Friday Ashtanga Yoga Discussion: “Do your best and let it go”

Tim Miller on YS 1.12 and 1.14, extract from his blog:

“…When Patanjali suggests that we practice without attachment to the outcome, he’s not suggesting that we take a blasé approach. Rather, he is reminding us that no matter how hard we try to make something happen, some things are just beyond our control. In essence what he is saying is, “Do your best and let it go.” The important thing is to be persevering in our practice and to do it with sincerity and devotion—and nonattachment. Gradually this approach will cultivate peace of mind. It is a difficult thing to harmonize practice and nonattachment. Human nature is such that when we practice something, we want to get better at it. We practice the piano because one day we want to play Carnegie Hall. Likewise, we practice yoga because we want our asanas to be perfect. Well, I’ve got some news for you—your asanas will never be perfect and neither will your life. Ultimately, yoga practice is not about getting better, it’s about bringing forth the best that is already within us. The same can be said of life. We would like our lives to be better—more successful and fulfilling, less stressful and exhausting, more balanced and joyful, etc. Yet, life will continue to be what it is—extremely challenging and complex. One of the things we need to let go of is the need to be perfect….”

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