So there's a lot of talk about non-attachment in yoga but I thought I'd write a little bit about that because non-attachment does not mean you shouldn't have a challenge or a pose that you're working on in your yoga practice.
Yoga tries to teach us that we are perfect as we are. No matter what your downward dog looks like or how small your hanumanasana (splits) are, you are already there. There's no need to berate yourself or feel like you are not good enough. You're already good enough. Your yoga asana practice is as good as the person on the mat next to you whether you think your pose does or does not look as easeful, elegant, strong, aligned, whatever. It is.
As well as remembering that you're already there, it's also good to practice non-attachment to how a pose makes you feel. If your pigeon makes you want to cry with pain and your handstand is terrifying or your crane pose is amazing, it doesn't matter. If we get too caught up with how a pose makes us feel then we will only be disappointed or elated - on a rollercoaster ride up and down through our asana practice and our lives on the yoga mat. So we practice observing how our mind reacts to a pose with the idea that the outcome does not matter.
But that does not mean that we can't continue to challenge ourselves in our practice. We practice yoga to focus the mind on what the body is doing. To unite, body, breath and mind and to give ourselves time and opportunity to delve deeper into what is going on beyond the things we get caught up in, in our daily lives. To do that we need to work to our edge.
So we need a challenge - something to work on - without attaching any idea that achieving this pose will make us a better yogi, or worse, a better person.
For me, this year, it is pincha mayurasana (forearm balance). It's a constant battle - I want to get better at the pose but as soon as I place too much importance on it, I regress, injure myself or fall over. The less I "care", the better the pose. And it is coming along strong.
Here it is just 3 months ago.
And today. Still up against a wall, but not using the wall. I just can't breathe yet.
I'm only human so I do allow myself a little celebration afterwards :)
What are you working on?