Trust and yoga

Yoga Practice

If you do not trust your own heart and your own true self (purusha) then how will you ever trust another. People are made of many parts. And I wonder if you ever trust someone wholly, in all aspects. Sometimes I even wonder if it is wise to trust someone wholly.

More often than not we trust only an aspect of a person. For example ‘I trust Dr.Wilson’s opinion on my blood pressure but She knows nothing about relationships’ or ‘Tim is trustworthy and I tell him all my secrets but I wouldn’t leave my dog with him over the weekend’ or  ‘I trust my meditation teacher to help me find inner quietness, I wouldn’t trust their help of choosing a school/education for my child’ ‘I trust my husband, except when he is in that mood’ and so on.

In this case we trust a person to the extent we feel our critical mind and our little ‘I’ can protect us from falling victim of another’s weakness, misconception (avidya) or flaw. Where is the space then, to open our heart up to another human being.

At times we are all aware of our own flaws, weaknesses and confusions. Our own Ignorance or Avidya. Because we know this in ourselves we can see it in each other. And this creates a lack of trust in the other because we know they are human just like us and capable of doing wrong, or doing harm.

Because we see weakness in ourselves. We see weakness in others. These weaknesses create distrust. Using this analogy one could say we distrust others because 1st we distrust ourselves. So how do we build a self trust?

Yoga suggests that to come into union with yourself 5 obstacles stand in your way. The 5 Kleshas are obstacles, or afflictions of the mind, that hold us back from seeing the true nature of our being. They are:

  1. Avidya – Ignorance of the truth of what we are.
  2. Asmita – the ego – an identification with the small ‘i’ or me. Creating an innate Fear of change.
  3. Raga – the habituated desire for pleasure or pleasant experiences.
  4. Dwesha – the habituated aversion to pain or unpleasantness.
  5. Abhinivesha – the fear of death; attached desire for life to continue as it is.

Yoga suggests that liberation from Avidya (Ignorance) is the result of the disassociation or separation of the seer and the seen. To become aware of what is true and discriminate what is not true in each passing moment. By true I mean that which is constant and unchanging like the energy of life that moves through everything always. This constant source is the unchanging truth or life. The many colours and forms and cycles it takes are just passing expressions of it. As in a human the constancy of life is there in breath and consciousness and heart of the person. Like someone you know really well, you see into them no matter what front they put on and you see their core, their truth. The many emotions, and ideas, relationships, masked performances are just passing expressions of the source.

Here Yoga teaches that the continuous practice of discrimination is a means of attaining liberation. To find a strong clear yang energy within yourself, that can discriminate what is beneficial to all life and what is not. The proposed result is: changes of thought, speech and action that manifest in our individual and collective Life. Yoga does not suggest this level of clarity and positive discrimination is easy to attain. Rather it will most likely be a long and challenging road. A steady wisdom will manifest in time if a continuo’s practice of the 8 limbs of yoga are applied. And this light of lived knowledge will in time reveal the faculty of discrimination.

The limbs of Union are: applied self-restraint in actions, fixed observance, physical practice of postures, connection and co-creation of life energy/breath/prana, sensory awareness and mind-control, concentration, meditation, and enlightenment.

The systemtised practice of yoga as shown from above is a tool, to guide you closer to yourself. Yoga often begins with the body, then the breath, then the sense organs and then the mind. Under the guidance of a honest teacher you will go far in this method of self development.  And learn to trust yourself, to see life beyond the shallow surface of its illusion and live awake to all life’s colours, smells, flavours and more!

Copyright © Alex Hanly 2007-2015


I am passionate about practicing yoga, teaching yoga, baking, family, breastfeeding, art, sustainable living, dancing and community! I recently started new yoga classes in Elham Kent.
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