*****This is the next in a series of posts about the 8 Limbs of Yoga and how they can apply to your life. The 8 Limbs of Yoga as described by Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras are a kind of roadmap to help your yoga practice extend out far past the physical benefits into a way of living that can bring peace and harmony to all of your relationships and in any circumstance.
The first of the 8 limbs of yoga are the Yamas. The Yamas are a series of guidelines or ethical principles to follow. They apply to how we treat ourselves and how we treat others.
As we explore these principles through the lens of yoga we will look at the more subtle examples of how we may not be following these guidelines for ourselves and others.*****
The next of the Yamas is Nonattachment, in Sanskrit - Aparigraha.
Nonattachment - Aparigraha
Let it go
Letting go of what doesn’t serve us… letting go of past hurts… letting go of people who are not who we thought they would be….
These are simple, maybe not always easy to accomplish, but we all get the idea that we should let go of what doesn’t light us up or make us feel safe.
But what about letting go of the good things too?
…Letting go of each age and stage that our kids are in (who else is guilty of the “Time slow down!!” Facebook post..)…
…Letting go of what feels really safe and comfortable to take a leap and live a bigger life...
…Quitting a good, respectable job to start your own business or stay home with your babies…
…Letting go of those babies as they set off into the big world alone...
When we’re desperately holding on, grasping for things to stay where they are or how they are, we fail to really appreciate the moment while we’re in it, we’re so afraid of it ending that we can’t really be present and find the joy in it.
Everything is Impermanent
The world is impermanent. Our lives are impermanent. Nothing stays the same, ever. With each breath, the world is a different place than it was before. That’s a good thing!
We are usually the cause of our own suffering. When we argue with reality and grasp and hold on tight to something or someone, the end result will almost always be that our expectations aren’t met. Because people change, our lives and our circumstances change and if we’re only willing to be happy if our people and our lives stay the same, we can only be disappointed.
It can be scary to let go. Even when we know what we’re letting go of isn’t really good for us, at least it’s familiar.
Faith and Trust
Faith and trust come into play here. We have to have trust that God has our back. We have to have faith that when we leap the net will appear. We won’t know what limitless possibilities are ahead of us until we turn away from the past.
It’s terrifying and freeing at the same time. There’s peace in knowing we don’t need to have all the answers today.
How can we find Peace?
A gratitude practice can help us to appreciate what we have in the present and to remind us that while everything is always changing, we always have so much to be grateful for.
What are you grasping that you can't let go of? What will 'letting go' allow space for more of in your life?
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