Friday, May 13, 2011


Tonight I need to talk about letting go.

According to the Ashtanga philosophy, there is a deeper aspect of existence that can be unveiled through the practice of yoga and it's 8-fold path. This path unfolds with an ever widening scope of exercises we practice in order to achieve mental clarity.

The 1st of these layers is called Yama [pronounced ya-mah] and includes this idea of letting go. The sanksrit word is Aparigrapha [pronounced Ah-par-ee-grah-ha] which literally translates to non-hoarding.

Off the mat, I've been struggling with letting go of a feeling before it transforms into a mood - or worse, an attitude. Someone will say something that I will take the wrong way, and even if the mis-communication is resolved right away, I hold onto the feelings that were mistakenly caused by assuming.

On the mat, I'm sometimes hard on myself - judging and comparing myself against things that aren't happening in that moment...stuff that I've held onto. This, of course, takes away from the clarity of breathing and movement. When I remind myself about the practice of aparigrapha, it is easier to let go of all the ill-feelings. I have come to learn that these are just emotional reactions and can be left as such; they do not need to turn into moods or attitudes, and that they are often times mere transient states, fleeting sentiments; that they are as easy let go of as an exhale.

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