Aparigraha or the non-attachment

Do you feel the need to lighten your life, to let go?You may be on the path of aparigraha!

« aparigrahasthairye janmakathamta sambodhah »

« when we are firmly established in the non-attachment, we understand the meaning of life »

(Patanjali, aphorisme II.39)

Aparigraha or the principle of non-attachment is the last moral value that Patanjali brings to light after ahimsa, satya, asteya and brahmacharya.

The idea is to free yourself from the thoughts, the emotions and the possessions that are not useful anymore to you, because they create expectations or pattern that are not constructive.

When you are in this principle, you open the door to what is happening around you and what you are here and now. You are not affected by the fear of loosing or missing anymore, because you don’t live in the past or the future anymore but in the present.

Aparigraha on the mat:

When you first started practicing yoga you certainly had goals like “I will practice every day” or “in one week I will be able to do that pose”. Goals are great as long as it does not become an obligation.

Indeed life is unpredictable and it can be difficult to keep your objectives: you become ill, you get injured, you need to take time for your family, you travel etc. If you can’t be flexible with your goals they become a negative constraint.

So don’t blame yourself if you need to take a break with your activity and give you this option, because you have to keep in mind that what is important is not the result but the journey.

So just practice for the delight of it!

Aparigraha in the daily life:

Being in the non-attachment in our society of overconsumption is not easy. Here are some tips to start:

  1. Take 1 minute from time to time in order to find 1 or 2 things that makes you happy in your actual life.

  2. Regularly sort your belongings asking yourself if the object brings you happiness, if you use it frequently or if you could give it to someone more in need for it.

  3. Before buying something, wait 1 or 2 weeks and see if you still need it.

  4. Take time to breathe without doing something else. With each inhale say to yourself “let” and on each exhale say to yourself “go” le temps de respirer sans rien faire d’autre.

  5. Keep your ability to wonder at all the things that surround you.

Over time you will come closer to YOUR essence and live the present moment more fully, even if it is not so rosy, without needing to escape it.

Here we are at the end of our series about the 5 ethical values of a yogi (yamas). See them as an whole, each of them feeding itself from the others.