Discussing how letting go leads us to freedom.
Life is full of both opportunities and struggles
We each go through our own peaks and valleys, and sometimes we cling to those moments. For better or for worse, we typically like to capture those moments of bliss and live in them forever. Similarly, when something goes wrong, it’s often difficult to push past the obstacle or setback and move forward without harping on the negative. Something curious I have noticed about the human experience is that we bond over complaints. In a long line at the grocery store, you might sigh with the person in line behind you. You might combine forces with a friend and complain about a mutual annoyance. It’s like we thrive off connection… even when it’s bad. We like to find validation for our struggle. I know feeling validated is the ultimate affirmation, but when it’s recognition of something that doesn’t make us feel good, that validation is damaging. One of the yamas in yoga is aparigraha, which is Sanskrit for “non-possessiveness.” I like to think of this concept as “letting go.” Practicing the idea of letting go allows us to free ourselves.
Let go without attachment
Often in life, we cling to things: thoughts, people, careers, moments. If we could let go without attachment, like we do with our breath, we begin to take our yoga off of the yoga mat. We let go of every inhale knowing that more breath, more nourishment will come. We have the power to let go of what doesn’t serve us; what we don’t need; and even to let go of pleasure, knowing that more pleasure will come. We don’t always have the time or space for a full yoga flow, but we always have our breath. When you feel like things are piling up, take an inhale, hold it, and then let it go. And allow that to be the model for letting go of what you don’t need in that moment.
We don’t always need fancy yoga poses, yoga pants, and the best yoga mat to practice. Taking yoga beyond the yoga studio is where the real magic happens. The asanas are wonderful, but they are only one principle on the yoga path. Taking the concept of aparigraha into your life will result in total freedom. This awareness is transformational! I invite you now to allow yourself to let go of one thing that is bugging you, and free yourself from holding on.