Saturday, December 27, 2008

Repetition is the mother of learning

I grew up with this saying. It had a double meaning, since I grew up at a theatre and sat quietly in the salon, looking at the actors rehearsal (in Swedish, rehearsal is called “repetition”), repeating the same thing over and over, until they reached the essence and art was created. Beautiful. Pure process.
Sutra 1.28 suggests the same thing to me; “repeating the sacred syllable and pondering its meaning leads to its understanding”. Bouanchaud explains his understanding of “om”.
I know several different explanations of this syllable, and since I’ve studied ancient languages; I’m used to plurality of understanding of these words today.
When I read Desikachars translation of this sutra, the regularity, the perseverance of the repetition stands out for me. This is my experience as well.
By conscious repetition and reflection on something good, this becomes me.
If I walk around in my everyday looking for the good in every situation, this is what I will have found, when I come home at night…
Therefore, it doesn’t give any meaning to do it mechanically, than what fills me is mechanicality :-) probably can’t say that but I trust you get it…
And by doing things regularly, I get to practice; “keep coming back”. Sometimes that is the essence of meditation for me. It is a nice, including practice, where my human limitedness is embraced, by ok… I forgot, I didn’t want to, I resented… But when I kept coming back I got centred again, I got in balance and harmony again… And slowly by repetition, a long time practice evolved.
On a practical level I want to explore this by working dynamic asanas and perhaps also with mantra. By prioritize my daily practice (even though I have guests in my house) and by repeating the ideas (filling me up) that I feel good about.
Let’s see…

Sunday, December 21, 2008

expression, being loving entity, Sutra 1.27

“Its expression is the sacred syllable”.
It’s my experience, when I call something a problem, the best thing I can do is to let go of it and focus my attention into the “here and now” the loving actions that is life/reality/truth unfolding into my day. Often the problem just… vaporizes into thin air, by itself, just- by not getting fed by my attention :-) I guess this is one way the sutra guides me: focus on how to express love, wisdom or truth, in the actual action I’m in, and the problems vanish.

I’m so grateful that instead of using the non- genderised “he”, “him” the translation uses “it”. That is simpler and less connotations for me. Personally the word I choose for God is, most days, not important, as long as it takes me “there” to the summit.
I want to work with this, partly by giving room for the aum in my class. I love that syllable. That mantra. Just love that it has no meaning to me, just a fantastic soft vibration, in me.
One of my yoga masters told me, that it doesn’t matter; I could say coca cola – if that was nice for me. I appreciate his advice a lot. The sutra also reminds me how including yoga is, that we can practice yoga even though we come from different cultures and have different world-views. This is for me, in the teaching situation, including all of our different personalities.

First we sought the inner wisdom, than we sought the wisdom carried in the asana, now I think, I want us to explore our expression. Maybe work some asanas in, that creates contact to the sahasrara chakra. I want to work with the attitude: “how can I make this asana the most loving expression of me right now?”

Desikachar writes on this sutra, first his own question: “How should we refer to God?” and lets the translated sutra answer: “In the way most appropriate to the qualities of God”.
So for me, the interesting thing is still: How do I express reality, wisdom, love- in the most appropriate way, in my being (and in the asana).
The word is not important at all for me. The being is however. I think the English language has a beautiful word: LOVE it’s so nice phonetically. The singing of Sanskrit hymns, it’s a bit bogus for me, but the vibration of the sound and the surrendering, to something I don’t get is… fine, good practice.
I don’t see yoga as a religion, more a spiritual path. In my understanding spirituality is universal. A very recognized professor in “science of religions” Mircea Eliade, has written a book about Patanjalis yoga sutras and Theresa of Avilias spirituality and found that it is the same path :-) I’m a sucker for unity, so I just love that theory.
Tonight I’m giving a workshop in “being part of”, entity and being whole, complete. I love that – what a fantastic job I have.
I’m getting ready for Christmas- wich I will enjoy at home. But I’m leaving Copenhagen and all the festivities around new years, tired of fireworks-the sound of them…to go as far north as possible in Denmark, Skagen. It’s a beautiful place, nature is wild, to seas are meeting and I can watch it happen. Better than firework.
Kærlighed og julefred Love and Christmas peace to you all and your families.
Jenni Saunte

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

wisdom in the movement

Currently I’m at sutra 1.26. I still don’t read these sutras out load in my classes, because some of my students expressed fear of anything that includes the word “God”, and so have my employer.
What I do, is to tell that there are seven sutras (out of 196)exclusively given to God and the believer, and if you are a believer than practice (no matter what religion) it can help you reach the state of yoga.
Than I’ve been exploring, inspired by Bouanchaud, that we all have that absolute wisdom in everyone of us, so that was last week, this week I moved my focus to the time and God, as the source of all teaching.
I will explore the wisdom embodied in the asanas. They can be my symbol, today, of the wisdom given to me from master to student and with lineage to God. Over time the asanas have become diamond sharp, dense, direct experience; for me to discover and use. I want to focus on how beautifully the breath supports and deepens all effect, how beautifully every asana harmonizes and deepens the effect of the one before and the one to follow, becoming diamonds on a string.
Personally, the asana doesn’t only bring experience about the asana work; I learn how to live life as well. The asanas is a way for me to be in the stream of life. I recognize that I am in “essence a spiritual entity” (1.25), and this affects my teaching. Spirituality for me is more my actions than my words, so I have no conflict in not giving the word/the sutra here.
Thanks for the celebrations this Monday!
Jenni Saunte

