Sunday, February 10, 2013

New job, Yamas & Niyamas

I don't actually recommend these haha, but here is one of my cheap guilty pleasures!

If I hadn't mentioned it before, I was mostly unemployed these last few months.  Not having a job, searching, stressing, then letting go after I did all I could, and finally (after weeks of waiting) one finding me was not very fun or relaxing. I have many different interests, but my passions will not make me rich, and I'm quite ok with this.  That's the point of this story really!  Anyway, recently I took a minimum wage job at a place I feel I can enjoy, and will leave room for teaching yoga at night.   So yeah , voila -- now I work at a thrift store -- surrounded by vintage clothes, eek! 

I have always been a member of a poorer class, and I while I do have that natural urge to want more, to better myself and so forth, I have been seeking (and finding) contentment exactly where I am.  Why? Because I do not enjoy the never-ending-wanting  or envious pangs we humans tend to feel.  Meditating on Yogic principles help me deal with these feelings.

So, you knew Yoga is more than just exercise, right? That Yoga (which means "to unite" or "union") is a collection of Hindu philosophies and disciplines designed to encourage physical,  mental, and spiritual harmony or well-being?  I thought so ;) ! One of the principles I want to share with you is a called a yama (which in Sanskrit means "restraint"), specifically aparigraha.  So yes, a yama is a method for self-control or discipline, which hopefully should lead you to a more joyful, enlightened state of mind.  The word aparigraha means "non-greed" or "non-possessiveness."

I'm told the most difficult aspect of my new job is to resist the desire for the valuable/interesting items you come across and work with.  It is the thrift store's policy that employees wait a period of time to purchase new items so that the public may have a chance to buy them.  I feel like this new job is a yogic test! That's what happens though, right? You ask to be more humble and less grossly attached to temporary things (or whatever traits you desire to embody), and the universe says "ok, here's a situation, try that out!" I've realized the best way to practice aparigraha is just to observe that 'needlessly wanting more' feeling and then let it pass with no stress.  Typically all I have to say to remind myself that I do not need excess things, is the simple truth that material objects just turn to dust eventually, right? 

That leads us to another related principle, a niyama (in English: "observance")  called santosha or "contentment."  Basically, my plan is to work hard, live within my means, and be happy with what I have.  Because (as a friend of mine once said and I have since said to myself often) others are happy with less than what you have! Since I began this blog, I've noticed that part of the nature of blogging is to photograph things you bought. Just stuff. We all find that interesting, but I just don't want to get so wrapped up in oufits/home decor/etc that I find myself and others liking each other because of the things we have. That would be pretty shallow & lame, right? Like your mama always said, it's what's inside that counts! So that's why I'm trying to balance my posts & share more in-depth, personal topics here.

Interested in learning more about the yamas and niyamas? You can find a full list of all of them right here. So hey, are you interested in hearing more about yogic philosphy? What kind of yoga-related posts would you like to see here?


  1. That sounds like a cool job! I've always wondered what it was like to work at a thrift store. I'm sure you'll have your fair share of fun/bad times like any job. And good news, minimum just went up? To me, a job is a job! I hope this one works well for you.

    1. What can I say, I'm crazy about secondhand clothes apparently lol Thanks for the well wishing :) I think it'll work out nicely, too!