By Karey Krampota, RYT-200, Certified Viniyoga Wellness Instructor
“In Yoga Sutra I.12, Patanjali explains that to achieve a state of yoga, or focused concentration, one must utilize both practice (Abhyasa) and detachment (Vairagyam). Practice and detachment are two of the very first tools Patanjali offers to help in this process of refining the mind toward clearer perception and a deeper connection with your true self.”
For a while now, my thinking pattern was directed by and committed to attachment and with-holding from regular practice. I was attached to my thoughts, feelings, body, mind, relationships, experiences, and surroundings. If you can relate to this pattern, then you may also experience what I did. My thinking pattern was interfering with my practice, my mood, and my ability to be fully aware. Holding on to my thought pattern of attachment and inconsistent practice caused me to be distracted, disconnected, unfulfilled, and untrue to my self.
Practice and detachment work together. Without one, the other does not progress. To break my thinking pattern, I recommitted to practice and to my goal of a more focused, present, and peaceful state of being. My practice is a combination of asanas, breath practice, and chanting.
By combining these, I’m able to quiet my mind and focus my attention, taking me closer to my goals. I also have started to implement the discipline of letting go of the thought patterns and habits that are standing in my way.
How can you begin to learn and experience the benefits of practice and detachment? Here are a few tips I’ve found helpful.
1. Identify attachments. Can you identify attachments that are affecting your mood or ability to be fully aware? This is a good starting point for knowing where to focus when you commit or recommit to your practice.
2. Shift your thinking patterns. This takes time but being aware of your patterns is a good step. Shifting my thinking pattern to practice and detachment has taught me to do things to the best of my ability and to not be attached to the end results of my actions.
3. Move on from holding on. Whenever I have negative thoughts or feelings, I move on instead of holding on to them and allowing them to take hold of my current state of being.
4. Focus on the bigger goal. If something doesn’t go as I anticipate, I continue to move toward my goal without the results altering my true self.
5. Breath. My breath is my connection to my internal quiet space and my external being. It is my source to the stillness and peace within my mind. While breathing with this Sutra 1.12 in mind, I focus on what supports me and let go of what doesn’t. As I inhale, I bring my awareness to anything within that serves my goal, such as patience, strength, courage, clarity, and wisdom. As I exhale, I let go of what no longer serves me or my goal, such as doubt, anxiety, distraction or negative thinking. I try to concentrate on the process and journey of my goal, releasing obstacles or anything else that is no longer serving my soul or goal. After I have completed a good amount of breaths, I begin to return my awareness to my body and my surroundings. Reminding myself that through regular conscious breath practice, my true self is always there, unaltered and unchanged.
Incorporating Sutra 1.12 into my life has reconnected me to my deepest layer, where I can be present, focused and intuitive with my true being. This has been my goal for a long time, slowly keeping this Sutra to heart in order to make steady progress. To remain unaltered and unchanged by my current experience and remain true to who I am.
Karey Krampota, RYT-200, is a recent graduate of the River Flow Yoga Teacher Training School at 5 Koshas Yoga & Wellness. She teaches Toddler Yoga, a chair yoga class and subs for various classes at 5 Koshas Yoga & Wellness. She also works on customer relations, marketing and promotion.