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 completed his 500 hour Advanced Pranakriya Yoga training and currently serves as the Executive Director of YogaBasics.com.
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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
Without intention, all these postures, these breathing practices, meditations, and the like can become little more than ineffectual gestures. When animated by intention, however, the simplest movement, the briefest meditation, and the contents of one breath cycle are made potent.
- Donna Farhi