The Eight Limbs of Yoga: Aparigraha (Part 1)

In the Eight Limbs of Yoga found in the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali considered the Yamas the great, mighty and universal vows. He instructs us that they should be practised on all levels (actions, words, and thoughts) and that are not confined to class, place, time or concept of duty.

The practice of the Eight Limbs of Yoga is referred to as practicing raja yoga, or the Royal Path, named to distinguish the practice from hatha yoga, which came later. Raja yoga creates stillness and contemplation as the path unfolds throughout the eight limbs which then folds back to the first couple of verses in the sutras.

Yoga was intended to be an entire lifestyle and way of living, asanas were not even a part of what the originator intended.


aparigraha-sthairye janma-kathanta sambodhah

The above sutra is interpreted as: “The permanent reign of non-covetousness (aparigraha) engenders knowledge concerning the goal of earthly life.”

Aparigraha is actually one of the central teachings in the Yogic text of the Bhagavad Gita, in which Krishna shares one of the teachings that could perhaps be the most important lesson of all to learn:”Let your concern be with the action alone, and never with the fruits of action.Do not let the results of your action be your motive, and do not be attached to inaction” – Krishna. What Krishna is essentially saying here, is that we should never concern ourselves with the outcome of a situation, we should only concern ourselves with what we’re actually doing right now as we work towards that outcome.