The fifth Yama, Aparigraha, tells us to let go of what we don’t need. This is a critical message if we want to truly be happy with our lives. As we pass through the world, we develop attachments to objects and ideas. Doing so helps us define who we are. But these attachments can also weigh us down and lead to unhappiness.
Aparigraha tells us not to cling on to that which no longer serves us. This applies to our thinking as well as what we own. Just as it does not serve us to hold onto clothes that we don’t wear, we also need to clear our minds of thoughts that don’t help.
Our brains are wired with a negativity bias – a tendency to focus more on negative stuff than positive. This applies both to past memories and future concerns. The good news is that it is possible to rewire our brains and Aparigraha helps us do this.
The key message of Aparigraha is non-attachment. To truly enjoy life, we need to be living in the present – fully participating in each moment. Don’t waste time dredging up past memories. And don’t be concerned about what will happen in the future.
Life should be seen as an amazing and wonderful journey. Shirley Fee tells us ‘The fewer attachments we carry with us, the more we are free to enjoy.’
Fee, S. (2017) On & Off the Mat – Aparigraha. https://www.inspiredyoga.net/single-post/2017/02/09/On-Off-the-Mat---Saucha