Saturday, December 26, 2009

true identification - to the seer

Merry Christmas, this year the song with the words “and man can live forever more because of Christmas day” means, to me, that baby-jesus is a spiritual awakening and Christmas is when I celebrate spiritual awakening and living forever :-) Sutra 2.24: “Lack of spiritual understanding (avidya) is the cause of the false identification of the seer with the seen.” (Iyengar translation)
Or for the non-believer “misapprehension” is the cause of false identification. So when I do the asana, am I the one doing the asana ;-) or am I the one observing the asana unfold itself through this human body? This is also my new years celebration asana, I’m attracted to explore the relation between the seer, purusa and the nature, prakriti. Purusa and prakriti are intended for Self-realization (the big self... ) and when I do my evening review and self-examination I think this relationship can become clear to me. What is me, what is the false identification and what is the nature/ever-changing ending other.
Coming Saturday I'm not internet-connected, so I don't know when I'll be back.
Happy playing new year - every now is sacred

Saturday, December 19, 2009


So this is this years Christmas sutra :-) “All that is perceived, whatever it is and whatever its effect on a particular individual, has but one ultimate purpose. That is to clarify the distinction between the external that is seen and the internal that sees.” (Desikachar translation)
This reminds me of people that tell me to “try to se things from Gods perspective” or more humbly “another perspective”. Maybe because I relate the external to something whole or all inclusive. Even if it’s just a part of the whole, still something that puts me in perspective, of not being the only existence. So the sutra brings me Perspective, in relating to something external, but also by accentuating that perception always happens from a position, in a specific perspective.
When I read Iyengar and Bouanchauds translations, I understand that to perceive is to conjunct or to unify. This is my experience. When I perceive something external, I experience unification where I become a part of something. The weird thing is that I don’t feel like this unification makes me whole, like I was incomplete before (you know the songs “you complete me” or “you are the missing part of me”). On the contrary, in this unification I get to be “part of” and experience integrity and freedom in togetherness.
Not the easiest thing to write about, but considering my starting point for this post “Unified with you I can be separate as part of” I think I gave it a good shot.
God Jul
Jenni Saunte

Friday, December 11, 2009

the most authentic way to be

“The existence of all objects of perception and their appearance is independent of the needs of the perceiver. They exist without individual reference, to cater to the different needs of different individuals” (Desikachar translation)
At first glance this just seems … well like “ok”. But the picture of a big table of food comes to me, and when I’m starving and hungry this table probably would have my full attention and seem wonderful and dream come true, when I’ve eaten I probably start pay attention to other objects, and be neutral to the table, and if I just been in a very poor country and came to an overload of food I might be repulsed by the table. But no matter what -the table with food just stands there, not good or bad or anything by it self. Maybe it’s like this with all situations, they just happen and are to be perceived and that is it.
My family situation is changing a lot in these days, maybe it’s not good or bad – it just is. Maybe the change cater something else, I cannot see what it is? Independent is an important word for me in this sutra, Iyengar uses emancipated, I’m grateful for both as reminders to me.
I also love Desikachar for spelling out that needs are ever changing and very individual and cannot be compared. I get that. My focus for classes, is to pay attention what the most authentic way to be in yoga to day – in the here and now :-)
Love Jenni

Friday, December 04, 2009

the flue is supposed to be percieived...

“All that can be perceived has but one purpose – to be perceived.” (Desikachar translation)
Love this!!! Couldn’t be clearer and more exact. So relating to this, I’ve got the swine-flue and it’s here to be perceived, and I perceive it more than I like :-) But this sutra sets me free; I don’t have to like it, that’s not what it’s about. The sutra offers me a position of complete neutrality.
Iyengar confirms my instant feeling of freedom, by using words like “free”, “emancipation”. And life shows me the places where I can get more free in these days, offers me even more space and breath to expand, even though I tend to be worried about the change, instead of enjoying the new freedom. Let’s just go for it and see what happens – and so what if I’m sick, it’s just raining anyway :-) To be honest I’m bored by being inside for several days, and my fever has went down, so I do the “tiger in cage” walk, but if I try to do something more demanding than that, I get all exhausted – I amuse myself. Amusing head, I’m actually really good (entertaining) company :-)
Love Jenni

Saturday, November 28, 2009

changes and stillness

My kids got back today!! I have some trouble thinking about other things :-)
“The seer is pure consciousness. He witnesses nature without being reliant on it.” (Iyengar translation)
I read, my inner seer witness change and have peace with it. My inner seer (feminine Danish form: “seerske”) is always present. The position as detached observer is always a possible position.
Thanks. That’s a relief to know.
Iyengar makes me aware of intelligences as part of the material world, and therefore also changing. Or maybe the other way around? Since intelligence and perception changes it is a part of material world, which is dominated by change.
Desikachar makes me aware of that the seer always perceives through the mind and senses and is coloured by the state of my mind and senses. I guess that it explains why I cannot think about other things, I look so much on the change (kids returning back from ozzy-ground) that there is a bigger identification to the perceiving senses and intelligence than to the firm inner seer :-)
I always find that yoga have a purifying effect, the tea after an yoga-class tastes more, the sounds gets more distinct and colours intensifies. I have the same experience with being connected or with meditation. It takes me to a state where my senses are more tuned… I lack words for that experience, but you’ve all probably tried it.
I’m inspired to go either to search for the steady, firm observer and the changing perceiver in my classes or to go for the purifying effect. Maybe I do both haha
Can there be something unchanging in a dynamic serie of asanas… can change be experienced in a static asana? I already know something still in the midst of changes in life, and I know changes in my opinions, attitudes, experience of a static situation.
Love Jenni

Sunday, November 22, 2009

the small self and the cosmic self :-)

I’ve been resisting even to start writing this post. The resistance is with me right now :-) Because, you see, this sutra is like a whole cosmogony, a way of looking at life, that baffles me and overwhelms me. The sutra it self is ok: “The gunas (three qualities of nature) generate their characteristic divisions and energies in the seer. Their stages are distinguishable and non-distinguishable, differentiable and non-differentiable.” (Iyengar translation, 2.19)
This sutra unfolds layers of nature’s manifestations. Fine! I’m on it. Let’s seek into what we can and cannot distinguish and differentiate…

Then Iyengar unfolds a classification which is a part of the yoga-philosophy “way of thinking” that I was unaware of. You get to share my own notes here.

“Nature (prakrti) consists of cosmic intelligence (mahat), which has the three qualities of luminosity (sattva), action and motion (rajas) and inertia (tamas).” From these qualities, our life rise and cycles…
“The individual counterpart of cosmic intelligence (mahat) is consciousness, or citta. Citta consists of mind (manas) which reviews sensory and vibrational stimuli; intelligence (buddhi), which is the discriminatory faculty; and ego or small self (ahamkara) which is the individuals “I”.”

After I’ve read this, my head exploded. Everything in me objects every time I read a classification (consider my daily day in a library:). Something awakens that wants to prove it wrong, that’s just how my ego works…
I haven’t experienced anything afterwards, which couldn’t be categorized under one of the three qualities. And this became my teaching, to explore the three qualities in every asana.

But I get to get more overwhelmed. Iyengar unfolds even more classifications here. “There are also five senses of perception – ears, tongue, eyes, nose and skin…” Yes, western-schooled-Jenni agrees and love that the organ is mentioned instead of the sense.
He continues: “five organs of action – legs, arms, speech, genital and excretory organs.” I can’t help smiling. I never thought like this -it tickles my brain.
The five elements, senses and organs of action are distinguishable and concrete in form. They produce changes that may be pleasant or unpleasant.
There are the five subtle parts of the elements and the small self and the deep within spiritual self that exists in a vibrational form, not distinguishable or differentiated.
Creation is a process when the unspecified matter transforms into specific.
The reversed process, when specified or concrete matter turns into the universal spirit (purusa), can be seen as a divine marriage – “which becomes possible through the work of yoga.”

I need some time, but I’m so grateful to you, for making me put words on my understanding and my focus in Iyengars text this week.
Love and Namasté

Saturday, November 14, 2009

just a check in...

Today I need both Iyengar and Desikachar. D: gives me the starting point for my meditation of the tree qualities (heaviness, activity and clarity) of nature:

“All that is perceived includes not only the external objects but also the mind and senses. They share three qualities – heaviness, activity and clarity. They have two types of effects – to expose the perceiver to their influences or to provide the means to find the distinction between them and itself.” (Desikachar translation)

I: offers my relation to the world (my senses, actions and mind…) a position of serving:

“Nature, it’s three qualities sattva, rajas and tamas, and it’s evolutes, the elements, mind, senses of perception and organs of action, exist eternally to serve the seer, for enjoyment or emancipation.” (Iyenagr translation)

Today the class was about seeking for enjoyment or emancipation. Also for me as a teacher. I hope to get time to write some more :-)
Love Jenni

Saturday, November 07, 2009

blessings to a wild thoughtlife :-)

“The cause of actions that perceives painful effects is the inability to distinguish what is perceived from what perceives.” (Desikachar translation) He specifies that; what is perceived changes (the mind, body, senses and objects) but there is an entity in us, that perceives. My guess is that this is something … still… the island in the river?
Or with Bouanchauds words; pain comes from confusion between the spiritual principle and the material world. To me this sentence is easy to read. To try to get “everlasting”, “comfort”, “trust”, “always” out of another human being, or a relationship… Or money, or stimulants, or work or whatever material… is confusing the material with spiritual principles.
This week all my translations give me the same, so I can use whoever.

