Are you holding onto something, emotionally or energetically, that may be weighing you down? Perhaps it’s a feeling, relationship, or idea that you’ve been holding onto that no longer serves you. By releasing what no longer is meant for you, you are freeing yourself into a more harmonious way of life and practicing the art of non-attachment. Aparigraha yoga, or non-attachment, is freedom from greed, possessiveness, or covetousness.
It refers to the recognition that all things – material items, emotions, and thoughts – are impermanent, and we must be open to the changing experiences with ourselves and with others. Non attachment is about increasing mindfulness and awareness that we cannot control things. Keep in mind that non attachment is not indifference, complacence, or rejection of material items. It’s about acceptance.
In the yogic tradition, aparigraha is the 5th Yama of Maharishi Patanjali’s Yamas and Niyamas. When practiced, it can bring significant self-liberation and contentment into one’s life by only taking on what is necessary and nothing more. Aparigraha reminds us not to covet what isn’t ours.
This article will explain the relation between aparigraha yoga and ayurveda and ways to cultivate non-attachment.
Ayurveda and Aparigraha Yoga
Aparigraha yoga is directly connected to the kapha dosha from an ayurvedic lens because it is the very thing one needs to practice when experiencing too much kapha. The kapha dosha is made up of the earth and water elements, making this dosha heavy, dense, and moist. When too much kapha energy is present, one may express their fear through feelings of attachment, over possession, and over-controlling.
Naturally, kapha is very sweet, supportive, and compassionate. These traits are typical because of the stability and structure kapha dosha embodies through its grounding elements. However, when kapha becomes out of balance, meaning it becomes in excess, individuals are likely to become overly sentimental and find change difficult, leading them to become stubborn and attach themselves to people, places, and things. Kapha energy is ordinarily slow to change, but it is even more prominent when out of balance. Thus, it is crucial to be aware of aparigraha.
So, how can one practice aparigraha yoga? Continue reading below for insight on how to practice the art of non-attachment.
5 Ways to Practice Aparigraha Yoga
Remove things physically, mentally, and emotionally from your space. Whether it be thoughts in your head, or an object in your house, letting go will clear up space and energy for you to align yourself with more positivity. Problems letting go? Check out these 3-ways to shed your old skin and let go.
Faith and Trust
Attachment typically stems from a place of fear. And concerning the kapha dosha, fear typically shows itself through attachment and over possession. However, the opposite of fear is faith. Therefore, it is vital to practice aparigraha yoga to move from fear into a state of faith.
Fear, and thus attachment, always seem to come from a place of scarcity. When we feel we don’t have enough or about to lose something, we may cling on even harder. But this just further shows that something deeper inside us is not nourished in the way it needs. By actively attending to our self-care, we can feel nourished and complete on our own, so we don’t cling to others.
A powerful way to nourish yourself is through chyawanprash, a traditional ayurvedic nutritive jam. Chyawanprash is packed with 35+ herbs and spices to provide optimal nourishment to your entire system.
Breath is a potent tool in the art of aparigraha yoga. When we attach ourselves, we typically are holding our energy and breath tight, in a fear state. Thus, to practice non-attachment, we need to be more fluid. Consciously breathing allows us to loosen up and relax back into a parasympathetic state (rest and reset).
Aparigraha Yoga Asana
To further practice the art of non-attachment, try this yoga sequence to help detach. This flow intends to release any expectations and allow each movement to become what it may. Be sure to start with a 5-10 minute warm-up and a few sun salutations to open and warm the body.
- Locust pose
- Reverse table-top
- Bridge pose
- Shoulder stand
- Fish pose
Cool your aparigraha yoga practice down with deep breathing pranayama. For more breathing exercises, discover other major types of pranayama.
Clare Michalik, Ayurvedic Practitioner