The eight limbs of raja yoga include the yamas- or restraints. Among these five is aparigraha – or non attachment. As yoga is an ancient wisdom and practice I am comfortable saying that attachment has been a problem for ages. We, modern people, have this affliction as much as did the ancients. Yoga provides us with strategies and teachings to guide us in letting go. Here are some steps we can follow in order to begin to release death grip onto things that cause us to suffer. First thing is to identify what we are holding on to. What do we hold on to? Why would we need to release our grip? Is it the holding on that is causing the pain or is it the action or activity itself? Is it both? Bear in mind that this grip can be at the emotional, intellectual or even physical level – sometimes at all three. We need to know what are we grasping to before we can follow a path to release.
- Is it an idea such as a limitation? (“I can’t do this or that.”, “They mustn’t do this or that.”, “we should… they should…” and so on.)
- Is it an activity like being online, checking and rechecking communication feeds to verify connections? Is it shopping and buying – looking for “something else” that will suit us, making us complete or giving us the emotional lift that a purchase can provide?
- Could it be a behavior like exerting control over another dictating and directing their actions and activities?
- Could it be a substance in which the over indulgence is causing internal conflict or disassociation like food where companionship is really being sought, where loneliness has set in? Or do you use intoxicants polluting your mind, body and spirit?
- It is unhealthy companionship where self care would be more affirming? Is boundary-less love and enmeshment what you cleave to rather than healthy balanced relationships?
- Am I doing my self, my family, my savings, and my financial security harm by purchasing yet another pair of black yoga pants, decorative item, lawn ornament, piece of jewelry or other item?
- Am I harming the environment by actively accumulating more stuff? (What is the provenance of the goods, harm to environment in creation, harm to people in the fabrication, harm to all in transport and distribution?)
- What aspect of myself am I avoiding by looking at by buying another pair?
- Am I ignoring feelings of inadequacy or other sense of lack?
- Am I trying to be like another person , look like another person; thereby harming my own self image with disdain?
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