Transforming Suffering the Yogic Way – The Klesha

A drunken monkey, bitten by a scorpion is the most memorable description of the mind I’ve heard. The mind is a great team player but runs amok when in the driving seat! When change happens, it feels threatened. Trying to regain control and understanding the mind creates a world view which maintains it’s supremacy. This is where the seeds of suffering are planted.

An understanding that the mind is all powerful skews, world view. To maintain this view the minds tactics result in challenges which the yogis call Klesha.

We have forgotten and view the mind as sovereign.  which means we are not seeing clearly. There is a lack of insight (Avidya).

The Ego rules (Asmita). Forgetting our true nature, we base our happiness on external factors. We confuse our uniqueness as superior and separate from the flow of life rather than interbeing with all life.

“He who sees all beings in the Self, and the Self in all beings, he never turns away from it [the Self]. For he who perceives all beings as the Self, how can there be delusion or grief when he sees this oneness everywhere?” “Isha Upanishad” Yogapedia

Giving our power to external objects is a great tactic of the mind.  The mind may tell us that if we have specific possessions, relationships etc. we will be happy (Raja). Perhaps we learn to avoid instead (Dvesha).

The Tree of Suffering – source: samanyayoga.co.uk / www.yogitimes.com/

There is a force, flow, energy in the cosmos that continually changes. Although we are powerful spiritual beings with great potential, we have no control over this energy. Part of us is aware of this changing force even in our deepest separation. This may result in fear and anxiety. As the ultimate change is death with the resulting loss of all things physical it gives context to why we know from day 1 we will die and yet we (in the West) rarely mention or prepare for it.

Yoga brings together all aspects of the Self including mind, body, spirit, gross and subtle. We recognise our separateness and at the same time our interconnection – the wave and the ocean. The mind becomes a co-worker with the heart and gut brain. As we embrace all we are we can experience moments of bliss. (The Ananda Maya, the bliss body the final sheath/kosha of our subtle body).

It starts by becoming aware, in this moment, then this moment.

Finding Unity in a Fragmented World!

Such interesting times we have chosen to incarnate. The much-heralded unity Consciousness has not yet arrived. Darkness abounds. Fear and separation take us further from the unity we seek. Yet nothing is new, perhaps more intense, and visible. Yogic Philosophy refers to these times as The Kali Yuga the last of 4 phases in the wheel of time. The old systems disintegrate making way for a new beginning/cycle which starts with the Golden Age. Hooray 😊

Transitions are often tumultuous. Yoga provides tools, support, and structure to navigate challenges, thrive and create unity in YOUR world.

Take a break from trying to figure things out and keep up with twists, turns and possible outcomes. Notice where you spend your energy. How would it be to invest that energy in creating peace and unity in your personal world?

Unity Yoga guides you to a state of freedom and unity with your true nature.

The first 3 steps of are in the outer world – yama, niyama, asana – primarily linked to our physical body and how it interacts with the world. 

Tools here are all about the physical/body, individual traits and becoming more aware of relationship to self, others, and environment. Slow, mindful movement supports self-awareness, although you may need to start faster and slow gradually.

The next 2 steps take us towards our inner world – pranayama, pratyahara – they are more subtle aspects of Self – vitality, thoughts/emotions, where we are getting to know our higher self/inner witness. Tools include yogic breathing, moving meditations such as the caring breath, mudras, and palming.

The final 3 steps of the path are qualities of meditation – dharana, dhyana, samadhi –the least tangible aspects of Self. Glimpses of being completely absorbed in the moment; a state of bliss arise.

Tools include ritual, devotion, and meditation. We move into and out of the various stages of meditation. It is not a linear process. Our focus may become distracted. Other times the flow of awareness (to the object of meditation) becomes more constant, and we have moments of complete absorption. You may have experienced this when watching a sunset or listening to classical music.

Every part of us and each step on the path are linked. A large sheet of fascia runs from the feet up the back of the body to the head. Whatever happens in the body affects our vitality/prana and emotions and vice versa. When our witness self sees the world free from conditioning and survival instincts it is reflected in body and breath. Often there is a radiance and look of wellness as if a heavy load has been shifted.

We have created a new reality.

Want to know more?

