top of page


Exploring the Connection Between Yoga, Jung, and Beating Burn Out

Updated: 2 days ago

Beating Burn Out to bring calm

Carl Jung took a lot of interest in, and reflections from, Eastern philosophy. In 1938 he gave the first in a series of lectures about the topic. His start point, which makes so much sense from the perspective of finding our true selves and ending suffering, is the kleshas.

The Kleshas, according to The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, are the five core causes of human suffering. They are:

Avidya: Ignorance of our True Nature. We confuse the permanent with impermanent, pleasure with pain, and believe ourselves to be our material bodies alone, rather than seeing our true nature as a connected part of all consciousness.

Asmita: Egoism and “I Am” ness. We identify with our egos, and fail to connect to the collective.

Raga: Attachment. We become attached to things, people ideas; we strive for more, better, bigger, faster. This ultimately leads to disappointment as we are only here for a short while, nothing is permanent and everything will ultimately pass us by.

Dvesa: Aversion. This is the flip side of attachment. As we strive for things and attach ourselves to people and ideas, we become averse to things that do not fit with our ideal, that do not bring us immediate gratification.

Abinivesah: Fear of death and clinging to life. This can lead us to spending our whole lives not really living, not being present, not stopping to smell the flowers, and will lead to suffering as we age.

Yoga philosophy constructs a way of removing the kleshas, through the 8 limbs, and a dedicated lifelong practice. By following the 8 limbs, we can start to let go of ego, attachment and move inwards towards our truest self.

Carl Jung also gives us tools to use to realize our true self (he called this the process of individuation), by looking in detail at our ego, at things we are attached to, understanding how we got to this point and how we can face up to all of this in order to move forward.

The start point of this is shadow work, looking into the mirror of our attachments, patterns from our upbringing, and assessing how these can impact on our daily lives. We also then need to experience the emotions that come up in this process, so that we can integrate our shadow, start to remove the power of our egos, and become a truer and calmer version of ourselves.

Starting Your Journey to a Truer You

What does this mean in practice?

We can start by looking more closely at 3 of the kleshas and how they impact on us:

  1. Ego - our persona develops as we grow, with our ego having as it's key goal to keep us safe and successful. The flip side of this, what we have pushed away, becomes our shadow. We can use a range of tools in shadow work, such as creative imagination, dream work and looking at triggers to uncover our shadow.

  2. Attachment - examining what we are attached to, what we are striving for, and how this sets up patterns in our lives (whether they be seemingly positive or negative ones) is a very powerful way of understanding where out behaviours come from.

  3. Aversion - the flip side, aversion, also allows us to examine things that we do not do that might serve us if we did. Sometimes the answer to our questions lies in moving towards things we naturally will move away from, which is hard for us to do.

If you want to make a start, this free meditation will allow you to access whatever is blocking you, and gain some insight into how this could work in practice for you. After you have listened to the meditation, I am you can book a free coaching call with me to help you work through anything that came up, and your next steps to beating burn out.

You can also access my 4 part small group coaching to explore what this means for you by clicking below


bottom of page