Say What you Mean and Mean What you Say

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As we reflect on the year that has been, whether you’re an experienced yogi or a beginner, it is interesting to ask the question “How do we know we are progressing in our yoga practice?” I asked this question at the start of one of our classes before the break and there were some great responses: “when the body and mind is more steady and calm” or “when I am able to do a more advanced pose”. All valid and correct responses. Sharon Gannon of Jivamukti yoga says that you know you are progressing in your yoga practice when “you … Read More

Obstacles to Happiness: The Kleshas – What is causing you suffering?

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We all want to be happy! So what is it that prevents us from existing in a state of happiness? Patanjali says it is because of our ‘Kleshas’ (translated in Sanskrit as ‘poisons’) which are basically our obstacles to happiness. Patanjali describes 5 Kleshas: Avidya (ignorance) Asmita (Egoism) Raga (excessive attachment) Dvesa (excessive aversion) Abhinivesha (fear of death) Last month I talked about the root cause of all the kleshas: Avidya (ignorance of our own nature). Let’s explore the remaining four kleshas that Patanjali asks us to be aware of. Asmita Asmita quite simply is Egoism or “I-am-ness”. It is … Read More

Obstacles to Happiness: The Kleshas… A look at Avidya: the root cause of Suffering

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So it can be said that we all have two main goals in life: 1) To be happy 2) To avoid suffering And this is true of all sentient beings! We all desire these two things in our life. In fact we all desire the goal of yoga – Samadhi…pure consciousness…a state where suffering doesn’t exist and we simply exist with awareness. So what is it in life that prevents us from experiencing this state of Samadhi? In the yoga sutras, Patanjali describes five obstacles to happiness. These obstacles are called ‘kleshas’ which in Sanskrit is translated as ‘poisons’. The … Read More