With spring in the air, it’s possible that you have been going through your closet with the intention of spring cleaning. I certainly have been trying my best to purge those things I no longer need.
Sadly I have a habit of holding onto things longer than necessary. I have a tendency to attach memories to specific items making it hard for me to let go. That in itself is not a bad thing, but when you become attached to items because of memories, these memories literally become burdensome.
The Eight Fold Path
Within Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras there is an Eight Fold Path offering guidelines to cleanse the body and mind in order to lead a more meaningful and purposeful life.
The first four limbs of this path are concerned with gaining control over the physical body, fine tuning our personalities and developing an awareness of ourselves.
Over the years, with the help of my yoga practice, I have gained a deeper awareness of myself. I have found that there are certain personality traits and behaviours that no longer serve me. By following the Eight Fold Path I am striving to reach my true potential. This has not been easy, nor am I anywhere near finished. Perhaps I never will, but it’s the journey, right?
The First Limb: Yama
According to the Sutras, Yama focuses on behaviour and how you conduct yourself in life. An individual’s ethical standards and sense of integrity become very important when concentrating on this first limb.
There are five Yamas:
Brahmacharya: sensory control
Sophie Legrand discussed Brahmacharya in her post titled “Browse with Moderation”. To further continue along my journey, I am concentrating on Aparigraha.
According to the Sutras, Aparigraha literally means the non-accumulation of worldly objects caused by covetousness and attachment. Looking honestly into my life, I can see that I have accumulated a lot of “stuff” which I have attached sentimental value. Holding each object in my hand, asking myself, “Do I really need this anymore?” I can answer truthfully. I come to the understanding that the memories attached to that object are within me; I do not need the object. Do you also attach memories to objects and then feel you will lose those memories without that object?
Aparigraha asks us to travel light; to let go of the old, in order to make room for the new. New possibilities await if you only make room.
I was very lucky to learn these lessons while earning my 200 Hr Yoga Certification at Semperviva Yoga.
I encourage anyone who is interested in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras to search out Rolf Gates & Katrina Kenison’s Meditations from the Mat. Rolf Gates approach to the Eight Limb Path is very readable.