Samkhya

Samkhya is one of the six orthodox schools of Hinduism; it is the school that is most closely related to Yoga, which is also one of the six. According to Samkhya, there are three ways to come to pramana, proof, or knowledge that will take you out of suffering. The three ways are pratyaksa or perception, anumana or inference, and sabda, which is the word and testimony of a reliable source.

Pratyaksa relates to the senses and also sensation. My body feels less pain, achiness and tension when I do asanas, the physical postures of yoga. Adho mukha svanasana (downward dog) is an asana where I can relieve tension in different areas of my body. What I notice is there is a stretch that happens in my heels and calves and some loosening in my shoulders and neck.

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Photo by Ches Oakley

Anumana is logical reasoning; it sometimes takes more time. Going for a walk can help me to think about things I might need to reason through.

Sabda is one to be careful with. I am looking for a reliable source. Learning about a subject from more than one source helps me to find truth.

With any difficulty that arises in your life, you can try the Samkhya way to peace. You might find answers by listening to your senses. You may find it helpful to journal or go for a walk, which would be ways to use logical reasoning. Reliable sources for help can sometimes be self-help books, friends, family, and complete strangers. There is no need to feel that you are alone and helpless. There is help for you. Be open.

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