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The Kleshas: Exploring the Elusiveness of Happiness

by Deborah Adele

The kleshas are yoga’s framework for understanding the discord between our desires and our lived experience. Even as we seek to feel good, the kleshas create a binding force that entangles us in doubt, confusion, worry, and disillusionment. This book defines the kleshas, provides a practice that begins to liberate us, and places us on a path toward lasting happiness and fulfillment.

This book lays open the insight and wisdom of the sage Patanjali, as described in the Yoga Sutras, in relatable, modern language. This is yoga’s answer to managing the roaming tendencies of our minds, helping us create a mind we can live with.

In this book each Klesha has been given its own chapter in which the philosophy of the guideline is woven with practical examples and stories. At the end of the chapter Deborah provides questions that challenge the reader to find deeper insight.

In addition, Deborah provides suggestions and tools which follow yoga's wisdom, guiding us to calm our minds, find self-compassion, and live our best lives.

This book is written to serve either as the student's textbook for a teacher-lead, in-depth study, or for the individual on a personal journey. This book is also perfect for book clubs and yoga teachers in training.

The Kleshas include:

Avidya ~ not knowing (ignorant of ) who we are
Asmita ~ giving definition to who we think we are
Raga ~ seeking to feel good
Dvesha ~ seeking to avoid feeling bad
Abhinivesha ~ fearing death

The Practice includes:

Identifying & Understanding the Kleshas
The Mind ~ Function, Roles, Practices
Nirodha & Abhyasa ~ Practice & Nonattachment
The 8-limbed Path
Pausing on Purpose
Finding Freedom

Notes from the Author

Deborah says, "In exploring some of these timeless concepts, I have divided this book into four sections. Section 1, The Problem, looks at the kleshas, the underlying misperceptions of ourselves that we assume to be true. The kleshas form a narrative, the conditioning of thought and belief, that is invisible because it is taken as the norm. They limit our happiness, hijack our minds, and promote the very suffering we try so hard to prevent. I don’t start here to be depressive and gloomy, but rather just the opposite. I relish getting at the problem because it gives understanding and guidance, and for me that produces hope. I like to know what is in the way, i.e., what is keeping me from experiencing the fullness of my capabilities. I want to bring the kleshas out into the open where they can be seen and examined.

Making visible what has been invisible is often painful, but is also freeing. Knowledge of something previously unknown opens the possibility of scrutiny and choice previously unavailable. It is my hope that understanding our entanglement in the kleshas will act as inspiration and incentive to engage in a practice that unbinds our minds and opens us to more than we ever thought possible for ourselves and our world. It is also my hope that we will love ourselves enough to make this effort.

Seeing, as a critical factor in itself, is hard for most of our Western minds. We have been conditioned to fix, analyze, set goals, accomplish…and seeing doesn’t feel like we are doing much. Yet as we see, i.e., become aware of, what we have previously not noticed, we gain the power of choice and the desire to engage in a practice that will bring us freedom. Section 2, The Platform, looks at the mind, how the thinking mind works, and how the kleshas interfere with the innate peaceful state of the mind, causing a mind that is scattered, dull, and most often not under our control. The mind is the platform where the battle of bondage to the kleshas, or freedom from them, occurs.

Gaining knowledge of the kleshas and the role of the mind does not solve the problem of bondage; it helps us understand it. To free ourselves, we need to take action, and for that we turn to Section 3, The Power, where we’ll explore the process that liberates us from our misunderstanding and places us on the path to lasting happiness and fulfillment.

Section 4, The Peace, looks at what the experience of finding freedom from the kleshas, as well as what living with a clear, peaceful mind, begins to look like. What are the lived benefits of freedom on both a personal and collective level? What is on the “other side” of bondage?

Each section of the book is populated with reflection questions. My intention is that these questions support your digestion of the material and deepen the ways you understand the role of the kleshas and the importance of practice in your personal life. Reflecting on these questions is a way to take conceptual knowledge into a lived experience. Use them in the way you find helpful."

Download the entire introduction here to read more about what to expect from this book.


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Quote Permission

Would you like to quote Deborah and The Kleshas ~ Exploring the Elusiveness of Happiness in your book or workshop? You may download a quote permission form here: OWBB.QuotePermissionForm.pdf.
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About the Author

Deborah's bio image. Deborah Adele holds master's degrees in both Liberal Studies and Theology & Religious Studies. She carries yoga certifications in Kundalini yoga, Hatha yoga, Yoga Therapy, and Meditation. She is also trained in Gestalt Theory and Somatics Education. From 1999-2012, Deborah brought her combined knowledge of business and her in-depth knowledge of yoga philosophy to build Yoga North, a Center that continues to flourish.

In 2009 she published The Yamas & Niyamas: Exploring Yoga’s Ethical Practice, which has become an international best-seller and a modern classic.

Teaching and reflection on the Yamas & Niyamas, led her to a deeper study of yoga philosophy when she realized that the Yamas & Niyamas are the answer and she wondered, "What's the question?" and, "What's the problem?" She came to understand that the Kleshas are the problem; leading to the writing of this book, The Kleshas: Exploring the Elusiveness of Happiness.

Deborah’s books are go-to books for any serious yogi and for anyone seeking deeper understanding of self. Her writing and teaching leave participants with a dynamic combination of hope, inspiration, and practical knowledge.

Deborah is drawn deeply to the depth of Yoga philosophy and feels her life has been dramatically enlivened from these concepts. It is her greatest joy to share these teachings with others. To continue your studies with Deborah through lectures, workshops, or teacher training, or for further information on other products and events, visit her website: DeborahAdele.com.

Resources & Free Downloads

See a PDF of the Table of Contents from The Kleshas ~ Exploring the Elusiveness of Happiness.

See a PDF of the Introduction from The Kleshas ~ Exploring the Elusiveness of Happiness.

See a PDF of the Advance Praise for The Kleshas ~ Exploring the Elusiveness of Happiness.

See a PDF of the Overview/Sellsheet for The Kleshas ~ Exploring the Elusiveness of Happiness.

Download a PDF of the FREE Facilitator's Guide for The Kleshas ~ Exploring the Elusiveness of Happiness

For more information about the book, visit the publisher's product detail page.

To use quotes from The Kleshas ~ Exploring the Elusiveness of Happiness in your work, download a quote permission form here: OWBB.QuotePermissionForm.pdf. Thank you for your recognition of our beloved author.

Connect with Deborah

Watch Deborah on YouTube:
The Yamas & Niyamas Playlist: explanation of each Yama & Niyama
The Kleshas Playlist: explanation of each Klesha, plus the Mind, Practice & Nonattachment, and Finding Freedom.

Visit Deborah's Facebook Author page.

Find Deborah on Instagram.

Learn with Deborah Adele and Yoga International via: on line e-course / workshop.

Read all of Deborah's articles on Yoga International: Deborah's writing.

For further study, enjoy more of Deborah's writing on her blog and website.

Click here to listen to Deborah's interview with Heidi Holtan on KAXE radio.

Click here to hear Deb's interview on Yoga Peeps: Bringing Yoga to the People.

Speak Your Mind, a PBS show which focuses on mental health, featured Deborah in the episode Barriors to Growth; Why Aren't You Happy?

Foreign Rights

This book is available for foreign rights. Email us at
contactus@onwordboundbooks.com for more information.

For more Information

For questions or concerns, contact the publisher via email
at contactus@onwordboundbooks.com.

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