Sunday, December 07, 2008

I already know…

This week I’m at sutra 25, with a little help from Bouanchaud I find that my exit point is to give place for the inner knowledge, the inner wisdom of ours to guide us in the asana work.
I also take this weekend to celebrate my yoga masters, and the tradition that “brought me up” as a yoga-teacher. I do that every year, and what I find is that I move in my own directions, but everything I need to do is already given to me. We’ve been working with the “yogi-breath” (det fuldkomne åndedræt) and with the sun-salutations according to Gunni Martin and the Satyananda tradition (keeping fingers together) I realize how much earth there is in these sun salutations than in some of the others I’ve been working with… The knees touching the floor, the cobra, not the upward dog pose, and the small lifting of the head, not a full moon bow back in the beginning. Nice. I fell so blessed, there is so many possibilities to enjoy in my life, it’s absolutely overwhelming! No way that I have time enough to enjoy them all – what a dilemma :-)
Namasté to all of you beautiful people
Jenni Saunte

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

the God sutras...

I’ve had some problems writing about the sutras the last two weeks. Of the 196 sutras, I’m now at the place where God is mentioned. (ca.7sutras…) So instead of just giving up completely, I give you one of my other inspirations these days, Edward De Bono: "You cannot dig a hole in a different place by digging the same hole deeper" I like this; I recognize some of my more futile attempts to change :-)
In yoga we have been working with awareness and serenity.
And I’ve found a new place I love, for yoga in cph:
I’ve hold some courses there and I find it to be a great, peaceful place for yoga.
Namasté to you all
Jenni Saunte

Monday, November 17, 2008

Tempo and temperament

This week the students and I have been exploring what is our temperament and tempo, how we are different from each other and differing in ourselves from now to now; from gentle, nursing and slow, to lively, rapid and aggressive. The asanas evoke different experiences in us, some provoke and challenges us others are the playground that seems like an extension of our own nature.
Provocative or loved the asana contributes. That’s my experience. I get to know myself, what I love and what is easy for me – gives me the opportunity to move in and experience safety and comfort, the provocative and challenging moves me to new ground contributes and enriches me. And asanas is not so different from any given situation… they can contribute to me, if I’m open to recognize.
All this based in sutra 22 who states that there is a difference in faith in individuals and a difference in the individuals over time, the result is based on the faith, and therefore the result is differing.
Bouanchaud uses some space here to introduce the ayurveda personas,, vata, pitta kapha…
I look forward to dig into these thoughts.
Jenni Saunte

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Today Van Morrison is singing a Tom Jones song to me...

"Sometimes we know
Sometimes we don't
Sometimes we give
And sometimes we won't"

Easing my pain of not knowing, I usually avoid the situations where I don’t know squad. But now I’m in this situation- so this is my comfort,, it will change.
I’ve come to love being wrong, because I can trust my truth. What’s true will stick what’s wrong I need to let go to live in truth, the sooner the better! But it can be painful

He sings about eating humble pie... I recognize my truth when I hear it. I’ve surely been eating humble pie this weekend. I cannot do this on my own; I can’t use this to boost my ego… I’m only human. I’m contributing with my human experience –humbled - like this!

“Sometimes we live (Sometimes we live)
Sometimes we die (Sometimes we die)
Sometimes we cry (Sometimes we cry) “

Yes ego-death can be liberating, like getting wings a big breath. It can be painful and there can be contact only to resistance in me. Many forms of experience here. It’s good to have a song to lean into. To know that I’m not alone, I am a part of!!! I love that, I get to practice “WE” through a song. I’m grateful.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Rainy day remembrance

I get heavy and something in me object, against the weather :-)
So here and now I’m letting go of the idea that it’s not ok to be heavy and tired.
We have been working with motivation, the reason for doing yoga today. Sutra 21 tells me that “The more intense faith and effort, the closer the goal.” This reminds me of a spiritual writer that says something like; “if you go to the ocean with a cup of water – all you get is a cup of water”, to me this means; there is as much to get as I am open to receive. Therefore we explored this, by acknowledging our motives and hearts longing for the class – and how these motives and longings get met. It makes sense to me. Every prayer I can come up, with has already been met – it is a great game, to find out what form it has been given in my life. If I want yoga to be a good stretch – it will be. If I want yoga to be my inspiration, the unfolding of meaning or life the love of life – well here we go… it is. It just is. It already is. SOO HAM I am it.
Namasté and grounded heaviness
Jenni Saunte

Sunday, November 02, 2008


To work with faith- is for me, to practice and explore trust. I work with moving in darkness, trusting my other senses, I work with the tempo of my breath- trusting it’s the right tempo for me, I work with headstands, since it’s my experience that many students find them challenging faith in them, demanding courage and trust. I work with partners, trusting another. I find that I get faith by trusting :-)
Sutra 20 tells me that “Through faith, which will give sufficient energy to achieve success against all odds, direction is maintained. The realization of the goal of yoga is a matter of time” – good news!
Love Jenni

