This week in class, I've been talking about Aparigraha, one of the yamas of Patanjali's eight limbs of yoga. It basically translates as non-greed, non-hoarding, non-stealing and non-attachment.
There are many ways to think about this limb, from the focus on the action rather than the outcome, to how we un-grip and let go of things, our relationships to change and how we sometimes define ourselves through our possessions or 'worth'.
But I've been thinking about how this translates to the changes season and the shift into Winter.
These final stages of Autumn, how slowly, gracefully mother nature accepts change, I don't think she resists it, she welcomes it with grace and ease.
With the falling of the last leaves, and the colder air rushing in, winter is close by.
Nature is asking us quietly to slow down, you may feel more tired, need more sleep, be longing to eat more baked potatoes(or perhaps that's a more specific part of late Autumn for me!?).
Let me ask you, how are you feeling? Do you find it easy to allow in winter, the change, the quieter, colder, sleepier months...
It's also a bit of a mad time, because many of us who are lucky enough to see family and celebrate Christmas, are usually pretty busy this time of year, last push with work, deadlines, organising things for the children, possibly parties, gatherings, meals. Which for many is joyous, but rather tiring, especially if your idea of fun is an open fire, a book and a blanket.
So can we let go of the year, with non-attachment or hoarding, can we slip gently into the darker months, without fear or dread, and with faith that Spring will greet us again?
I also wanted to comment on my experience as a healer and teacher, that I've been witnessing a lot of scattered attention, everyone is holding so much it seems. and I'm going to include myself here too. You can have the generic to-do list, fix the washing machine,check the insurance, followed by work pressures, child care, and family stuff, we then have our own wellness, our health, out emotional well-being, then there's the world, so many of us are waking up, calling for radical change, our calls for help falling on the greedy deaf ears of those in power. Who are resisting change the most it seems.
It is f*****g exhausting. That may not seem very yogi of me, but if you feel deeply and you walk through this world with an open heart, it can be really tough.
Meditation helps me, but I feel like my practice at the minute, is mainly bringing me back to a baseline of 'I'm ok' rather than the lighter or more buoyant times. And that is ok. So, I focus on Aparigraha, what is happening right now, in my body, mind, spirit, it is ok if there's been a change, maybe I'm not as strong, or my hamstring is giving my grief in my yoga practice or my mind if springing around while I sit quietly and focus on my breath. It's about accepting this moment right now, and not holding onto the past or the future. Focus on what you can do right now, to the best of your ability.
This post feels scattered, and that's because I am, I am having to manage a few personal things, facing more grief and sadness, but in a way I know I can. I am trying my best to let things go, to be totally present, not just in the days but moment to moment. I often get caught up in the result of things, but I've learned that showing up, in small manageable chunks is all I can do, and with that comes freedom.
Ultimately to practice Aparigraha is to cultivate liberation, and freedom, from the ties we have to things, ideas, past and future.
Go gently with yourselves, maybe have a little clear out, and think about what you can do in small manageable chunks.
Lots of love,
Chichester Soundbath | Dec 15th | Christmas Special
Private Bookings, a few spaces left before the holidays