Incorporate aparigraha (non-possessiveness) into your yoga practice with an asana, mantra, and mudra to help bring into focus the subtle and not-so-subtle ways the yama plays out in your life.
Aparigraha translates to "non-possessiveness" or "non-grasping" and helps us detach from strong feelings such as jealousy. It helps us to remember not to covet what isn't ours. To incorporate aparigraha into your own life and practice, start with the pose, mudra (hand-and-finger gesture), and mantra (a sacred utterance repeated continuously) below. Do this practice on its own, add more poses with the accompanying 10-minute video sequence, or link all of the yamas and niyamas together, one pose as a time, forming a sequence.
Aparigraha Yoga Practice
Hold the pose, with its mudra, for 3–5 breaths, mindfully chanting, aloud or internally, its accompanying mantra.
Asana: Pasasana (Noose Pose)
From Tadasana (Mountain Pose), bend your knees and lower your hips to your heels. Rotate your torso to the left and bring your upper right arm to the outside of your left leg, with your hands in Anjali Mudra, or prayer position, at the heart. Inhale to lengthen your spine and exhale to twist deeper, wringing out that which you do not need and being grateful for what you have.
Mudra: Ganesha Mudra
To come into Ganesha Mudra, named after the Hindu deity who removes obstacles, swivel the hands so that the fingertips point toward opposite elbows, with your right palm facing your heart. Bend the fingers and slide the hands away from each other until the fingers lock.
Mantra: Om gam ganapatayei namaha
With each exhale, invoke Ganesha (gam or ganapatayei) and his powers by chanting his name: Om gam ganapatayei namaha. (Om is the sound of the universe, and namaha means “name.”) Repeat on the other side.
Watch the video
To tie it all together or to deepen your work around aparigraha, try this 10-minute twisting practice with Coral Brown.
YOGA JOURNAL, SEPT 2015