Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Loving the Un-Yogi – Hoarding

Recently I was sitting in on a regular Yoga Sutras discussion group and we were talking about sutra 2.39:

aparigraha-sthairye janma-kathanta-sambodhah

This sutra discusses the 5th YamaAparigraha. Aparigraha is defined in many different ways. Some define aparigraha as non-hoarding, not being acquisitive, or not lusting for possessions. I have always taken this yama to mean living simply. The yogi does not need to find joy in possessions. The Sutra actually says that letting go of this need “unlocks the real purpose” of life.

This particular yama is very difficult to discuss for me around the holiday season – and not for the reason you may think.

When my partner and I decided to live together, the first thing he asked me was, “What Christmas decorations do you have!?” Apart from being shocked by his excitement, I was surprised that this was such a concern.

“None” I said. “Why? Should I have Christmas decorations?”

Then I learned his dirty secret. We (and by we I mean he) has 14 large bins of decorations for Christmas alone. To top it off, he is always looking for more. Before the holidays, after the holidays, throughout the year – the need for holiday “accent pieces” does not stop. I secretly call all of this “craft” – “What a bunch of craft” or “what a load of craft.” I just don’t understand why all of it is necessary. And why the need for more? We have a total of 3 rooms that are fit for decorating.

Living with the non-yogi can be difficut, especially when you have differences like we do. How do I keep my life simple when there are so many decorations clogging my home? I do not get wrapped up in it. I sit back and allow the holiday magic to happen around me. We have discussed our differences and I do not take part in the decorating. I help out a little and allow the rest to happen.

The hard part is hoarding my thoughts during this time. I try not to get upset with the complication of it. It is easy to get upset, but the real test is finding peace with the decisions of others who are not trying to live the yogi lifestyle.

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