Sunday, October 26, 2008

the gift of serenity

Some are born into the state of yoga others have to discipline and practice to get there, sutra 19 states. I get this, in my own life, some days I’m born into a serene state, or feel contact without even trying, other days my practice saves me from going crazy… In some way it’s like some parts of me can be born into the yoga-state while other parts have gets to be disciplined by practice. It is fine, that it differ. There is no opposition. No fight. When I recognize the yoga state or the travel towards this in someone else, what I really get to is to recognize what it is for me. I just choose to call it them at that point in time.
We have been working with softness and serenity, nice and gentle movements.
This Friday I’m going to teach a workshop in mantras, I love that, I look so much forward to it. Combining sound with pranayama and asanas, its beautiful!!
Namasté and good week
Jenni Saunte

Saturday, October 18, 2008

the yoga state

This week, I’m at sutra 18. Here my texts differ. Usually when they differ I either choose the one that I can relate to immediately or I focus on how the enrich each other. At this sutra I can only say; ok!? Let’s go with Desikachar, as I understand the text, he translates this sutra as a view; into what the yoga state looks like. “The usual mental disturbances are absent. However, memories of the past continue”. It’s a great promise for me that memories can live peacefully in me, I don’t have to shut the door on the past, to not get disturbed by it, and I actually can lean into my past experience in the day to day world. I’m also grateful that Bouanchaud brings in the concept of “kaivalya” to describe what the yoga state points towards. I love that kaivalya means both serenity and freedom, how true that is.
In my teaching I want to bring the focus on serenity and recognizing past experiences with poses and that we still can be new today in the pose.
I have some experience with loving and including disturbances and recognizing that, when “they” are nothing else than me, than “they” don’t disturb any longer – maybe I can work with inclusion to… I’m not in a slow place so it’s probably a really good thing for me, to use easy and slow movements.
Let’s see…
Jenni Saunte

Saturday, October 11, 2008

honesty, clarity and an open mind

I’ve had a special week, with sick kids and many things to do and some that couldn’t be done and an audition for a yoga job – That was a new experience for me! I thought I was done with the auditions when I left the theatre and dance world… But I get to receive me- as new in this experience as well, what a gift!
Yoga sutra 17 tells me; “Then the object is gradually understood in totality. At first this is at a more superficial level. In time, comprehension becomes deeper. And finally it is total. There is pure joy in reaching such a depth of understanding. For then, the individual is so much in unity with the object that he is oblivious to his surroundings.”
At first this inspires me in my meditation practice. But reading more about how Bouanchaud unfolds it, I find guidelines to seek clarity, getting rid of a clouded mind to enable me to understand the object (or for me the world – life) more truly. So I intend to make three classes about honesty, clarity and an open mind. For me, honesty is a lot about breath and awareness, clarity is about here and now, focus, balances and ajna chakra. Working with open mind or body is about lengthening and stretching movements and about courage and the mind of a newcomer, the mind of being new.
Let’s see how it turns out.
I’m grateful for inspiration!
Jenni Saunte

Friday, October 03, 2008

This week...awareness

Last week was all about “letting go”, vairagya, we worked with it by working us into the poses and than surrendering into what is and how it felt.
The classes were good for me. I prioritized to take extra time to the ending relaxation and took my students on a “letting go- mountain journey”, it was nice. The 15th sutra told me that; “At the highest level there is an absence of any cravings, either for the fulfillment of the senses or for extraordinary experiences”. It was rewarding to se that spiritual pride is just as big an ego booster as “I’ve got the biggest car…” is.
This week sutra 16 tells me that; “When an individual has achieved complete understanding of his true self, he will no longer be disturbed by distracting influences within and around him”. What a great promise!!!
And I recognize my truth. So we will work with sthira, (awareness, awakening, stability and steadiness). By focusing on what is, I often have received the gift of connection to my inner truth and distance from outside- and inside- “stories”.
Breath, heart and spine – keeping it simple, that’s my take on this.
Jenni Saunte

Monday, September 22, 2008

steadiness and I'm soo free!!!

Before I write about my “sutra-work” I want to state that cleaning up the past, making amends, is a major freedom-maker!!! Yes what a relief! Big kick today.
I get to look at what a long time daily practice does for me with sutra 14, it says that; “(the state of yoga-serenity, peace) can be reached by longtime correct practice, without interruptions, with a positive attitude and eagerness.”
I ask myself is this my experience, yes it is :-)
I get to discover how a longtime daily practice has built an inner perspective that puts everything else in right proportions. I don’t feel like I’m the one doing it though… I’ve tried so many times to get a stable daily meditation/yoga practice, and always failed. This time (now for 4 years) I’ve stopped looking up, thinking that I’m the one doing this, I’m just the one showing up on the mat. I don’t think to much about how long this will continue, I just look at today. One of my teachers tells me, that just like the body cannot live from food it eat last week or could eat tomorrow, the spirit (or consciousness if you want) cannot live of practice done yesterday or tomorrow…
I like that; it’s so tangible that I get it.

