and practice of which is designed to inspire us to let go of that which does not serve us, and also that which we can't control or does not 'belong' to us. To not strive or force but rather accept and forgive. To exercise patience, generosity and positivity as a means of detaching from and counteracting the tension and stress that can arise from a place where we feel like we are 'lacking' or need things or people or certain situations to unfold to make us feel 'happy' and fulfilled. 

How are you practising Aparigraha in your day to day? By being conscious of it as a principle of behaviour regularly can be the trigger to a more accepting and less resistant outlook on everything. There is a saying I love attributed to both James Redfield and Tony Robbins I believe that, "where attention or focus goes, energy flows." Equally, what can you let go of and not waste time, energy and attention on that will better serve your ultimate goal and purpose?

We would love to hear from you and support your spiritual growth and practice further; whether in the form of Meditation Malas, instructional videos or our in studio Full and New Moon Meditation sessions.

Om Namah Shivaya.

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