Practicing Detached Awareness


Yoga Stuff Happens

Here is a summer goal for you to think about: As vacations and more family time approach, (or encroach) it might be advisable to practice some Detached Awareness.

What is Detached Awareness?

Detached awareness is the yogic way of becoming more pure in your reactions to others. It’s simple; “always try to take a step back mentally from the dramas in your life. This keeps you still and focused, and stops you from being washed away on the waves of emotion.” (The Pearls of Yoga Wisdom by Liz Lark.)

This goes along with an idea that one of my friends shared with me. I think about it daily; “Don’t let your story become everyone else’s story.” This means, stop the drama! Step back. Breathe. Say a little mantra or prayer that stops the madness, so to speak. See how it feels to delay what absurdly is a feeling of gratification in telling your story of drama to every person you meet. Wait until the time is appropriate with the right person. It’s a conscious exercise that is worth thinking about and trying.

This is an important practice as a yoga teacher. We become friends with our clients and we share stories. This is good for bonding and trust. Being “yourself” as a yoga instructor makes you authentic. Pure honesty can add richness to a class theme or idea. However, there are boundaries and lines that sometimes should not be crossed. Announcing personal issues to your students as a teachable moment may not always be the best idea. For example, saying something like, “My divorce is final! That was a tough few weeks! Shwew! Now let’s do some yoga!” or “I hate all of the politics going on! So much anger! I hope the vote goes the way I want it to so things change around here!” or “My head is killing me today! I think I had one too many glasses of Pinot last night!” (Actually, while I read these, they sound like a Saturday Night Live skit!)

Can you think of a few of your own slip ups in offering TMI with your yoga students? It could be fun and eye opening to share a few stories.

Ironically, you might be asking; is this hypocritical of me to ask you to do this, based on what I am presenting in this article? Perhaps we can learn from a place of trust with each other as yoga teachers. Our intention can be to laugh at, acknowledge and accept our efforts to improve the ongoing practice of Detached Awareness in our yoga classes and ultimately, in our lives.



Image courtesy of Quinn Dombrowski


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