Kleshas: Understanding the Afflictions


Why do we suffer? This fundamental question has plagued the rich and the poor, the learned and the unlettered alike since time immemorial. Yoga philosophy offers an answer that is profound and optimistic. On one hand, the roots of our suffering—known as the kleshas—are deeply enmeshed with the roots of our very existence. On the other, the kleshas can be readily attenuated through yoga practice.

In this series of talks, Sandra Anderson helps us build a conceptual foundation for such a practice. Weaving together the timeless wisdom of the Yoga Sutra and the latest findings from neurobiology, she delves into the reasons behind our fear, anger, and dissatisfaction. Find out what the five roots of suffering are, how they affect our life, and what we can do to slowly but surely free ourselves from them.

4-Part Series

Avidya: Veiling the Truth

Kicking off her series of talks on the roots of suffering, Sandra Anderson explores avidya, or ignorance. This thick veil thrown over our knowledge of ultimate reality is the first and foremost source of our...

Asmita: The Distorted Self

At our core we are a spark of divinity, limitless in our knowledge and power. So how do we come to identify with our limited body and perspective? In this talk Sandra Anderson addresses asmita,...

Raga & Dvesha: Craving & Hating

If we do not choose otherwise, the twin forces of raga (attachment) and dvesha (aversion) run our life: we spend all our time and energy running after our likes and running away from our dislikes—yet...

Abhinivesha: Self-Preservation

From low-grade anxiety to blinding panic, fear drives much of our thought, speech, and action. Sandra Anderson addresses this all-pervading affliction, abhinivesha. The fear of losing our life—the urge for self-preservation—fills our every cell. How...