NON-ATTACHMENT—THE FIFTH YAMA

The fifth Yama in Yoga is Aparigraha, the virtue of non-possessiveness, non-greediness and non-attachment. This is a good thing to aspire to, to meditate on and to practice at all times, but focusing on Aparigraha during the holidays can be a great reminder to let go of the attachment to all those material things at this time of year. Consider not making this season about things but instead about growth. The Winter Solstice is upon us and the year is coming to an end. This is a good time to get grounded. Where did this year take you and what are your intentions for the coming year? Hideout from shopping and light some candles of good intentions instead.

Is Aparigraha only about material things? My meditation this week is to practice Aparigraha in my relationships. During the holiday season, we are bumping up against people and there may be tensions. Why am I so attached to making that family member see it my way? Why am I so attached to letting that person in front of me know that they are holding up the line? I need to learn to detach with love. Without judgment.

Applying this Yama to my relationships is a challenge. It is a lifetime undoing of decades of habit.

I learned to be a co-dependent person as a child, which has not served me well in adult relationships. The good part of what that means for me is that I am a caregiver. That helps when I’m teaching yoga because I take care of you! The bad part is that I want to fix other people that I think need fixing! And when I don’t stay in my lane, it never ends well.

Here’s something to ponder “Detachment is neither kind nor unkind. It does not imply judgment or condemnation of the person or situation from which we are detaching. It is simply a means that allows us to separate ourselves from the adverse effects that another person’s [behavior] can have upon our lives. Detachment helps families look at their situations realistically and objectively, thereby making intelligent decisions possible.”–Alanon Family Groups

MEDITATION AND AFFIRMATION FOR THE WEEK: I am open to Aparigraha, to non-possessiveness and non-attachment, in all areas of my life today. I am detaching with love. I am free. OM.

“Let there be space in your togetherness.” –Kahlil Gibran

“Please dear God disconnect my heart from this longing within me that does not serve. I release this person into your hands. May the ropes that bind our hearts be cut. May they not bind me…Retract the silent hooks..Bring back to me my power and my love…May we find peace.” –Marianne Williamson
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Maggie Parker has recently moved to Manhattan from Los Angeles and delights in sharing her many years of yoga practice at Naam Yoga, 141 West 72nd Street in Manhattan http://www.naamyoganewyork.com Join her Slow Flow/Restorative class on Tuesdays 5:15-6:15. Please follow my blog!

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