I always find it amazing how ancient yogic philosophy is so relevant to modern times. Maybe these wise sages had an insight into how modern life would pan out for us and left us with timeless pearls of wisdom that would help us get out of our own way and remember that we are divine beings meant to be well cared for and loved.
This source of love is limitless because it comes from within. To successfully move into the world, we must love ourselves and learn to let go of what is not ours to hold.
Aparigraha, one the Yama’s outlined by Pantanjali in the Yoga Sutras is one of those wise pearls. Aparigraha simple means non-possessiveness or letting go. One can view Aparigraha as the practice to take only what is necessary and to not take advantage of.
A yogic saying states, “All the things of the world are yours to use, but not to own.”
When we choose to not let go of certain things in life (including people and our own beliefs and ideas) our hearts become less open to the fullness of our life experience and what the present moment holds.
However, when given and taken in the right vein ‘let it go’ can be exactly what we need to hear.
When we choose not to let go – we end up going down a path that does not serve our higher-self and the rest of the world.
But the great news is this: We can literally rewire our brains by choosing the way we speak to ourselves and others.
If we continually dwell in our old stories, our brains literally get stuck in a negative thought-loop, and we end up in a endless loop in our lives.
We have the opportunity to rewrite our old stories! We can choose to let go of the old and begin to speak to ourselves in more positive ways; ways that foster compassion, acceptance, and resilience.
Each and every one of us is capable of rewiring our brains to think more positively and manifest the effect of these new thought patterns in our, minds, hearts and lives.
Let’s use the Buddhist tale, “The Gift of Insults” as a great example of letting go.
As the story goes, a wise warrior was teaching his students one day. An outsider approached the group and began insulting the wise master, first with words and then with a physical assault. The warrior refused to fight back or engage at all with his attacker. Later when his students attended to him they asked him “why master, why did you not fight back!” The wise master said, “ If you receive a gift and do not accept it, then to whom does the gift belong?”
Such a great lesson for his students to learn. It literally shows them how to not be affected by someone’s behavior. This story also bestows us with this lesson: We have the choice to be in control of our emotional state and energy at all times.
Of course, this is easier said than done, but that is why we call it practice! We can always fall back and be caught by grace if we choose. We can tap into who we truly are. We can remember, with a sweet sense of homecoming, that we can return to our abiding center, our spark of the divine and grace again and again and again.
What a blessing; we can always return to ourselves, deflecting any bad energy like a modern day super hero!
Yoga Teacher, Writer
Amy Bernier has been working in the health promotion field for over 20 years. She has her master’s degree in Exercise Physiology and has been a certified yoga teacher for over 10 years. More recently she obtained a certification as a yoga therapist. Because of Amy’s interest in sharing pearls of wisdom from the yoga tradition and how these teachings can bring ease, peace, acceptance and grace into all of our moments she has begun work on a book entitled You are not BROKEN, a Yogi’s take on WHOLENSS. One of her greatest joys in life is teaching students both on and off the mat that they have all the tools that they need to feel whole. Amy wants you to find your way back to your true nature of peace and contentment, this is always there despite the circumstances of your life, she aims to provide you with the tools to empower you to make healthy life choices and find more abundance in your life.