According to Patanjali’s yoga sutras, yoga is achieved through abhyasa and vairagya. That gets me to thinking. . .
Abhyasa: Determined effort, practice, discipline. Check. After a long time of really struggling to maintain a regular practice in the midst of school, work, travel, relationships, etc, I have finally come to a place where I approach practice as a top priority and I am practicing sincerely six days a week. I’m putting a huge amount of effort into my practice, and I feel good about that.
Vairagya: Non-attachment, renunciation, surrender. Urm. . . Somehow it seems that the more I put into abhyasa, the harder vairagya becomes. I’ve put so much energy into practicing every day and keeping myself motivated to get out of bed and onto the mat, that I find I’ve kind of lost sight of vairagya. Instead, I’ve gotten a little tied up in “improving” my postures and making external progress. As in: I’ve put in all this time, I want something out of it! And that just leads me to being even more stuck. So vairagya is the word of the day for me. Non-attachment, renunciation, surrender.
I happened to find a good article on this topic by Judith Hanson Lasater that I read a while ago, really liked, and kind of forgot about. It was nice to come across it again. I feel like even just refreshing my memory on the concept of abhyasa and vairagya has helped a bit, and tomorrow begins a new week of yoga, so we’ll see where this goes.