Yoga with Mirella Nicholson

Yoga with Mirella Nicholson

Monday, April 19, 2010

Non-attachment - harder than you think

Vairagya/Non-attachment is fundamental in living a yogic life style. Whenever I hear talk of Vairagya/non-attachment I think, "Oh, I got this" This is one principal that I feel like I've (dare I say?) mastered. After all, I have 3 kids and a dog. What better way to learn non-attachment? Every thing I own will inevitable be lost, broken, or chewed so I no longer feel attached to stuff. (not even my blinds)

But wait, you want me to practice non-attachment to the fruits of my labor? Okay, I admit that's a little more challenging but I'm still feeling confident that I can handle that too. I don't have an aversion to selfless service, I'm a mom!

Non-attachment to my emotions? Oh no! Maybe this lesson is harder than I thought. Some of us tend to identify with our emotions. When we feel angry, we say "I am angry". When we feel sad, we say "I am sad". This isn't really true is it? We are not our emotions. We know this because our emotions are always changing therefore, we cannot be our emotions so there is no use getting attached to them. In 5 minutes we'll be experiencing  a totally different emotion!

Non-attachment to people? Now you've lost me. I don't understand how Vairagya applies to our loved ones. I understand that there will be people who, for whatever reason, will eventually leave our lives but I don't know how  not to get attached to people. 

Maybe it's a co-worker of 14yrs who quit, the best friend since the 8th grade who no longer has time for you, your daughter who is spreading her wings and no longer needs you or a loved one who passes away.

How does yoga apply in these situations? Well, what comes to mind for me here are two things. First, staying present, in the moment, so that we can appreciate and enjoy the time we have with the people we love. The second is acceptance. Accepting others as they are without wanting them to be any different and accepting that even though we don't understand the reason why there comes a time when those we love may no longer be in our lives. At least not in the same way.  Maybe I haven't mastered Vairagya.  Maybe this requires more enquiry.  For now, I won't get attached to this "mental stuff" either.  I'll just practice staying in the moment and practice acceptance and let the rest take care of itself.

Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra:

Om Tryam Bakam Yajamahe
Sugandhim Pushti Vardhanam
Urva Rukamiva Bandhanan
Mrityor Mukshiya Mamritat Swaha 

"We bow to thee - who is full of sweet fragrance, who nourishes human beings.  May he free me from the bondage of births and deaths, just as the ripe cucumber is separated from the vine, and may I be fixed in immortality"   


  1. Mirella, you are always trying to stay in the moment but how can we get anywhere if we never consider the future. I don't understand about staying in the moment. I have read a lot about reincarnation which goes along with Yoga and Buddhism and in that concept we are here in physical form in order to learn lessons and realize that material things are not what we really want. The people we encounter in our lives are there for a help on our journey, whether it is for a very short time or for years. I don't mean to get into a lot about reincarnation but it sure answers a lot of questions for me.

  2. I'm not suggesting that we don't consider future. Just that we don't spend all our time there and miss what's happening right in front of us. I think about our kids who don't know how to have fun without some organized play date. We would knock on doors until someone came out to play. Then we would make up games, we used are imagination. We've lost that somehow. Our lives are so planned and scheduled that there isn't time for spontaneous fun. That's what living in the moment means to me. Taking the time to notice and appreciate life as it unfolds in front of us and not worry about things that may never happen. Live consciously in each moment because that's all we really have.