Practicing Non-Attachment in Yoga
You’ve finally made a commitment to your yoga practice. You found a studio in which you feel comfortable, an instructor who really speaks to you and a mat with the perfect stickiness. You have structured your entire weekday schedule to accommodate your three favourite classes. Congratulations, now let it all go.
The Buddhist aspiration of non-attachment is woven into yogic philosophy but can seem to be at odds with adhering to a regular, structured practice. The idea of practicing non-attachment is getting comfortable with uncertainty and continuous momentum since to live is to continuously exist in a state of change.
But attachment can sneak up on us and our fear-driven Type A personalities – I’m going to practice non-attachment during my Wednesday evening yoga class. I better program a reminder into my iPhone.
Attachment to any routine or sequence to the extent that it brings us a sense of security is undesirable because that security is false. We feel confident that everything will be OK as long as we continue to meet our weekly health and wellness goals. But this leaves our confidence susceptible to being shattered if a class is cancelled or we get stuck in traffic en route to that Wednesday class.
To truly practice non-attachment, you sometimes must sneak up on yourself. On a day during which everything is adhering perfectly to your schedule, back away from the day timer and say out loud: Change. Then for the rest of the day, do everything you can to fly by the seat of your pants in order to practice getting comfortable with the uncertainty of an ever-changing environment.
You might skip your yoga class altogether and instead get some exercise by dropping in to a badminton game. Then you might stray from your diet plan by opting for sushi takeout (sans Calorie Counter).
Creating adversity for ourselves is great practice for learning to adjust our mindsets to the ebbs and flows of the universe. You’ll find that by practicing this non-attachment on your terms, you will be better prepared to react with equanimity when circumstances change outside of your control.