“In Hinduism, aparigraha is the virtue of non-possessiveness, non-grasping, or non-greediness.” (wikipedia, 2019)
Non attachment is one of the yamas, or self-regulating behaviors, that is taught in conjunction with yoga.
It is not, nor should it be, exclusive to yoga, and can be applied to our entire lives.
When done properly, our health journeys are not simply for the pursuit of the external results – the six pack, the booty, the bragging rights – but done along with a moral compass as well. How we approach our fitness routines, and what we think about during our workouts, is a catalyst for how we deal with the challenges in our lives.
So what does non-attachment have to do with this, and how can you begin to implement it today?
Simply put, we need to release so that we can make way for who we want to become.
What are you calling in through your fitness journey? What’s your “why”?
What are you currently attaching onto that may not be serving you?
What is on the other side of you releasing this?
In fitness, we frequently focus on the engaging of the core, the effort we’re putting on our muscles, the creation of tone and definition and additions to our daily routine….but the secret sauce of health is in releasing.
Typically, when you ask yourself very good questions like these, you receive very good answers. When you set powerful intentions, the inspiration for your next step arises when we are still and ready to receive.In your next barre class, for example, think of your mentality powering through the class (engaging when it’s time for effort, but softening when it’s time to release) and notice if it causes a ripple effect through your whole life.
How you do one thing is how you do everything. Fitness acts as a catalyst for how we go about our lives. Notice any tension that doesn’t want to let off in a massage. Notice any stickiness in the breath in a yoga class…and then notice if this is similar to the way we go about our challenges in the rest of our days.
Are you holding your breath? Are you struggling to release control?
Ask yourself, how can I release so that I may receive?
Non-attachment does not mean giving up all worldly possessions, becoming emotionally distant and pretending not to want things.
It simply means the beautiful, universal truth that you lack nothing… Abundance is all around you.
So why would you be attached to the outcome?
Trust that your spirit may hold a simultaneous belief that you are whole as you are, and that you get to have more, as opposed to you need more and must control what happens next.
Needing is based in a lack energy and creates attachment and fear- based thoughts… and this hurts our health journey, creating us to run in circles for external validation, as opposed to being in the moment and celebrating our growth.
Here’s a practice in non-attachment that you can try in your next Gentle Yoga class, or right now, if you choose:
Take a big deep breath, inhaling for five seconds; exhale for seven.
Fully breathe out of your lungs, trusting that you can fully exhale your lungs…Naturally, your lungs are capable and instinctively know how to take their next inhale.
Your next breath is right around the corner.
This is non-attachment.
You lack nothing.
Oxygen is all around you and your body naturally welcomes and practices this process.
Even if there was stickiness in your breath or your brain started to chatter – that’s ok.
Because how we do one thing, is how we do everything.
We practice pranayama, or breath control, because it trains our brains to feel peace, trust, control and nonattachment to every little thing.
In our Buti Yoga classes, each class is improvised so that students are not attached to routine and always kept guessing. This creates an appreciation and celebration for the moment…and the results you crave always show up when you’ve released the hefty expectations of yourself to perform.
In our nutrition coaching, we work with our students to ease their attachment to diets that do not serve them, and find a wholesome view of fueling their bodies.
At JTB Wellness, we hold space for all sorts of growth.
We don’t want you to just show up and worry about your body – but to celebrate it, honor it, and use is as the precious container for your mind and spirit as well.
We offer all levels classes and we want to challenge you to try something new… and if you find your routine and just love it, maybe consider a new challenge within the same class. We invite you to include aparigraha into your lifestyle, fitness and mindset.
It might just give you that extra edge you’re looking for!