A nugget of wisdom: “Don’t attach”

This hurt? Try letting go.

Often, Bikram teachers float little pieces of advice into their dialog, during postures or during savasana. Of course, our retention rate is not necessarily the best when sweating out a small lake, but sometimes a nugget of that advice gets through.

One came recently that suddenly struck me as making a lot of sense. The advice was, when something is difficult or something hurts, don’t attach to it. As in, the problem is there but it’s not really part of you. Once you attach to it, you make it a part of you.

It’s esoteric but I decided to see if it applied. I thought maybe I could use it to get over the final hump of an injury. The pain of a pulled hamstring was stubbornly hanging on and certain postures were going nowhere. It was like running into the same wall every day. And the wall wouldn’t move. So, I tried detaching from it. Before every posture that usually hurt, I tried not to anticipate the pain. I focused on some other detail. I let go of the injury.

It took only a few classes to start seeing progress. It turns out, my brain had been getting in the way. By focusing on what hurt, knowing what was going to hurt all the time, I owned the pain. My mind needed healing more than my hamstring. It was a powerful lesson, one that seems worth trying in getting through lots of issues. Because if it works on a hamstring — the most stubborn character in all of anatomy — it could work on anything.

In class the other day, one of our teachers, Jeanne, said something along the same lines during Camel posture, that pain and fear lie in our resistance — in other words, in our minds. If we learn to let go of the resistance, the pain and fear recede. When we stop trying to protect ourselves, we grow. It is a huge lesson, applicable across our whole life, but Camel posture seems a good place to start.

Is there some way you are holding yourself back? Is there any way for you to detach from something?

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One Response to A nugget of wisdom: “Don’t attach”

  1. Rachel says:

    Speaking of non-attachment… just posted about how it can be awesome to try more than just Bikram sometimes 🙂

    Check it out on my blog!

    rachel @ alive in the fire

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