In my asana work, this sutra inspires me to connect to the observing entity in me, not my senses, my body or the situation. This is probably why it sometimes intensifies my asana to close my eyes; I connect more to the observing entity in me. And more connection to this entity means more oneness, more intensity, like the laser ray that gets so strong by centring instead of spreading out.
In my teaching, this is why working with a theme, works for me. It gathers my teaching rays :-) and it avoids me from trying to please different yogis or do something for them (control or manipulate). It’s a more honest position for me as a teacher and it works, it really does. I guess this sutra in my private life is in the words “it’s JUST a feeling” (they pass, don’t get too attached) or “it’s JUST a thought, it’s not personal” (I’m not my every thought, my every opinion). If you could see my thoughts you would know what a blessing this sutra really is :-)
Love Namasté

Saturday, October 31, 2009

to avoid future pains... back into practice

“When pains that are yet to come can be and are to be avoided” (Iyengar) through yoga and practice in the here and now.
Let’s try that, devote ourselves to the practice in today, and see if the pains, that are yet to come can be avoided. I love that, as an experiment :-)
I see evidence of this both physically, yoga gives me the smoothest, happiest body ever, and prevents physical illness in so many ways. But I love the consequence for my mind and spirit… If I really dedicate myself into the now, all future problems and pains are gone – immediately. That is my experience of the absorbance of the moment. Sometimes when I go to teach or take a class, I can be filled up with fear or resentments of what will come after class or next day or even the upcoming 90 minutes (I’m too tired or not motivated enough for the class). But as soon as the first asana starts it’s all gone – magic and wonders in my everyday life!
Desikachar writes that it’s through increasing clarity we anticipates, prevents, reduce or accepts painful effects. For me that’s the same as Iyengar writes.
To my teaching it increases my priority of talking about the present moment, and what ever can move us into this precious space. To me personally it confirms that it’s true that pain is to be avoided :-) but there is one way out of all pain (perseverant practice), not one ego-way for each fear/pain. I still love the gayatri mantra – it calls for this clarity that leads to being free.
Jenni Saunte

Friday, October 23, 2009

trial and error and being new

“Painful effects from any object or situation can be a result of one or more of the following – changes in the perceived object, the desire to repeat pleasurable experiences and the strong effect of conditioning from the past. In addition, changes within the individual can be contributory factors.” Desikachar translation.

This reminds me of my reactions towards change, I’m a habit-lover :-) I really am. My attachment to inner or outside order – to be in a certain way can be strong, and when these orders change (according to their nature, thanks I.) I react, sometimes with fear, sometimes with confusion or resistance. This also reminds me of the idea of finding my starting point before class, to work in authenticity (of here and now) instead of working according to my thought of how it was yesterday or usually is or how my persistent idea of how it should be.

“The wise man knows that owing to fluctuations, the qualities of nature, and subliminal impressions, even pleasant experiences are tinged with sorrow, and keeps aloof from them.” Iyengar translation.

What am I afraid of? If I don’t act to get satisfaction, I won’t ever feel satisfied again? Pain is all there is :-) I know, from personal experience, that there are other soft sides of “feel good” and “satisfied”. Well, maybe I lack words, but these softies don’t seem to come from action, but rather from neutrality or detachment. How can I be enthusiastic and neutral at the same time? Well, right now, there is one experience that pops up, when I do my daily routine, and just do it even though I didn’t want to when I rolled out my mat, to start with. I’ve tried to experience that after some breaths the resentment is gone, and after some more breaths, there is a commitment to the breath and movement I’m in, and a fickle enthusiasm, that reminds me more of intensity than “it’s soo important” what I do.

To my class it inspires me to work with trial and error and being new.
It is not so important what the result of the asana is, we can be assured that everything will be ok and just give it a try. Just do it – trial and error - don’t over think it.
When I discover a habit I sometimes break it, like; take another place in the room. Sometimes I go back to my habit (less noise or less windy) and sometimes I just change it whenever I see that it just become a crutch. To try something new gives me intensity (both pleasant and unpleasant) and it makes my “very important and professional” role or "this is the only right way" vaporise.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

to be born again

“The consequences of an action will be painful or beneficial depending on weather the obstacles were present in the conception or implementation of the action.” Desikachar translation.
So pain/pleasure doesn’t come from the situation or what the other part did. This sets me free, in so many ways. I always felt that people telling me their judgement after class (you are so good or this is not right) isn’t real. I never known why, but this sutra spell it out for me. My students’ judgment has more to do with their inner world than with my teaching and the right or wrong action. Mostly this sutra is smashing a lifetime’s focus on “everybody out there”. This is why “keep the focus on my own mat” works wonders for me.

This has been a week with two new revelations about karma :-) Iyengars focus on karmic law stirs something up… I always heard that you need to be good to get born into something good or better. It always meant flesh and blood and funeral for me. I never connected it with dying an ego-death, and awakening as rebirth. This is very nutritious ideas for me, and they are still … digested (suddenly don’t like the metaphor ;).
This week Iyengar continues to translate the sutra into karma understanding, and gives us the goal for the yoga-practitioner; “to minimize imprints of action”, both good and bad imprints. As I read him, it is to be set free from karmic law of cause and effect. Again, this shakes my foundation. I’ve been so focused on the doing good to get good – idea, that the freedom and being set free from, this ever ongoing chase for “feel-good” slipped my attention. Very interesting, more to digest (hatch upon/ponder upon/contemplate on…).
Bouanchaud puts words on why, both good and bad imprints are to be avoided “(Patanjali) once more questions our natural tendency to think that unhappiness comes from others and suggest we be very careful about our real motives in the present” and he points out that pleasure and pain are imprints that can foster dependence and hatred/avoidance.
In class this gives the idea to just do, not think. Observe. Maybe we do the same asana, when we don’t seek pleasure as when we seek, but the inner condition is free from the obstacle of “expectation or addiction” to what comes out of doing the asana. There is space for something new to happen. To be born again :-)
Jenni Saunte

Saturday, October 10, 2009

observing with awareness

So they have slightly different take on this one… Iyengar connects the sutra with the teaching of karma – what you send out you get back, and he writes about past and future lifetimes. Bouanchaud digs into the self-observation, he talks about how to get free, from this circle (the karma-circle that Iyengar focuses on, as I read the text). In my reading, Desikachar clarifies; why to do yoga, or the promises of yoga, my motivation for even attempting to work with self-observation. “As long as the obstacles prevail, they will affect action in every respect- in its execution, duration and consequences.” In “home made easy karma-language” as long as you keep doing what you don’t like (actions influenced by obstacles) you will be doing what you don’t like. Hmm, probably to tired to write stuff like that. But this is the beauty of it all, to me. To just write this, even though I’m tired, there is not much “pride” to get by putting my name on the text written when I’m tired. But there is loads of possibilities for self-observance to get, by seeing me write in different moods and wants.

I love that Bouanchaud asks us to consider how the action we’re about to take might affect my quality of existence, my perception and how I spend my time and pleasure in my daily life.
It’s a lucky day if I have time to consider this before every action :-) But that is probably not the idea. Nothing would get done.
I’ve been listening to a guide, he talks about awareness, if we use the power to be aware instead of the thinking, when we do the observation, another kind of truth will avail itself to us.
Maybe this is what Bouanchaud means when he writes that we analyze events “by observing them as we live them”. It’s all happening in the now.
Love and Namasté

Saturday, October 03, 2009

reality and obstacles

Desikachar: “Our actions and their consequences are influenced by these obstacles. The consequences may or may not be evident at the time of the action.”
This is a big one and I can see it unfolds in the coming sutras. I think I need to make it a bit more concrete. To me, in my life and in my asana work, my prejudice and my concepts are both vitally important and big obstacles. They most certainly influence my actions and consequences of these actions.
For many years my labelling me as “weak” kept me from doing certain asanas. The concept was so strong that it overruled my experience in the asana. It was always an awakening to suddenly see that “Hey! I’m doing it!!” This is also true in other areas of my life. For a long time my concepts of a “good” and “bad” day, overruled the experience of the day. I need these concepts to communicate with other people and to relate and play with some of my minds capabilities, but I also need to let go of concepts. They are set in a way that they never express reality. Reality, for me, is richer, more personal, more nuanced, it is moving, flexible, ever changing and reality is whole, full, and dense. I am in reality and my concepts are a communication or mind- stimulating games. So, if I connect this with the last sutra, when my prejudice or my concepts solely rules my understanding of reality I need to move towards a state of meditation.
I still have Iyengar and Bouanchaud to read this weekend.
Love and Namasté
Jenni Saunte

Saturday, September 26, 2009

state of meditation or reflection

Desikachar: when obstacles reappear: “Advance towards a state of reflection to reduce their impact and prevent them from taking over.”
This is a clear suggestion, Bouanchaud and Iyengar gives me the concept of “meditation” which is easier for me to use – since I’ve been calling my insane minds work "reflection" sometimes. Yesterday night, I was awake all night… thinking :-) I can assure you, it was in no way constructive, just the same thoughts going over and over. Ojojoj. Sometime this is what the process of reflection can lead me to, but never (so far) meditation.
Hmm right now, I get to see, that this “blender-brain” isn’t reflecting or meditating, rather this messy state is the obstacle, which I need to turn, my attention, away from.
I get the suggestions to pray, discuss with a teacher or do a diversion. Right now I connect to my experience with “blender-brain”, here it sometimes help to pray for me, but almost always it helps to turn my attention to something that is more concrete like do the dishes, go for a walk, mainly something active.

