Sunday, 16 August 2015

Taking your yoga off the mat - aparigraha

Aparigraha translates as 'non-greed', 'non-covetousness', 'non-attachment'. In yoga practice this means not competing with the person on the next mat or being attached to a particular outcome for your efforts. Our yoga practice is a journey to a deeper understanding of ourselves and eventual connection to the divine. It is not about twisting our bodies into pretzel shapes. This does not mean that we should not put effort into our practice but we should mindfully choose how we practice to gain inner peace. Remember however far into a pose you can go or however short a time you can meditate is perfect. You will not gain inner peace by straining into poses or forcing yourself to meditate for 20 minutes come what may.

Off the mat we are encouraged to be greedy with supermarkets offering us 'buy one get one free' leading to food wastage. Meanwhile, food banks are struggling, especially now school holidays are here and children are not on subsidised school lunches. It is all about taking only what you need.  

We also are led by the media to believe that unless we have this gadget etc etc that our lives will not be complete!  But these things do not bring lasting happiness. It is sobering when you are moving house. You spend the days or weeks before packing up 'non-essentials' and you come to realise how little you do need and how much time and energy do we devote to these things we do not need. So aparigraha can also mean letting go. Think how liberating it would be to get rid of some of those 'non-essentials' to charity where they can be of some benefit.

The Earth's resources are now severely limited but there are ways you can help by taking only what you need.  Please see

When we feel gratitude for what we have, we are less likely to take more than we need because we recognise that we already have abundance in our lives and do not need to grasp for more. You may want to try the meditation in the following blog post on asteya

You could also try the following meditation to realise your blessings.  

Meditation-You are blessed-
The photo used in the meditation is for illustration purposes only-not an accurate representation.
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