June 23, 2010

Yoga and Shopping: Enemies or BFFs?

Man, it’s hard to tell sometimes. Do we want the Ice Silver necklace from Lemon Park’s The Rocks collection because it’s simply the accessory of our dreams? Is it because PR maven Samantha Geer keeps wearing their pieces to mega media events?

Or is it because we’re just plain feeling, well, ‘covetous‘?

Not a word that would normally noodle into our everyday conversation, ‘covetous’ is one of those loaded terms, heavily weighted with religious nutso associations and lifestyle demands that seem to leave little left for living. It shows up in yogic philosophy, too, tagged onto the last of the yamas, or best-life behavioural tips, recorded by yoga philosophy powerhouse Patanjali (more on him below). It’s used in association with Aparigraha.

The yama Aparigraha can be understood as not getting a bunch of stuff just because we want it—i.e. we covet it.

Pros: It’s a useful checkpoint. Do I need this or do I just want it? Is it really going to be something I appreciate and use, or will it just get dumped into the pile of other necklaces I never wear?

Cons: Taken to the extreme, it’s a good way to paint all purchases in a bad light, and make a lot of good people feel bad about themselves.

Bottom Line: If it were me, I’d buy the necklace.

What do you think?

More on Patanjali
Yoga philosophy powerhouse Patanjali compiled yogic knowledge, essentially tools and techniques for living a healthy, happy, fulfilled life, into a series of simple, easy-to-memorize statements. The Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali is a system that can be used as a map to guide us in realizing and becoming our best, truest self. This system, or path, includes 8 limbs: Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhayana, and Samadhi.

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