The ancient yogis understood that desire (kama) was a legitimate goal and an essential part of a balanced life. But they also saw that excess desire created impurities in the mind and produced unnecessary suffering in one’s life. The yogis’ technique for reducing desire was cultivating detachment (vairagya) through the conscious severing of our attachments to the objects of this world. Vairagya applies both to our likes and dislikes, with the ideal goal of seeing both sweet and bitter fruits of life as the same. The practice of detachment needs to be balanced with Abhyasa (Effort), and must never be an excuse to abandon one’s worldly duties and obligations.
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Timothy Burgin is a Kripalu & Pranakriya trained yoga instructor living and teaching in Asheville, NC. Timothy has studied and taught many styles of yoga and has completed a 500-hour Advanced Pranakriya Yoga training. Timothy has been serving as the Executive Director of YogaBasics.com since 2000. He has authored two yoga books and has written over 500 articles on the practice and philosophy of yoga. Timothy is also the creator of Japa Mala Beads and has been designing and importing mala beads since 2004.
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New to Yoga?
To get the most out of our site, we suggest you take some time to explore before jumping into the practice. Browse our yoga 101 section for general info on the history and types of yoga, then start exploring asanas the physical postures used in hatha yoga. Remember to breathe and always start your yoga practice with a brief meditation. If you are new to yoga, please read our Yoga for Beginner's page
Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers, but to be fearless in facing them. Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain, but for the heart to conquer it. Let me not crave in anxious fear to be saved, but hope for the patience to win my freedom.
- Rabindranath Tagore