But when the obstacle is unexpected results, a situation that somehow threatens or teases my likes or dislikes, than prayer and meditation helps a lot. Talking, sharing with someone detached, almost always helps, in my experience.
I’ve had the loveliest experience with a person I tend to get into conflict with. He wanted to discuss a situation; he had some opinions that rose reactions in me (teased my likes and dislikes). Maybe because I’ve read this sutra, meditation, as solution, was present in my mind. I’ve told him I needed to meditate on this and that I would get back. A couple of days later, we met, and talked peacefully. For me this is an awakening! A beautiful morning glow. When agitated or in doubt, pause, turn, watch :-)

This makes me want to teach a bit more meditative, searching for “a state of…” when I really get into the judging of an asana; "I like this, want more", or "I dislike this one and I want to get out (need to go to the women’s room;-)"

Iyengar: “The fluctuations of consciousness created by gross and subtle afflictions are to be silenced through meditation.”

Bouanchaud: “Meditation eliminates mental fluctuations set in motion by erroneous impulses.”
(again suggestion; appeal to greater power, reconsideration through detachment or talking to teacher or diversion-turn attention to activity)

Friday, September 18, 2009

awareness into every asana

Desikachar: “When the obstacles do not seem to be present, it is important to be vigilant.”
Vigilant, according to Webster: “alertly watchful especially to avoid danger” so this reminds me of my spiritual suggestion of “It’s not what I don’t know that will kill me, it’s knowing something for sure that just isn’t right…” But it also set free the power of alertness (sthira) that I’m given, to work in any situation, to train it! Not only when danger is present, but also when every obstacle seems to have been removed. I wonder what I might find. It reminds me of serendipity – the art of unsought finding – curiosity of what I might find, if I’m as alert when there is no special focus and direction on the alertness, as when I have a focus (the bear in front of me:) This gives me the focus on “sthira” alertness, awareness, firmness. It confirms me to keep on with my self inquiry practice, that sometimes can seem to be about petty-crap (sorry) but the little flame needs to be put out on a daily basis, so that I can do it with a glass of water, and don’t need to call the fire department (thanks Bouanchaud for that metaphor).
In yoga, I get to feel the magic of awareness at another level, when I’m not in the big Ardha Chandrasana and perhaps only move my arm up and down. A conscious contact is revealed in the awareness. Sometime I would love to explore the difference between conscious and aware.
And I bring Casal and Bach to yoga-class this weekend.

Iyengar: “Subtle afflictions are to be minimized and eradicated by a process of involution.”
Bouanchaud: “Recognizing inherent impulses eliminates the causes of suffering at a subtle level.”

Friday, September 11, 2009

love for life

“Fear is present even for the sage and develops from it’s own inherent source.”
Bouanchaud translating Patanjali
Again the inherent or inborn part strikes me. One of my teachers told me that my fear of not being able to provide for my kids maybe wasn’t a bad thing. I guess that was the first glimps of this sutra in my life. And this week I’ve reached a point where I recognized that I had peace with some of my fears, like fear of jumping out of a window. But other fears I resent and thereby I see them as an obstacle in between me and freedom or serenity… Iyengar suggest that “Love of life is sustained by life’s own force.” Life wants to live – through me :-) and sometime this takes the form of fear of dying.

So maybe the class will be about courage and fear, in the form of love for life. As a teacher it gives me that attachment and fear is part of being human, and we move and work including this condition. Yoga is the movement towards and the state of kaivalya, freedom from even this attachment to life.


Iyengar translation “Self-preservation or attachments to life is the subtlest of all afflictions. It is found even in wise men.”
Desikachar translation “Insecurity is the inborn feeling of anxiety about what is to come. It affects both the ignorant and the wise.”

Friday, September 04, 2009

freed from attachments

Excessive attachment is based on the assumption that it will contribute to everlasting happiness.
Unreasonable dislikes are usually the result of painful experiences in the past, connected with particular objects and situations.

So this week this applies to letting go of the attachment to a special solution involving someone else. It seems so easy and nice to ask this person for help, but in the long run – I don’t experience it to be for free and for fun. My attachment to this enjoyment and the unmanageability it brings to me is clear. This sutra brings me the clarity so that I, today, to se the attachment vaporise! Thanks tak tak tak - a relief.

I still have troubles starting up my daily yoga-practice. Right now it’s in bits and parts over several hours. I guess this sutra guides me to just pick a time, let go of the idea to wait for the perfect time, than start, just call a time and pray for strength to do it at that time - free from the enjoyment and the dislike (attraction and repulsion) to decide in their fickle jenniform. I’ve tried to get up 30 minutes earlier (at 5) but I seem to be attached :-) to the bed. But now I’ve shared it, so maybe there are some we – power in that.
(I wrote this yesterday – sure of getting an early start this morning, and than I couldn’t fall asleep, and one of my kids peed in the bed and the other one came and kept me awake to 4 in the morning – so at 5 I just closed the alarm and thought “tomorrow…”)

One part of my work I hate (not the yoga work – another work-life-part) I get to know me as a resisting person; I really don’t want to do this. But here the sutra shows me a way that is not based on my “want to”. I find that there is another meaning with this certain aspect of my work life that gives me a break, a pause, that is actually enjoyable and healthy for me :-) so I keep on.

Love Namasté
Jenni – on her way to practice and teaching and singing (gayatri mantra ;) while the leafs are falling down

Friday, August 28, 2009

balancing sukha and duhka :-)

This week I’m connecting the following two sutras, that guide me into balance, by detachment from the two polarities “sukha” (pleasure, happiness, delight) and “dukha” (unpleasantness, sorrow, agony).
Attachment to the pleasurable is an attachment to an idea of how it will be in the future- based on past experience (it was nice the last time) and attachment to the unpleasant is also an attachment to the past experience, where I try to avoid for it to happen again.
Well-got it- attachment bad – freedom good :)

A couple of years ago I stopped eating sugar and chips, mainly because I thought I was kind of addicted to it, I thought it affected my mood negatively and I thought it made me fat and lazy… I stopped for over a year maybe two… Nothing happened; with the addictiveness, the mood and the health…
But – I got to know what gift of freedom comes out of giving up on a pleasure I had (sugar). Everyday there was a small sacrifice in not eating it (even though I didn’t think too much about it after a while, only when somebody invited me…) and I felt a bit more free. I also felt perseverance take form in my everyday, which was nice.

I also have an experience with letting go of pain-avoidance. It’s in my nature to try to figure out how to avoid ending up in the same bad situation again. It was suggested to me, to trust that every single situation is different and that I will be another person if challenges arise – it can’t happen again – now is all we have. Instead of trying to take care of the future by making rules (my life was full of rules) just be today in this and trust that future is taken care of. For example there was a person that I had arguments with, I tried to avoid these arguments, but all I got out of it, was an experience that “we always argue” and “I can’t take care of me”. When I stopped trying to avoid these arguments I found that I didn’t feel we fight that much, the arguments had become incidents, and I found that I could trust my instinct and I was safe and protected, I didn’t have to protect me.

In my yoga practice this is my rotation of asanas that I love, so that they don’t get stagnant and habitual. And it is my minimum one (often three) asanas that I want to avoid in my daily practice. Think I’ve addressed that earlier…

So in teaching this week I want to share about the balance between this things and I want to build programs that contains it all (yes all! Include all!) And in the asana encourage to search for the freedom from attachment!
Love and Namasté

Desikachar translation
Excessive attachment is based on the assumption that it will contribute to everlasting happiness.
Unreasonable dislikes are usually the result of painful experiences in the past, connected with particular objects and situations.

