A Lesson in Letting Go


At this time of year there are many transitions, we start to see everything changing around us in nature, things starting to dissolve from the height of summer bloom, we feel the change in the air as the weather gets cooler and we feel it in ourselves. I am feeling the unease of change as my twins transition into school and for the first time in 9 years I have ‘freedom’.

My children are all very excited to be going back and starting school and of course I am extremely happy for their joy of new exciting beginning and all it holds for them.  But what do I do with my freedom?  -  Get on my mat more, teach more, meet up with friends, take a bath in the middle of the day and read a book?  All the things I thought about when I was in the midst of looking after my children, I am now unsure I really want.

The first limb of the eight-fold path, as defined by Patanjali are the Yamas, or attitudes and behaviors.  The fourth of the Yamas is Aparigraha. Which translates as ‘non-possessiveness’ and ‘non-attachment’. I know that change is inevitable, and holding on to moments from the past will not bring happiness or peace. But it’s not just the moments or material objects that we hold onto, my children are “mine”, but in my heart I also know my children are not “mine”.  I am there to support and love them in every way I can on their journey.

The lesson of aparigraha is if we are to awaken to fullness, we must learn to let go.    
My yoga practice is a good way to practice letting go, and finding out what I need to let go of, developing the ability to not be attached to the outcome,  to be steady and grounded with the familiar but not clinging or resisting change. My practice on the mat this week I know will have lots of restorative postures, being still to witness the lesson of aparigraha - Where am I holding in my body?  Where can I release and take support? What expectation or judgments are arising? Can I just trust to let this unfold?