Abhinivesa

Life’s journey hands us dark and difficult times.

According to Patanjali’s yoga sutras, Kleshas are obstacles or hindrances that specifically add to our suffering. Patanjali shares in sutra 2.12, that all human suffering – whether physical, psychological, philosophical, or metaphysical – is attributed to the five Kleshas.

You can read more about the first four in my other blog posts. – links below. The first four are:

Avidya – Not having wisdom (often referred to as “ignorance”)

Asmita – Focusing too much on the self and the ego

Raga – desire and attachment to pleasure

Dvesha  – aversion – avoiding things we don’t want, don’t like

The final Klesha is a fear even the wisest yogi sages struggle with.

Abhinivesa is the fear of death. Even though most spiritual beliefs and the teachings of yoga share that we are more than our physical body, the ultimate “letting go” fights with our basic instinct of survival and fighting, clinging to life at all costs.

Like the other Kleshas, when we start to be aware that we have this fear, we can find ways to help ease the suffering it causes. In yoga, we can practice meditation and yoga nidra – the sleeping yoga to feel the peace and connection to our energy bodies. Even in Savasana – corpse pose – we can soften and relax into the final phase with an acceptance that all things cycle, the class representing life, with a beginning, middle, and end.

We can also strive to live in the now and savor the experiences in our lives, focusing on what’s in front of us, rather than worrying about what lies ahead, or reliving what we left behind.

Sitting with Abhinivesa can be powerful and healing. We can learn to find ways to be more at peace with ourselves, weighing our mortality, discovering and connecting with our higher self – the divine spark within us that is eternal and unchanging. 

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