How Attachment Causes Pain & Suffering

Bali Yoga

I decided to write this blog because this theme of attachment and the inability to let go is a recurring theme in my life.

Lately I’ve been feeling pretty BLAH. I have felt stuck and paralyzed when it comes to working towards certain things that I want to bring into my life - which is rare for me.

I was struggling to figure out what exactly was causing these feelings, but finally I had my AHAH moment - ATTACHMENT.

“Letting go” has never been my strong suit. Especially in my early 20’s when my life was. let’s just say, chaotic. So, this is topic is one that I have explored deeply in the past, but then I guess I kinda forgot. I got too comfortable, and now it is resurfacing in my life. I am certain that I am not the only one and I have a feeling that many of us, especially those fellow type-A’s out there, are going through the same struggles.

In a world where having “things” and control gives you status, power, and president over others, we are conditioned to believe that attachment is not only natural, but in a way, essential. This attachment, though, is extremely detrimental to our wellbeing and to the growth of our soul.

In yoga, non-attachment refers to Aparigraha, the 5th of the Yamas, which is the first limb of the 8-fold path of Yoga.

Practicing Aparigraha includes non-attachment to situations, goals, other people, things, and outcomes. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says Let your concern be with action alone, and never with the fruits of action. Do not let the results of action be your motive, and do not be attached to inaction”Aparigraha teaches us to let go of control and the outcome and rather, enjoy the journey.

When it comes to manifestation, this principle is key for bringing the things that you want into your life. If you go through all of the steps of manifestation - visualization, feeling, and putting your hopes and dreams out into the Universe - and then hold on as tight as you can. Chances are that it won’t be able to come to fruition, because your super tight hold on the situation while stifle the flow and creativity that the Universe brings forth to help you manifest. There will be no breathing room for the unexpected to come in and help you on your journey. Also, on the flip side, not everything that we want is meant for us. Often, we don’t even know what is best for us in order to live out our soul’s purpose. When we hold on tightly to something that won’t actually serve us, it causes unnecessary pain and suffering.

Here is a simple practice that I like to use for when I realize that I need to release attachment to something, someone, or an outcome.

Close your eyes and call to mind whatever it is that you need to let go of. Again this can be an outcome, a person, a material thing, etc.

Visualize it. Thank it for what it has brought into your life and taught you.

Then, take a big full breath in and a loud open mouth exhale.

As you exhale, feel the release of attachment go out with your breathe.

Repeat that 3-5x.

Sit in silence for few minutes and notice the freedom in your body, mind, and spirit.