Life has taught me deep lessons, yet again! The current lesson is aparigraha. The art of non-clinging, or letting go. It is a Yama practiced in the Ashtanga Yoga Lineage.
Since purchasing Centered City Yoga in January of this year, my life has felt like an extreme roller coaster. I was living in St. George. I had my own sweet yoga studio, Yoga Soul, to care for. The rhythm of my life was finally for the first time ever, very comfortable, and well, it was becoming boring! It is easy to fall into a sense of complacency when life is not challenging and providing growth. I also felt a change was coming, but I never could have guessed what was about to occur.
It is an extreme understatement to say it was a surprise that I ended up as the new owner of CCY, with some very big shoes to fill. With my new beginning, came many endings. I have had to reinvent how I ran Yoga Soul. I also just sold my lovely home in St. George and am in process of letting go of almost all of my material possessions to allow space for me to move into a very small space, 1/3 the size of my home in St. George. I am learning to let go of the serene desert scape, and replace it yet again, with a busy city life. Sometimes it feels like too much and I watch myself suffer as I cling to what was my life in a mellow southern Utah town. But I must let go so I can serve a greater purpose.
I am grateful for my daily yoga practice. I have learned through life that if I stay steady in my practice, I can handle anything.
One of the principles we learn through our practice, which truly over time shows us how it is a microcosm of life, is the principle of Aparigraha, one of the five yamas (restraints) of Ashtanga yoga. Aparigraha translates to letting go. The other side of that coin is accepting what is. How can we learn to let go of things in life to create space for growth, what is new, and freedom from suffering, by accepting what now is? Can this create a sense of lightness in your practice, and your life?
Sometimes just like a yoga pose, it is hard to realize that our bodies just don’t like the full expression of a pose. Yet, as soon as we realize we are where we are, and that is okay, we find a sense of deep comfort in a pose we may have previously fought or despised!
Sometimes we have a magical practice, and we love and want to hold on to those moments of grace linked with breath. And then the very next day we have what feels like the worst practice ever. Or maybe we leave that magical moment and get into our car and immediately life feels like the opposite of anything lovely as we deal with traffic and daily life. Breathe.
The breath, just like in a yoga practice will carry you through the rough spots of life! The breath helps us to feel light in our days, and reminds us that we can ride life like a wave, with the realization that nothing is permanent, even the hard times.
Practicing Aparigraha is on my mind many times each day. That is my daily practice at this moment, outside of my yoga practice. The worry if I can help our precious students find a sense of home with CCY? Can I connect all of the moving pieces of this great studio and learn to serve our society with true hearts of love?
A curious practice you might try is this: Focus on breath no matter what in your practice. Notice how your breath guides your movement, thus allowing you to move through your practice with a sense of effortless effort. And then ask your life to help you to bring this out into your world. I would love to learn how this goes! We can journey through this together. Please join our wonderful Centered City Yoga teachers, and experience through your yoga practice how you can embrace the art of letting go, as a way to create freedom, and space for new in your amazing life. Our class schedule is HERE