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Release Your Grasp - Aparigraha

Spring in New York City


Frustration, and its "cousin" clinging, are intimately intertwined with Aparigraha, the Yogic principle of non-attachment. Clinging arises from our deep-seated desire to control something, whether it's our stuff (physical possessions), our relationships, or our ideas about ourselves and others. When these expectations of control aren't met, frustration arises as resistance. 

"Clinging arises from our deep-seated desire to control something ..."

The Yama of Aparigraha (translated as "Non-clinging") encourages us to recognize our clinging tendencies and relinquish our grip on a specific outcome. It requires that we accept, and even embrace the uncontrollable nature of life so that we can truly appreciate the present moment. (Instead of feeling angry and resentful of the April Showers in New York, can we accept them and appreciate how they help the flowers bloom?) 

Luckily Yoga Asana gives us a perfect way to practice. We notice any sticky clinging on the mat, whether it arises physically or mentally, and practice that conscious release. It is not easy, but with practice, non-attachment becomes more possible - both on the mat and in our lives to let go.  If we can create a habit of releasing our grasp, we can free ourselves from a cycle of desire and frustration and allow for more ease and joy!

Erica Barth

Owner, Harlem Yoga Studio

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