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Finding a balance between Attachment and Aversion

28th Mar 2023 | Author - Antaranga Ray

The human mind is an intricate web of emotions, thoughts, and beliefs. Throughout our life, we all encounter many feelings and ideas. Attachment and Aversion are two of the most recognizable and challenging emotions people experience. Aversion is the urge to avoid or push away anything that makes us feel unhappy or uncomfortable, whereas attachment is the tendency to hold on to people, things, or circumstances that provides a sense of happiness and pleasure.


Despite the fact that attachment and aversion are normal human emotions, they have the potential to upset the equilibrium in our life. Aversion can cause anxiety, uneasiness, and stress, whereas attachment can lead to unreasonable greed and selfishness, jealousy, and possessiveness. Finding a balance between these two emotions is therefore crucial.


This is where yoga comes in as an ancient practice that helps us in finding this balance by encouraging self-awareness, self-love, and non-judgmental acceptance of ourselves and others. Yoga helps us develop a more centered approach and calm mind by teaching us to examine our thoughts and emotions without judgement or reactivity.


In yoga, the concepts of attachment and aversion are referred to as "Raga" and "Dvesha," respectively. These two ideas are seen as the fundamental reasons for pain and a detachment from our genuine selves.


Raga refers to our attachment to pleasure and desires. It can create a sense of longing, dissatisfaction, and craving for more. This attachment can lead us to seek happiness outside of ourselves, which is a temporary and momentary experience. When we are attached to something, we are afraid of losing it, and this fear can cause us to become defensive or possessive.


On the other hand, Dvesha refers to our aversion or dislike towards anything that causes discomfort, pain, or suffering. This aversion can create feelings of anxiety, fear, and stress, which can impact our physical and emotional health.


Yoga teaches us to be unbiased in the observation of our thoughts and emotions by helping us become more self-aware and to love ourselves, which can help us overcome attachment and aversion. Yoga helps us understand that everything in life is temporary and constantly changing. It teaches us to let go of attachment and accept impermanence, which is a natural law of life.


In yoga, we practice mindfulness, which means being present in the moment and fully engaged in what we are doing. When we are mindful, we can observe our thoughts and emotions without being controlled by them. We can also cultivate compassion, which means accepting ourselves and others without judgment.


Yoga also teaches us to balance our attachment and aversion by practicing non-attachment and non-aversion. Non-attachment means letting go of our attachment to pleasure and desires, while non-aversion means accepting discomfort and pain without resistance or avoidance. This can be achieved by cultivating a sense of equanimity. Equanimity is the ability to remain calm and balanced in the face of life's ups and downs. By developing equanimity, we can avoid becoming overly attached to things that bring us pleasure, and we can avoid succumbing to aversion or fear when things don't go our way. By practicing non-attachment and non-aversion, we can foster a sense of inner peace, balance, and harmony. We can become more resilient, adaptable, and compassionate towards ourselves and others.


Thus, finding a balance between attachment and aversion is essential for our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Yoga is a powerful tool that can help us achieve this balance by promoting self-awareness, self-love, and non-judgmental acceptance. By practicing yoga, we can overcome our attachment and aversion, cultivate inner peace and harmony, and live a more fulfilled and meaningful life.

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