Okay, so we all aim to bend and stretch and breathe in a conscious manner. But does that constitute the entirety of our yoga practice?
Actually the yogic way of life is founded on the 10 principles collectively known as yama and niyama. These principles address topics like cleanliness, truth, tranquility and more.
In this gotta have it now era one of the principles that truly suits us is called aparigraha. This is the 5th aspect of yama sadhana.
Aparigraha essentially means non-indulgence in materialistic amenities and comforts that are superfluous for the preservation of life. Or in short: Not chasing after stuff we don’t need – like that 50th wool sweater, the latest electronic gizmos when we already have 6 other gadgets that will do the same thing & so on.
Like it or not, America is the cradle of materialism. This affects us in two ways. Our minds get channelized towards objects instead of more subtle pursuits such as poetry, painting, discussions and meditation etc, and our life becomes totally full of stuff, i.e. things we don’t need or have little use for. This leads to financial stress if not duress.
So where are we are? How about here: What are ways we can simplify our lives from a materialistic perspective? How are we able to shift our thinking away from matter and money and goad our life activities towards higher ideals?
Remember, aparigraha does not mean renouncing the material world. It just means not getting devoured by it. When we have mental space to contemplate greater pursuits and are not riddled by debt, then our human experience can be much richer.
It can be as easy as using our technology for an extra year before replacing it, talking with a friend as opposed to going to the movies, or spending an afternoon at the local food bank instead of the shopping mall.
In plain, simple language – or in philosophical terms – share with us how you practice or would like to practice aparigraha in your day to day life.