I work with “sthira” the principle of steadiness, awareness and perseverance in every asana, exploring this concepts in micro-form, the asana to get to know more about the macro-form; life…me… the world, lets be ambitious!!! :-)
Jenni Saunte

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Persevering practice, daily work sutra 13

Sutra 13 explores the same theme, and that’s good for me. I’m told that: “Persevering practice is the effort to attain and maintain the state of mental peace”. This message has arrived from so many different sources in my life so I’m open to try whatever is suggested! Bouanchaud tells me that it’s about setting a course in a direction, what brings me out of course can be my own inner personal leanings or outside circumstances. My only direction is, when out of course - get back! And I will get out of course, it’s ok. Today I know I’m out of course when it hurts, pain is a good indicator, or when I’m identifying with being only my mind, my thoughts or my feelings. For example, when I identify with being the “great giver” or “receiver” instead of just being… in a flow, eventually it hurts. Persevering practice can be boosting my ego or killing it. Different kind of pains follows. When it’s boosting my ego, it eventually always hurts, since the boost is “look at me-and my accomplishments”, it hurts when “they” don’t get it, or it hurts when I cannot do it. The ego kill hurts in another way, I can’t take credit for persevering practice -I’m not the one doing it, I can’t be sure that this is the right way, the only way; I’m just showing up, every single day- in spite of this. In no way can the practice be used as a tool to get credit, since it is a gift and without it I loose my serenity. I haven’t explored this with words, so I get to feel my shortcomings here…
In class I worked with the to principles of abhyasa and vairagya, to keep on trying to improve and to let go. It’s giving to me.
Jenni Saunte

Saturday, September 06, 2008

preserverence or letting go... sutra 1.12

Oh man! This is too much… too big... This is what I’ve actively, on a daily basis, have explored the last 4 years. Sutra 1.12 tells me that “The mind can reach the state of yoga through practice and detachment.” And the two principles of abhyasa (practise, preserverence ) and vairagya (detachment, letting go) is introduced. I get to look at myself in many ways, but two stands out, today, I’m asked what is easier for me, to let go – let everything be, to a natural unfolding or to engage in a practice that demands discipline from me.
I really have them both, and often in a beautiful balancing harmony, but there is a tendency to “love the ritual” and “strive for perfection” or overdoing things for me… It’s interesting to see how the last 4 years have enriched my life by this awareness of these two principles.
Can I detach from the path I choose? I love this question, for it hits me right at a soft spot. When my tendency is to get over- :-) excited, ambitious or responsible, a side effect is that I can get narrow-minded – not see the greatness in pluralism (loving all the other paths), or not feeling good when I cannot or don’t get to, do things according to the path I’m following.
And this is not only spiritual blabla, it’s the same when it is about “how to raise a child”, “how to move in traffic” or “how to show love” and off course it’s about “how to practice yoga” :-)
So we will work with these two principles. I could go on writing about this, but now I will take a shower instead.
Namasté and serenity to all of you.
Jenni Saunte

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Memory letting go and inspiration

Welcome sutra 1.11 I love that you restates that my mental activities are neutral. Here I’m told that memory is a mental activity that retains living (conscious) experience. It can help me progress and it can be an obstacle! I relate to this in my asana work. Remembering how the pose is done can help me get deeper into it, but remembering what I, for example, cannot do, can hold me back from experiencing that I’m new and so are my possibilities today.
I worked with this sutra in my classes in several ways, by giving time to work with the mind, doing a sunsalutation but not actually moving the body, by talking about memory and by letting go. Letting go, is one of the tools for me – to balance the memories that holds me back. So, for me, it’s so many great things to learn from letting go in my yoga work to rub off into my everyday.
It’s a balancing act – again. I love that I just have to try and than… try again :-)as Solomon burke said about his love life at the concert in Malmö ”If practice makes perfection – I’m perfect now!”. I’ve attended some great classes at my colleagues and I get inspired. I decided not to get down on me for getting a bit rigid, but just trying a whole lot of new stuff. Grateful for receiving inspiration! It’s a true position for me.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Deep sleep and heaviness (sutra 1.10)

Well it’s perfect! After some weeks of confusion and unusually bad sleep, I found the releasing ending and the nakedness of a new beginning – and suddenly I can sleep again!
Yoga sutra 1.10 tells me that “deep sleep is when the mind is overcome with heaviness and no other activities are present”. I love that one of the mental activities is a “non activity”!!! That’s my experience, sometimes the most powerful and demanding act is to do nothing. So this is my practice this week (and last week). Sit on my hands and let things go. Watch it pass.
In this “don’t act!”-practice; I find how my daily yoga+fellowship +philosophy +spiritual- acts is carrying me and being my center when everything is unstable and confusing. GratefulJenniSunbeam. I love that that Bouanchaud calls deep sleep a meditative state, in which I’m just not conscious! And that there are people who believe that, when sleeping, we are with our greater power, getting nourished by this power and therefore are so refreshed after a good nights sleep. In my class (only hold one this weekend) I planed to take time to do a yoga-nidra, but since it was even longer time since we made a pranavidya, we did that. It affected me to use words like “bring wholeness”, “bring harmony”, “bring heaviness” and “release any blockages”. Grateful for my work! My personal attention, every night for some time, has been on; what am I letting go, into the stream of life today?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Fantasy, creativity, sutra 1.9 and stones :-)

