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Yoga Sutras for Modern Day Life: When Can I Stop My Yoga Practice?

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali 1:16:  When connection to the pure self is so complete that attachment does not even arise in the mind, this is supreme non attachment.

Defining The Sutra:

In the last installment of Yoga Sutras For Modern Day Life, we started a conversation on non attachment. To recap, non attachment does not mean that we don’t own things, it means that things don’t own us. In supreme non attachment, the yogi is so rooted in the true self that non attachment is spontaneous. For example: I have to constantly remind myself to be involved but not attached because when I experience something pleasurable, I want to cling to it.  This is not supreme non attachment because I am constantly working on it. Someone who has reached a supreme state of non attachment, does not have to work. They simply never experience the attachment.

Why Is it Important?

When we are fully connected, there is no work. You know what to do. You act from a place of full and total connection with the world. Until we get to a state where there is no doubt, no second guessing, no need for work, we are not fully connected with our true selves. The yoga practice does not stop until maintaining our seat within ourselves is a spontaneous event and requires no thought or work.


Shanna Small has been practicing Ashtanga Yoga and studying the Yoga Sutras since 2001. She has studied in Mysore with Sharath Jois and is the Director of AYS Charlotte, a school for traditional Ashtanga in Charlotte NC. She has written for Yoga International and the Ashtanga Dispatch. Go here for more information on AYS Charlotte. For information on workshops, please e-mail

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