Fitness Magazine

Reflections on Letting Go

By Nadine
In North American society, we have a general belief that more is better. A constant striving upward. More money. More things.
The fifth Yama in Yoga is Aparigraha, variously translated as non-possessiveness, non-desire, non-greed, non-attachment, non-hoarding.
Deborah Adele talking about Aparigraha looks at what we possess, possesses us and how our expectations can tie us down. Michael Stone says it well: "Owning things or accumulating knowledge adds nothing to a life authentically lived."
So how does Aparigraha fit into our lives? Most of us would agree that non-hoarding, non-greed and non-possessiveness seem like good things. Of course, that is dependent on what you define as hoarding, greed and possessiveness. Is 100 pairs of shoes hoarding? Then I know a lot of women who might not like this road.
And what's wrong with desire? Nothing; but where does the desire come from? If you have a perfectly good car, but yearn for a new one, what are you hoping that the new car will give you?
And attachment is a commonly misunderstood topic. When non-attachment comes up, many people envision a hermit, living alone, not talking to anyone, not having any real possessions. But that's not what non-attachment is about. Attachment becomes a problem when our fear of losing people or losing our things gets in the way of enjoying them in the moment. The reality is that everything changes, so we should worry less about the changes and just enjoy the now.
What does Aparigraha mean for me? Realizing before I buy something that it is a want, not a need, and making my decision based on that. Appreciating that I am blessed to live such a comfortable life in a large house. Treasuring every moment with my loved ones. Knowing that the people I love and things that I have do not define me. I am me. Whether my life continues to be blessed or I face challenges as I move forward, I know who I am inside.

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