What has Aparigraha to do with happiness?

I’m sure you’ve heard about the Yamas and Niyamas. The ethical and spiritual observances that should help us develop the more profound qualities of our humanity. They represent a series of “right living“, kind of rules or guidelines within Hinduism and Yoga. They were first detailed in the Upanishads and then Patanjali describes them his Yoga Sutras some years later.

One of the Yamas is Aparigraha. Which means nonpossessiveness, detachment.

On the mat it could be translated into „let go“. Let go of expectations. Let go of your desperate desire to master a certain posture. We’ve got the tendency to „hold“, particularly when it gets challenging. Either active, when it’s about holding the breath. Or more passive, when it’s about holding any emotions that manifest into tension and stiffness. When practicing asanas, try to not just push and stretch, but be aware of what’s going on in your body AND in your mind. Release and let go of what you are afraid of. Be careful and easy with yourself. Let it flow and follow your breath! Our hips are well known as a storage for emotions. So hip opening postures are quite useful, practicing with the appropriate intention and breath.

Off the mat, it’s also about letting go of your attachments. On a rather material level, think about cleaning out the clutter by getting rid of all the things you don’t need anymore. Make room! Get rid of any weight! In your relationships, it might be about forgiving others and with this, free yourself from resentment. If there’s anything dragging you down, ask yourself „is it really about me?“, I beg it’s not.

Make happiness your attitude. Life on and off the mat is so much easier and effortless when you’ve found YOUR happiness within yourself. Independent of any possession, independent from anybody’s mood or even appreciation.

Read more about it in my happiness post on my other blog love.breathe.shine.

Practice Aparigraha and keep on rocking your happiness yogis!

Coming home

What’s your approach?

Are there any asanas driving you nuts as they appear unattainable? You’re trying again and again, but still can’t imagine to ever be able doing them? What about this thought:

It’s not the asana being exhausting, but your attitude.

Ups!

What are your expectations? Your objectives? Why is it so important? What’s going on in your head while practicing? Wanna be „perfect“? „Better“? What thoughts are holding you back?

Yep, we all got this from time to time, this feeling to not progress at all, or even worse, to not be good enough. Particularly when we can’t accomplish a posture and so want to.

Darling, be kind to yourself! Challenge yourself, but don’t push hard. Respect your limitations and stop worrying. It might be not the right time. It might require a bit more strength. Maybe it’s not even physically, but your mind, that should simply stop that noise. Be patient. Play. Laugh. Practice with a calm mind, an open heart and let go. Overthinking kills any progress. Yoga isn’t a competition. Yoga is the process of coming home. Home to yourself. 

Sri K. Patthabi Jois said: „Do your practice and all is coming“. This is the secret. Work WITH your body, not against. Allow your body to develop and progress in your own time. Feel what you’re doing. Listen to your body, connect.

Remind yourself to enjoy the ride, love! It’s your ride home.