attachment and aversionBy: Virginia Iversen, M.Ed

Feelings of attachment and aversion are quite natural for all of us, whether we are Yoga teachers or practitioners. We may find that we like a certain atmosphere in which to practice or teach. We also may find that we are strongly attached to teaching a certain type or level of Yoga class. Revered texts, such as the Upanishads and Pantanjali’s Yoga Sutras, recommend that the mind be reigned in and not allowed to luxuriate in feelings of attachment and aversion. If we continually engage in these fluctuating states of mind, our inner peace, energy and focus will be compromised.

When you teach a Yoga class, you may find that you feel an aversion to some of your students, the level of class you are instructing or the venue in which you are teaching. Take the example of a class you have been hired to teach at a local senior center. Perhaps some of these students cannot even stand for much of the class and elect to participate from a chair. If so, do you feel that these students are not really “doing Yoga?” Or that your class lacks a certain spiritual energy because of the drab atmosphere of the room?

These thoughts are clear indications that attachment and aversion are at play. Instead of engaging in negative and draining thoughts when you are teaching a Yoga class, switching your internal emphasis to one of service and gratitude will help to eradicate feelings of aversion. According to Buddhist teachings, employing compassion and loving kindness towards yourself, your students and the situation in which you find yourself teaching Yoga will facilitate a sense of open-heartedness, ease and gratitude.

An emphasis on service and gratitude will also help to put into perspective your attachment to the optimal physical atmosphere of the room and your preferred level of aptitude of your students. By shifting your emphasis to one of service and gratitude, your heart will soften and you will be able to focus on truly creating an uplifting and healing Yoga experience for all of your students. You will also set a wonderful example for your students to follow.

© Copyright – Virginia Iversen / Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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