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The Yoga Blog

The Trouble with Attachment

As I sit in the open doorway from my kitchen, the end of a downpour just passing, rays of strong sun reaching the kitchen tiles, I have an epiphany – a grand word yes for a thought, (and I smile at the mere suggestion of it), but it is a moment, a thought that might help unlock, or help me to start to understand the feelings I have now. 


Is that what it is? Is that what is keeping me down?

I'm home alone this morning, a rarity. I surround myself with my family and my children; very rarely do I seek to have time away. I don't feel I want to or need to. Today is different. I have covid, Im ok, more a light flu, worst yesterday than today. Today I'm sitting here, crumpet and cup of tea in hand, Kate bush (it was a suggestion from amazon – it's actually ok), playing on the Bluetooth box.

The tugging feeling, I have, the anxiety that I sense is building because today was set to be a family day – and I can't be there. It's our 11th wedding anniversary. We have a day plan of swimming, brunch, shopping and then tickets for a local festival in the nearby village. Some of our friends are going, and my family are coming to enjoy a glass of bubbly to celebrate our anniversary and enjoy an afternoon of free-range children, rainbow tattoos and bouncy castles.

But it's not to be, for me sadly, today anyway.

And that's no big deal. Right? Plans change, and there is so much to be grateful for. I have covid, but I am ok, ok to enjoy a beautiful home, a wagging spaniel, and well, some me time; I talk about having it, moan some days I don't get any. Now it's here, well, I'm sure I know what to do with it.

It's not jealousy of not being able to go; that doesn't fit how I feel. I love my family and want them to have the best time, the feeling doesn't come from that place of wanting what they have, yet I feel something and feel bad for that too – what a circus! I have a thought then about something I learnt in my teacher training. Attachment being the source of all suffering. If we learn not to attach, not to think we own or have the right to things, experiences, or emotions, we might be on a path to a happier place. 

I was introduced to the wisdoms of Patanjali during my teaching training and the idea that we all, at some time, experience both ‘attachment, from holding on, or clinging on to the things that we want, or from ‘aversion’, the pushing away of the things that we don’t want. We preoccupy ourselves with the past and future, holding on, or pushing away, causing us not then to see things how they are, but rather through a lens of attachment or aversion. By working on our attachment and aversion, noticing when this comes up and with awareness we can be in the moment, we can help overcome the problem of the preoccupation of the mind, caused by attachment and aversion, and instead be connected, mindful and aware. It was said on teaching training not to let ‘your mind attach itself to either praise or insult”, and instead to “bring it back under your own influence”, and I see this to mean to have control, not of outcome but of action. 

Thinking about what I am feeling in these terms has made me reach for the laptop to capture this and be conscious of the attachment I have and the impact this has, has had on my emotional mind. 

We can, and I believe we should, hold things dear to us - love and be loved, relishing moments, and giving everything - That's tapas if nothing else.

Suppose we can do this and let be what is, not in a throw caution to the wind kind of way, but instead simply live in the moment, in the present and take the rest as it comes – both letting go, and importantly by letting things in. Recognizing our own attachment and aversions, and our preoccupation with them, so that we can be free of them. 

So for now,  I can enjoy my wagging spaniel, the sun coming through the kitchen, this rarity to be with my thoughts and music, and be grateful for everything that is and everything I have.

Sarah Wraith x

Sarah is a 200hour qualified yoga teacher, having trained with Orange Yoga in Cheltenham. Sarah teaches group and private lessons in the Cam and Dursley area of Gloucestershire. Please email Sarah at  sarah@elmtreeyoga.co.uk  for further information on classes. 

Find my Yoga Alliance Professionals here!

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