Transformation Through Letting Go: Introduction

I truly believe that the universe provides me with what I need when I need it. The self-study I chose to work within focuses on the yama Aparigraha. A fellow classmate had mentioned an example of Aparigraha in a previous class discussion that sounded like a proverbial gong in my head. I fear aging. And my fear plays a tape recorded message in my head about getting my hands on anything that will stop time. Body products, exercise, clothes, diets and so much more. It is a running joke in my household about me clinging to youth.

I spent some time considering how I would begin with a question about my coveting ways that could then be turned into an experiment. So, I turned to my Meditations from the Mat book by Rolf Gates and a quote from Marimar Higgins regarding Aparigraha. Ms. Higgins states that “Aparigraha is the practice of letting go and allowing for change. We give and we take. We obtain and give away. Aparigraha looks not only at physical possessions but also beliefs, ideas, and even grudges that we hold on to. Aparigraha invites the present moment to be just what it is.” Ms. Higgins definition fits more what I believe I need to invite into my life – being present in the moment and letting go of the past. Rolf Gates shared his experience with his pranayama teacher when he reflected on his own behaviors/thoughts regarding Aparigraha. His teacher held a mirror up to him and in it he saw a deep-seated belief that once you have something you should not let it go at any cost. Both these definitions resonate for me and hopefully will help me shape the work I planned to address in this yama. I believe the root to all this is lack of self love. So, what would happen if I put more love for myself into my practice?

My hypothesis is that if I increase and incorporate love for myself into my practice I will be able to see what I need to let go of, in this case, fear of aging and begin to live fully in the present.