Moving with Time

Our material possessions are a part of us. That caterpillar plushie that has been with you since you were three. That dining table on which your family has had years of reunion dinners. We want to keep them because those things are us. 

Your child begins to develop allergic reactions to plushies, and sleeping next to you with the caterpillar around is not helping. Time to let the caterpillar go for the sake of good health. That coffee table now has a broken leg and rattles the plates when everybody in the family gathers for a meal. Time to throw it out replace it with a new one so that the family can enjoy a peaceful and non-distracting meal.

Aparigraha is the fifth Yama in the teachings of yoga. Its meaning is not as forthcoming as the other Yamas and its moral altitude was initially difficult for me to grasp because it is so contextually broad. It is often translated to ‘non-covetness’, ‘non-grasping’, and ‘non-posessiveness’.

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras tell us that ‘being established in non-accumulation gives knowledge of how births happen’ [1]. There are so many ways to interpret it, but how I see it is this:

When practicing asanas, we breathe. We absorb the oxygen as we inhale, and expel carbon dioxide as we exhale. We do not – cannot – hold our breaths for very long because we won’t be able to survive. We bring awareness to our breath, turning our focus inward to our bodies. Our concentration falls on our movements only for that precise moment.

Aparigraha shows me that my past created the present me, but it is not who I am right now. And it is the present me that moves with time into the future. It serves as a constant reminder to stop comparing myself with what I am not, to accept myself as I am right now so that I can progress and move forward with a content heart.

Jo-Lynn

200Hr YTT (Vinyasa Flow), Weekend