Friday, August 21, 2009

toward stability, consistency to question the attitude

Sutra 2.5
“False identity results when we regard mental activity as the very source of perception.” (Desikachar transl.)
Immediately I don’t get this. And checking up – what the five mental activities were in sutra 1.6 doesn’t help me, neither checking up Iyengars translation.

Iyengar translation tells me; if I identify with my senses, I get to know egoism a bit better.
Desikachar states that mental attitudes change. These two things I can relate to.
Before I had a daily practice (of anything) I surly identified more with my attitude or my feelings – I simply took it/them very seriously.
If I didn’t feel like doing something, well than something was wrong and an action had to express this feeling; to drop the commitment (haha change the boyfriend or change boyfriend) to my daily practice. But staying on the mat no matter what shows me this “feeling” is not me, it’s changing. I still sometimes has this idea that thoughts and feelings are eternal (oh I’m going to be sad/sick/happy/attracted forever… and ever) and I still get to know change, transformation and the fugitive.

This sutra inspires me to roll out my mat and put my feet on it, and see what happens. It inspires me to take a closer look at my motives and my attitudes, it guides me right back into self examination :-)
And to my programmes and teaching it guides me toward stability, consistency to question the attitude behind my approach. Maybe I just bring the book and read it out load and see if someone can tell me what it’s about.

Love, peace and clean house :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Iyengar sutras and gayatri mantra

Little salute
I just received “Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali” by B.K.S. Iyengar – I’m thrilled, I like it. I know my collections of translations of Patanjali sutras is about to be… fun, but it feels like a good and important one – this one. I will journey with it for some time, (usually the inner suggestion is to try for at least 90 days, before taking a stand) – but there was a beautiful gift in this book – a foreword by Godfri Devereaux, whom I’ve had an inspiring, deep and poetic practice with (pranayama and bandhas) – that was just an extra unexpected gift that already made me happy.
I’ve decided to share the gayatri mantra introduced to me this summer. It feels in a new way, being born into singing (even though that word is not the right one for me) again and this time, through heart. So I will stick to that for some time now. I found this page about the gayatri mantra <3 <3 I find it amazing how many different melodies that are used, I relate and recognize best the sai baba version... just scroll down and you will find them - enjoy!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

include whatever

Sutra 2.5
I think I messed up the chronology of my sutras a bit, since I’ve had four of them with me this summer, but now I’m on it again.
“Misapprehension leads to errors in comprehension of the character, origin and effects of the objects perceived” (Desikachar translation).

(His examples: what at one time may appear as beneficial may turn out to be a problem at a later stage. Fool's gold is assumed to be gold. Things that change (beauty of youth) may be considered everlasting. The most important learning may, in time, prove useless)

In asana – this sutra teaches me to keep an open mind – the prayer to be set free of everything I think I know – is good for yoga-practice, because (as one of my guides told me) it’s not the things you don’t know that will kill you – it’s what you know for sure… maybe the asana isn’t about living and dying in the “American movie sense”. But my experience is that my “knowing something for sure” like “I can’t do that” kills something, maybe the power in possibilities? Maybe the energy, maybe the movement and change… Opposite I recognize that what I don’t know can take me to a place where I get to experience the unexpected, the surprising, I love surprises… (now my mind goes philosophical,, and things like “oh the asana is like life it self – a micro cosmos :-) so I move on…)

As a teacher I get to respect and see the empowerment that happen when the student follow their own tempo, breathing, and I get to see change in attitudes, bodies and minds. Respecting what I pass on can always get better, deeper, more open is humbling in the best sense of the word and when I’m there- the teaching act becomes more whole, integrated and honest.

For this week, I’m moved to work with; letting go of expectations and see what happens. To include whatever (any, all) as a starting point to travel deeper into the asana. To bring the book and read his examples.
But let’s see, right now I feel like a phoney. And I better get some sleep.

Love jenni

Friday, August 07, 2009


inspired by some yoga elfs I've now bought the Iyenga view on the sutras "light on the sutras" or whats it's called and Pablo Casals playing Bachs cello suits came along...
I like that I don't have to pay anything for delivery on that's a nice thing love jenni

the search for what’s already there-inherent clear perception

This is about sutra 2.2 (but my classes this week was about 2.4 vaccation mess)
“Then such practices (good yoga) will be certain to remove the obstacles to clear perception.” I love that it states “remove the obstacles” and not “solve the problems”. This is my experience, what works is often the removing by something bigger than me – yoga practice – and the solving (often initiated by me), is just not necessary any longer. Sometime it’s an inside job. Like when I asked my teacher what I should do to get into a pose, and was replied “why do I need to get in to that pose?” suddenly something changed in me, and the story of “need to get into the pose” died and the obstacle (probably my ego) was removed and I have done the pose several times without problems, the first many without even remembering that It used to be “a problem” and the conversation with my teacher :-)

I also love that here “clear perception” is inherent, It’s already here and now, obstacle just have to be removed to see it.

This evening is an evening after a long day. I have my girls at home and we have attended a family function, a long and moving day. It is so nice to just sit on the mat and listen to the birds outside and feel that all the impressions are layering down.. Instead of taking a cup of coffee I’ve done viparita karani and shavasana with chest elevated. It works it really does!

For classes – I bring the message (it’s inherent :-) and I focus on the search for what’s already there – I like that plan… Now the birds sleep but the city is still summing and vibrating - nice
Love and peace

Monday, August 03, 2009

not to focus on the wobble :-)

I’m back. In Denmark – but the “I” is questionable if it returned, it surely turned… but maybe to a new direction :-)
My sutras went with me on a fierce, intense yoga travel- it was great!! I was more challenged than ever and ego had a hard time (didn’t find much to build pride upon, haha).

I thought the time in Italy, was only going to be about sutra 2.2 and 2.3 but last post became important. The teacher Glenn Ceresoli said the first day, that if I get confused about what I’m doing just turn back to essence – self-examination was one of the things he declared as essence of yoga- soo… since I had brought the first sutra too, I’ve spent some extra time with this one as well :-) (see last post)

2.2 Desikachar: “Then such practices will be certain to remove the obstacles to clear perception.”
This intensifies and confirms my effort to seek clarity – collect the experiences of which asana take me there (today) – I find that this clear state, can be found anywhere and nowhere. I lack words here.
I find clarity within; sometimes the asana can be the spark that connects me to this clear source. In Italy I had this clear experience, my body felt pure in some of the asanas, like after a long hot shower, or after a good nights sleep – but it was for example the trikonasanas that gave me the sensation…

2.3 “-“- “The obstacles are misapprehension, false identity, excessive attachments, unreasonable dislikes and insecurity.”
“Misapprehension” reminds me of what my guide have told me; “it’s not about finding the truth, it’s about getting rid of the untrue”. It makes me happy, when it all comes together. One of the “false identity” I wrestle with is, believing that I am my feelings, or believing that I am my thoughts.
Or all I am is one special thought or feeling… This often comes with the idea that the thought or feeling (identified with) is very important…

When the sutra says “excessive” attachments – I recognize one of my yoga-teachers words of comforts to me, about my attachment to providing for my children – he told me that some attachments were just part of being human. Sutra 2.1 tells me I’m not the master of everything I do. I think this might apply fine here – I don’t think I have to figure out when I’m too attached, or when the attachment is driving me. I can trust reality to show me in a very clear way when I get driven. This sutra is also one of these transformation sutras, that list what we are moving towards.

Here are some obstacles that my yoga journey re-moved (provoked a change in): “being a teacher” – I got to feel like a beginner, first I hated it, to feel incompetent, but than I fell in love with it again, to have soo much to learn!
“I can take time off, I can do holiday” well I find that I don’t operate to well with that idea, everyday-holiday soo I just call every now a holy now, and what we call it in society I consider a game, a play. I CANNOT do it, not even take time off. I get to experience it, it’s the best and the worst at once. This probably doesn’t make much sense, unless you’re a bit like me :-)
I got to look some of my dislikes in the eye, When I just did it, it was sometimes ok, like performing again, (no matter how short and little), it was ok. Or finding, that my most hated asana (oh yes I have one, sukhasana, maybe different in different yoga directions, but the one with the heel under the knee, and to hurt ego a little more it translates into “easy pose” haha), was going to be part of daily asana practice and I was going to be pushed deeper and deeper into it… it was provoking, destroying, vitalising and motivating. The experience of how insecurity left as I became “part of” was a loving beautiful including experience. Insecurity is like having no balance in a balance pose, very little possibility to feel clarity because you wobble, and tend to focus on the wobble – well there isn’t a balance to focus on yet… This focus-thief is insecurity for me in every area that it appears in, suddenly I’m all focused on the wobble (fun word) the insecurity.
Love and Namasté

Friday, July 03, 2009

summer salutare

I'm off to Italy - by train, to join a group of yogis in the mountains near Rome at be paitient with the web-site, it's a beautiful place. I'll be back with more on the sutras when I come home (end of July).
I'm taking sutra 2.2 and 2.3 with me - ambitious, but maybe the very true thing to do :-) la lingua Italiana é bella hmmm I guess I have to practice some more...
Love and grace to you!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

cleansing self-examination sutra 2.1

2.1 "The practice of yoga must reduce both physical and mental impurities. It must develop our capacity for self examination and help us to understand that in the final analysis, we are not the masters of everything we do."
For a couple of years, I have lived with a practice of self-examination, inventory of me in my day, every night before I go to sleep. It is easy for me to relate to the fact that the final analysis is up to a loving greater power or up to reality. I can only observe what I find as good and bad is ever-changing and human effort can only take me so far, in the examination. Today this is a relief for me; I don’t have to be frustrated for baffling myself :-) Another thing that receive in continuous self examination is that problems slips away, they let go- by them self – it’s true! And under these obstacles and “mud on the window” “problems”, is a transparent serene being, nothing is added and nothing good is taken away, I lack words, but I’m all for a daily practice of self-examination. I become weirdly enough, less egocentric by staring into the stories of self and watching them vaporise before my eyes.

