Vairagya, non-attachment – one of the most difficult aspects of the yogic path. All of us who try to live a yogic life, aligning ourselves with the yoga sutras, eating healthy vegetarian food, practicing regularly, we all know that when it comes to letting go things get complicated. We all love our comfort zone – our house and the things we have in it. It is always frustrating when you lose something either very valuable or very meaningful. We all suffer when our loved ones move to other countries or when life escapes from their bodies. We all hold onto our habits, sometimes to the point where they don’t serve us anymore.
Everyone has their little story about how they started practicing yoga. Whatever the reason was in the first place, the style one practices, or the country one lives in, we all end up looking for our yoga community. Humans are social animals, and yoga is about learning to be a real human. The tendency is always to find a group of people where one feels safe. We like to be with other people, to be seen and heard. And we all like practicing yoga together. It is so powerful when you find yourself in a class full of practitioners and the level of energy is so high. Everyone drawing on each other’s energy, being inspired and exploring the range of possibility. Why else would we have such a rich experience of coming together at the BYC? In my own experience I have been attending vinyasa classes almost daily for more than 6 years, enjoying the group energy, the sense of community, learning from some students and helping others.
However, one day I realized that going to a class every day was almost a default mechanism. I was needing a class every day and I would get so frustrated if for whatever reason I couldn’t make it. At that moment I realized that I was so attached to going to group classes every day, attached to the amazing energy from other students and the teacher’s instructions. That day I understood though that all of that was a means to another level of practice. I had to start letting go of being told what to do and how to do it and really start finding my own yoga practice.
That first time when you are standing on your mat at home and there is no one around, just you and your breath. Your heart beating strongly awaiting for you to start moving, to start flowing. And then you just need to let go, let your body take you through the memories of all those practices you have been a part of. Because your body will remember and will start to process the information and instructions that you have been gathering through the years. Moving freely and at your own pace. You find yourself going deep into the poses you really like and probably skipping the ones that are harder, but recognizing that will only help you getting to know your practice better
I am traveling through Asia and Oceania at the moment, and currently in New Zealand, thousands of miles away from home. Away from Yogaroom Barcelona where I practice regularly and away from the comfort of my cozy living room back home. And being away from the familiarity of my yoga practice for a couple of months made me realize how important my self-practice has become over the years. Traveling can be exhausting and energy consuming, and the frustration of not having your own space is sometimes overwhelming. But one thing I learnt during my journeys is that yoga can and does travel with you. Whether you wake up in a hotel room, or a valley in the mountains, by the beach, or in the lounge of your friend’s house, you can always find a place to lay out your mat every morning.