I support conscious women ready and willing to do whatever it takes to overcome their wounding and trauma to live with purpose and joy. Sessions are on Zoom and include movement, mentoring and mindfulness.

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7 Fascinating Yoga Facts!

In these times of increasing change I smile and remember that yoga says the only certainty is change! Yoga has a vast arrays of tools and potential to support us as we navigate life, health and change.

Did you know?

  1. Ancient Yoga texts 4 list paths to yoga: –
    Karma – the yoga of action
    Bhakti – the yoga of devotion
    Gyana/jnana – the yoga of knowledge/wisdom
    Raja – the royal path – an eight-step path to Self-realisation – Patanjali Yoga.
  2. Asana – Sanskrit for posture – means a comfortable seated position.
  3. Patanjali’s Yoga does not include any postures – it states postures should be both steady and comfortable.
  4. Yoga was taught 1 to 1 to men only.
  5. Indra Devi was the first western woman to be taught yoga in the early 1900’s (by Krishnamacharya of the viniyoga tradition).
  6. The Hatha Yoga Pradipika is a much later text which describes 15 postures, breathing techniques, mudras & bandhas.
  7. Yoga means unity – joining all parts of self with soul and the oneness.

Are you surprised?

Want to know more? Email me to find out how yoga can support you.

I Might Not Have Made It…

It could have been very different. I may not have made it this far. The pull of addiction beckoned but even in the depths of my confusion, despair, and darkness I knew deep down it was not for me – not this time anyway… I didn’t have the understanding or later the words to express it but there was something keeping me going.

Beneath my wounding, conditioning and unhelpful habits resides a part of me with great wisdom, my Wise Woman. Untarnished by the ups and downs of life she is a quiet, calm, knowing guide. When I listen to her things go well. I had forgotten this part of me existed but every now and again she would try and make herself known. For decades my mind overrode her. She didn’t give up.

I found her through my yoga practice, walking in nature, in the pauses between thinking, planning, judging, and zoning out. She led me well and here I am sharing with you. Never in a million years did I think this would happen!

You came from nothing into physical form helpless and reliant on others. To navigate life, you developed strategies and behaviours to ensure that you survive, are fed, loved, or shielded from painful feelings and memories. This is when you start of the disconnect from your inner wisdom.

These parts or programmes which are vital to you as a child haven’t been updated. They get in the way of you living life fully as an adult. Next time you get upset or triggered notice your reaction, what age comes to mind? Perhaps you struggle for words or there are no words – possibly linked to preverbal events.

You may have no conscious memory as to why your programmes developed. There may be a transgenerational link. Yet everything is stored within your body. It holds your pain and the answers you are seeking.

“Trauma comes back as a reaction, not a memory”
Bessel Van Der Kokk

Your body is designed to heal and return to homeostasis. Pain, both physical and emotional, signals something is wrong. Life continues to bring you opportunities to process unfinished business. Events may seem unlinked, unfortunate, coincidental or there may be patterns – ongoing issues with romantic relationships, money, self-worth etc. All are opportunities to heal and be authentically you – not a punishment. The body is signalling it is time to change course. It is exhausting holding onto your wounding and story. I know, I tried extremely hard. Each release felt like it created a new me, lighter, brighter, and happier.

If I can do it you can too! 

Yoga in its fullest sense was my way out of these unhelpful repeating events. Every time I came onto my mat I was guided to connect with my body, then my breath and notice – I discovered my Wise Woman. She is my guide. Our relationship continued to deepen as I expanded my practice with healing and development tools. My trust built. I now trust her above everything. It is my joy and honour to guide you, and others, to connect with your inner wisdom.

Here’s how

Start with one step, something that is manageable and celebrate starting. Before you were oblivious. Now you are aware AND have taken a step towards your goal. It takes as long as it takes. There is no set route or technique. You can take the scenic route or go directly, navigating obstacles, getting stuck in dead ends – it doesn’t matter. I have done all and eventually moved on. Sometimes I would charge ahead, think I was complete only to find something else to consider. All the while I feel better, more alive and my relationships are easier. My sense is that this is a life-long practice, and it feels good. This is my life purpose. To find me and live authentically.

I will guide and support you.

What is your next step? Would group or private sessions best help you? 

Email me to get started.

With love and acknowledgement for all you have experienced, your challenges and potential.

Suzan