Last weekend I had several different focuses. On Saturday I told a friend to tell me what to dedicate my class to, and he wanted it to be about stones. Their quality of wanting to get grounded (get down) and stability and peace. I found that my students are the stones on top of the mountains and I’m the one helping gravity to get its way. It was a gift to me to work with, since my relations seems to be filled up with confused persons, several of them :-) so I get to be the stable stone to balance out the confusion. What a gift.
I also had access to a car for years, this arrangement have been changed lately, I was very concerned when it happened- I thought about my girls and how to get out of this big city… But it turns out that asking if I can borrow the car gives me the gift of feeling gratitude and him the gift of feeling generous (my guessing) gratitude is a great, true place to be.
Yoga sutra 1.9 tells me that; imagination is the comprehension of an object based only on words and expressions, even though the object is absent. Well the text asks me to consider how imagination/fantasy unfolds in my life – I loved that! I’m so rich in this area, there are soo many ways, and today my mind is set free from the idea that creativity has to be connected to some form of art! I mean fx; I’m creative hanging up the laundry in a beautiful way, I’m creative arranging my home, and in solving problems. This sutra restates that the mental activity (here imagination) isn’t in itself good or bad, just an activity. In my life creativity is a gift, it’s a flow. So I worked with flow and on Monday I also tried to work and play with the concept in the relaxation, but it wasn’t all good… So flow and connection and letting go and explore what happens was good experiences for me. And it was great to take out some time and review my daily life for the unfolding of creativity in my life. Tak.
Jenni Saunte

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

reflections on last week

My computer has not been able to connect and Copenhagen has been hit by hot, hot summer weather, and it actually helps me! I realized (again) that my students thought it were kind of tough on them, so in the name of ever ongoing correction; I tried to slow way down, but didn’t succeed. The weather however took the edge of every thing and made me say words like “give it up”, “let it melt”, “let go”. That was nice for me.
Today I woke up at 4 in the morning and very inspired to work on the classes we’re gonna have at “Tjärö”. Nice. I found back to some of the play-actions in meditation that we can use.
Last week I also attended many classes at other teachers, it’s soo good for me!! I discover where I’ve gone ridgid, my patterns are revealed.
I found that I’m very dynamic in my teaching, that vini-yoga have come to mean a great big deal to me. That I don’t always have to guide the relaxetion and what is this obssession I have with sunsalutations? Jaja how easy it is to fall into habits, they are so easy and the do set free time and energy – but I get to see what they do when I’m not aware, they limit my range.
So, now I’m online again :-)
Jenni Saunte

Saturday, July 19, 2008

trial and error, sutra 1.8

Sutra 1.8 states that “misapprehension is that comprehension which is taken to be correct until more favorable conditions reveal the actual nature of the object.” I love that it sets me free, in a way. I always act as truly and honest that I can. In yoga asana work, this is the ever ongoing process of correcting, getting deeper, longer, finding more and more connection and freedom inside.
Every “mistake” I do, like pulling my shoulders into my ears getting a neck tension is a pain I can lose in correcting. The correcting, or for me, improving is not headed towards a goal (only an unobtainable one) but is in itself a human condition, a human experience. Error is not bad it’s just sometimes painful and a possibility to get back into the truth, the center the ease and content. So we will do some poses to work with improvement and some viniyoga that dig deeper and deeper. Bouanchaud states that automatisms and prejudices are common reason for error; it’s my personal experience as well.
In my teachers’ education, I learned that my role was to “help” break patterns of habits in order to create harmony and balance. This is a part of my work since many years…
Jenni Saunte

Friday, July 11, 2008

go do try see get

Direct experience is the most exciting way to receive insight for me.
I can hear you tell me that things are like this, I can “go figure it out” using my deductive or inductive skills, but nothing like direct experience!!! Even when it hurts… Unfortunately.
Yoga teaches me this, I cannot look at a picture of a pose and go; “I get that” or hear all of you talk about "how it felt" and get it.. NO I have to go, try, do, act, feel and experience and thereby get experienced.
Sutra 1.8 explicit this tacit knowledge of mine. It states that comprehension or understanding comes from, direct experience, logic or memory and reference from reliable authorities.
I guess this is what I’m doing right here and now. I am relying on the authoritative tradition of the sutras, and I use my logic sense to bring this knowledge into my teaching - to get (what I urge) the direct experience of how it works, in the teaching situation. It is my experience, that when it works in one area of my life it will spread to other areas.
So this weekend will be about the direct experience, maybe we should try some thinking experiments! In wich, we first think the movement through, then we do it, and then we re-experience it again?
Jenni Saunte

Sunday, July 06, 2008

muuh and sutra 1.6

Denmark is so green and lush – I feel like I’m turning into a gigantic cow who just greedy wants to chew and eat all these green colors!
The 1.6 sutra is, for me, a transitional sutra – it’s about connecting ideas. The idea about the mind being its activities and transition into telling me about what those are. It tells me that the activities mentioned in last sutra (week) are; comprehension, misapprehension, imagination, deep sleep and memory.
To all these statement I say; ok.
So I will (and have) work with transitions, connections and flow.
And I continue exploring the “observing” identity as a beautiful alternative to identifying with my thinking.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

possibilities and limitations, sutra 1.5

I love that Patanjali, in this weeks sutra, defines the “mind” by its activities, that’s really “keep it simple” for me. I don’t have any objections in me to this.
And I love that the first thing mentioned about these activities is that they, in themselves, are not good or bad, but they can be used to accentuate good or bad.
This sutra reminds me about two things (at least); I cannot act myself into feeling good, worthy and centered. It’s already given, I am all I want. So acting is set free. There is no right or wrong, no judging, it just is.
The other thing it reminds me of is how my attitude is the glasses that gives me the picture I receive (as something external to me), the old story of glass half full or half empty…
So jenni, what’s the consequence of all this. A deepening meditation on "we are free, it’s already perfect...I'm allready happy, joyous and free". I can be this - in my yogapractice, and I am – a child at my personal playground.
I made a class about being free(saturday), since this is the consequence I enjoy, it’s good meditation-material for me. I also asked if there were any requests before the class, so my plan is not authoritative but only a suggestion, which feels true. We made partner work, and I love the effect it has on the bodies, it's like they get longer, more centered and it lifts the spirit. So tomorrow will be a more dynamic class and on Monday I will follow up on some introductions I made last Monday. I love my yogastudents! They are so focused and giving.
Jenni Saunte