My physical yoga routine does the same thing, for example the idea that “I can only do yoga, when I have the energy for it or feel like it” has been taken away from me, I find that under these stories there is a transparent truth, that if I just place my feats on the mat -yoga does me. I get to know me, as a physical being, and I get to see that what I think I know for sure, is to be destructed and constructed into new patterns, for example I thought that I needed a severely strong abdomen to lift my straight legs up into the headstand or that I needed very strong arms to do the plankpose, well daily meeting up into practice destroys everything I think I know for sure, but it shows me a greater ever more transparent truth about my possibilities and limitations. Right now I have some objections to the word “impurity” but I trust time to show me these words in a loving light.
My friend has given me the words “enlarge our outlines while softening them” that fits fine to my yoga experience.
This week self-examination inspires me to work with connecting to experience of here and now and experiencing the moment and the asana in my class. Maybe work with some of the cleansing parts of yoga, inspired by the words about purity.
Love peace and more bunny jumps
Jenni Saunte

Saturday, June 13, 2009

bying me some time :-)

I just need some extra time - it is soo beautifull that I'm moving on to chapter 2 in the sutras - into something (I think) that is more practical (?!).. at the same time as I finishes my academic studies at the university with great satisfaction, and moving towards a working life. I'l be back on sutra 2.1 in the next coouple of days...
love and light bunny jumps :-)

Friday, June 05, 2009

transparent, water, air sutra 1.51

1.51 “The mind reaches a state when it has no impressions of any sort. It is open, clear and simply transparent.” Desikachar tells me, that this is the final state, We have arrived :-) and Bouanchaud states that: “This is the yoga state. One cannot will it, nor receive it verbally. The pure consciousness of the inner being alone shines there.”
For me, practical consequence is to work with the transparent, water, air – in movement. As my photographer friend said “nothing between the lens and the motif” (do you english-speaking people understand that?), as much reality as ever can be. Yoga class as one long meditation, returning – keep coming back – into here and now, again and again – ever most (imperative) important thing!!!!!
Pranayama, slow series and seeking to unfold the most honest version of me in every movement, every breath. How is this en expression of you? How are you most true to your tempo and state? Something like that. Last week I held a meditation workshop, for beginners, it was inspiring for me – and it goes as a good starting point for this week’s sutra. I’m always amazed that some teachers take on the therapeutic role, or the dream-translating part – that’s not me. If they have an experience during yoga and, or meditation – well congratulations, and if they didn’t – congratulations. Neutrality can be just as fine a gift as the big strong colours… Right now I believe that every person has the best position to know what and why they get what they get when they meditate or do yoga. When I start to babble like this it’s time to stop writing – this Friday I am done with my studies at the university, which is a change, good for me yoga keeps me close to constant change :-) love love and more love to you
Jenni Saunte

Saturday, May 30, 2009

1.50 trust and giving consequence

1.50 “As this newly acquired quality of the mind strengthens gradually, it dominates other mental tendencies which are based on misapprehensions.”
Just for my own reminder – the new quality was; spontaneous, direct and intensity beyond normal. And the misapprehensions were knowledge based on memory or inference… (There were more much earlier about misapprehensions in the sutras, but this was last weeks little link for me).
Last week the promise of direct spontaneous and intense knowledge became very clear to me – in class, I could see how very true this is when it comes to my knowledge of my body, yoga have really given me this. It comes true in relation to reality and in the greater power relation.
This sutra tells me that I can trust that this spontaneous contact with truth will strengthen. So trust is an exploration field, in my classes this week. And giving consequence to the knowledge of what is right for the individual yoga-practitioner, encouraging them to follow what is right for them to do – take the break when you need it, to get to know what your hearts wish is for you today… Why do you do yoga today? How are your wishes met in this yoga practice?
Love and happy holidays
Jenni Saunte

Friday, May 22, 2009

truth here and now 1.49

1.49: “His knowledge is no longer based on memory or interference. It is spontaneous, direct and at a level and intensity that is beyond the ordinary” That’s a motivation alright!!
This is a promise come true, in my knowledge of my body and my movement. I start every class with a “check in” to here and now in body-mind-and heart, when I connect to my body the words “don’t judge, don’t understand just feel the state of here and now in the body” and something happens. This connection to truth beyond words is given. Nice place. In the rest of my life this is a fickle place for me – I relate to it and have experienced it, I crave this very free and content place. The spontaneous response and the intense contact to truth (reality) is my spiritual centre it is always with me, so as yoga (hehe) it can be anything, I always can get there. Memory of how it use to be is an obstacle to freedom, but who did just say that the obstacle is the path… yeahyeahyeah
To work with experiencing the now, what’s my truth and let go of memory based judgement and evaluations in my teaching this week lets see…
Love and Namasté
Jenni Saunte

Friday, May 15, 2009

truth and connection, see and share

Another promise, “Then, what one sees and shares with others is free from error.”(1.48 Desikachar)
In the yoga state there is connection to a truth of recognition of true inner being and a diamond clear experience of outer reality, this connection has the nature of unification.
I can trust that, what I see and share is free from errors of separation and isolation (we are not one) and free from the identifications with “I am my thoughts and feelings”.
In yoga, I know this is the when my thought stops and my mind is blank, I am just a breath, the asana is not long or short, the breath is breathing me, the movement is leading (serving) me. There is no judgement, so there is no error to be seen or shared. There is no past or future to give a colour to the now and there is not another place or person to compare the “here” to :-) this is the promise of right here and now, the “atha” in the sutras. I am grateful to have a source, an experience base of this in my yoga practice. Last weeks sutra was about know me – and my inner being, my inner truth. Well working this sutra in the classes made it clear to me, that one way that promise looks in my life is that yoga gives me knowledge about me in the bodyconscious kind of way, in knowing my strength, me limberness (flexibility) and my relaxing skills. It teaches me about my character and how perseverance and surrender looks like “the jenni way”. I am grateful to get to know me – I like the company :-) Love and serenity
Jenni Saunte

Friday, May 08, 2009

la verità

Sutra 1.47 says “Then the individual begins to truly know himself” (after directing mind towards an object). Or as Bouanchaud translates it; “…inner being appears in all clarity and serenity.”
To me these are promesis. This is what I can attain, and to me it is the same as in sutra 1.43, a connection to the truth. La verita. (Yes, I’m going to Italy and something is awakening :-)

There is more to know about self than what the I evaluate, I mean, I think, I understand and I am more than the opinions and judgements I have. Yoga tells me there is a truth to be found. Inside me.
So this is something for my practice, to look at how yoga has given me a more true sense of me. How do I get to know myself by working the asanas, focusing, by breathing?
How do I experience truth within right here and now?
Right now, I’m too tired to find out what I will do in classes, I figure that out tomorrow…
Love and peace
Jenni Saunte

Friday, May 01, 2009

a deepening sensation 1.46

I read your post on sutra 1.45 Kate, and you inspired me to look ahead, and yeah, I see what you mean… Second chapter just around the corner… And these last sutras, seem to be “the promises” of yoga, for a perseverant practice. (if that’s something you can say?)
Desikachar: “1.46 All these processes of directing the mind involve an object of enquiry.”
I just take this sutra as an instruction: “Jenni, give your students an object”.
So Saturday is big breathing day ;-) Sunday is ease and peace, Monday is spine and center day.
For me – good objects of enquiry!
One of my favourite philosophers is called Kitaro Nishida he wrote a book called “An inquiry to the good” I just love that. Good object, good as object :-)
Desikachar also puts my practice in words, he says: “They also involve preparation, gradual progression and sustained interest” This is what I often say about the asanas, they are not only a pose, how you get there, the work there and how to come out of the poses…
This way of working the asana have given me a deepening sensation of my practice.
Peace and love
Snoring jenni saunte

Friday, April 24, 2009

the very source of perception, 1.45

Desikachar: “Except that the mind cannot comprehend the very source of perception within us, its objects can be unlimited.” 1.45

For me in simple body-jenni-language this means the eye can look around but it cannot see itself, the ear can listen to the sounds in the city, the room, even the stomach and the heart but it doesn't hear the tympanic membrane (yeye funny word). So I can know something about my position, but only in relation to something else?... That’s why it’s so lovely with any form of contact, to know myself and truth through participation (=relation)… positioning me to something else.

