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