Saturday, June 21, 2008

consciousness and thinking and sutra 1.4

The 1.4 yogasutra tells me that unless “I” rest in this “seeing entity” I will easily identify with the activities of my mind.
It’s been the greatest awakening for me to discover that I’m more than my intellect, my thoughts, feelings, opinions and even more than my physical appearance. I love my body and it often is a shortcut for me into the meditative state that is yoga.
Kitaro Nishida gave me the words if this in his book “An inquire into the good”. In my understanding he describes how the intellect, the analytical skills we have is a separating power which allow us to classify and recognize maybe also remember (don’t exactly remember… :), it separates us from an object. And our consciousness is a unifying power, when we experience the world with our consciousness we are one, there is no object. He also describes how both intellect (I think he calls it thinking) and consciousness can evolve.
I’m so grateful to him for these words!
Get back on track jenni! Well I guess this sutra just deepens the need to explore my true identity, as the seeing entity, and minding even more my own work in the here (my mat) and now. Today’s class will continue on what we started last Saturday and I guess so will Sunday and Monday, but for me there is a meditation on staying in me, here and now not comparing me to others and exploring to have emotions, feelings and opinions not being them.
Instead of playing the role of “wanting”, “judging” or “needing” –
Loving what is!!
Jenni Saunte

Friday, June 13, 2008

State of ease and rest, sutra 1.3

My mind is wondering, strolling happily ever ongoing towards whatever object pops up. Annoying. But it turns into a great material for my meditation on being here and now. Several different teachers, from very different areas in my life, have told me that meditation is the ever ongoing process of “getting back”, “return” so I guess I’m grateful for the possibility to practice this :-)
Monday’s class had another focus, we worked on flexibility, stretches and it gets so clear that, for me, it’s the same as working with my love for being human, for having limitations, what a difference to work with stretches and loving the limit instead of fighting it.
I also found that balance poses, for me, contains the essence of the 1.2 sutra, of being balance, outlived focus.
Sutra 1.3 tells me that; “With the attainment of focused mind, the inner being establishes itself in all its reality”. This relates to my experience of “I’m not my feelings, my opinions or my doing… I love how the word Drashtuh is translated to inner being, seeing entity and witness! So when I work with focus I get to experience my true nature, I’m the one observing Jenni having opinions, feelings… I do get this in my meditation and in my daily yoga practice; it’s a great restful, soft and easy place to be. I can get there by letting go, into stillness of a stationary asana or by real dynamic strength demanding work.
Maybe something provocative is good? To get to experience the opinions, so that we can experience our true nature besides these? I guess I will do both stationary and dynamic asanas.
Peace and love
Jenni :-)

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Heart and the 1.2 sutra

The second yoga sutra defines yoga as an ability to direct and focus mental activity. This sutra has for a long time had a consequence for my classes, since I’m more inspired to teach if I use a focus for the class. When I was newly borne teacher my focus often was a physical feature, like the hips or the shoulders or a movement principal like forward bends or inversions. But the more I worked and grew spiritually, these physical themes got more connected to spiritual principals (for me) like “letting go” (detachment), non violence (ahimsa) or being here and now. The second sutra tells me why these themes work so well. It’s like the stream of thoughts and opinions pointing in all directions, gets quiet and wakeful by focusing on an object. Even when this object is a principal or an experience in the body.
Yesterday I cut tomatoes and my thoughts were on my friend’s situation and my mind produced a load of opinions. I had just prepared my meditation on the second sutra and I started to pray “I’m cutting tomatoes” again and again. It works!!! I get centered and into being, just by focusing on what already is - in the now.
This weekend my focusing point will be the heart, connecting and unfolding and letting it lead.
It’s not better or worse than any other focusing point, as far as I’m concerned. But this is what comes to me in meditation and in listening to people in my everyday.
Serenity and love

Saturday, May 31, 2008

The yogasutras

With inspiration from T.K.V. Desikachar and Bouanchaud I’ve decided (for today-I’m so limited) that my yoga classes will be an exploration of the sutras, one at a time. My spiritual path is the most practical and most grounded experience I’ve ever had. I always thought that it would be the big “out of body” or “burning bush” experience, I’ve had some of these as well, but what I love is what shows up and is in my every day.
So that’s why I take a sutra and unfold it into my yoga class asanas, letting go of the idea, that I have to go to India and become mahatmajenni before I can start to even touch these, for me spiritual principles, sutras.
The first sutra has two consequences for my class, partly I want to get in touch with “why am I here” my prayer for this class (I am living prayer) landing in the here and now, which is my second consequence for the class, I have to stay on my mat, minding my practice and I have to be in constant connection with now. It is, for me, practicing the principle of “shtira” being aware, alert and steady. I love that both Desikachar and Bouchaud gives me that I start in God. I’m not the source of the experience my students have of yoga, I’m just a tool, that’s sane perspective to me.
My own meditation is not controlled by me, I let go and to my surprise, my meditation this week have mainly been on limitedness of human form, which is somehow soothing and amending to myself.
Serenity and love jenni

