YOGA POSE + FOCUS: 09.11 – 09.17

“That fear of missing out on things makes you miss out on everything.” — Etty Hillesum

Weekly Focus: Aparigraha (non-grasping / FOMO)

Aparigraha is the fifth of the five yamas (personal restraints). It refers to the actions clinging or hoarding to material possession, to thoughts, concepts, as well as general non-attachment. As we pass the “unofficial end of summer,” we may see ourselves trying to hold on to the last sweetness of these days. Nature moves on, and it lets go. Rather than clinging to what was, we sit in the present. Adding a modern spin to aparigraha, we can think of this as FOMO — the fear of missing out. Social media makes it so hard to fall into the trap of wanting + possessing both literally and figuratively, which may ultimately lead us to unhappiness. We might direct our energy incorrectly, in ways that don’t truly benefit us. Similarly, it can be easy to get sad with the passing of Summer. We know what dark season is just around the corner. But focusing on what is to come rather than just being where we are might only bring the sadness sooner. Where can we work to release these attachments? Our happiness does not need to be fueled by the things we have, the life we think we should live, the images we are shown in media — what is bringing you contentment in this exact moment right now + what could you live without?

Passive Pose of the Week: Ardha Hanumanasana (Half Splits)

This pose only takes us halfway to the splits — and that can be enough. In a society that tells us bigger is better, it can be hard to hold back + take the half version, but there is benefit in the subtleties! From a low lunge position with your back knee on the ground, shift your hips back so they line up approximately over the back knee. Your front leg extends straight as you fold forward, stretching the back of the leg. A fun way to play with this pose is to consider the foot. Try pointing and then flexing the foot — inhale to flex, drawing the toes back towards the ankle, and exhale to point, lengthening the front of the ankle. How does that change the sensation? Then pause with the foot in flexion and take some side to side swipes with the foot, like a windshield wiper. Now how does this stretch feel? Stay in any position that feels good for several breaths.

Active Pose of the Week: Pasasana (Noose Pose)

This is a pose where you literally may feel like you are grasping to get into it. The challenge is to accept that this pose is hard, requires particular mobility + anatomy, and that most of us won’t get into it. Come into a squat with both feet planted, legs and feet as close together as they will go. Twist to your left or right, binding the arms behind the body + around the knees. There are a few in between places to land here. You can turn to the side and extend one arm behind you, and use the other to help hold you upright. You can also use a strap around the body if the bind is something you really desire to work towards.