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!