Meditation Monday #9: Aparigraha

It is beautiful in Wilmington today! 71 degrees on this, my grandmother’s birthday (and I need to call her). However, the weather will be changing back to normal temps later this week. I was kind of sad and excited at the same time today when I finally shaved my legs….like for real shaved them. It’s been awhile and if you haven’t been over to Fit is a Feminist Issue lately, here are some interesting posts on shaving: Body Hair and Winter Months. But I’m also glad that it’s still jeans weather for a few more months. Mostly because I went to Clothes Mentor yesterday and got myself a great “new to me” pair of Silver Jeans. You can read all about how much I love them in the discussion between myself and my friend in the comments section here: How Many Do You Really Need?

I am not a clothes shopper. I wish it were all smiles and fun with friends, but for me it is not and never has been. I refuse to shop online because I cannot try things on and see how they actually fit on my body before I purchase them, but I equally hate going into those tiny mirrored boxes they like to refer to as “Dressing Rooms” to put the clothes on. I could go on and on about the lighting and the mirrors and how close you have to stand to them etc, but my real problem has more to do with one of the Yamas of yoga than it does with the rooms themselves.

I’m talking about Aparigraha, the non-hoarding yama.

Not this kind of hoarding, but it certainly applies, but more of this definition:

Aparigraha asks you to both let go of possessions as well as ideals, thoughts, and other matters of the mind/heart that hold you back from growth. This includes a resistance to change, possession of a partner, or of an identity which you no longer fit (youth, athlete, etc).

See the part that I bolded and underlined? As I was shopping I was looking in the mirror and struggling to get on jeans that I thought (by looking at them) would surely fit me, no problem. However, when I actually stood there and looked at myself in the mirror, I saw hips and thighs that didn’t used to be there. I had in my mind the type of jeans that I wanted to wear and held those in my hands, but they were not the type of jeans I needed to wear.

The funny thing is that when I realized that I do not have the legs and hips that I once had it filled me with both rage and relief. I was mad at myself for being so blind to the condition of my body. When I got home I looked at those same legs and hips in my bathroom mirror, realizing that the mirror does not show as far down as I would need to see to see the widening of my body. I felt that as a Fitness Professional I should always be aware of what is going on with my body. I’m a yoga teacher, I should be in touch with these things.

The relief set in when I found the pair of jeans I bought. They are a pair of the same Aiko Silver Jeans that I said that I wanted. Something with a mid rise and that was relaxed through the thighs. I knew already that my thighs needed more room. I knew it, so there was no reason to beat myself up. I was also relieved because knowing that something is different allows me to make two changes in my mind and my actions. I choose to see myself and the way my body is now as me. By viewing this body as me I choose to be happy with who I am and to let go of who I am not. The action portion means that if I am wanting to see change, there are things I know I can do.

I know that part of the weight gain is due to the pill that I was taking up until last week. The weight came on quickly, but it is not permanent. I went for a walk today to add in more “fat burning” and I will slowly add in more leg exercises to accommodate more muscle building in that area. In the end, I felt really good about my purchase and my experience and how I handled myself. I wish I could be this present and thoughtful in all of my difficult life moments.

Is there something in your life that you are holding on to?
Have you ever thought about hoarding in regards to people and ideals?
What is clothes shopping like for you?

3 thoughts on “Meditation Monday #9: Aparigraha

  1. I am literally and figuratively holding on to my pre-baby breasts. Totally haven't gotten rid of my old bras…still wear them…just pretending like I haven't gone down 4 cup sizes after last baby and 20-ish pound weight loss.Hoarding in reference to ideals and people is super common I think. We all hold on to old ideas of one fashion or another, refusing to accept something new or true.Clothes shopping is non-existent for me. I will probably do a little when the hubby gets back from deployment, but otherwise I'd have to get a babysitter. I need to focus to shop.


  2. I need focus to shop too. Luckily this shopping trip was a solo one, but usually I am hurriedly shoving things on and off and trying to keep piles sorted and kids in the dressing room with the door closed!


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