Aparigraha or abstention from greed is one of my favourite yamas lately. You can translate it into avoidance of unnecessary acquisition of objects not essential to maintaining life or spiritual study. The following quote summarizes this yama for me: “living simple so that others can live simple”. You can relate not practising this yama with the enormous difference in material wealth between the so called Western world and the Third world. The world, the universe or God provides us with abundant wealth, but the distribution of wealth and power is done by humans.
Aparigraha involves being happy and content with what we need and not accumulating or collecting unnecessary things. It does not mean that you have to give up all your possessions. Rather, it includes non-attachment in regards to possessions, time, relationships, memories and beliefs. It is about giving up the belief that happiness depends on your ability to hold on to items, things and thoughts. Once you let go of this belief you will find freedom and you realize it does not matter anymore who owns or possesses what. Aparigraha refers to letting go of the fear there is not enough, instead develop faith in the universe and in yourself to provide for the future.
Yoga can teach you to let go and experience life with your arms wide open. But even in your yoga practice you can experience greediness. You would like to be able to ‘possess’/do that difficult amazing looking yoga pose. Other poses you fear, love or hate. Probably without realizing it you attach labels to your yoga practice. If you let go of these labels and judgments, you are able to experience your yoga practice with freshness and subtleness. It will help you to be in the moment; content and mindful. If I find it challenging to let go of my judgements I focus on my breath, my support. Every breath provides me with a new chance to let go of my thoughts and just experience. Just breathe…..