In our Yoga Wisdom classes each day, we speak often of the vritti - the movements or twists of the chitta, or mind. There are five different categories of vritti, called kleshas. An understanding of kleshas are what I've been searching for, for years, without knowing it. They are explained as ignorance, what we get stuck in, what we adhere to, our egoic self, and the thought patterns that circle around and around and around until we actually bring light to them. Each person has their own imbalance, or disharmony, of each klesha. My sankalpa, or intention for 2015 is to shine light onto which ones I'm afflicted by the most. I want to lean in, learn more, watch them arrive, and eventually witness them dissipate. So what are these kleshas, you ask?
Avidya: Vidya means wisdom. Such a beautiful word, right?! So Avidya means lack of wisdom, that is loosely translated to ignorance, or lack of wisdom of Self. This klesha is all-encompassing of the other kleshas. If an individual is not putting time and energy into knowing themselves, each of the others will apply.
Raga: Being attracted to, clinging to, or striving for. This can mean anything from the ideal body, to a person, to financial success, to the comfort of one's home. In my life, this shows up after a sense of something pleasant - say a sold out retreat on a topic that I'm passionate about or vacation. I want the feeling again. So I plan another retreat or time away. This craving of something enjoyable doesn't necessarily release tension, but causes more craving.
Dvesha: Moving away from or having an aversion to something, which is commonly referred to as the other side of the coin from raga. The division that dvesha creates from life, causes patterns to arise around what we tell ourselves we don't like. Since leaving a corporate job in 2009, I find this coming up as rejecting structure. I find that when everyday is the same, I get bored, frustrated, complacent. I've also recognized that when I don't have enough time to regenerate my own batteries, I begin moving away from interactions with others just to be by myself. When this happens, the emotions of resentment and blame show up frequently. If I let them, these feelings can be such great teacher, especially if I don't allow myself to get caught in their vicious cycle. The ability to be out of my comfort zone is so good for me. I know this, but find it's so hard to continually shine in these moments.
Asmita: Me. Mine. My. I. A sense of egoic self. Thinking that I am my thoughts. The control freak. The guard, barrier and wall that gets built around our territory - not just the physical stuff, but most often our internal emotional, mental, and spiritual stuff. We lose our sense of appreciation for others and their perspectives. In a community living situation, I'm learning that the amount of small talk that accumulates builds a wall that is hard to deconstruct. I tend to remove myself from large groups because of this. My practice for the next two weeks - and hopefully forever - will be to acknowledge the light that each person has within is the same as the light within me. Namaste.
Abhinivesha: The fear of letting go of your story. Resisting change. Generating fear without cause.
"Yoga reminds us that we are stronger than we think we are, and that the recognition of our resiliance, lies our radiance." Bhavani Maki
I find that I invite physical change into my life, through travel, a dynamic teaching schedule, and new opportunities. However, I find myself resistant to emotional change. I like the way I am. I like my alone time. I enjoy my mornings of quiet and solitude and get cranky if I don't get it. I am continually working on letting go of my story, so that I to can continually evolve, just like my surroundings.
Each year I like to sent a sankalpa, rather than a resolution. These kleshas are my intention for 2015. I completely appreciate having some lingo to refer to when I'm feeling a little out of whack and need to bring harmony back into my life.
What is your 2015 intention??
I am on the journey to create joy and live with full happiness. And my wish for you is to do the same!
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