The Limbs of Yoga: Non-Grasping


Non-Grasping (Aparigraha)
Non-Grasping (Aparigraha) is the limitation of material possessions to what is necessary. Almost an extension of Bramacharaya, it is asking you to only take what you need, and leave the rest. Aparigraha literally translates as not grasping at the perimeter, staying well inside what is needed. If you wish to achieve liberation from the cycle of life and death and suffering, the capacity to not desire material possessions, people or things or see them as being part of who you are is absolutely essential. Aparigraha is actually one of the central messages in the Bhagavad Gita, in which Krishna shares with Arjuna one of the teachings that could perhaps be the most important lesson of all to learn: ‘Let your concern be with action alone, and never with the fruits of action. Do not let the results of action be your motive, and do not be attached to inaction.’ 

The essential point here is that we should never concern ourselves with the outcome of a situation, we should only concern ourselves with what we’re actually doing right now as we work towards that outcome. Staying present and in the moment is fundamental to the ashtanga yoga system. This week, what can you physically and metaphysically leave ‘on the table’, work out what is the ‘just enough’ for you to be able to begin to see a life for yourself and your family that is spacious and full of joy and experience, not things. You may be surprised what you can do without.

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