Zoe Lowden in anantasana practicing aparigraha at Myriad Yoga

“When you release expectations, you are free to enjoy things for what they are, instead of what you think they should be.” -Mandy Hale

Weekly Focus: Aparigraha — non-attachment, the fifth yama or personal observance

 Aparigraha, which often translates as ‘non-greed’, ‘non-possessiveness’, and ‘non-attachment’. The word ‘graha’ means to take, to seize, or to grab, ‘pari’ means ‘on all sides’, and the prefix ‘a’ negates the word itself  – basically, it means ‘non’. This important yama teaches us to take only what we need, keep only what serves us in the moment, and to let go when the time is right. 

We can consider this yama in the more practical ways, such as not consuming more than we need or hoarding excess — but what about in a more mental or spiritual way? Aparigraha also teaches us to let go of expectations for outcomes and desires. When we practice releasing the attachment of wanting or receiving, our focus and awareness becomes set in the present day to day, rather than looking towards the future.

As we come upon the New Moon for this month, you might utilize this lunar energy to set powerful intention, while allowing yourself to let go of the desired outcome, in turn, practicing aparigraha.

The New Moon is always a beautiful time to set intentions for the month ahead. When we set intentions with our potentiality in mind, we have the ability to manifest what we desire. However, yoga asks us to let go of our attachments, which might seem contradictory to seeking our desires.

While we recognize that we are capable of meeting our intentions, can we do so without expectation of the end result? The journey towards a goal has ways of providing other benefits along the way. By letting go of expectation, we may see that a result we weren’t looking for opens up to us. It’s OK for things to not go as planned. How we continue to move and flow through the process is what’s important.

Here are a few practices to help in intention setting without attachment:

First, take time to write down all that you are grateful for right now.

  1. Now, Consider what you wish to manifest. Write this desire on a piece of paper [8] times. Burn or bury your small note, and release your attachment to the outcome.
  2. Sit down to journal the WHY behind your desired outcome. WHY is it important to you. WHY will it be beneficial. Consider the WHYs and perhaps notice something in your answers that was unexpected.
  3. Create a list of [3] actionable ways to achieve your “WHYs”, and not your desire. Work towards these actions throughout the month.
Passive Pose of the Week: Mrigasana (deer pose)

pronunciation CLICK HER

Let the body softly release and let go as you melt into this prone twist.

  • Find yourself seated on the floor.
  • Place your feet in front of you with your knees bent towards the ceiling. 
  • Allow your knees to drop over to the right.
  • Turn your torso to the right and fold over your right shin or thigh. 

This is a pose that we like to enjoy for an extended amount of time. This pose can help you relax and release, not only physically in your body, but also through your breath and your thoughts. We recommend making your self comfortable. When you fold forward, give yourself something soft to land on — a couch cushion, a large pillow or bolster, a stack of blankets or towels — all of these make a gentle resting space so that you can remove your attachment to feeling the pose and focus more on softening the mind.

Active Pose of the Week: Anantasana (Vishnu’s couch)

pronunciation CLICK HERE

You might find yourself fighting to grip in this tricky side balancing pose – do your best to hold steady and breath, only holding tension in the necessary spaces. 

  1. Lie down on your right side.
  2. Prop up your head and neck with your right hand.
  3. Lift your left leg into the air, reaching for your left foot with your left hand or a strap. 

Feel too simple? If you aren’t feeling the balance here, readjust. you want to find yourself balancing on the bony part of your hip, rather than resting your weight into your back side. You will feel the difference as soon as you adjust, instantly, the body fights to keep from rolling forward or backward. You want to imagine the body like a balance beam, trying to rest along your most narrow edge. Can you continue to breath calmly and find somewhere to soften, despite the fight for balance?

Join us in class this week to practice letting go of attachment in the mind and body!! See the schedule HERE.