The effect in my practice is a love for working with a group that offers so many possibilities to interact. Partner-yoga-positions, perhaps, or meditating on the “being part of”, hmm yes I like that.
Ideals (abhyasa, which makes me strive… like the grass is greener over there) and prejudice (judging jenni – resting on my laurels… they (over there)really cannot do the lawn in the right way ;-)) can seem soo dangerous and hurting, but right now, they just seem like expressions of relation in the more limited human way ;9 participating… The whole “cannot comprehend” brings me back to: “it’s not why, why, why… it just is”. But it would also be nice to try to work with “the very source of perception”, experiencing that it exists, more than trying to understand and looking at it…
Ups, it just turned into a big project, let’s see
Peace and love

Saturday, April 18, 2009

whatever floats your boat!

Maybe you too have some experience with this dimond place? (see last week)
I’ve been thinking about last weeks sutra, the diamond clear pure unifying perception, where all judgement and opinions lets go… and I wrote this comment to dharmayoga:
“I know this place - have you ever tried to say a word for soo long time, that it suddenly sounds all new and funny in the mouth, and suddenly have no meaning? or having an argument for such a long time (yeah every object can take me there) that suddenly there is no contact to what it was all about, its just words and circles… or doing a mechanical thing for such a long time, like walking uphill, you go through all the opinions and resentments the mind can dig up - on this action,, a lot… but suddenly there is peace, the legs are walking you,, and you forgot that it’s tough or hard on the muscles and the head is empty.. like a flawless diamond”
Well this weeks sutra (in the Desikachar translation) says “This process is possible with any type of object, at any level of perception, wether superficial and general, or profound and specific.” 1.44 and I went: “I just said soo to Kate!!!” I’m using that comment hahaha lazy me :-) in this weeks sutra.
But I’ve explored it, or it’s been explored through me in my classes, I found myself telling my students, it’s not about doing it the right way – it’s about wresteling with it, engaging in the process, do hatha yoga, ashtanga yoga, follow a guru or … whatever floats your boat. Whatever takes you there!!!! It’s the unification and the pure perception that’s interesting not what takes us there…
And I’m consequently changing between the general and the specific and the profound and the superficial, in my objects of attention- often I find that I don’t really know what is what, and I get to be surprised! Oh I just love that!! Like when someone in a soap-episode says the right thing and everything in my heart and here and now is put in the right place – I didn’t see that comming...
Jenni Saunte

Friday, April 03, 2009

easter saluts!

Hi beautiful you!
This is short; I’m off to an eastern break at the big ocean! I choose to bring to sutras with me.

“However, this does not happen spontaneously [to get a mind like a flawless diamond]. It is gradual. Everything that has been heard, read or felt may interfere with our perception.” Sutra 1.42
“When the direction of the mind towards the object is sustained, the ideas and memories of the past gradually recede. The mind becomes crystal clear and is in union with the object. At this moment there is no feeling of oneself. This is pure perception.” Sutra 1.43

I relate. This is language I get.
I guess this is the guideline behind “leave the past outside the yogaroom” and sayings like: “there is no word –I cannot- in yoga” or how you guys put that in English, the essence for me, is to move towards this pure perception, to claim more reality, to get a clear bright vision, move with insights, and in contact to my inner truth and being. “I can’t” is a statement based on past experience, so in order to get change – change.
That’s it for now. I’m relatively brainfried. Today is all about playfulness.
Love jenni saunte

Friday, March 27, 2009

Always keep a diamond in your mind.

So, this sutra tells me, why it’s so important to let go of disturbances and seek serenity.
When I look at the world, reality, through my transparent inner diamond, I most likely will see, and become true reality. Emotions, feelings, opinions, personality colours and disturbs my perception, and the possible unity. I love Bouanchauds words about this sutra. He asks me, how I distinguish between a mere quiet mind and contemplation. I don’t know. Maybe my only experience is that contemplation can include an object, while a quite mind can be unfocused as well, or have no special playground. But I long to hear your experience here :-)
I’ve been guided to share my reality (like; what I plan to do) with others, and leave the explanations and defences out of the discussion. My experience, with this practice is that my life gets easier, calmer and yes, more bright and transparent (honest). I also get to see, that a lot of mess between me and my loved ones had to do with discussing the explanations and the defences, there is a diamond hard edge to leaving all those matters behind, but it is a beautiful hardness.
How do I translate this into my yoga practice?
To meet every pose, with my inner diamond hard clarity… Let go of all the personal stories about what I cannot and doesn’t use to… To focus on being on my mat, and not about xxx (what to remember to tell someone, what to buy later and what the idiot accomplished earlier :) just be, breath, move, do and maybe experience the cleansing of mind and connection to my inner diamond clear mind.
So I’m thinking forehead, headstand, warrior poses and breathing. I don’t know why yet…

Sutra 1.41 Bouanchaud;
“As fluctuations subside, the contemplative mind becomes transparent like a gem, and reflects the object, whether it is that which perceives, the instrument of perception, or the object perceived.”
“When the mind is free from distraction, it is possible to be involved in the object of enquiry. As one remains in this state, gradually one becomes totally immersed in the object. The mind, then like a flawless diamond, reflects only the features of the object and nothing else.

more, more, more 1.41 with Kate

Jenni Saunte

Friday, March 20, 2009

Ease and peace 1.40

Desikachar translates the sutra to “When one reaches this state, nothing is beyond comprehension. The mind can follow and help in the understanding of the simple and the complex, the infinite and the infinitesimal, the perceptible and the imperceptible.”
For many weeks I’ve concluded to my classes, that serenity must be pretty darn important-one sutra after another telling me how to get there…
Sutra 1.40, tells me that things get better when I get in the yoga-state :-) I believe Patanjali is right!
How many times haven’t I thought “this is so messed up, it can never be good again” or something along that line, and when my disturbed mind have found peace, serenity everything is clear. So this week I’m in the clear, clean sight, working with garud asana and connecting all asanas to the unfolding of clarity and peace. To me there is clarity and peace, to enjoy in finding unity. For me, everything gets simpler when the key fit the lock :-) so exploring unity, (finding/using the right key) is the same quest for me. Ease and peace.
I’m keeping this post short this week, have been writing so much – love and gratitude for your time and attention.
Jenni Saunte

Friday, March 13, 2009

focal points calming the mind 1.39

Where have I recently just read something like; “if you focus on external objects all you find is that you need more and more and more to get satisfied, if you focus on inner being, you will find a depth that fulfils your every wish and need for more”.
Maybe in the 365 tao…
Well, this sutra:
Bouanchaud: “Choosing meditation according to one’s affinities also brings mental stability.”
Desikachar: "Any inquiry of interest can calm the mind."
...reminds me that focusing on one thing can calm my mind. I’ve really tested this one – it works, it really does. Having kids, studies and work, I often get disturbed trying to do the impossible act, multitasking- as way of life. Not healthy. This week I’ve tried to fix my whole semester and my whole essay at once – this drives me insane – and it’s so true, simple and beautiful. It feels insane, because it is! Cannot fix May in March. Simple. Cannot write the ending and the result and the middle and the start at once, it’s madness. Simple. So, thanks for the reminder, one focal point (at a time) can cool my heated mind. My affinities – I’m looking that one up, it means: “relationship by marriage, an attraction to or liking for something, an attractive force between substances” relation and relationship is mentioned. I love the dictionary-meditation. So my affinities are matters of relation, attraction and kind of a connecting force.
In my meditations, my affinity has been on sensing “being alive”, for some time. It’s so nice, just to feel life vibrating and awareness shaped into a form. I guess I’m building a relation with this affinity, to my experience of life. Reading this sutra makes me think of dristis, focal points, maybe I work them into my practice, and into my teaching. The focus has been exclusively on breath, attitudes and awareness for some time, maybe this is a push towards some new material… Maybe I’ll share some meditation experience, or maybe we lengthen the small meditation I’ve worked into every class.
Ok that’s it for now.
Namasté-bumpless minds to all of you :-)
Jenni Saunte