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Being part of

This weekend my classes will explore the spiritual discipline of being whole, complete, an entity. A wholeness of limbs and a wholeness of body, mind and spirit. And in this way being a part of (not part from,,) something greater than “I” for me a spiritual sense of “we”.
I work with this partly by integrating the “body ends” fingers, toes and top of the head. Being breath, spine and heart in every asana. But also by unfolding the individual tempo, to respect integrity. I find that when I respect my limitations, my tempo, it becomes easier to be part of … so many human interactions.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Confirmation as fuel ;-)

The bija mantras were amazing to work with, I love to stand and listen to the beauty of the voices in the yoga room. Maybe it was to cross a line for some of my students, to use their voices so integrated in the yoga work. I never asked, so I hope I remember to do that this weekend. In my other project we’re close to deadline, there is a lot to do, it effects my yoga teaching to get more dynamic (again,,,) I ,suddenly, find that the clock is a great tool for not speeding the tempo up, and I always plan some of the big slow positions. But I think it’s good that teaching changes following were we are as human beings, dynamic is good. Changing is a fact I’m just giving in to it. As if I have a choice to be anything but honest.
My meditation and prayer is founding itself in my breath. I breathe in, to receive and to listen, to meditate. I breathe out, I give, I let go, to talk, to pray. I breath in that everything I need is already given I breathe out what shall be given through me. When I no longer feel the burden of responsibility for oh, soo many things, I suddenly get to be free. My work load is as big as ever, but I’m somehow not the one carrying anymore, how amazing! I always thought I had to,,, Today I just meet up in the next action as open minded as I can.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Meditation and bija mantras

Now I felt that my classes (or I) were ready to try something new. So I have decided to make a mini-meditation in every class for a while. I am on third week doing some asanas with the bija mantras, It started with the mantra lam, which I accidentally introduced at easter day, my insides were smiling when we sang “Lamlamlamlamlamlamlamlam” and many of us went home to eat,,, lamb (which in Danish is pronounced the same way).
Yesterday it was about the long lines, (moon rays in my head) so we did the moon salutation, the headstand and some lengthening side-stretches.
My own practice is also moved towards meditation, on a daily basis, and my head can really spin on that event. First it goes “Yes, discipline, control, find the right way” than it turns on itself and goes “Everything can be meditation, the meditative state is given and can’t be controlled, it is always my possibility, I’ve probably done a whole lot of meditation today without even thinking about it”. Than the spinning feeling starts.
So I stick to what I experienced before, “don’t think- just do”.
Easy does it.Namasté

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Gunni Martin

It’s been an interesting weekend, and week! I’ve joined the fellowship of yoga teachers for a three hours workshop with Gunni Martin who is one of the yogis who introduced yoga to Denmark. Personally, the most interesting thing were her thoughts on meditation, she confirmed what I’ve heard so many times, that it’s a god thing to have a teacher, at least until you are lead by the “force”, “jesus-force/power”. Because, she tells, it’s the law of nature, that the human ego will interrupt the meditative state every second seconds, that's a lot!!! She told about different meditation styles she had been working with, I only recognized zen-meditation, never heard about urduf (or however that should be spelled) and only a childhood memory of something called ajab ajab, but not sure of how that should be spelled ouot either. I don’t succeed in finding anything on the web, so if someone have some information on this I would be grateful. I have lots to tell, but I have classes now, so I will have to come back. Peace and love

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Cleaning windows

I grew up with a friend who played the ukulele and one of my favorite songs was “when I’m cleaning windows” by George Formby.
Today I’ve had a perfect day cleaning my bedroom window; nobody gets to enjoy it but me. (I used to , only clean the windows when guests were coming, and sometimes only the windos they would see :)When I started my spiritual journey, I never thought this would be the result. I aimed for something in the “out-of-the-body” category. I’m not quite sure what exactly, but instead I find myself getting more and more into my body finding truth and ease there. If somebody told me I would get to like to clean windows or the kitchen floor, I would have walked away. I’m soo glad nobody told me anything. I guess that when the self don’t fill the whole space, it’s more interesting to be alone and doing things that don’t involve my mind so much is now more enjoyable. Sometime my mind tells the story of “Jenni – you’ve got to change, got to do more” even with my daily yoga practice. It’s got to be longer, more evolving or fix me somehow. But I stick to what’s working and for the first time it’s continuous. By sticking to it, I get to experience the changes in me, by not arguing and changing ever so often, I get to experience how fickle the mind is and how reliable my heart is. Beauty!
Tomorrow is the “to be new” yoga event. The place I teach has promised inversions, pranayama and a meditation. That will be a challenge! I’ve only got 2 hours.
The little (event-) seed that’s been growing says; that it will be about pranayama (regenerating-to be new-power of breath) and simple series to get to experience how we are new- with every breath we take.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


