These New Year's resolutions can sure be hard!
Four months into a concerted effort to the Yamas and the Niyamas have been quite the challenge. Although super easy to think about each one individually, it has been my intention to simply add to the list each month. Keeping three and four in my mind has been challenging. I suppose that as time continues, I will be able to integrate the entire 10 teachings but right now, I’m finding keeping them straight and on the top of mind as something of a small feat!
This month was the perfect month for Aparigraha. We celebrated Easter as well as a birthday in my household. On a superficial level, these two events helped me think about how many physical objects can rush into my home. Aparigraha is all about non-possessiveness (things and thoughts), non-grasping (overdoing aspirations and achievements) and non-greediness (limiting the wants, sharing what you have).
Let’s see how it unfolded in the month of April…
I applied some restraint with the amount of goodies the Easter bunny brought to our house. And quite frankly the boys didn’t even bat an eye at the lack of candies. I probably cut the amount of candy in half from last year. It was refreshing not to have so much candy land in my house and the constant battle to when and how much candy could be had!
Keeping things of value, like decorations hand-made by the kids in the past and their baskets seemed to be more important for us this year. Ben loves to decorate for the season so he was just excited to make his own Easter egg hunt with the plastic eggs we already had and filled them with our Lego pieces or other nick knacks we had around our home.
Keeping things basic seems to fit for Aparigraha.
My son’s fifth birthday was this month as well. I get anxious thinking about the expectation of giving gifts. It’s a large part of birthdays for the kids but an overwhelming part for me. We kept the party at home and rented a bouncy castle (hopefully making memories not stuff) but I did overdo it (maybe) with the invitees! We had close to 40 people present, kids and all. I am excited to celebrate birthdays and want to include everyone. I suppose I’d prefer to give a party than receive a ton of new things. People are so generous with gifts.
Professionally, I also took time this month to think about striving and doing lots. I’ve paired back a lot of my commitments and professional volunteer roles in the past six months. I do consider myself a professional voluntary soul. How often my husband says ’and when will you get paid for this?’ Interestingly though, maybe that is part of Aparigraha too. I give of myself; yet, I need to approach it as just that - giving. And not striving.
I come to see that trying so hard to achieve can run your life. Taking a step back and dropping the ‘trying to grasp’ has been helpful.
I can’t lie, it’s a challenge.
This is how I roll.
But if I can take anything away from this month, it would be LESS IS MORE.
In my life and on the mat.
Raise a water bottle to that! Less is more,
Aspiring Yoga Teacher
I've practiced yoga since I was a pre-teen and have always found it to keep me centered. I will be a teacher one day and this is my journey to discover teaching and practice.