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Yoga philosophy might sound esoteric, but it holds a surprising amount of wisdom that can help us navigate modern life with greater ease. And let’s be real, there’s never been a better time to dive deeper into said philosophy than 2020, which has challenged all of us on multiple levels. 

According to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, one of the oldest texts written about yoga, kleshas are ‘mind poison’ — aka, obstacles of the mind that cause human suffering. On November 7 (10 am to 12 pm), Haven on the Lake yoga instructor Cheryl Oliver will lead a virtual workshop exploring how these thought patterns affect how we think, feel and behave. 

With this awareness, participants will gain a sense of empowerment as well as a deeper understanding of Sanskrit. To register, call Haven on the Lake at 410-715-3020.

Transcending Suffering with Yoga Philosophy 

At first brush, learning about suffering doesn’t sound all that appealing. But, according to Oliver, there’s significant benefits to be gained from venturing into the belly of the beast.

“Consider the times in your life when you’ve really experienced suffering. Maybe you’ve been upset, lost or disenchanted, and can’t quite pin it down to why,” said Oliver. “When we’re aware of the causes of suffering, it makes us so much better at alleviating it.”

Participants will learn about the five root causes of suffering, which are:

  • Avidya kleshas– Ignorance
  • Asmita kleshas– Egoism
  • Raga kleshas– Attachments
  • Dvesa kleshas– Aversions
  • Abhinidvesa kleshas– Fear

Sound familiar? It’s pretty incredible just how relevant the kleshas are to our modern lives.  Learning about the kleshas also means understanding the difference between ‘pain’ and ‘suffering.’ While pain is an inevitable aspect of life, suffering is our reaction to pain — one that we have a much larger degree of control over, no matter how powerless we might feel. 

Simply put, we don’t have to suffer so much. The beauty of yoga deepens even more when we realize the opportunity to empower ourselves beyond our physical practice. 

“Patanjali tells us that when we understand the mechanism of these root causes of suffering, future suffering can be avoided, which is amazing. The kleshas help us make wise choices to feel better,” said Oliver. “If you don’t understand however, it’s easy to fall into the trap of making an unwise choice that leads to further suffering.”