Tuesday, August 7, 2018


Aparigraha is the last of the five yamas of Patanjali's Eight Limbs of Yoga. It often translates as non-greed, non-possessiveness, and non-attachment. It involves letting go of our attachments to possessions and people as well as letting go of our opinions. Our egos love to cling to our ideas and inflexible opinions, however, being inflexible keeps us stuck in a rut. It is better to change our minds - so to speak - and be open to another way of looking at things, to be open to another perspective. Everything in the world is always changing. Change is the only constant thing we can expect in life. Trees don't cling to their leaves but instead drop them in autumn so they can grow new buds in the springtime. Day turns into night in order for us to rest and rejuvenate for the next day, and if we cling to the day we would not get enough rest and would become exhausted. 

We go through changes every moment of every day. Our emotions change. Happiness, joy, and peace are important emotions to feel but so too are anger, sadness, and loss. To experience only the good stuff is to experience only half of what life has to offer. The school of life exists to allow us to experience and learn from every aspect, both the light and the dark, and to truly live we must not push away the things we don't want to feel, but allow them to happen, and know that this too shall pass. We can allow ourselves the freedom to rely less on material possessions or relationships to bring us happiness. We can allow ourselves the freedom to experience everything life has to offer, whatever that may be because letting go is not a loss, but an emancipation.    

Our story this month is, "Non-attachment offers me freedom." 

Our peak pose this month is Shoulder Stand, an inversion dubbed, "The Queen of Asanas" or "The Mother of Asanas." Because inversions can be tough - not to mention humbling, practicing them provides an outlet to learning non-attachment. With practice you learn not to focus on what the pose looks like, but on being in the moment. 

If you would like to give Shoulder Stand a try there are a few precautions you need to be aware of. If you are suffering from a neck or shoulder injury Shoulder Stand should be avoided. Those with glaucoma, high blood pressure or pregnant may want to substitute a restorative pose such as Leg's Up the Wall Pose. If you have not attempted Shoulder Stand before and are new to yoga it would be best to have a yoga instructor assist you. With that said, Shoulder Stand has tremendous benefits. It increases circulation in the lymphatic system, improves digestion, nourishes the thyroid, parathyroid and thymus glands, and last but not least helps to relieve emotional stress. 

Lie on your back and bend your knees placing the soles of your feet on the ground. Place your hands on your waist, palms and fingers supporting underneath your back. Bring your knees up toward your forehead; let the knees rest on your forehead. Straighten your legs up toward the ceiling and work your hands up your back toward the shoulder blades. To come out of the pose slowly soften your knees toward your forehead, and then slowly lower your feet back to the mat using your hands to support your back. Congratulations on completing the Mother of Asanas!

Love, Light, and Laughter,