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The Revolutionary Practice of Letting Go

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Letting go is a theme that comes up time and time again, both in yoga classes and

in life.

Developing the ability to let go of things can make a huge difference to the quality of our lives and its

benefits are (at least) three-fold:

1.Change is the only constant so no matter how much we hope that certain things won’t change-

eventually they will! So practising the ability to let go allows us to gracefully adapt to necessary change.

2. Most of us acquire habits, thought patterns, and behaviours that do not really serve us. Learning to let

go of these traits can dramatically reduce our internal sense of suffering.

3. Even good things can become a burden when we have too much of them in our lives. For example,

our possessions can be a wonderful blessing, but if we have too many of them our homes become

cluttered and disorganised and at a certain point the downsides outweigh the benefits.

Learning to let go of what we don't need enables us to give our time, space and energy to the things that

truly serve us.

In yoga, there is a vast tradition of letting go of worldly concerns.

In fact, there are even categories for spiritual seekers depending on what they wish to let go of such as:

Renunciates / Sannyasins: Those who give up all worldly concerns to focus on the spiritual life. This may

manifest in many different ways but is often characterised by a giving up of material possessions, living a

simple life and renouncing even family concerns and householder duties. It is traditionally a practice

taken up in the later years of one's life, once one has accomplished and fulfilled all worldly commitments.

Bramacharis: Devoted students of Self Realization who may choose to give up sex (or at least sex

practised without a spiritual end-goal) or giving up any other behaviours that can reduce one's vital


Throughout Buddhist and Hindu traditions, there are many great sages who have extolled the virtues of letting go of one’s attachments.

“Whatever is not yours: let go of it. Your letting go of it will be for your long-term happiness and benefit.”

— Buddha

A simple way to begin a practice of letting go (of what no longer serves you) can be to

notice ones attachments as they arise.

If one is able to catch the moment that attachment or tension begins to emerge then one can follow the

practice of taking in a deep breath, observing the attachment forming within; and then exhaling all the

air while consciously choosing to let go of any tension and/or the thought that accompanies it.

Yoga, meditation and mantra practice are traditional ways to let go that can be found within the Eastern traditions of Buddhism and Hinduism.

You may wish to try reciting one of the following mantras:

Om Gum Gunapataye Namaha- Salutations to the remover of obstacles

Om Namah Shivaya- I let go of everything that does not serve my highest good and I bow to the divinity

within me

You could try to recite one or both of them 12 times for a ‘quickie’ practice or 108 times for a deeper

practice- this well help you focus your mind and is said to assist in the process of letting go of something you would like to release:

Finally, you could also try a yoga practice designed specifically to work with this theme:

The revolutionary practise of letting go can serve each of us in a multitude of ways. I hope that you can let go of all that no longer serves you and can move ever towards your highest potential


Sacha :)

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