The Yamas | Aparigraha

The scribe, Patanjali—who captured the oral tradition of yoga in the Yoga Sutras—lists the fifth yama (or restraint) as aparigraha.

The concept of aparigraha is one of non-greed. 

You can think of it in the Biblical terms of not to covet—to spend your energies wanting that which is not already yours. But it also applies to the things you already own having a virtue of non-possessiveness.


Aparigraha is about not craving.
 
In Sanskrit, the word graha means grasping. The idea of aparigraha is almost being willing to release. Sutra 2.39 says: One who is not greedy is secure. He has time to think deeply. His understanding of himself is complete. (translation T.K.V. Desikachar)

I'm curious if this idea of non-grasping also has to do with letting go of the things that we believe will enhance our identity. After all, if we long for a certain type of car, or house, or a new love, that is less about the thing and more about how we perceive having that thing will influence how we perceive ourselves.  What if aparigraha (letting go of those things) allows us to better know who we really are? Our mind isn't consumed with considering them.

Are there things you spend time longing for? Is it possible that you need to let them go? What if we made our practice to identify those things and release them when they come to mind?
© Yogi with a Day JobMaira Gall