in asana (postures), aparigraha may be practiced by not looking around the room and trying to take a pose that isn't appropriate for us today, moving too deeply for the sake of outward appearances when our body is telling us to back off, even practicing the wrong style at a particular moment in our lives. aparigraha is always applicable (especially when we are physically or emotionally vulnerable or injured), but during pregnancy we have even more responsibility and desire to keep ourselves healthy and comfortable. everything is heightened during pregnancy and all guidelines that apply to practice are even more valuable. more reminder to take the practices deep, learn to listen to ourselves, watch our breath and mind, build strength and voice for our own particular vision. in the case of expecting this can mean vision for how we want to feel in our bodies, how we want to shape our birthing experience, what kind of parents we aspire to be and what kind of world we want to create for this new being entering. so from the micro to the macro, starting with our state of mindbody and from there implications reverberating outward to our social and ecological enviroments. aparigraha is also practiced each time we exhale completely. or when we release an old physical or mental habit, opening up to new possibilities.
aparigraha gives us the opportunity to practice unconditional love to things and people as they enter and leave, developing the faith that we have enough, can let go and that there will always be an abundance of new things, people, experiences, (poses, inbreaths) coming. the more we let go- without shutting down ;) -the more rich, more satisfied, more loved we begin to feel! although the rewards are certain and satisfying moving through the process is by no means necessarily easy. the difficulty letting go cannot be underestimated. but getting comfortable with a concept is the first step, thinking on it and investigating why it may be helpful and true for you. From there beginning to set the intention, are the first of many steps on the path to creating, realizing anything in our own lives including aparigraha.
a meditation i used to do more, but haven't done lately in class, is helpful if you are curious about working with the idea of aparigraha:
sit quietly for about 10 rounds of breath letting the mind and body settle.
inhale deeply thinking to yourself or saying out loud at first: all i need and desire
exhale deeply: always comes
inhale deeply: all i have
exhale deeply: i can give away
inhale deeply: all i give
exhale deeply: returns to me in manifold forms
do about 6-10 rounds of this breathing and autosuggestion. then take a nice deep breath filling up the lungs and body and exhale completely through the mouth, clearing out, releasing either something consciously and specifically or just generally softening to the idea of letting go. sit quietly for a few rounds of breath feeling the resonance of this practice.
you can incorporate this into your home practices or just take a few minutes a day, when you can, to work with this practice alone. soon you may find yourself repeating these words in times of stress or obscurity. and you may also find more and more evidence in their truth throughout your day to day.
**a little extra fyi if you're interested: in the yoga sutras of patanjali aparigraha is the fifth and last of the yamas. the yamas (restraints) are the first limb of ashatanga yoga. ashatanga means literally eight limbs. patanjali compiled the sutras as guides to the path of yoga sometime between 100-2bce! (you do the math) and every single insight is relevant and powerful practice today. most major schools of yoga are based on patanjali's ashtanga or eight-limbed system
the eight limbs are:
1. yamas (nonharming, truth, noncovetness, correct use of enery, and nongrasping)
2. niyamas (purity, contentment even when there is work to be done, burning desire, study of the Self, and surrender to or faith in the flow)
3. asana practice (yogic postures)
4. pranayama (breathwork)
5. pratyahara (drawing the senses inward)
6. dharana (concentration)
7. dhyana (meditation)
8. samadhi (experience of the bliss of conciousness, interconnectedness)
copyright lakota sandoe 2012