I love sharing the transformative value of yoga for all aspects of life. After all, what’s the point of gaining flexibility and strength or calming the mind on our mat if we’re still rigid, hold crutches or waste our energy because we are never happy with what we have.
Yoga wisdom offers ten guidelines on how to get to know ourselves better on and off the mat.
Today I’ll share my thoughts on the 5th guideline or, in yogic terms, Yama on how to live life well. It deals with our longing for something we don’t have or for it to last.
APARIGRAHA – practicing NON – ATTACHMENT
Which often also translates as non-greed or non-craving.
A tricky one. While letting go of a new pair of shoes or a new car can be an act of awareness as we ask, ‘Do I need this’? It becomes more challenging if we’re planning a trip. Let’s say a bucket-list-trip we can only do once in a lifetime, and just before the magic unfolds, it gets canceled. It doesn’t even matter why. It hurts, it sucks but, we need to move on.
This is the nature of life; things fall apart, and the better we embrace Ralph Waldo Emerson words:
IT’S NOT THE DESTINATION; IT’S THE JOURNEY
the more we are in the present moment, committed to enjoying what we have. If we can cultivate that, it will ease our suffering.
Wisdom from the yoga mat
Craving often happens when we realize our limitations. The posture is too difficult to hold, and if we eye the person next to us or the teacher who is so much more flexible or stronger, we can lose sight of the reason why we practice. It’s no longer about connecting to ourselves and being present but about being as good as they are. That’s when attachment shows up; we crave something we don’t have.
Notice when that happens, be honest, and remember why you show up on your mat in the first place! Are you doing Yoga to get better at Yoga? Or better at living?
We can search for our cravings in almost any part of your life.
I have a live-in teacher. Not a day goes by I don’t feel a stab at my heart to see her struggle with her limitations. And feel my yearning for an easier life for her and us. Every day I crave for it to be different. Every day I replace this feeling with deep gratitude for what I have. It keeps me going. It inspires me not to give up. I receive daily practice to grow my patience, resilience, and acceptance muscle, but it’s never quite strong enough!😉
I didn’t know how important and often life-saving yoga’s teachings would be for my life as a special needs mom. They are. Acknowledging my feelings, letting go, embracing what I have is my practice. And practice is EVERY SINGLE DAY! My collection of 365 🌴 Tiny Islands wouldn’t exist without the challenges on my path. My Tiny Islands are your helpers, they belong in your treasure chest of tools to live life well.
Create a 🌴 Tiny Island Moment to reflect
Are you greedy?
I’ll guess your answer is no.
Are you craving?
Pause and take a few deep breaths.
Your answer might not be so clear.
🌟 Make a commitment to pay attention to your reactions today and every day when you feel something is missing.
🌟 Be gentle with yourself if life has delivered pain. Practice anyway.
🌟 You get a choice to act mindfully.
Craving creates tunnel vision: we see only what we yearn for. Mindfulness allows us to see that and much more, giving us the choice not to act on our desires.
2020 put us all in one boat in learning to let go, big and small on what is no more. If we’re rigid, hold on to our views, point fingers, we set ourselves up for more suffering than needed.
My friends, be kind to yourselves and others. We need compassion more than anything right now.
💗 Embrace what’s possible!
P.S. Want to get better at living? Read part 1 to 4 of this series HERE