Today in class, the instructor talked about attachment and letting go. Kind of like surrender. We are all attached to many things, people and ideas – sometimes without realizing how much we are indeed clinging to these items. So, I got to thinking about “non-attachment” – that ideal where releasing the desire for things is also releasing suffering and attaining some higher awareness. My thoughts and most likely my beliefs around this are a mishmash of what I have heard and read mainly in pop culture and some wanderings into living simply along with my yoga practice. Although sometimes non-attachment can be portrayed as detached coldness, I don’t believe in that version.
Now, I am curious. What is this “non-attachment” and really what does it mean for me? Using the great tool of our time, I ‘google’ it and find interesting sites to explore. The idea is present in many faiths. When talking yoga & non-attachment, the principle is present in the Yoga Sutras (apparently, according to several websites). I like this description on swamij.com:
“Non-Attachment or Vairagya is the mental stance of freedom from the colorings of attractions, aversion, fears and false identities that are clouding the true Self. Non-Attachment is one of the two foundation practices of Yoga, along with Abhyasa, which is the practice of doing those actions that lead to a stable state of tranquility. The simplest way of describing Non-Attachment is as the process of letting go. We gradually learn to let go of our attachments and aversions, systematically moving subtler and subtler through the layers of attachments in the mind.”
On another page of the site, the idea seems to be to balance Abhyasa (never give up) with Vairagya (always let go). It seems to me this is the balance I am striving to achieve when I step on my mat.