Monday, July 25, 2011


Sometimes things fall apart.  Life seems to come undone without any warning and all you can do is brace yourself for the ride.   In my life it seems that things want to come unglued all at the same time.  Yoga teacher training is something that I've wanted to do for years.  It finally happened and I am on this yogic journey that I've wanted for so long.  Over the holiday weekend, without warning there was a shake up and our guiding yoga teacher is no longer with us.  We have two new teachers who will be team teaching us through the rest of the program.  This is the point where I start to think about the lessons learned in the Bhagavad Gita and The Yoga Sutras.  The key thing here is Non-Attachment.  Losing my guiding yoga teacher felt like a breakup with no closure.  I felt very connected to my teacher.  I enjoyed her teaching style, the way she made us stay focused on what we are learning at the moment and not get sidetracked.  I appreciated how well she seemed to know us, what we were capable of and how she pushed us just to that edge.  I liked our study of philosophy together and how her own personal experience would be interwoven into the class in a way that helped us to get in touch with our own experiences so that we could see that Yoga is a living breathing practice something that we truly carried off the mat with us.  And I truly appreciated personal words of wisdom. So this break up of sorts has me looking at attachments in my life.  Are there healthy and unhealthy attachments?

A more indepth exposition on non-attachment


  1. That happened to me with an instructor, i was too done, and so overwhelmed when he got a new job and left us early in the semester, the new teacher was different and didn't make sense to me, but in time i got used to her, and it worked out well. Got a B out the class. It will pass, and YES for certain there are healthy and unhealthy attachments. Isn't drug addiction our first look at unhealthy attachments? Anything that produces bad feelings or bad incidents, bad karma, is NOT healthy. Great Post, will be back for more!

  2. Really odd how this happens for me, not gonna question it though.

    I think there are healthy and unhealthy attachments to things not people. Not sure I have ever viewed a person as an attachment? People are not objects. If I like/love you and miss you when you are not around it's you as the person and the connection that we share. I don't question that maybe I have an unhealthy attachment to you and miss you when you are not around as if you were a lost piece of jewelry. On the other hand if we are the best of friends. Inseparable. I would not view you as a "healthy attachment" again equating you the person as a thing as if you were my favorite pair of shoes. Viewing people as attachments (good or bad) equates to viewing them as objects which is a category I personally do not believe people belong. I can see where it would be easier to view what I call connections (people attached to you with feelings) as attachments (people as non feeling objects)and talk about them as such because it takes the emotion out of it all. If I feel too much instead of dealing with that emotion and all that comes with it, lets just reduce you down to being an unhealthy attachment (an object not a person) and dismiss you and the feeling as such. I never hear people talk about their good friends/loves as healthy attachments. They talk about these people as "individuals" and the value they bring. How much they like/love them etc etc. I've never heard anyone speak about them as healthy attachments as if the people are objects. But when we want to not feel or dismiss true feelings about someone we really miss or love we question it and chalk it all up to maybe being an unhealthy attachment. Dismissing the person now as a thing to be questioned now instead of speaking to it as a real person. Really odd. Do I believe in healthy/unhealthy attachments? Yes, but to objects that you can pack away in boxes not to human beings.

  3. Attachments do not have to apply to objects alone. That is why we have the term co-dependent which refers to people who have unhealthy attachments to others. Like someone who has an attachment to a verbally abusive boy friend is called co-dependent. Or someone who constantly helps a drug addict relative with money, knowing they're going to spend it on drugs. They should certainly let that person go, but the attachment keeps them tied to a relationship that is not serving them in a positive manner. There are lots of emotions in attachment to other people there is no diminution emotions with the mere use of the word attachment. I find that it gives a better more visceral definition than the word co-dependent. In my mind we are all dependent upon one another but attachment shows a kind of grasping, yearning, or wishing for something that is beyond your grasp. That is where suffering comes in. Maybe it's semantics, but when I say attachment I can see an octopus with all those legs and suckers reaching and grasping or even holding on for dear life..... I digress

  4. Hmmm ok. Guess my use of the term is a bit different. The unhealthy part and co-dependency that you are referring sound really negative. When I read your original post I think I was coming from you maybe thinking you had an unhealthy attachment to your instructor because she was no longer there and you missed her etc etc. My thoughts were not that of you having an unhealthy attachment but that you respected her as a teacher, friend or whatever and you missed her presence. My thoughts were that you maybe thought your attachment was unhealthy because you missed her so much and she was just a teacher?? I suppose I may have read too much into the post? That's the problem with written words. It's up to the readers interpretation which is not always the writers intent.

