Wilmington Yoga Center’s Kunga theme of the month is Aparigraha!
Aparigraha is the concept of non-possessiveness or non-coveting. The term usually elicits the thought of limiting possessions to what is necessary and important.
Aparigraha is the Sanskrit word for greedlessness. It comes from the word parigraha, which means reaching out for something and claiming it for oneself- by adding the “A” it becomes the antonym. Aparigraha means taking what is truly necessary.
Aparigraha is one of the five yamas of the eight-limbed paths as outlined in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.
Definitions of aparigraha include: 1) non-acceptance: renouncing of possessions besides the necessary utensils; 2) non-reception of gifts which are too luxurious or gifts that would bind one to the giver; 3) non-coveting: not wanting something or a yearning to possess or have something; and lastly, 4) non-grasping.
To understand this concept one must ask themselves: “what do you hold on to in your life?” When one can release what is no longer useful, one can open themselves to fresh ideas, new relationships, and more harmonious ways of living and being.
To practice the principles of Aparigraha, try the following:
1. Let It Go.
Possessions take up space and energy- in the mind, as well as the home. To undo this practice, try the following: every time buying something new, let go of something old. Whether giving it away or tossing it out, let it be gone. By letting go of things from the past, one can live more fully in the present.
When stressed out, people tend to hold the breath. This, in turn, makes people more anxious. To counteract this tendency, release the breath and allow it to flow fully and deeply. A more relaxed, open and spontaneous feeling will follow.
When afraid and insecure, people may feel a need to cling to and control those who are close to us. To undo that behavior, find ways to nurture and center oneself- strive to feel independent and strong- allowing others to be who they need to be.
4. Be Positive.
When clinging to negative thoughts, emotions, or memories, the trend is to spiral into destructive patterns. Replacing negative thoughts with positive thoughts and remembering personal mantras, one can create a harmonious space.
Painful memories from the past must be released. Free oneself by offering forgiveness to those who have trespassed.
Expand one’s capacity to give. Share time, energy, knowledge, attention, donate or volunteer. Give in whatever way possible.