The four desires - shaping your destiny

Updated: 3 days ago

Shaping your destiny – Restore & Rest

In our last yoga teacher training weekend, we discussed how to use the ancient wisdom of yoga to shape our future and discussed the four desires (for a more detailed explanation, read the book of Rod Stryker. Here and again, a thorough reflection on our life can help to shape the fundamental question of "What next?".

This is self-enquiry off the mat. On the mat, we ask ourselves where do we apply too much effort and how can we increase our vital energy, are we pushing too much, are we not pushing enough, are we avoiding certain postures, etc. Off the mat, we ask ourselves the same, that is, where do we invest our energies and effort? Do we spend resources, maybe unnecessarily, on worries, problems, or do we fall into patterns that exhaust us again and again?

One of the messages we have received from the Upanishads is "You are your deepest driving desire." According to the Vedas, we are born with those desires. Yoga scriptures are full of "self-enquiry", so do the Sutras speak about svadhyaya - understanding ourself or "self-study".

So, what are the desires that determine our choices? Our desires (and fears) determine choices (e.g. for work, partner, friends) that are shaping our future actions. The question arises if they are constructive and therefore align with our dharma. Do they support our aims or not?

The core of the four desires

Because of conditioned thinking, we often make decisions that are not wholesome for our authentic being. We may be scared to go into a relationship because of experience, and we do not want to get hurt. All this, even thus, maybe our deepest desire is a relationship. You want something, but deep down, you have a fear, so it is likely to divert you from your aim. The first step is to become aware of what are our deep-down fears and desires are?

We start to reflect upon the question what is what we really would like to happen in our life? What is the most positive desire? Is it constructive? We have to dig very deep in this reflection as there are so many possible inputs from the past that divert us to take a right or wholesome decision.

So, what are the four desires or "Puruṣārtha"?

Purusha means "soul" "Self, Consciousness, and Universal principle".

Artha, "the purpose of the soul or self".

The four puruṣārthas are

· Dharma (righteousness, moral values, living your life as authentic as possible)

Dharma is the desire for purpose – the desire to be fully you – how can you become who you are meant to be. How will you serve the greater whole? What can you do?

· Artha (prosperity, economic values)

What financial security do you need to become what you are meant to be, you need to be healthy, be financially secure and have a roof over your head.

· Kama (pleasure, love, psychological values)

Is the desire for joy, pleasure, and senses. So, the environment is important. Which social interactions do you have? Beauty, art, dance – it is a certain pleasure feeling for accomplishment. Do you feel appreciated in your surrounding?

· Moksha (liberation, spiritual values).

We need to feel free to get there. If you are much burdened by life, it is harder to accomplish.

What do you need to get there? The tools you use to fulfil this. A good exercise is to reflect upon the following: If you had all four of them, what would that look like for you?

Restore & Rest Workshop

I am happy to offer a Restore&Rest Workshop. This workshop is suitable for everybody. Restorative yoga. Somatic mindful movement and Yogic Sleep and Breathing are a great way to deal with any anxiety, fatigue, stress, and insomnia you may currently face. Through active relaxation, we go into deep relaxation. The workshop will be streamed via Zoom, and recordings are available. Props will be needed for this practice. If you have not yoga props, I invite you to use whatever you can find in your home (books, blankets, etc.

Investment - £20 (special discount for those experiencing financial hardship) Please email Claudia to book and if you have any questions regarding the workshop.

"Exhale slowly and fully. Pause. Then exhale again. There is always a slight residue left in the lungs. In that residue is to be found the sludge of toxic memory and ego. In that brief further exhalation, let them go - and experience an even deeper state of relief from the burden, of peace and emptiness. In inhalation, we experience the full "I", human potential fulfilled and raised like a brimming cup in offering or oblation to the Cosmic Divine. In exhalation, we experience the empty "I", the divine void, a nothingness that is complete and perfect, a death that is not the end of life. Try it. Exhale slowly and fully. Pause. Then exhale again."

BKS Iyengar, Light on Life​

How complete is your exhalation? Do you feel you can let go? Autumn is all about transformation, surrender, and letting go. The summer days are over, and we slow down to nourish and prepare for the wintertime. Give yourself the time and space you need to fully relax and energise and let go of toxic memory and ego. Learn the foundation of yoga from the core out and feet up. Learn how to move mindfully and listen to your body.

Yoga and Meditation Course

Plenty of time to sign up for my next 6-week yoga and meditation course starting Wednesday, 13 January 2021, at 6:30 pm. In this 6-week course, you will learn the foundation of yoga and meditation.

Online Yoga Classes

I start with Zoom online classes again every Wednesday at 6 pm starting 11 of November until mid-December. Investment £8 per class.

Yoga Teacher Training 2021

Maybe you want to learn more about yoga history and philosophy? The four desires, the eight limbs of yoga, the seven chakras etc. If you are interested in diving deep into yoga and philosophy and learn about how bodies move, enrolment is open for the 2021 Teacher Training. There is a special offer, and instead of £2570, the investment is ONLY £2270 if you book yourself a place this year! Conditions apply. Get in touch to find out more.


"I hope to free my followers from styles, patterns, and moulds" - Bruce Lee


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