How Non-Attachment improved (and became) my Yoga Practice

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As many of you know, I am leaving for India in only 3 days and won’t be back until just before Christmas. Whilst I have been super excited to travel I have discovered in the last 2 weeks, through preparing for my travels that I am suffering from some severe cases of attachment! Attachment to my practice, attachment to my classes and mostly, a huge attachment to Yoga Village.

According to the Yoga Sutras, Practice (abhyasa) and non-attachment (vairagya) are the two core principles on which the entire system of Yoga rests. But what happens when we grow so attached to our practice that we can’t step away from it?

Over the last couple of weeks I have had some niggles in my knees; there wasn’t a particular pose or fall that set it off; dealing with the stress of leaving my baby (Yoga Village) for the first time since she was born had begun to present itself to me through physical injury.  It was then that I started to see the huge attachment that I have to the practice of yoga asana and therefore stepping back from my practice in order to allow my knees to rest has been an interesting process for me to go through.

I had already tried to hold back in poses that aggravated the problem further and it helped a little but I could see that two days off the mat was what was needed to complete the recovery. There was one major problem though; the concept of not practicing brought up all sorts of fears and questions for me. My thought trail went something like this ‘what if my practice goes downhill?’, ‘what if this means I won’t be as strong when I get to India?’, ‘Will my teacher think I am not committed?’ One of my friends, Kylie, bore the brunt of this mild yoga separation and told me, simply put that I had to just 'let it go'. It was then that I realised that for me, in this instance the mere act of stepping away from the mat in order to be mindful of what my body needed was to be my practice for a few days. Trusting in the universe and stepping away was incredible difficult but in actual fact it was exactly what I needed. I was surprised to find that this practice was just as much physical as it was mental, as my body longed to stretch, twist and tangle itself in to knots, my mind had to disciplinary. And it worked, within 2 days my pain had reduced so significantly that along with a modified practice it completely healed within the week. When I first stepped back on the mat it was difficult and I didn’t feel as strong,, after a few days my practice was back to normal and all was forgotten!

This became most significant when I began to apply the idea of letting go to some other areas in my life. Stepping away from my email was a big one. I had intended to be doing lots of email checking and running the business remotely whilst in India, even though Jess and some of the other teachers had offered to help out. I knew they were more than capable of keeping it going and the problem most certainly wasn't them; it was me. One by one I started to let go of things and therefore created the space in my life to be completely ready and relaxed when I arrive in India and it feels truly liberating!

What do you need to let go of?

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