The practice of Aparigraha is about non-attachment, non-possessiveness and is part of Yoga wisdom, ultimately to help us let go of our material desires and move deeper into our true nature.
It's more than a philosophy. It's a practice. A way of living.
Aparigraha is the last of the Yoga Yamas, the eight limbs of yoga.
So how do we practice non-attachment in our modern day lives.
We are most likely NOT going to go off into a cave to meditate and detach from our worldly desires.
Set the intention to practice non-attachment in your life. This simple practice of setting your Sankalpa (intentional vow) is a potent way to begin.
We can shift our mindset and our focus from the conditioning of focusing on getting material things to make us feel happy, and switch to focusing on what's within us that is always there, unchanging and free.
Practical ways to help with non-attachment
- Declutter your living space: Start by going through your belongings and letting go of items you no longer need or use. Donate or sell them to reduce clutter and create a sense of spaciousness in your living environment.
- Practice mindful consumption: Before making a purchase, ask yourself if you truly need the item or if it's driven by a desire or societal pressure. Consider whether it aligns with your values and whether it will genuinely enhance your life. (if you aren't sure about your values see below)
- Embrace minimalism: Adopting a minimalist lifestyle can help you focus on the essentials and reduce the accumulation of unnecessary possessions. Aim to simplify your life by owning fewer things and finding contentment in experiences and relationships rather than material goods.
- Let go of emotional attachments: Aparigraha extends beyond material possessions. Practice letting go of emotional attachments, grudges, and resentments. Cultivate forgiveness, acceptance, and the ability to move on from negative experiences. Make this a daily ritual when you awake to place your hands on your heart and practice the powerful Hawaiian ho'oponopono prayer. "I'm sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you."
- Practice gratitude: Develop a daily gratitude practice to appreciate what you already have rather than constantly seeking more. Reflect on the abundance in your life, whether it's the love of family and friends, good health, or access to basic necessities.
- Share and give back: Generosity is a fundamental aspect of aparigraha. Find ways to share your resources, time, or skills with others. Volunteer, donate to charities, or engage in acts of kindness without expecting anything in return.
- Detox from social media: Limit your time spent on social media platforms, as they can often foster a sense of comparison, materialism, and desire for more. Take breaks from social media to cultivate a healthier relationship with technology and focus on real-life connections.
- Let go of perfectionism: Release the need for perfection in your endeavors. Embrace the idea that progress is more important than perfection and that mistakes and failures are valuable learning opportunities.
- Practice non-attachment in relationships: Avoid possessiveness and control in your relationships. Allow others the freedom to be themselves and pursue their own paths. Recognize that attachments can lead to suffering and that healthy relationships involve mutual respect and support.
- Cultivate self-awareness: Develop mindfulness and self-reflection practices to observe your thoughts, desires, and attachments. By becoming aware of your patterns and tendencies, you can consciously choose to let go and practice non-attachment.
I hope this helps you begin to live the yoga practice of aparigraha.
Discover Your Sacred Values
If you want to discover your sacred values, I have a 3 day audio course on Insight Timer to help you.