Monday, August 6, 2012

Yama: Aparigraha

Boots for Nicaraguan children
 Our final Yama is Aparigraha, non-greed. To be greedy means to want (or take) more than is rightfully yours. I had an awakening to Aparigraha a few years ago. In college, I used credit cards, and racked up a ton of debt. I didn’t really understand at the time what I was doing, or how it would affect my future. I just bought what I wanted, when I wanted it. This greedy behavior put me in a terrible situation. This debt kept me awake at night with constant worry and fear. I finally did change my habits, but it was by sheer force of will that I didn’t keep spending. I got the debt down to a much more manageable level. But then I went through the Financial Peace Course offered by Dave Ramsey, and the change actually made it to my heart. Around that same time, I also took a mission trip to Nicaragua, and saw what people REALLY need.  The picture above is of rainboots that we delivered to a school.  Most of the kids there were barefoot, and in the rainy season, these boots were such a blessing.

I was ashamed at my greedy behavior, and began to look at things differently. It took some time and effort, but I began to release my constant need for more. I started shopping at thrift stores and yard sales and only purchasing what I truly needed and wanted. Only the things which are important. What I found is that I still have so much more than I need. By letting go of my greediness, my grasping, I was greeted with abundance. Things I need seem to flow my way much more easily than ever before. I am humbled by how God provides.

This idea applies to yoga practice, also. When you approach your mat, let go of what you WANT your body to do. See if you can be grateful for what you have, where you are. Release your constant need for more, and see where your practice takes you.

To read the other Yamas, check out Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, and Brahmacharya.

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