The yoga journal email in my inbox wishes me “Tidings of Detachment and Joy”. This got me thinking about what detachment actually is?

The sutras recite:

1. Abhyasa/Practice: Abhyasa means having an attitude of persistent effort to attain and maintain a state of stable tranquility (1.13). To become well established, this needs to be done for a long time, without a break (1.14). From this stance the deeper practice continues to unfold, going ever deeper towards the direct experience of the eternal core of our being.
2. Vairagya/Non-attachment: The essential companion is non-attachment (1.15), learning to let go of the many attachments, aversions, fears, and false identities that are clouding the true Self.

One of the biggest attachments I have in my life at the moment is my attachment to my yoga practice. Is this attachment always a good one? Of course, practice and all is coming, but what about those mornings when you feel so tired that you can hardly get out of bed, but drag yourself to practice, is this a good attachment? What about where your attachment to yoga is so strong that it intimidates other people?

Obviously, the message behind the sutras is to avoid attaching to negative thoughts. This got me thinking about the very positive attachments, for example, the attachments we make to our friends and family.

Ending a relationship is never easy, it is about breaking an attachment. Looking back at the last 8 months, I can honestly say that I have tried to keep at arms length from emotional attachment. I don’t really like to admit it, but my past circumstances have left me very cautious. So, looking at things retrospectively, I think I probably tried to minimise my attachment to MrH, on the basis that by not breaking down the barriers, I was in some way protecting myself from being hurt. But maybe if I had let down those barriers a little, and allowed myself to be more open, our lines of communication wouldn’t have broken down and things would be different today. Anyway, I don’t think I have protected myself from any hurt at all. It is no easier to break up with someone and still have a load of unspoken issues on your chest.

One thing he said to me was that he didn’t understand my yoga. I may be wrong about this, but I think he didn’t understand what drove me to get up so early in the morning, every single day and do it. I wonder if he felt that I was shutting him out from something I did, preferring to spend nights at home in my own flat so that I could get up at the crack of dawn and practice. He did say that he felt he should have tried to understand the yoga more. So, is this a negative example of the consequences of a strong attachment to my yoga practice? I wonder how I would have reacted if he had suggested that I stop doing my yoga? Probably not very well. I myself wonder what it is that drives me into striving to do my practice every day, so I am not sure I could have found an answer for him, had he asked me why?

Generally, I feel so much better today. It’s all thanks to my wonderful friends, real and virtual, for making me realise that there are loads of people who care for me, regardless of the walls I put up to protect myself, and the yoga I do in the morning, etc etc. People who made me smile and make me realise really at the end of the day, being cared for by your friends and family is all that really counts.

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