Friday, March 06, 2009

dreamy and poetic - 1.38

Well, I’ve had some pretty vivid dreams this week, also this night. In my academic work, I meditate on the concepts “poetic” and “dreamy” to name a quality of experience, play and creativity. A challenging differentiation, but I just keep waiting and listening, cause in my experience, the answer is always clear, easy (and already there). This quality points towards another (4.) dimension, where “knowing” is something completely else.
For me, this quality is the one that makes the hobbyhorse fun to ride – it’s like a magic wand.
And today I read sutra 1.38 “Enquiry into dreams and sleep and our experiences during and around these states can help clarify some of our problems”, nidra (yogic sleep) off course reminds me to make some extra work on the endings off my classes, maybe go dynamic during class, and than use some extra minutes to be in the this dreamy – poetic state.
I also love that Bouanchaud reminds me of drastar, inner being. If I connect this, with what I work on academically, than I conclude (haha) that in every asana – inner truth or being is available, through – dreamy – poetic - qualities of experience. Let’s make the “hobbyhorse asanas fun to ride” hahaha oh, that just sounds weird.
There is a salutation I love – which Rossella Baroncini thought me – I do the rising and lowering of the arms (start of sun salutation) and while lowering-
I say to the sound “aaa” while turning face to the east and honouring the state of being awake –
Than turning to the south I say “ååå” when lowering the arms, honouring the state of conscious dreaming while asleep –
To the west I say “uuu” while lowering the arms, honouring the state of deep sleep (resting in trust, inner being, gods hands) –
And to the north I say “aum” honouring the state that includes the three former and transcends them :-)
I love that salutation.
Read a bit more about 1.38 at Dharmayogas...
So an aum salutation to all you beautiful connecting people
Jenni Saunte

Friday, February 27, 2009

sharing direct experience

Last week I dedicated my classes to focus on life and being alive – I found myself focusing on breath and the experience of movement. I kept coming back to this – life in my meditation became an meditation on movement (breath, heart beat, joints, and dynamic asanas), motion as a meditation is good to me. This weeks sutra says:
“When we are confronted with problems, the counsel of someone who has mastered similar problems can be great help.” (Desikachar translation of Patanjali sutra 1.37)
Yes, this is my experience, I believe that experience and serenity can “rub of” on me. Or as Bouanchaud says “The mind takes colour from it’s object…” a person who have the experience I seek, he calls a mediator.
Inside myself I have an inner mediator. If I’ve found a way to solve a problem in one area in my life – for example work – than I know that a similar problem, at another area in my life, can benefit from this experience of solution.
For me the words: “someone who has mastered similar problems”, means someone who can share the experience, not just an opinion or advice based on “thinking”. This reminds me of sutra 1.7 (Desikachars unfolding) which tells me, when direct comprehension is not an option, than relate to trusted authorities, to achieve indirect comprehension. It’s about living the truth. As my photographer friend says “as little as possible between the lens and the motif” or something like that :-) I get him…
Soo in class I will continue to support my students to talk to each other, about different teachers and different yoga – experiences, and tell them to try several different teachers, and not judge all yoga by what they meet in my class. I also want to work with direct experience and put in some partner work, to enjoy sharing experience. Again this sutra reveals how important serenity is, and how we approach this peaceful state…
Kate on this sutra
Jenni Saunte

Friday, February 20, 2009

let go of the detail, focus on experiencing 1.36

“When we inquire to what life is and what keeps us alive, we may find some solace for our mental distractions.” (Desikachar)
Again, a suggestion to solve my mental disturbances. In my world I call this treasure hunting. It doesn’t have to be inquiries to life, God or good. It can be… just participating in reality – sensing it, instead of living my opinion, my evaluation.
In life I can get mentally disturbed by getting rejected.
I just received a work related letter, which could be read as a rejection of my ideas, my self gets hurt (attachment to my ideas) and I can go into fight mode (who has the right reality:-).
If I live my evaluation of this situation, I can argue until tomorrow, why I’m right and they are wrong.
In my mind I can construct thousands of answers, were I crush them with my wit and sharp words and arguments :-) but than again, what do I get out of this? A night with mental disturbance and little sleep.
Sutras 1.36 suggest some perspective, my treasure hunt.
If I, instead of looking into the fight, choose to look at the possibility that it is “just an e-mail”, it is “just another human being” and I really doesn’t have to do anything with it (right now). Than it’s just not threatening.
My disturbance gets smaller – I love and adore the word “just” -it’s great.
Thanks to this act of faith, I can get to re-read the letter and see if there, possibly, is anything I can use!
Is there something I don’t have to defend myself (yes – self…) against, and when I trust love, to be a solid foundation – unfolded in this letter, maybe I actually can get some treasure out of this mail.
What’s in it for me?!
(and if this fails I have a backup to trust – “rejection is protection” – which is my experience)

Consideration of things greater than jennis selves helps put jenni in perspective.

Perspective of something greater than me, is my truth, I get to practice being “part of” which is true identity for me. I guess that’s why it’s so calming to focus on a greater perspective – it’s simply true, for body, mind and spirit. I get to be whole by being part of – integrity is a grand present.

In asana work, I want to let go of the detail, focus on the experiencing the sensation of life. I also want to try out some of the pranayama, from the workshop I attended this week – pass it on.
Namasté and serene minds – no disturbances whatsoever to all of you :-)
Jenni Saunte

Friday, February 13, 2009

sensory perception adventure, 1.35

“Objective sensory perception stabilizes and focuses our thought.”
My perception of my selves and others, is not objective, neither is it one thing. The more I discover that my perception is depending on my attitude or my experienced reality, the more I’m set free (=objective) from the idea that my perception is the one and only way to experience my selves and others. (loove the plural form of “selves” :-)
I don’t think my attitudes are obstacles in their nature, but thinking my attitudes (or my opinions for that sake) is me – well that often lead to trouble…
So, I know from experience that thinking that sensory perception is personal makes a lot of unmanageability, through this I can relate to this sutra.

Right now I’m working with theories that claim our bodies are like spaceships, gathering information about the surrounding space – it’s through our bodies we relate to each others and the world around us. We often forget how enjoyable and satisfying this experience can be. I love this picture. And the consequences it has.

When I get really tired in the dynamic asana work, I love the suggestion of; “maybe I’m not tired,(haha) maybe it’s a story :-) Or when the perception “I lack flexibility in a joint” offers it’s service, I can try another story; “how is this joint perfect right now…”

Bouanchaud talks about perspectives, I think this is what I get from having a long time daily practice, it gives a perspective - an entity, to the asana and thereby lets the asana be just a part of something bigger, get a proportion.

To my teaching this sutra encourage working on “judge not” and search for the reason (attitude, or perspective) to do yoga today – and bring that into every asana.
But since it’s valentines day, my Saturday will be about love, love, love - and I will give an extra class on partner-yoga-asanas and a chocolate meditation – that can be a sensory perception adventure !
Love and peace
Jenni Saunte

Friday, February 06, 2009

clear, bright and steady (1.34)

“The mind also attains serenity through prolonged exhalation and holding the breath.”
The first question I always ask me is: Is this my experience?
And here I have to go with Yes! If my mind is really messed up I add a sound to my exhalation(not positive phrases, never really been my thing). I recognize my truth in the words “An agitated mind disturbs breathing. Calming the breathing process, therefore, can quiet the mind.”
I have a grounding feeling in my exhalation, and grounding has a quality of peace to me.
I’ve heard, that serenity means having one thought at a time :-) which I can relate to… In Merriam Webster’s definition, serenity has qualities of clear, bright and steady. It sounds like a description of ujjayi breath, or the yoga breath (wonder what you call it in English…) to me, or a good headstand or when a pose transcends just doing it and… becomes. Clear, bright and steady.

Bouanchaud writes that traditionally the exhalation and suspending breath after exhalation symbolizes humility and sacrifice. Yes, I recognize this as well. It’s been a helpful (living prayer) to unclench my claws of attachments – to let go into the exhalation, and experiencing the rich filled emptiness afterwards – humbling in the best of ways. And “I” don’t have to do it – if “I” wait long enough it gets done through me :-)

So, for the classes I plan to focus on clear, bright and steady. Through focusing on breath, especially exhalation and suspending breath after exhalation. Beauty!
Jenni Saunte

Christine on sutra 1.34

Kate on the sutra...

