Discovering the Eight Limbs of Yoga: Aparigraha

Looking at The Last Yama, Aparigraha

If you are interested in Yoga Philosophy then you would know about the Eight Limbs of Yoga. Patanjali’s eight fold path offers yogis and non-yogis alike some useful guidelines for a meaningful and purposeful life. Today’s topic is on Aparigraha which is one and the last Yama in Patanjali’s Eight Limbs of Yoga.

Aparigraha and the Mindset of Abundance

Understood simply, Aparigraha means non-attachment. We learn to put into practice the art of letting go, relinquishing our desire to control and attach ourselves to worldly things. In this process we lean into the idea of abundance and seek out situations that support that mindset and energy.

That being said, living by this Yama doesn’t necessarily mean that we need to be perfect. TheYamas as part of the Eight Limbs of Yoga and in particular Aparigraha is an opportunity for us to explore our behaviours, triggers and attitudes at a deeper level so that we can make more conscious choices that unfold greater potential for ourselves as individuals and for others. 

Aparigraha and the Generosity of Self

As the practice of yoga advances, and yoga philosophy of Aparigraha is applied, we being to shift our sense of identity less and less from self-images that must be compulsively adhered to, and more and more from a feeling of flexible and unattached universality. We recognise ourselves in others, we become more generous towards other people. We become less greedy, jealous and judgemental. In fact, through greater study and practice, we become more in tune, more effortless in this state of being; we learn to be in the world but not of it.

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