Saturday Morning Sanskrit: Aparigraha

Good morning! Today’s word is Aparigraha. I have no idea how to pronounce it, but it’s meaning is near and dear to my heart. Aparigraha is non-hoarding.

It’s the fifth and final Yama. Click on the links below to read about the rest:

  1. Ahimsa: non-harming
  2. Satya: non-lieing
  3. Asteya: non-stealing
  4. Brahmacharya: control of the senses

Where to even start? We live in a hoarding culture. There’s even a TV show called hoarders. And while we might watch and judge calling those people crazy, I for one have way too much stuff junk. The crazy part about all of this stuff is that it makes life more stressful than it has to be. Another description of Aparigraha is non-attachment. The Yoga Sutras doesn’t suggest that we all need to give away all of our belongings and live as monks, but rather we don’t hold onto things we don’t need. And that we don’t attach ourselves to our possessions.

Basically hoarding comes from a fear that we may want or need something and we won’t have it. So therefore we hold onto things we don’t actually need right now. But we know that we have to get rid of stuff to make room for what we really want. For example, I want to get ready easily and quickly in the mornings. Having an overstuffed closet is not giving me what I really want which a peaceful morning (I’m a hoarder of painful but beautiful shoes, clothes that don’t actually fit and beauty products that I will never use).

A silly story about letting go: my gay hubby was ruthlessly helping me edit my wardrobe. I loved a certain dress that was too big (a wonderful side effect from becoming mostly-vegetarian last year). I wanted to keep the dress. He told me to get rid of it because I wasn’t going back up to that size. I decided to sell it at Buffalo Exchange. On the way we stopped at Express where I originally bought the dress to see if they had one in my new size. It wasn’t in stores anymore. At Buffalo I told the sales girl I was sad to sell it. She told me they got the same exact dress in my size that morning. It wasn’t even on the floor yet. They got it from the back for me and it fit perfectly. I couldn’t believe it, meanwhile Camilo was telling me, “See what happens when you get rid of stuff.”

For further reading:

Busting Your Biggest Clutter Fears

How to Tackle Clutter

Enough is Enough (pertaining to eating habits)

A short personal story about yoga and hoarding

What are your thoughts on non-hoarding? How does hoarding affect your daily life?

Comments

  1. says

    I keep going to charity shops to give away stuff – but then I see things that I want and often end up with more things… I think I have to drop things off without my purse or something : )

    • says

      Yes, that happens to me too. Especially at Buffalo Exchange where they give you 30% of selling price in cash or 50% in store credit. I end up selling 10 things and getting one or two new things.

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