What is Aparigraha in Yoga – Aparigraha is the fifth and last Yama of the eight limbs of Patanjali Ashtanga Yoga. Being one of the Yamas that teaches the code of self-restraint, Aparigraha translates to the virtues of non-greed, non-attachment, and non-possessiveness.
Aparigraha is a Sanskrit word derived from ‘a’ meaning ‘non’ and ‘parigraha’ meaning ‘to covet or seek,’ ‘to obtain,’ or ‘to receive or accept material possessions or gifts from others.’ So, aparigraha in Hinduism is the practice of attaining freedom from greed, possessiveness, or covetousness of material things and living beings.
The practice of aparigraha helps create inner balance and peace. It also helps us lead a more conscious life and makes us more satisfied with what we have.
Practicing aparigraha has many benefits, including that it can help us develop inner peace, concentration, and self-discipline. It can also help us maintain healthy relationships and be less attached to material possessions.
Finally, practicing aparigraha can help us become more content and happier with our lives
What Are The Benefits Of Practicing Aparigraha?
Aparigraha is the practice of non-attachment or detachment from all things, including material possessions. According to yogic teachings, this state of mind allows you to live more peacefully and harmoniously, free from greed, jealousy, and other negative emotions.
You can reduce stress levels and improve your overall well-being when practicing aparigraha in your yoga postures and daily life. Being mindful of your thoughts and emotions can make positive changes in your life. Here are some of the benefits of practicing aparigraha:
Aparigraha lowers stress levels
When you’re attached to material things, it’s easy to feel stressed. You will significantly reduce your stress levels by reducing your attachment to possessions and focusing on living in the present moment.
Aparigraha helps you get more out of life
When you focus on what you have instead of what you don’t have, you’re more likely to enjoy life’s simple pleasures. Living without worries or anxieties allows you to focus on the things that matter most, such as spending time with family and friends, enjoying nature, and achieving your goals.
Practicing Aparigraha makes you less likely to covet other people’s goods and resources
When you are attached to material things, it is easy to start coveting the possessions of others. This can lead to feelings of jealousy and envy, which are ultimately destructive feelings. Instead of viewing things of others as objects of possession, practice non-attachment
Practicing Aparigraha teaches you to live more peacefully
When you are attached to material things, it is easy to get caught in a cycle of anger, resentment, and jealousy. By practicing aparigraha, you can eliminate these negative emotions from your life and live more peacefully and harmoniously.
Aparigraha makes you more fulfilled in life
When you focus on acquiring things rather than finding fulfilment in your own life, you will likely be dissatisfied with your achievements. By living a life free of materialism, you can find true happiness and satisfaction in the here and now.
How To Practice Aparigraha In Daily Life?
Practicing aparigraha can help you live a more balanced life. When you are attached to things, it can be challenging to let go, leading to problems. When you practice aparigraha, you learn to live in the present and focus on your goals rather than what you have.
There are many ways to practice aparigraha in daily life. The following suggestions can help you apply this vital practice to your everyday life.
Aparigraha and Yoga
Aparigraha, i.e., ‘non-greed’ and ‘non-attachment’ in a yoga context, is to connect to ourselves and be present entirely rather than to become better than other practitioners in the class or push ourselves to do any asana perfectly and better than others.
It is acknowledging what our body can do when in practice and not wanting to perfect the pose as someone else. It’s about surrendering the thoughts of comparing ourselves with others and becoming about how we can be better and stronger in the yoga practice.
If we practice without straining or pushing ourselves beyond our limits, the body will naturally open up, and asanas that seem difficult today will become easier over time.
Aparigraha and Home
We live in a world with a long list of push notifications instantly grabbing your attention. But you have to be clear on what your actual needs are and what the insatiable desires are.
Being mindful of your wishes can save you from the vicious cycle of unwanted accumulation of things and wanting more and more.
Regularly declutter and organize your home, and practice minimalism to save time and energy to invest in productive thoughts, concepts, and habits.
Aparigraha and Diet
Apart from dedicating some time every day to yoga and meditation, pay a lot of attention to your diet. It is essential to practice moderation in diet.
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and many other texts specifically list overeating as an obstacle to the path of yoga. Therefore, the last Yama, aparigraha, recommends eating in moderation so as not to hinder our practice.
It is essential to ensure that the quantity and quality of the food we eat nourish us, and we must listen to our bodies to recognize when we have had enough and when to stop.
Aparigraha and Mind
Aparigraha lets you let go of bad and hurtful memories, events, and people. The practice of aparigraha inspires forgetting, forgiving, and letting go. Overall, this fifth Yama helps bring lightness, peace, and contentment to your life.
Thus, Aparigraha brings compassion, self-reflection, insight, and inspiration to move forward on the path of joy and oneness.