Dear Homegrown Yogis,
We are officially counting down to 2017! I love the excitement and promise of the New Year –a time to set goals, intentions and resolutions for what’s next. Several years ago, I read about the power of writing down your New Year’s resolutions. The author explained that putting our intentions into writing creates an automatic sense of accountability. I started doing this as a yearly ritual and what I found surprised me. Year after year, I was making many of the exact same resolutions – cook more and eat out less; put away my computer by 9:00pm each night; add more color to my wardrobe. Yet anyone who knows me knows that I am not so good about doing any of these things… especially the cooking part!
When I sat down with my old resolutions to see why I kept going back to the same ones over and over again, I realized it was because I was simply adding new habits without cleaning out my old ones. It reminded me of a story one of my yoga teachers used to tell:
A group of villagers gets into their boat at night planning to row through the night and arrive at their destination by sunrise. They all pile into the boat at nightfall and spend the night rowing and rowing and rowing and rowing. When the sun comes up, they see that they have not moved a single inch. They had forgotten to unhook the boat from the dock.
In other words – before I cook more, I need to give up my excuses for why eating out is easier. Before I create new work habits, I need to say ‘no’ to projects and let go of my perfectionist ways. Before I add color to my wardrobe, I need to give up my reasons why I hide in black. Before I move ahead, I need to un-attach myself to where I am.
Aparigraha is a Sanskrit term that translates to ‘non-possessiveness’ and ‘non-attachment.’ It is the principle described in the story above, and I’ve learned that aparigraha is a critical part of successful resolutions and goals. This month, I invite you to practice aparigraha. You can practice it on your mat by giving up fear and tension to make room for courage and ease. You can practice it in your home by decluttering and donating to make room for a quiet space and some new Homegrown Yoga clothes =) And you can practice it in your life by giving up what’s holding you in place and stepping into 2017 with a sense of unlimited possibilities.