April Theme: Practice & Non Attachment

  • April Theme: Practice & Non Attachment

    Practice and Non-Attachment

    Abhyasa : effort, willpower, practice

    Vairagya : letting go, acceptance, detachment

    The question arises of how do we arrive at a state of yoga and what should we do and not do?

    The practice of Yoga, in essence, is to learn to control and to quiet the mind’s continual “chit-chat.” And it’s in the silence between two thoughts that our hearts can open up and experience an intimacy with the source of our Being and the source of life.

    So, how can we find this balance between effort and letting go in our Yoga practice?

    Patanjali states in sutras 1.12-1.16:

    ABHYASA VAIRAGYABHYAM TANNIRODHAH

    These mental modifications are restrained by practice and non-attachment

    TATRA STHITAU YATNO’BHYASAH

    Of these two effort toward steadiness of mind is practice (effort must be continuous..)

    SA TU DIRGHA KALA NAIRANTARYA SATKA RASEVITO DRDHAHUMIH

    Practice becomes firmly grounded when well attended to for a long time, without break and in all earnestness

     

    According to Desikachar,  “ This sutra emphasizes the need to approach practice soberly with a positive, self-disciplined attitude and with a long term view toward eventual success.”

    DRSTANUSRAVIKA VISAYA VITRSNASYA VASIKARA SAMJNA VAIRGYAM

    At the highest level there is an absence of any cravings, either for the fulfillment of the senses or for extra ordinary experiences 

    As we develop our practice along the correct lines, we find that our ability to discipline ourselves and reject intrusive influences grows (Desikachar)

    TAT PARAM PURSA KHYATER GUNAVAITRSNYAM 

    When the individual has achieved complete understanding of his true self, he will no longer be disturbed by the distracting influences within and around him.

     

    In the end this higher form of detachment develops from self understanding.   The mind becomes detached from its personal desires.   The desires are not suppressed.  One is just no longer disturbed by them.  In Yoga it’s not what you do, but how you do it that is the power of the practice. Quality is more important that quantity.  So we cultivate in yoga enthusiasm,  continual effort, and then letting go to what is.

     

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