Less Is More

Be Well Be Happy

As we welcome longer days, more light, nicer weather, we will begin to peel the layers off our bodies and perhaps for many, feel lighter and happier with the warmer weather. Spring cleaning is an expression often used at this time as well as spring cleansing.

In yoga, we practice aparigraha, meaning non-grasping, non-hoarding and non-attachment. We start with our palms facing up and hearts open to what is present in the moment. This is a gesture of non-grasping and being open with loving hearts. Choosing between attachments or happiness is not an easy task.  What makes you truly happy? Can you clear out some of the things you are holding on to? Is there a reason why you grasp things that no longer serve you?

What are you grasping onto in life? Which stories, activities or objects do you hold on to? Why do you cling to them? Is it how you think you should look?  Or maybe you are holding on to a grudge or past relationship? Maybe it’s something you think you should buy to improve how you look or make you feel better? Do you attach to people and places? What are you clinging to and why do you feel the need to hold on to things or thoughts? Is there fear of not having enough? Would you like to be liberated and feel happier? The work is in letting go and not hoarding things you do not need anymore.  Being present in the now.

When you pack for a trip, do you take the entire house with you or do you pack lightly? Aparigraha invites us to let go and to travel lightly for your journey through life, all the while caring deeply and enjoying fully. Less is more. We feel better when we have what is necessary and not more. Let go of the ways you think life should be. We cannot hold on to anything because life unfolds naturally. Holding on is deadly to our spiritual growth.

To be able to flow with ease allows us to feel pure joy in this ever-changing world. Nothing stays the same and learning to accept change is key to non-attachment. Embracing impermanence gives us freedom from suffering.  You may be able to enjoy life more fully and dance freely with each moment. Letting go is a practice we do every day in yoga. We start simply with the breath, as we inhale there is a pause, we enjoy it and then let it go out without grasping and holding on to it. It frees up space in our minds and bodies.

Many of us are guilty of hoarding. We have a closet full of clothes waiting to be given away to someone who could use them. We have so much and yet we continue to acquire more without letting go of the old. Maybe our fear is that one day we may need that beautiful red dress and it won’t be there. So we hold on to it even though it clutters the closet and we don’t wear it.

Today is the day to clean house, inside and outside. Start slowly but take the inventory of what you are holding on to. Aparigraha teaches us to enjoy life to its fullest and when it’s time to let go we move on to the next thing to come.

“Just like the breath gives us nourishment, so does life in form of homes, work, relationships, routines that bring ease, beliefs, stances, and images of ourselves.  There is nourishment until we get attached to these things, often unconsciously, and then disturb ourselves with expectations, opinions, criticisms, disappointments, all because we forget to trust life, exhale and let go. Like the breath when it is held too long, the things that nourish us can become toxic.” -Deborah Adele.

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