Nirodhaḥ Yoga Blog
Independence can be a hard trait to get “right”. On the one hand, we want to make our own decisions and live according to our own standards.
But on the other hand, the compass we live by and the decisions we make affect everyone around us. Moreover, since we are on this earth with its plethora of pleasures, aren’t we meant to enjoy it?
As always, yoga offers a middle way. Our goal is to become a part of the world but free from suffering as things change around us. To enjoy things without trying to possess them.
In yoga, liberating oneself from suffering is true independence. This is called Kaivalya. Sutra 3.51 reminds us that even attachment to the benefits of our practice can bind us.
Have you ever left a yoga class disappointed you couldn’t hold a pose like last time, or that your mind was wandering more than usual?
Well, that is normal! Every day is different. But if we are attached to obtaining something from our practice, we will never be truly independent of suffering.
However, we can learn to live without grasping onto particular feelings, people, or things. We can learn instead to feel content with our experience in all its varied expressions.
When we do this, the very seed of our bondage is destroyed and we find Kaivalya. We are independent.
This doesn’t mean the benefits of our practice are harmful though. In his commentary on Sutra 3.51, Swami Satchidananda says that the benefits of your practice “are beautiful; they are good… when they come to you. When you run after them they are bad. That’s all the difference.”
When we let go of attachments, we are not worrying about whether we will get or lose something; feel a certain way or see someone again. We are just enjoying the moment. Enjoying our life.
When you think of it, is it even possible to really enjoy life while being in a state of attachment? The practice of non-attachment leads to truly enjoying the circumstances of our lives.
Because, let’s face it, life fluctuates for all of us. It always will.
May you live your life in a state of Kaivalya. May you live independent of the shifting of life. May you recognize your true nature, which is peace.
Just some thoughts about yoga as I go...
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