Lotus Love Blog

Balance of effort and surrender.

Posted on: September 23rd, 2015 2 Comments

by Astrud Castillo


There are 2 very powerful and effective practices that enable one to find the balance between effort and surrender.

In Sutra 1.13 it speaks of ABHYASA=PRACTICE
and in Sutra 1.15 it speaks of VAIRAGYA=NON ATTACHMENT.
It is through daily practice of these two ideas that Yoga or Sutra 1.2 Yoga Citta Vritti Nirodhah,
ability to lose mis-conceptions or fluctuations of the mind stuff, occurs and it is from there that the
realization of the TRUE self is revealed, not imagined self (Sutra 1.3).

How does ABHYASA reveal itself in your life? What daily practice or ritual feeds you?
How important is it to you to maintain stability and tranquility?
These were 2 qualities I longed for when I first started practicing and I hadn’t a clue how to cultivate them.

I wasn’t feeling it in my personal life or my job.
I was living in NYC feeling depleted and empty.
I lacked inspiration and motivation at the time,and had no time or energy to do, let alone practice anything.

A spiritual bottom was occurring, yet again.
I was introduced to the practice of meditation around this time and Yoga shortly after.
I was intrigued and smitten by the tranquility and calm I would experience and most importantly the feeling of connection.

The intimacy of my breath led to a new found intimacy to my own life.
I was falling in love with what was right in front of me.
Nothing on the outside had changed, but I was changing from the inside out.
I was cultivating an inner strength and discipline/commitment.
I was able to maintain a daily practice that I showed up for every morning at 7am.
I was “building” a practice, a foundation.
This was all so new for me as I did not grow up with much structure or discipline.

I was strong, ate incredibly clean vegetarian food, dropped some weight and was completely devoted.
Basically, I was attached, like a child to its mother’s milk, to this lifestyle.
I had no relationship to anything other than my work once again and Yoga this time.
I was suffering once again.

My relationships suffered.
Isn’t Yoga about relationship, I asked myself.
Is it not about consciousness, mindfulness and how I relate to the world, food, my actions, people etc..
So I started to let go a little and with the help of my teacher I began to recognize that Yoga is the DIRECT PARTICIPATION WITH LIFE!
I had heard someone say “Let go or be dragged”,
WOW! That resonated.
So I started to live a little. I started to see the meditation and mindfulness approach to daily house holding practices such as cooking, deepening relationships and Kirtan! I started to see and feel the beauty,spirit and peace that could transform my actions through continued practice AND letting go of any attachments I had to outcomes.

These continue to be ongoing daily practices that are infused with mindfulness and consciousness and on most days I can tap in and let go of the results. But, I am VERY human, and struggle with them as well, but honestly thats what keeps me coming back to the music, to the mat, my community and what inspires my teaching. I encourage you to find and explore the balance to practice/ commitment AND letting go!

The Bhagavad Gita is a wonderful text to support this practice on a daily basis.
Feel free to reach out if you have questions.
One breath at a time…
Hari Om


2 Responses

  1. lisa klein says:

    I so appreciated your story and insights, Astrud. Thanks so much for sharing it.

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