(Paintings by Ali)
An important part of yoga’s moral philosophy (yamas & niyamas) is ‘aparigraha’ – which collectively means non-wasting, non-hoarding, non-grasping and non-coveting.
Aparigraha means freedom from meanness and selfishness …
On a practical level, aparigraha also means sharing local produce and healthy home-made treats with special members of your yoga class, or local community. It means not allowing consumer urges to dupe you into purchasing more than you need, not coveting the latest yoga trends, or wearing ‘head-to-toe lulu everything’ just because you want to look fashionable during your asanas.
Yoga is about developing greedlessness … about leading a more simple life, being self-aware, and not giving in to selfish urges.
On a more social/ global scale, aparigraha means sharing your wealth/ money/ earnings with others who are less advantaged and less privileged – not grasping onto every cent and spending it primarily on yourself. In real terms, giving between 1% – 10% of your earnings is wealth sharing and generosity, which helps create abundance and balanced prosperity.
In other words, we shouldn’t always be on the receiving end of other peoples’ generosity – not matter what the circumstance is: work, socially, or even at yoga. The practice of reciprocity is about balanced give and take. The practice of generosity means giving selflessly from the heart. Where do you stand?