By Yogi Aaron
In all my years practicing yoga the desire for romantic love has never fully left me.
True, there was a time in my life years ago when I gave up on finding the one. Instead, I turned my focus to yoga – the endeavor of practice and non-attachment – but then it happened as it always does. I stopped looking for it and found my true love.
The Himalayan Masters define love and non-attachment as one in the same thing. I wanted to explore and embody this idea as much as I could in my new relationship. I allowed myself to become fully invested, fully present, fully available, and non-attached to the outcome. Every day I reminded myself that everything: life, things, relationships, all of it is temporary.
For one year I was in absolute bliss. We practiced yoga together, traveled together, cooked food together, worked out and ran together, and always with a mutual feeling of wanting more.
Then we broke up.
I’ve experienced a lot of physical pain in my life, but the hurt of being separated from my true love was the worst thing I’ve ever felt.
For the following six months I over-ate, worked non-stop, gained weight, and developed sleeping disorders. It took me another year and half to be completely free, and still to this day when I close my eyes and remember; I can feel the crack in my heart.
Since then I’ve asked so many of my fellow yogis if it’s possible to have a romantic loving partner and still experience true moksha. Every single one of them has said yes. They all agreed that non-attachment was the key, however not one of them was in a long term and loving relationship.
I couldn’t understand why I felt so much pain. It was when I, in one conversation with my friend Archimedes, found a profound answer. I asked why this separation had caused me so much pain? (it’s not clear if you felt pain despite your un-attachment or if you were unable to remain unattached)
A relationship is a union, and disunion causes us pain. This is the essence of the teachings of yoga – right?
Krishna said, become the turtle and close off to the world, or become like the ocean and experience the world. I still don’t know if it’s possible for a yogi to feel the power of an all-consuming love and still remain completely unattached, but since I have the choice I think I’ll keep striving to be like the ocean.