You can only lose what you cling to.
Note: one of our homework assignments for yoga teacher training was to write a short (five sentence!) dharma talk inspired by one of the yamas or niyamas in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Decided it couldn’t hurt to share it here as well–it’s as nice of a reminder on a Monday morning as it is at a yoga class.
We’re living in a culture of attachment: we buy things to fill a void, we believe that more truly is more, we attach meaning and status to the things that surround us.
Buddha said “You can only lose what you cling to.” Sometimes we hang on so fiercely that our sense of self becomes hopelessly intertwined with the things that fill our life: the failed relationship, the expensive designer coat, or even our reputation as being a dedicated yogi.
Aparigraha is the concept of non-attachment in the yoga sutras: it reminds us to take what is truly necessary and no more, to understand that the only constant is change.
As you practice today, try to unclench and let go: stop clinging to what a pose should look like and breathe into it. Let go of the things that define you off the mat, and simply be here now with nothing but your breath. And, remember — you can only lose what you cling to.