    The other parts you posted and the other comment above mine I get. People do become co-dependent on others but to me it's not so much the person as it is for what the person can provide. They are depending on you and have become attached to you providing the money for drugs or what have you. They are not necessarily attached to you as the person as much as your money. You just happen to come with the money. If you disappeared and just kept sending the checks they could care less about you. Not sure a woman in an abusive relationship is co-dependant or in love with her abusive husband? Just because a person is willing to stick it out in situations others would run from does not make it an self esteem situation. When you truly love unconditionally its much bigger than most can comprehend thus our immediate thoughts are that it must certainly be something else.

    But yes, based on where you are coming from in your post and your definitions I do get that in various situations there are certainly unhealthy, co-dependency and all the other examples along these lines the comments suggest.

  5. It doesn't have to be as extreme as the things that I listed, but lets say there's a minster at a church and he's been there for years, he's very inspirational and he gets called to serve in another city and must move from that state and that church. The members are so attached to the minister, his style and what they get that many leave the church all together. Is this not also an unhealthy attachment?

    I don't think my attachment to my teacher goes to the extreme, but I think I was just pointing out that attachment causes suffering! I really appreciate your responses.

    I think that a woman in an abusive relationship may stay for a myriad of reasons, but there is no way that that can be a healthy relationship.

  6. I think we surround ourselves with people be it friends, ministers, family etc that feed us in some way. If the minister left its not so much that the congregation had an unhealthy attachment it may just be that he/she feed them and they need time to find the next minister that will do the same. The fact that they leave to figure it out and don't stay and take the next minister in line does not necessarily speak to me that the group that left had unhealthy attachments. I'm not sure any of us are equipped to judge why people do certain things. I guess I am getting stuck on the attachment word. Guess I have never felt "attached" to a person. For some reason that word feels dirty. Like you are being forced against your will. I have had circumstances make situations not the most ideal and by your definition would probably be deemed unhealthy but the situation is that not the relationship I had with the person. Did I feel an unhealthy attachment to the person, no I did not. I fell in love with them. (funny I think I just wrote something crossing over into these lines)So again I think I am back to my original thought. I do not look at people as unhealthy attachments to be dismissed as such. I look at situations as that which can and often times do change. Does living through a situation (married couple) deem them unhealthy attachments to one another because they are living an unhealthy situation? Does the love they have for one another, which is probably more of the reason they remain together, get tossed out of the window by those of us that would rather reduce their love down to unhealthy attachments like they are diseased.

    No abuse of any sort is not healthy for either party. But you can get help with that. If people choose to stay and work through the whatever is that an unhealthy attachment or unconditional love? Sorry, I think at this point this is turning into personal commentary for me. I have a hard time dimissing people and lumping them under a category of unhealthy attachments because they make choices to stand by and love unconditionally. People can not always help the things that are wrong with them or control every aspect of everything going on in their lives at any particular moment. We all come with shit. That's where the unconditional love kicks in for some and the lable "unhealthy attachments" kicks in for others I suppose.

    Sorry, I've probably turned this post into something else.

  7. Maybe I am coming from a space of understanding my own attachments. I am getting used to the fact that I have two new yoga instructors leading us and there's nothing I can do about it. I like them. I generally like all people so that's not a stretch, but I am searching my mind for how to not remain attached to teaching styles and teachers. There was a certain firmness, and knowingness that I could well depend on with my former teacher. Our classes stayed right on course. We had morning and afternoon practices, with her leading and guiding and correcting us in postures. And the inversions....Oh how I loved the inversions. I loved being shown how to do a proper head stand so that my head is bearing the weight, my legs are engaged, and my shoulders are away from my ears. There's nothing like letting gravity work for you in traction. My former teacher was very competent and had a great grasp on anatomy. I think I'm grasping here. Even as I try to not be attached.