This, what I love most about teaching yoga… I get to guide students through a vigorous flow and suggest they practice dispassion (vairagya). While sounding indifferent and blah, this practice invites a stable state of tranquility and a conscious mastery of craving. It is incredibly grounding and freeing on and off the mat.
After class, one student says to me, “Oh, I get it now. In tree pose I used to force my foot up as high as it would go, but then I kept falling out of the pose. Today you suggested we make our best effort and leave the foot where it lands. Today I was able to be still in the pose, stay and breathe.” This student happens to be in her 70s, doing as many if not more downward facing dogs and chaturangas as the 20 year olds next to her. The fact that I can teach her anything is a gift. So for the briefest of moments my heart bursts with joy, and I work on my own practice of dispassion.