Attachments

I’ve been reflecting a lot on attachments lately. It is interesting how you grow attached to the things and ideas that shape your reality. Of course, much of this is unconscious and rarely reflected upon. Yoga teaches us something about attachment. 

Attachments come in many forms. In a consumer society, there are many options to become attached to. These things become reference points about who and what you are.

So what's the issue with attachments?

Loren, when you get attached to things you are at the mercy of wanting more of them or being in the comfort of them. When you are deprived of them you are troubled. This constant pulling in the direction of your wants or desires is a distraction from your peace of mind. It prevents you from being content.

Attachment to ideas and beliefs is potent. When the ideas that form your worldview are ignored or challenged, you get rattled. Mental agitation creates roaming tendencies, distractions and lack of contentment.

Awareness is the first step

Your yoga practice can help you become more aware of your attachments, Loren. When those bonds have broken a sense of freedom prevails. This is the bigger work of yoga in my view.

The last year has forced many of you to make changes. Some of these required you to let go of attachments. For me, the loss of my yoga space after 10 years was a big change. I realized I was attached to that space and the identity that went with it. I was able to let go of the attachment and see the loss as an opportunity to step into the next stage of my life.

Embracing change

If there is one constant thing in this life Loren, it is change. Yoga teaches you to embrace change, to recognize that you are part of the ever-changing world.

Change can be painful. Not in the physical sense hopefully, but on the psychic level. When you hold tight to your attachments, you can’t easily transition to the next thing. Holding on creates suffering.

For me, letting go of the yoga studio owner's identity and stepping into the unknown of virtual yoga is creating new opportunities and challenges. I’m choosing to embrace it all and have faith in the journey.

What are your attachments?

Consider what attachments may be holding you back.

Consider the following choices you make and your attachment to them:

  • The part of town you live in.
  • The type of car you drive or if you choose not to drive.
  • The style of clothes you wear.
  • How you cut your hair.
  • The foods you eat.
  • The drinks you drink.
  • How and where you socialize.
  • Your preferred exercise.
  • The type of yoga you do.

There are other attachments, much more subtle in nature, that form your identity:

  • How you identify gender-wise.
  • Your sexual orientation.
  • The politics you adhere to.
  • Your spiritual beliefs.

These are examples of attachments. Your attachments act to define you to yourself and to others.

Yoga teaches that you are not your clothes, haircuts, body, thoughts, feelings, titles, bank balance, relationship status, etc. You are more than all of these.

The Yoga Sutra teaches about the mind. It identifies five kleshas, or obstacles, that prevent you from realizing an inherent peaceful flow of the mind. Ragas, or attachment, is one of the kleshas.

You can practice non-attachment and build your capacity to let go. You will benefit in untold ways. 

You may want to spend some time in contemplation asking yourself what you are attached to. It’s never a bad thing to build your self-awareness. 

Plus, when you let go of an attachment you are creating space for something new to show up in your life. You are open to possibilities. You are trusting in the universe. 

Want to explore your attachments and how yoga practice can bring some clarity? Consider booking your free 30-minute consultation with me. 

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