Updated: May 18
Hands up who loves a Core class.... honestly?!.... Hands up who would always try to avoid them...
In our last two morning classes of this week's theme (see previous 2 Blogs!), we were left looking at the 4th and 5th of the Kleshas, Dvesha and Abinivesha.
Dvesha is again about attaching ourselves to things that make us 'suffer', this time it's to our dislikes. This covers many aversions you may have; activities, people, beliefs - from big emotive subjects right down through to personal tastes, for instance, in food. Your aversion to certain things and opinions tied to them are part of life. We can't all like the same thing or life would be not only boring, but a real challenge and fiercely competitive! So having different views of something is fine, even having a strong dislike of it, but the problem we make for ourselves is when we get consumed by it, unable to rationalise or confront our own decisions. Often this comes again, as with the other Kleshas, from habitual behaviour and learned responses.
To examine this, I decided to confront one of my own and Thursday morning became a Core based class. I groan at the sound of the word Core, associating it to physical and mental strain! The very thought of starting one of these classes would have me finding excuses normally, so choosing to teach it already showed I was making progress by questioning this attachment to the negative and meeting my aversion head on! At MBY our practices are not on the whole wildly powerful, but now and again I throw them a curve ball! I always forewarn everyone beforehand in an email to be fair and I was pleasantly surprised at 'the crowd' who arrived online. The modern world of Zoom and all things Internet gives a very easy option if we don't want to face something, to hide or even not turn up. Maybe though the MBY Yogis just like Core?! Their general response afterwards was "that was STRONG!", but no one left early as far as I know!. Here's just a snippet of what we did....
The interesting thing as we went through different poses was that, by recognising the innate negative feelings we brought to what we were doing, we began to see that it was the resistance to and not the action itself that caused our 'suffering'. It became evident that we were holding on to past responses and projecting these to the present. Dvesha is all about allowing past experiences to affect the present, causing a continual cycle of suffering. The past clouds our vision and we either put ourselves through the same pain again or avoid repeating it or even trying something new, assuming we will suffer. The answer is to try to step back away from the reaction to what happened previously and break the chain of this automatic response. It is hard though to stop this internal story telling, labelling and judging. It takes patience and lots of practice to discern the difference between healthy, rational opinions and those that are not. There are different ways to do this, but here on our Yoga mats we take time out by using our breath to move the focus from what our minds are drawn to, working in the present with the pose we are in and attempting to lose the pre-occupation about what is coming next. It's all about clearing those foggy glasses caused by the 1st of the Kleshas, Avidya again. The great thing is that when you do, you get to the end of a core class with a big smile on your face!
Talking of which, Friday found us tackling the hardest (I think) of the Klesha, Abinivesha or Fear, often paired with 'Death', a HUGE thing to face at any time....
My classes are not technically probably Traditional in the manner of my teaching, here proved by my inspiration being Pumba, of the Lion King and his motto, Hakuna Matata ( bet you're hearing the song in your head now?)!
Another song from that film is 'The Circle of Life', a phrase that to me registers not only the inevitability of Birth, Life and Death, but gives comfort in making us realise we are all part of this cycle and therefore not alone. We humans need this connection to each other to make sense of being here.
We worked with these thoughts by using controlling our Breath and using lots of exhales to focus on releasing and letting go of any 'holding on' in supported asanas. That's when you find you can start to enjoy and get the most out of them. We went right through the Circle of Life from 'Rock the Baby' to finishing in 'Savasana or Corpse Pose'. Our final reading was the wonderful poem 'She Let Go' by Safire Rose, these lines from the end of it completing the lesson:
'And in the space of letting go, she let it all be.
A smile came over her face.
A light breeze blew through her
And the sun and the moon shone for evermore. '
The only way to find Hakuna Matata ( have you started humming it yet?!) is to learn to see these Fears and attachments of the Kleshas for what they are, barriers to you enjoying your life and face them head on..... then let them go. We all did this week and here's a snapshot of how it made us feel!
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