Practicing with non-attachment means always starting your practice with a clean slate.
It means having no expectations of what you’re about to do based on what you have done in the past.
While you could probably apply this idea to anything, I first started thinking about it in the context of yoga. In yoga, practicing with non-attachment is the acknowledgment that physical postures don’t belong to you and that even if you were able to achieve a challenging posture last time, it doesn’t make it yours.
You may or may not improve or even repeat that posture the next time you practice.
In a world where we always strive for progress, practicing with non-attachment can sound radical and inefficient.
If you’re not practicing to get better, then why practice at all?
To keep showing up
When you treat each achieved posture as yours, you subject yourself to an immense pressure. You now feel responsible to repeat it whenever you practice to keep claiming ownership over it.
As the difficulty of postures increases, so does the fear of not getting them the next time. This can become an impediment to your discipline because there's now a possibility of a failure which will most likely put you in a bad mood and deem the practice as useless.
However, if you don't feel attached to the postures and if you accept that you may or may not be able to do them the next time, you remove the impediment of pressure and fear. Keeping a beginner's mindset removes any possibility of a failure and assures that there's nothing that can go wrong - as long as you show up.
To get better (...yeah)
Lack of memories and expectations keeps you concentrated on the present. When you’re focused, you’re able to listen to your body and give it what it needs at that very moment, no more and no less.
It’s paradoxical but it’s true - the less you force yourself to get better the better you get. Often, having a specific outcome in mind leads to impatience and pushes you to skip an essential part of the process. This usually doesn’t lead anywhere but disappointment at best and injury at worst.
Staying in the present allows you to figure out that sweet spot where it’s neither too easy nor too painful. You find that delicate balance which can only be discovered and practiced with 100% concentration.
That’s where the transformation happens and that’s how you improve.