Friday, January 30, 2009

the eyes on the price “a quiet mind” 1.33

This is one, is a big one for me!!!
“The mind becomes quiet when it cultivates friendliness in the presence of happiness, active compassion in the presence of unhappiness, joy in the presence of virtue, and indifference toward error.”
So, it’s about quieting the mind, I tend to focus on all the other great things in this sutra, and I really need to
“keep the eyes on the price” :-)
Jealousy and envy are big serenity robbers (my guide tells me that; comparison is the shortest way to insanity:-), and so are condemnation and judgement.
I guess this is why we say (at least in Danish yoga rooms) “Mind your own mat”. Not as a “non-sharing” kind of thing, but to nurture the serenity – to quiet the mind.
For me – wanting what I don’t have (sometime happiness or virtue) and fear of loosing what I already have (respect, worth, my happy mood or being right ;-) – can make my life a true mess.
When I started out as a yoga teacher, I never told my colleagues- whose classes I attended - that I also was a teacher. I was afraid of their judgement of me. I had this story of, having to be good (better), perfect and never sick and sad – man it was hard :-)
I’ll do anything to avoid this lonely place.
Today I always introduce myself as a colleague. I get to be part of a community. I take classes, with some of the most wonderful, inspiring teachers and when I can love them for their virtue and thank them for the challenge they bring me. I get to be in safe, loving relations – I realize that it’s my attitudes that are safe to live within. My mind quiets. Nice!
I’ve been given the power to delegate :-) and so I do. I delegate: reading the newspaper to my boyfriend, big bosoms to some of my girlfriends, eating sugar to my kids, enjoying hunting to the hunters and giving the kids a cat to my ex. (at his house).
What I get out of this practice, is SERENITY. If I really believe we are all one – than I truly can enjoy soo many things.
When I was younger it was all about the passion, mostly for him :-) or some prestige-action…
It kind of still is about passion... Today I’m passionate about being in rhythm, madly in love with contentedness, wild about perspectives and proportions, excited about getting one more day-awake! In these states my mind quiets and I find peace.
Sure- there is still the part of me that gets such a kick out of a good inhalation, that I just want to continue, breathing in- until my lungs burst and my head explodes, because… well I just really love breathing :-9 and being alive. It’s not exactly my serene moment… neither is it an ego-boost, just life-bubbling in an overwhelming way.
What to do, with classes?
Gratitude to what is easy for each and every one of us, compassion with what’s hard for us, neutrality towards the errors we- and those around us make and let happiness and contentment be a friend. Minding my own mat – the “here” in atha (here and now) and the eyes on the price “a quiet mind”.
Jenni Saunte
Christine on sutra 1.33
Dharmayoga also on this sutra...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

and a litle more on 1.32...

Bouanchaud asks “How can I realize that I have searched long enough and that now is the time to choose a single aim toward mastery?”
Lately the answer, for me, has been; if I search and there is no answer inside me, and no recognition of truth, well something’s off. I let this search go, in faith that answer will come in time (maybe when the question is reformulated).
If I, however, feel that this or that is the truth or the right thing for me, I have a practice; to take a week, some time to see if it was a flick of mind or something consistent… I’ve found that everything that is meant to be will be. I can calmly take my time.
The choices that are really important seldom have a rush to them (I don’t have the right English words here). The “crisis!! make a decision fast!-choices”, rarely are important in a greater perspective.
love jenni

Friday, January 23, 2009

one asana at a time, one breath at a time 1.32

(in my bed – slowly lightening up in body and mind :-)
Ok, god morning again :-) Obstacles will show up, but this sutra promises me that they don’t have to fill up the whole horizon. It reminds me, of my favourite practice! To take one thing at a time, one breath at a time. My kids have heard me say it, so many times, they are now telling me; “mom, we can only do one thing at a time” – I just love that!
I actually consider myself to be really good at multitasking; it’s the kind of game that stimulates the inner logistic structuralist in me… But I get to see how every structure I build carries its own destruction in itself.
I go crazy trying to do more than one thing at a time, for a longer time. Especially if it’s things from different areas in my life – like reading a theoretical text, while making dinner and pretending to look at what my youngest daughter has to show me – man!!! I just go nuts (irritated and controlling). Today, I usually don’t do any kind of work after picking up the kids and to they are in bed. For me that’s practicing one thing at a time.
A friend offered me the idea, to meditate on whatever I was doing, adding a mantra and offering my full attention to it(pure yoga I guess :-). So, when I was bicycling my mantra was kind of: “I’m bicycling, I’m bicycling, this is it, it feels like this, I’m in it right now, like this, bicycling” and I did that, as often as I remembered. It was amusing, but I got tired as well.
No thoughts, what so ever, is a true blessing!!!
This is also how teaching yoga is for me. I almost always have an idea and a plan what we’re gonna do, but when I start to teach I forget everything else and I am fully present in whatever asana we unfold. So for me this asana reminds me to let go of past, future and be right here and now – paying full attention and awareness (sthira) to one asana at a time, one breath at a time.
It all fit! I just took a lovely class at a friend and I was so grateful to get to have time to connect in every movement, especially in the start – so this I want to pass on :-)
Christine on sutra 1.32
Dharmayoga on sutra 1.32...
Jenni Saunte

Friday, January 16, 2009

freeing power of yoga, the search for being at ease, flow in the breathing

So, last week I celebrated, with my students 30 weeks anniversary with the sutras – wow! these weeks just floated by in a wild tempo….
Bouanchaud writes that many people come to yoga to free themselves from suffering. This sentence becomes, for me, some days yoga is freeing me from suffering, body and mind, yoga get to symbolize conscious contact with a greater perspective and an opportunity to practice “let go” and surrender.
This sutra tells me, that the symptoms that tell me, there is an inner obstacle, are (again I put Desikachar/Bouanchaud, since I get rich by using both their translations):
- mental discomfort/suffering
- negative thinking/depression
- inability to be at ease in different body postures/physical restlessness
- difficulty in controlling ones breath/disturbed breathing, mental dispersion
Desikachar makes it clear to me that now I have the obstacles and the symptoms, we are moving towards the answer yoga has to offer to me.
Personally I relate and recognize to them all, right now it’s dispersion, having so many fantastic projects in my life, that I sometimes... well my awareness is spread out. Choosing yoga, prayer and meditation first makes everything else into a loving proportion, and helps me focus.
To my teaching, this tells me, that the student that shows these symptoms may gain even more by his or hers yoga. Since awareness can set us free. I don’t see me as a therapist in any way however. I think yoga can support healing for them, but outside help is a fine contribution. I’m kind of “pro hospital -for the broken legs-teacher"! :-)
I’m inspired to do classes about the detaching, freeing power of yoga and about breath – the search for being at ease in all postures. Soo a little swing, and a little roll and rotate might support the freeing powers, and focusing on gravity might support the letting go – detachment, vairagya. And always getting into the sense of flow in the breathing, to get to experience “being at ease – sukha”
Read Dharmayoga on sutra 1.31 here!
and christine...
Jenni Saunte

Friday, January 09, 2009

here and now, being new, introducing, grounding, the state of mind

After an afternoon nap, enjoying a cup of coffee with a good friend; the world seems so friendly. And moving into this writing, in this very friendly mode, all I can say is OK.
Sutra 1.30 counts the obstacles that disperse the mind (interruptions to develop mental clarity), here I’ve put the translations of Bouanchaud/Desikachar:
- Sickness/illness
- mental inertia/mental stagnation
- doubt/doubt
- haste/lack of foresight
- apathy/fatigue
- intemperance/over indulgence
- errors in judgement of oneself/illusions of one’s true state of mind
- lack of perseverance/ lack of perseverance
- inability to stay at one level once reached/regression
To all this, I say ok. Not to show indifference, but like in sutra 1.6 Patanjali gives me a “whole” presented by the parts. I’m in the receivers’ position.
A part of my (academic) mind starts to find the error, trying to argue that xxx is also an obstacle, or xxx that is in the text is not an obstacle.
But my experience is that if I just open my mind as much as possible and give the idea some time, the reason, for this way of looking at things will become clear to me.

It also reminds me of a transition. There have been the “God-sutras” and now the transition into something new.
My teaching is affected by this sutra. I start all my classes with a transition, in which I often ask them to experience the state of the body, the thoughts and the feelings and mood.
I guess this is because the mind can produce “obstacles” that affects how the yoga session will turn out today. I also want to unfold this movement (transitions are movements to me), into something new. The feeling of being new (and sometimes overwhelmed).
It’s a good theme for me, partly because I’m gonna teach at a new place with new students and partly because we are still new- in this year. I love being new; there is lots of room for practicing trust and faith here. That’s a good place for me.
In my class: here and now, being new, introducing my teaching, grounding, examining the minds state. Maybe, with the students I’ve had for several years, I dare to ask them to connect to what is the vibrating obstacle right now and how can it serve as a mean to progression :-)
Let’s see
Check out Dharmayogas musings on sutra 1.30
Jenni Saunte

Sunday, January 04, 2009

to go slow, deep, clean, clear

Happy new year! I guess we’re all babies in this year :-) I love being new.

Hope you’ve had a nice time celebrating the cycle of the year.
I’ve been to the north of Denmark and there was snow! I love snow, and I miss it, I grew up in the north of Sweden so I’m used to a lot more snow than Copenhagen can offer…
I’m keeping it short this week:

“It is then that one understands the self and gradually clears inner obstacles”

I love that he writes that; “as we gradually acquire something, little by little, something else disappears”. That is my experience. It is not easy to let go off an old idea, but by grabbing hold of the new one, what is ment to disappear will do so by it self.
This sutra affects my teaching to go slow, deep, clean, clear.

Maybe just unfold the breath, and as a teacher, let go of mentioning all the little details I tend to get lost in :-) no… details is fine, they keep me in the flow, in movement and improvement.

So I want to make programs about ease, asanas they know, balances (to work with clarity) and static asanas. And now I get that this is creating a harmony to the dynamic classes that grew out of last weeks “repetition” sutra. Beautiful!