Eight Limbs of Yoga: Aparigraha

Aparigraha: Non-Coveting/Attachment/Possessiveness

This Yama encourages us to let go of anything that we do not actually need – releasing possessions that we do not actually need. It encourages us to surrender greed and covetousness, as well as attachment to people and things – in other words, to let go of the accumulation of things or people. It asks us to stop looking for our worth in material possessions or in other people. Practicing Aparigraha helps us discover our true selves when we learn to release wanting what another has, release attachment to possessions, and release attachments to people. In essence, this Yama shows us that nothing outside of us can bring us happiness – not people, not things, not events. Our true worth and happiness comes from our connection within.

When practicing Aparigraha we learn to be happy and content with what we have and not yearn for unnecessary items or material possessions that might be considered luxury items. Possessing more than we need is not living in Aparigraha. This Yama goes even deeper by asking us not to receive gifts that we do not need or that would attach us to the giver.

Ultimately Aparigraha is about generosity and living in a constant state of abundance. It asks us to move beyond the ego to the spirit – releasing the ego attachment to material possessions and living from the spirit’s unattached, abundance state.

Live free of greed. Take only what is necessary. Do not take advantage of others or a situation for personal gain. Limit possessions only to what is necessary. Live a simple life. Release the fear of lack – trusting that whatever you actually need will come to you, and everything essential is available to you. This puts you in a state of abundance.

Nothing outside of us defines us – nor can anything outside of us prove our worth, value, or prove to us that we are loved. These things truths are inherent within us. They simply Are. Looking outside of the self for love, peace, or worth takes away from the true love, worth, and peace that can be found within us.

Aparigraha also asks us to release attachments to outcomes – our own and others. Attachment leads to suffering; detachment leads to freedom.

“That which we hold on to eventually begins to disappoint us, and is always changing, and ends up possessing us.” – Deborah Adele  

Affirmation/Mantra/Prayer: 

*Corpse Pose – Surrender to the moment; to life as it is. – 10 Min a Day*

“I let go, I let go, I am Peace.”

Daily Meditation: “Everything I need exists within me.”

Journal Questions for Personal Growth: 

*Clear out clutter; release all things that are no longer useful or necessary.*

What am I holding on so tightly to that it actually possesses me?

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