Abhyasa (practice) and Vairagya (non-attachment) are two terms I use a lot with my students in my yoga studio in Ormond Beach, and also apply to myself every day. I truly believe that if we want to see a change in our lives we must dedicate ourselves to that change. What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while! So if you want to see change, you must PRACTICE every day, and let go of the “attachment” to the outcome because sometimes things don’t work out the way we “think” it should…..yet things always work out the way it is “supposed” to. If you have a habit, or a behavior, like an addiction, then the only way to achieve freedom from the hold it has on you is to practice a different thought pattern or behavior every day, until one day, there is a shift and we begin to see things differently, and then one day we “see the light” and have that “AH HA!” moment.
I have said it many times but I keep understanding the complexities of my own words in ways I could have never imagined. When we get out of the way of our agenda, of any clinging onto results, the magic can act through us in higher ways than we could ever imagine. So Abhyasa and Vairagya – is giving our best efforts with full heart and devotion – and surrendering the results, allowing the divine to act through.
This idea applies to us physically, mentally and spiritually. If you come to yoga to become more flexible, then you must do your practice often to see results. You cannot come to class once a week and expect to be able to touch your toes after 2 months- it can take years to be able to touch your toes….and maybe it never even happens… even with a daily practice! That’s Vairagya…..letting go of the attachment that you “should” be able to touch your toes. Apply this same principle to your relationships with others or to yourself and see what happens. Practice a different behavior, let go of the outcome, and you will be surprised by the results!