What is Aparigraha?

By Jennifer Dixon MBA ERYT 500 – Since it’s finally gonna start to feel like fall, I’m willing to practice a little Aparigraha and let go of the attachment that I have to be warm and to embrace the beauty that is FALL in Chattanooga, TN, because, truly, we are blessed to live here.  If you don’t live in this area then stop what you’re doing (as long as you promise to come back right here), check out flight prices, and come visit us ASAP. The secret is OUT about how awesome Chattanooga is, so if you don’t start visiting soon we may have to put up a “sorry, we are full” sign at all the major interstate interchanges.  

Hold on to your hats ladies and gentlemen, the colors are about to get REAL! Now, you’re probably like, “what the heck is that funny word she wrote up there..APARI WHAT??!?! Is it a typo? HA!

Well, it COULD be, because it is a translation from Sanskrit which doesn’t use our alphabet and so depending on the translator…spelling phonetically could lead to some different spellings…but I digress.

Aparigraha is actually one of the 8 limbs of yoga, specifically, it’s a YAMA. Yamas, in the most basic terms, are things that we shouldn’t do, and in this case, to practice Aparigraha means to practice non-attachment (it also means not to be greedy or to not be possessive.) I like to think of Yamas like the Ten Commandments in our Judeo/Christian faith. With yoga, there are Yamas and Niyamas.  We will explore these in the coming weeks to hopefully clarify their meaning and to help you better understand your yoga practice.

Aparigraha doesn’t necessarily mean you gotta give up everything, and go live in the woods eating grasshoppers and wearing camels fur cloaks, but it is a great concept to explore and perhaps consider if you tend to hold on to things. I’m sure you’ve been told, either by your preacher, rabbi, counselor or your best friend, when you hold onto things, it actually impacts your body and mind.

Attachment is heavy. It’s also unhealthy.

Holding on to things can make you lose sleep (which decreases your immunity and causes a whole slew of other issues), it can cause you anxiety and stress (and all the other laundry list of ailments that come with that), it can even cause tension in the body, which just does even more damage.

That’s just to name a few!

Who needs that? You don’t, and I know I don’t.

Maybe you’re the sort of person that remembers things from 20 years ago and can’t seem to shake it?

Maybe you’re not, and you’re more of the “forgive and forget” sort of person (so you think), but your body has these strange “glitches” or “hitches” that you just can’t explain.

In yoga, if you can practice Aparigraha, or simply put, if you can decide “let that @#*! go,” you’ll see the outward manifestation of its benefits rather quickly.

When you let the stuff you’re holding on to –let it go, you may find that your hips open, your shoulders or chest open, you may feel a rush of emotions, or you may suddenly just feel lighter.

It’s nothing short of miraculous.

So, with the changes in temperatures and seasons, I invite you to practice a little Aparigraha, and don’t be attached to something, maybe it’s something little like making the decision to let go of the seasons, and see how great you feel.  Remember, like anything else in your yoga, it’s a practice. That means you have to continually remember to let things go. You can do it.

If you would like more information about our studio, our classes, or if you’d like to see us online we would love it!  If you’d like to become a part of our virtual family, we currently have a Mommy Bounceback Program, which is a 100% online yoga community for all you mamas out there whether that baby is 8 weeks old or 18 yrs old.  You are invited into a community of women coming together to practice really strong yoga, even when we can’t get to the studio.  Can’t wait to see you on the mat soon!