The final klesha, the fear of death, is paralyzing. Hamilton writes that our “attachment to the earthly life is the root of most of our fears.” She goes on to say that “so much trouble comes from our strong identification with the body we’re in, with our names and our jobs and our hair color, and our huge fear that we are going to die and become nothing.” The realization that, quite literally, nothing comes from nothing, and that death is merely a transformative state is one that is not easy to attain, but one that can bring great relief. Within the belief framework of yoga, reincarnation occurs—you get to come back, which is much less frightening than the unknown. The point of each reincarnation is to reach the point where you don’t need to keep coming back, when you’ve finally learned and evolved so far that you no longer need an earthly body. You achieve, as Hamilton writes, “enlightenment”.

Hamilton writes that the “Dark Night of the Soul” that you’ll encounter when practicing yoga isn’t easy, but that “it’s easier than a lifetime spent suffering”. This is absolutely true. The sooner that you achieve self-realization, that you overcome the five kleshas we’ve outlined—which are only a small taste of what yoga is all about—the sooner you can begin to find happiness and peace. To find out more about Ally Hamilton’s journey into yoga, and to share in the wisdom she’s found there, check out “Yoga’s Healing Power”. You’ll find, as the title says, that yoga can be a path to healing, no matter what your core spiritual beliefs might be. The path to knowing You is never a bad one to tread.