Aparigraha is the yogic principle of ‘non-attachment’ or ‘letting go’. Right now, on a global level, it feels like we’re all taking a crash course in the art of letting go.
Let’s first acknowledge that adjusting to change (especially change you didn’t invite) is inherently stressful. Death, illness, marital changes, losing a job, business readjustment, changes in work responsibilities, revision of personal habits, changes in school/recreation/social activities. These are all on the list of the most stressful adjustments people have to make. What do they all have in common? They involve change. And what does change involve? Letting go of something.
How does a yogi let go?
I think we have to look back at the first 4 principles of yoga for guidance. A yogi lets go with 1) self-nurturing 2) honesty 3) by finding the value in the situation and 4) using their energy wisely. Self-nurturing and honesty require us to acknowledge that letting go of things we love and care about is naturally a painful process. Have compassion for yourself if you’re struggling. If the process of letting go has you focused on a feeling of lack, remember that grieving loss is a natural part of the healing process - but do try not to get so stuck in the grieving process that you forget this: a loss is also an opportunity to engage in a creative process and build something new. Energy spent on wishing things were the way they used to be is energy that could be channeled into re-imagining and re-creating your new future. Remember that the only thing YOU can control is the way that YOU show up in the world. The rest is up to fate. Letting go of what you can’t control is a path to peace of mind.
Here are some ‘letting go’ practices to try both on and off the mat:
Intention/Affirmation: I do my best in each moment and let the rest go.
Supportive Breath: Vishama Vritti (swipe for video instruction). Focus on exhalation
On the Mat: Try some restorative poses. Prop yourself up and practice sinking into your supports
Off the Mat: You’re already doing it. As they say at #Kripalu... ‘Breathe. Relax. Feel. Watch. Allow.'