As we move through this second 28 day challenge, I could never have imagined how deep an impact this could have on the lives of those that have chosen to take this journey. People are reporting different realisations about themselves and their lives, there is real transformational growth going on here. I feel proud to know each one of them.
How does this happen through a simple practice of movement, breath and mindfulness everyday?
Here’s my take from experience and curiosity of my daily practice and a little intel from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
We are born perfect, then the learning begins. As we move through our lives we “learn” how to behave. This can really mess with the mind body connection, creating confusion and misunderstanding. We create beliefs based on what we have to do to get by in the world, to survive. For some of us the impact is low but for others it can be catastrophic.
It’s in this process of experiencing the world that we find the Klesha-s, the sources of affliction, that which causes our suffering. No one wants to suffer, right?
These are the Klesa-s, our source of suffering
Avidya – ignorance
Then from gross to subtle
Asmita- Arrogance or ego
Raga – Likes, attachment
Dvesa – Aversion, intolerance, hatred
Abhinivesa – Fear of death or the unknown
Liberating Isolation/ The yoga sutra by Patenjali, Frans Moors translation and commentry, explains avidya so beautifully.
“ Unsteadiness in the mind originates from these 5 obstacles, most important is ignorance Avidya; it bears the others within itself. Under the influence of avidya, I think I know when I do not, I think I do not know when I do, I blend what I know with what I do not know.” Mind bending and I totally get it!
From this place of ignorance we diconnect or rather ‘protect ‘ ourselves from the ones we love and the ones we have come to serve and most importantly from ourselves. As humans what we truly seek is connection. This must be first of all to ourselves then to others. The Klesa-s don’t necessarily have a negative effect, they are simply the cause of suffering. Our desires and joys can bring us just as much suffering. Klesa-s also don’t have a demographic or IQ filter. We are all effected by Klesa-s in our very own unique way.
I could write a PHD on the Klesh-s, not today.
How does this then tie in with our daily practice?
We live in a world of inevitable change, our true essential selves or our spirit, however is not subject to these forces of change, so it’s paramount that we connect in here first everyday, before anything else. We come to the mat, we give ourselves time and space. Through this our reactions and beleifs are easier to recognise. Our persceptions begin to change.
We begin to be the observer of life. The one creating, no longer the victim. Even in the most challenging times we can bring an attitude of observation and acceptance and begin to ponder how we could do things differently.
Firstly we must be able to identify what is the cause of our suffering, which Klesa is rowing our boat.
Next we must take full responsibility for our suffering. We like to blame those around us, and lets face it shit happens and sometimes we get wrongly done by. Even in the face of adversity we can choose how we respond.
We can only change and develope ourselves we cannot change those around us. This change we work towards in ourselves ultimately, is to clean the lens of the mind, to see the Klesa-s that are driving us and to take action to purify the lens by creating neural psthways that support us rather than prevent us. To move from Avidya to Vidya (Correct knowledge) We can choose to take responsibility for our existence. This is the most empowering action you will ever take. Humility and acceptance are the foundation of this.
Finally, creating a clear and precise goal. The objective must be realistic and accesible, and a startegy based on the above mentioned that is constantly observed and adjusted if need be. This goal needs to facilitate a shift in you, as I said before you can’t create change in someone else.
This is intentional living, working towards your inner world goals which will translate out towards your external world goals. As we practice mindfulness on the mat every day, we become more mindful, less stressed and begin to see the good stuff in our lives, cause theres plenty of it!
We are hard wired to see the bad stuff. We are living in a time now where we can let this survival mechanism soften and begin to enjoy the present moment and what we have. This takes resilience and dedication, recognising old neural pathways that create disconnection and aggitating experiences and moving through a daily practice to reset and create new neural pathways that create connecting and loving experiences in our lives.
The Klesa-s will always be present but as we bring ourselves to the mat and see where they are controlling our thoughts and lives we can begin to make real and positive change. So come to the mat every day, remove the tension in your physical body, ramp up and set the energy in your body free, clear the lens of your mind. Find harmony and connection within the more subtle bodies and radiate out into the world, everyday.