Yoga with Melissa Episode 37: Special Series on Yamas & Niyamas: Aparigraha with Dr. Melissa West

by Melissa West on June 8, 2010

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Yoga with Melissa 37 is a one hour yoga class on aparigraha. It is part of our ten-class series on the yamas and niyamas. This week we explore aparigraha, the last of the yamas or ethical principles as outlined by Patanjali in the yoga sutras. Aparigraha means non-hoarding or non possessiveness. It is said that when we practice aparigraha we discover why we were born. The idea behind this is that our possessions should not own us. In other words, the more we accumulate things the more time we spend maintaining them. This is difficult in our consumer culture. It is important to practice aparigraha as consumers and only purchase what we need and will use, if we are not using something, it is time to pass it on.

The asana in this yoga practice will focus on the digestive system and elimination. As we let go in our bodies we will be able to let go on other levels as well from material objects, our thoughts, our emotions, our beliefs, and the way we relate to others. We begin with a reclined sequence to release our large intestine or colon that includes apanasana or knee to chest pose, a reclined side bend, locust pose, ardha dhanurasana and dying warrior. Pigeon and parsvottanasana release your hips and hamstrings. Revolved triangle is a great pose to release your hips, hamstrings, spine, and tone your digestive system. We finish our yoga class with a seated twist series and the pushan mudra for digestion.

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