Let me start by asking something………Have you ever had a Tradie show up on time? No disrespect to the guys out there doing a great job, but time management doesn’t seem to be one of the jobs that has been mastered within the industry.
Okay, so like many people out there, I had some work happening at my apartment, and had a Tradie coming over at 9am. Well, that was the original time that had been booked. What actually happened was the tradies didn’t rock up until 11.30am!!!! I can already hear groans of empathy, it’s happened to you right? I was justified to become agitated, angry, annoyed, demanding and a general bitch right?! Well, don’t worry, I did all of those things, they rocked up, did a great job, and I was left quite bewildered as to the extent of this emotional outburst over such a silly thing as lateness.
Now if I wasn’t into yoga, I could of shared my story with a ton of different people, juicing my justifications for all they were worth. However, I am on the yoga path, and I do choose to utilise the events that happen off my mat as insights to my behaviour, and to also dive a little deeper than what might be obvious to see what the true cause might be here.
So I did that, I dived deep down and asked myself, ‘Why were you really upset about the lateness?’ Amongst other reasons, the main one that stood out was ‘Because they (the tradies) don’t care’. Hmmm, interesting. By the guys not showing up when they were meant to, my subconscious kicked into overdrive, finding a resonance for what I was feeling, when this has happened before, and what I made this mean, and viola, you have a group of strangers now purposefully hurting me by not caring!
Pretty silly in some ways right. But this is exactly what Patanjali is writing about in Chapter II of the Yoga Sutra’s. He writes about five obstacles, or Klesha’s, that will hinder our pathway towards liberation. Let me hear a HELL YEAH to liberation beyond projection of intense emotions onto the poor old Tradie (don’t worry, no one was seriously hurt or offended in the named situation).
So these Klesha’s basically act like a veil between life and our interpretation about life. You have Avidya or ignorance, Asmita or the I am within our ego, Raga or attachment, Dvesha or aversion and finally Abhinivesha or fear of death. Now these are pretty big, everyday experiences that we all have. It is normal to be ignorant of certain things, to associate our identity with who we believe ourselves to be. To be drawn to some things yet repulsed by others, and the fear of death, well, we all know it will eventually happen but that doesn’t mean we need to THINK about it!
For me, reflecting on the Tradie incident, I can see the flavours of Avidya and Asmita colouring my experience quite strongly, which lead to me suffering (no seriously, the way I felt was quite consuming) and being completely at the mercy of a situation I had no control over. As I untangled my blame game from the situation, I could sit or in some way be with the emotions without their hook into the story. I could start to see how much I have identified with this identity of the ‘no one cares’ story, and how if even a sniff or whiff of this energetic imprint appears in my reality, like on cue, the story kicks in, along with the emtions, along with my identity to it, and suddenly it’s not me feeling a certain way, it’s an external situation DOING this to me. In that moment, I am in Avidya. I am completely blindsided by the intensity of the emotions. I don’t seem to have any other resources to pause and contemplate if the extent of emotion is relevant to the current situation. All the energy is flooding into my story, my emotions and the blame game of – it’s something outside of me that is making me feel this way.
Thank God, or Patanjali, for the sutras. For the ancient wisdom that yes, this is the experience of all of us, yes, even as you travel the path of finding yourself, reclaiming yourself, evolving, growing, that you will run into your filters that will twist and contort things until it or yourself is completely unrecognisable. And yes, as you began to clear the experience of our Avidya or ignorance, we can see where the seeds of our own suffering have been sown, and can begin the process of pulling out the weeds one by one, day by day, because we know deep, deep down, that liberation is a possibility and suffering is no longer a path we choose to continue to walk down.
I’m excited to unpack the role of the Klesha’s and how they can assist us in our yoga practice at the Mini Yoga Retreat on Sunday 19th March. Starting at 10am, we will have a short workshop on the Klesha’s in the afternoon before concluding with a Yin practice. Places are still available. Please book using the link below: