Why Letting Go is So Important in Yoga

The concept of non-attachment is an important part of the practice of yoga.  To "let go" of something in our lives that no longer serve us or that we no longer need leaves us space for something else to arrive or enter.  Turn towards something deeper and more meaningful, something that is more positive, wholesome, and healthier.

Let go of greed and practice generosity. Let go of judgmental attitudes and replace them with open-mindedness and acceptance.  Release anger and invite love, tolerance, compassion and peace into your life. Let go of jealously and celebrate the good fortune of others. Let go control and meet life on its own terms, embracing it as it as it comes to you. Relax your "squeeze" on life and let it unfold. Be mindful that your positive and open attitude can carry you through whatever life brings to you.  There is learning in all experiences in life, if you look for it.

Actively practice letting go. Practice open hands, open arms, open heart, open eyes, open mind.


Yogas chitta vritti nirodh

Yogas chitta vritti nirodh: Yoga is the neutralization of the waves of thought and/or feeling.

I am always attracted to imagery that includes water, waves, and streams.  I have been drawn to the energy of the ocean since I was a child growing up in the South.  I feel it.  I understand it. I exchange energy with the gentle in-breath and out-breath of the universe that comes through the movement of the water in the ocean. This is why I enjoy this translation of one of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, shared by Swami Kriyananda and paraphrased by me.

Chitta is often translated as thought or feeling, "mind-stuff", "consciousness", "sub-consciousness", or the "lower mind".

Paramhansa Yogananda expresses that the waves in the mind which produce delusion and bondage are primarily the likes and dislikes, the biased feelings of the heart.  Vritti can be translated as vortices or whirlpools~ whirling eddies that interfere with life's smoothly flowing stream, sucking into a purely private orbit whatever one likes, making one so preoccupied with egoistic selections and rejections that s/he is not longer consciously part of the stream or flow of universal energy.

What ceases when practicing yoga are waves, or eddies, of selfish likes and dislikes of attachment.  Here we enter into the sacred life-stream of Pranava, or AUM, and merge consciously into the silent, infinite ocean of Spirit. 

Yoga is the neutralization of ego-directed feelings, because once these become stilled or quiet (think the stillness and glassy surface of a mountain lake), the practitioner realizes that s/he is (and has always been) one with the Infinite and that his or her awareness of this reality was limited by his or her own infatuation with thoughts/limitation.

This is a goal of all paths of yoga, to quiet or still the activity of the mind, so that we may experience divine calmness and connection with the Infinite.