The Eight Limbs of Yoga by Kristen Keaney

The 8 Limbs of Yoga: The Yamas (Moral Restraints), Part 5



This month we’ll touch on the fifth and final Yama, Aparigraha.  In my opinion, this is one of the easiest yamas to truly digest and incorporate into your daily life.  Aparigraha can be translated as non-greed, non-possessiveness or non-attachment. Practicing Aparigraha allows us to truly acknowledge what serves us in the present moment while simultaneously allowing us to let go of what is no longer benefiting us.

This may be a very easy Yama to incorporate into your personal yoga practice without too much force and effort. Most of us come to yoga to experience its calming benefits on the mind and body, but oftentimes our minds can lead us astray. What usually starts as an internal practice can lead us towards keeping up with our neighbor, or worse, expecting more from our physical bodies than it may be ready for at that moment (Ahimsa). Social media doesn’t help the cause. Our minds are constantly being flooded with images of “the perfect pose” and we have unrealistic expectations of what our bodies should look and feel like when we practice. Personally speaking, Aparigraha is important for me to remember when it comes to individual asanas. Just because a posture looks and feels a certain way one day doesn’t mean it will feel the same the next. It’s important not to get attached to your practice and its progress and instead accept the constant ebb and flow of your practice.