I think it was two years ago, when I first got to know Desikachar, I started to make a big deal about doing things in your own tempo, it grew into “doing things in the tempo of your own breath”. Now I see the fruits of this in my yogis, when I look at their bodies it's like looking at integrity. More and more trust in the moment and respect of one self. I feel it affect me. I need to respect our diversity, not lead, not change - just trust.
Something else is that I’ve fallen in love in the fact that I’m aloud to say “I don’t know” and “I was wrong” nothing is so liberating and filling me with innocents as these two statements (today).
So my classes have been about integrity and being whole this weekend. Sometimes I’m surprised that they do what I say! I forget that in this game we have different roles. I feel so privileged to learn from watching them work on the mat. Have you ever tried to look at someone’s feet and than said the wrong word, like; “lift your feet to the heart”, instead of the hand? I do that, and it just makes my day, I love what comes out, I love to laugh and so does my yogis. We just really enjoy ourselves.
Happy Easter holidays.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

humming bird

I’m so grateful for my strong back. It carries me safely (I am safe and protected) into the big backbends and I’m not a kid any longer. This morning I woke up with a weird feeling, a pain, in my body. I went to a yogaclass at a friends place (Hamsa) I usually don’t have much time to take classes, just give classes and minding my daily practice, but today I needed to fill up. It was nice, I tried to move on with my day afterwards, but my body stopped me; telling me to pay attention. So I did. It was summing, or humming filled with presence, life. Nothing should be altered or changed, just some stillness and experience of the moment.
We have made a new blog to this semesters course-project in “knowledge management” I’m so glad to work together with two students this semester, it’s a lot of fun and play.
My head is filled with ideas for the summer-retreat and also some ideas for the event about being new – Easter Monday.

Monday, March 03, 2008

thoughts on thoughts

I’m surrounded by thinkers, and I really get it. When I suddenly gets something it’s such an incredible ego boost.
Thinking, thinking, thinking, and somehow, no matter how bright those thoughts are, it’s still just thoughts. My thoughts can make me crazy; they can tell me that they are me! - That there’s nothing else. I really loved Descartes, with his “cogito ergo sum” but, yoga teaches me something else.
Thoughts, feelings are rising into a crest and breaking on the shore of the spirit.
It’s in the doing that I live, in my breath, my heartbeat, my limitations and possibilities. In the doing, no matter if its asanas, domestic work, studies. I can reverse all this and go the opposite way, but today I find serenity in the doing (and in the doing of non-action).
“It's IN THE DOING, IN THE DOING that we find
A certain way that we can live our lives
And OBTAIN some peace of mind” (Van Morrison)
Namasté Jenni

Sunday, March 02, 2008

I’m soo tired!

My whole back is like a lodge, just ,,, still.
This week classes have evolved around “Na ma ha” (to honour). So I guess I honour my human condition “tired” right now, by loving the feeling and not trying to force it away. Today I met with my colleagues, and I always get so much inspiration out of that, I get in contact with something inspiring inside me. We talked about how some movements we just do, and other we just dictate. For me one of the Tibetan sun salutations is a “do’er” while most other sun salutations I show once – at the most and than just dictate. Sunday’s class were filled up with yogis that have taken classes for a long time, so concentration was dense! We did four different headstands, I just love the effect of the headstands. Now, my tired but and I will drag us down into a car, and let my dear friend drive me around, while we listen to,, probably Van Morrison or some lovely music.
Music has meant a lot this week, I finally found energy again in music, it came to me in “And it stoned me”, it was like I was a fighting little puppy, and the music just rolled me over and suddenly my belly was up, I had surrendered and the fight was over. Nice.
Namasté jenni

Saturday, February 23, 2008

What a week!

Ambitions surely have been faced. My oldest daughter has had two birthday parties, one for her school class and one for family. In my head this events gets the time that the guests are here. That’s soo not the reality, they take loads of time.
I don’t like to be the only responsible one – but I am.
I don’t like to set aside my studies – but I have to.
I don’t like prioritizing – but I get to.
Obviously this is the blessing of the week.
I get to look at my priorities, and act on them.
I get to let go of the idea of “doing everything”.
I get to be the responsible person that I sometime can be. I grow with this.
My daughter loved her birthday. It’s all good!

Today is yogaday, I am following up on last weeks viniyoga treat, and reintroducing ashtanga yoga’s sun salutation A. I think a lot of the movement’s that shows up in my programs right now is about energizing the body. I still talk a lot about “attach not, resist not and judge not”. But today the focus landed on “resist not” in form of; not fighting anyone or anything. An example from my own life is; when my older daughter criticise all the words of her kid sister – I do not fight it, I do not criticise her for doing that. Slowly the recognition grows in me, that I love to be (and I am) the person that don’t criticise. That’s what makes me happy. And after some time I can tell this to my kid, instead of telling her that what she do is wrong. Well that’s one way that yoga comes into my life, and I’m soo grateful.
Namasté Jenni

Saturday, February 16, 2008

What’s going on,,

Here and now, today, the ideas of “resist not-“, “attach not-“ and “judge not-“ is summing around in my mind, which doesn’t really help :)
My heart tells me, that even if they seem like wonderful, unobtainable principles, they are not the goal! They just sweep the arena for something else. BEEING! Maybe meditation?

It’s been a hard working fall (look at me producing a story,,) My academic finals went great, my working skills were confirmed as valuable, but as a spiritual person or as a mum, I sucked.
I was there, but that was kind of it. So now I quit one of my works, and off course it’s not the yoga. Yoga has become a work in which I evolve not only my bodymind and spirit, but (I never saw this coming) my intellect as well. So that’s a beauty!
Today’s lesson is collecting up what we’ve started last couple of weeks and introducing a new viniyoga move. I also have started to plan the summeryoga course, at the blog:
Namasté love Jenni