Non-attachment, non-possesiveness, non-grasping. These all are tied with aparigraha, our last yama we will discuss. Patanjali describes this in sutra 2.35:
“When one is steadfast in non-possesiveness or non-grasping, with the senses, there arises knowledge of the why and wherefore of past and future incarnations.”
Every journey in life ties in with this yama. Dreaming of that perfect job, relationship, house, car, whatever. Happiness cannot be possessed, it is grown with loving hands within our souls. It’s a story as old as Rome, when we hold on to someone/something so tightly, it is precisely then that it slips through out clenched fists to float away on the breeze. We have to step within ourselves and discover what is causing us to grip so tightly? Fear? Most likely this is the cause. Whether it is fear of being alone, poor, lost, fat, skinny, left out, what ever the motive, fear of something. This fear can debilitate us spiritually, physically, mentally.
Imagine the student who is trying to do a full head stand, salamba sirsasana. Each time the student kneels on their mat, places their hands around their head, prepares for the inversion, fear takes root. This fear causes the student to hesitate, to lose the bhandas, to become unsteady, and essentially fall out of posture. Whatever the cause may be the student only knows, but this mental fear causes they physical ability to weaken, causing self doubt and consciousness. In order to fully embrace the posture and find success, the student must delve inward and face the fear, let it go, and just be. Only then will the physical shell find the posture, letting the spirit soar.
How do we stop being afraid? How do we embrace aparigrah? “Who sees all beings in his own self, and his own self in all beings, loses all fear.” (Isa Upanishad) We lose our fear when we realize that what we need is within us, we just have to be still and quiet enough to find it. When we lose the discoloration that our cultures have brought us up having, remember the love behind all action, then we remember that letting go is a gift, we just have to be willing to give in. It is very difficult, especially when dealing with people and the public. We have to be willing to trust not only another person, but ourselves and our own sense of judgment and ability. This will lead us to to stop grasping, and start flowing.
Focus on your inhalations and exhalations.
Focus on the natural rhythm of your breath, the way your body holds on and let’s go of each breath.
Revel in this rhythm, focusing completely on it.
With each exhalation you let go of your fear, whatever fear this may be.
With each inhalation you bring to yourself peace, contentedness.
Let this be your practice for today, reveling in the breath and what it can teach you.