How to Let Go & Stop Caring What Other People Think Using Deepak Chopra's Law of Detachment

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In Yoga Journal's online course, Finding Connection Through Yoga: A Workshop on Our Universal Oneness, legendary integrative-medicine and meditation expert Dr. Deepak Chopra and his yoga teacher, Sarah Platt-Finger, lead a seven-week yoga and meditation experience that will help you develop a deeper understanding of yourself. Sharing tools, science, and wisdom from Chopra's best-selling new book You Are the Universe and his acclaimed The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga, Chopra and Platt-Finger will help you experience greater health, joy, and peace in your life. Sign up!

In our online course, Finding Connection Through Yoga: A Workshop on Our Universal Oneness, Dr. Deepak Chopra and his yoga teacher, Sarah Platt-Finger, share tools, science, and wisdom from Chopra's acclaimed book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga. Chopra Center Vedic Educator/Master Educator Kali Love says The Law of Detachment is her favorite law to teach (and practice), because it helps us let go of our need for everything to go according to plan, and ultimately, to care less what other people think of us.

"When I first started teaching at the Chopra Center, I became very acquainted personally with this law," says Love, who used to teach the Law of Detachment on Fridays, but is now a teacher trainer. "The Seven Spiritual Laws are about working with and harmonizing with nature's law. In alignment with that, on Fridays, something significant would happen to make me practice what I preach. I taught a class with a (false) fire alarm sounding for 55 out of 60 minutes of the class. I used the fire alarm as our mantra: more often than not, things don’t always go our way. The Law of Detachment is to practice embracing the unknown, and find freedom from the need for things to go a certain way and attachment to outcome. If you're expecting a relaxing yoga class and an annoying fire alarm is going off, life is like that. It's an opportunity to let go of this old conditioned response of freaking out, being upset, stressing out. We can let whatever happens ruin our day and focus on what isn’t going right, or we can use what's in front of us to grow as a person, to accessing freedom [from] external circumstances." 

How the Law of Detachment Applies on the Mat

On the mat, Love says the Law of Detachment is about letting go of the ideal of where we think we should be in our practice, how our bodies should be able to move, bend, and balance, and of caring what other people think and comparing ourselves to other people. "We are giving ourselves permission to put our ego aside, to honor our body, and letting go of the destination of the pose and arriving into the pose with the breath," she explains, noting that the mantra associated with The Law of Detachment is Om Anandham Namah, or, "My actions are blissfully free from attachment to outcome."

The Law of Detachment is associated with the throat chakra, which is linked to communication and self-expression. When we detach from the opinions, criticism, and praise of others, we learn to know, honor, and celebrate who we are without fear of criticism or expectation of praise, Love says.

"To teach The Law of Detachment, I would teach throat-opening poses like Bridge, Plow, and deeper backbends like Camel. Savasana is also a perfect example of The Law of Detachment. It's one of the hardest poses, even though it's simple, because it’s all about letting go. We let go of thinking about what's happening after class as best we can, give ourselves space, release the activity of mind and body for a few minutes, and enjoy the rewards of our practice."

Eager to learn more about The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga? Sign up for Finding Connection Through Yoga: A Workshop on Our Universal Oneness.