Saturday, December 25, 2010

ocean of communication

Merry Christmas
This sutra is about the samyama on communication. Words can mean so many things and can be interpreted in so many ways. Iyengar relates the samyama of words to the Christian wonder of the apostles breaking through the wall of language, communicating on a different level. I relate to this as “when words are not needed” – truth comes in many forms.

Desikachar translates sutra 3.17 to;
“Samyama on the interactions between language, ideas and objects is to examine the individual features of the objects, the means of describing them and the ideas and their cultural influences in the minds of the describers. Through this, one can find the most accurate and effective way of communication regardless of linguistic, cultural and other barriers.”
Desikachar writes “Our ability to see an object is based on our interests and potentials” This relates to a course I went through this week, where the leader explained about efficiency, how we have a space of interest; this space is bigger than our space of influence (potential space/possibilities). Her message was to put our effort and energy into the focus where we both had our interest and most potentiality. When I combine this with Desikachars comment on the sutra, I get that; my understanding of the world will be deepest where I have both interest and potential to connect, when one lack, my knowledge becomes more superficial and if both lack, well.. my understanding most certainly is close to nothing. (This doesn’t mean I don’t have an opinion about the matter ;-)

Language has been part of my meditation for years, this posting in English and reading philosophy translated from the unspoken Sanskrit into English is part of this. I come to experience different truths through this. Right now I’m at a balancing-point where meaningful and meaningless surrounds me. Words sails around like little boats on the great ocean of communication. I have no idea what they are all about. Sometimes I take them very personally and they can hurt the role that interprets in me. Sometimes I think I see how they are expressions of another subject and I feel like I get some more insight of another being.
But right now – words have become anonymous. They don’t mean anything. They are not meant for me/against me or expressions of her/him. They are just little boats on the ocean of communication.

When I relate into this sutra, I start to look at communication in my life today today – and this is a big one for me. So I turn to the asana, to get grounded again. In the asana there is this effortless state – to me, this is a state beyond words. Maybe this is the samyama of communication? As a teacher I dictate or I show the student what to do. Some lineages of yoga looks down on not showing the asana and some others looks down on showing anything at all ;-) this is so amusing – the human nature in yoga – Anyway, my personal way is to see what arises in the situation. If I can teach using only a few words – marvellous! If I need to show something – wonderful.
If I’m hurting in my body, and need to not show – well I need to dictate better ;-) my experience is that different student get it differently – some gets it immediately if they see it, some gets it through the right choice of words. Personally I love both words and showing.


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sutras on change

Desikachar interpret that the following sutras gives examples of how samyama can give us deep knowledge "the process of changing our mental potential from incomplete, or no comprehension at all, to total comprehension" (this I read as what Iyengar calls "transformation of consciousness"). I need to remember what samyama is, so no; “guessing wrong”, makes me take a detour here.. Samyama; "Sutra 3.4 “The three together – dharana, dhyana and Samadhi – constitute integration or samyama.” (Iyengar translation)" So, the experience of "moments of grace" where it all comes together, is tastes of samyama.

3.16 "Samyama on the process of change, how it can be affected by time and other factors, develops knowledge of the past and the future." (Desikachar translation)
Combining these glimpses of "coming together" on change… I guess I relate this to the feeling of; change making sense, or suddenly seeing the bigger picture, where change is the transformer and samyama is the state of graceful insight. When the experience of past and the movement towards future in the now feels like ... right/making sense/authentic/obvious..

I also relate this to the asana - where the past (why there for example is flexibility or pain somehow), the now (the experience in the body and mind in the asana)and the movement towards something (experienceing getting further or deeper), gets dissolved and just background that deepens the contact into the asana today.
Desikachar reminds us that Patanjali cautions us to misuse samayama to other focus than "true freedom" or "deep knowledge". This makes me think of Iyengars words on how easily we can get distracted by exhibitionism or the more enjoyable sensations we discover on the path of yoga :-)

Iyengar writes, on this sutra, that we develop knowledge of the past and the future, the present is felt. This knowledge unfolds in a good (correct) practice and we are encourage to "intensify [our practice] with sustained faith and enthusiasm and to be indifferent to our achievements, so as to avoid deteriorating into affliction, fluctuation and self-gratification"

My guiding words this week; to meet change with faith (for me trust) and enthusiasm in my daily practice and in the yoga lesson.
I love that the sutras I read now is all about change, the year is moving towards a fictive end :-) and the darkness of winter is turning towards more light of spring these days, so nature unfolds change and I most certainly experience change in my life- in my family structure. It's very real to live in and most giving to work the sutras on!! Grateful jenni! This Sunday I want to do all the letting go exercises, I know - to prepare and let go of what we are prepared to not carry into the story of a new year :-)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

trusting the process

Sutra 3.15 “By changing the order or sequence of change, characteristics that are of one pattern can be modified to a different pattern” (Desikachar translation)

“Change has a sequence” (Desikachar)
“this sequence can be altered” (Desikachar)
… like changing the flow of a river in a valley.

Iyengar tells me that consciousness partly exists beyond time but change of consciousness exists in time and therefore; can be altered.
I quote a lot this time, but well… that’s just it :-)
“There is a logic to the involuntary spiritual journey, just as there is in the growth of a plant from seed, to stem, to bud, to flower, to fruit. The original, pure consciousness which we trace through Patanjali’s method is the seed of transformation in oneself. Our own self is the maker of our own spiritual destiny.”(Iyengar)

This is why yoga teachers should be properly trained :-) and this is why a daily practice matters even more when it is lead by competent teachers and this is why it is so important to listen to the heart and the body while doing daily practice. It effects our spiritual path :-) or consciousness and our way of life. I’m bringing my inner teacher to my practice today!!

The second thing I relate to here is my experience with change – one little change a day; like starting my day in prayer or ending the day in gratitude may seem small, but it makes a bigger difference in the thought-sea. Brushing the teethes, with the left hand (standing on one foot) or walking a new way to work, can make a transformation in consciousness. I trust the effect of small changes. I fought with sukhasana (swastika asana) I cried and I tried :-) no progress what so ever. But I met up in the asana for three months in a row (yes the 90 days daily try-out) and suddenly this summer at the Glenn Ceresoli retreat in Orvieto, I bitched to my teacher (big giving up – I can make it on my own), the next day when he was going to check up what my problem was – it was gone –haha how stupid and happy I felt at the same time!
And the problem has been removed ever since. To me this means, I keep doing my daily practice, sometime the results come in small sudden experiences along the road, sometime the change comes big-time-suddenly. What I know is that this change had a huge impact on my consciousness. Mostly I felt it clearly as a relief of pain/problem and relief from some blockings in consciousness. But there was also a change in consciousness, from not giving up just because the effect is not immediate, but trusting the process.


Saturday, December 04, 2010

essence and forms

3.14 "A substance contains all its characteristics, and depending on the particular form it takes, those characteristics conforming to that form will be apparent. But whatever the form, whatever the characteristics. Some have appeared in the past, some are currently apparent and others may reveal themselves in the future"
(Desikachar) and he writes that the sutras tells us that; "everything we perceive is fact not fiction. But these facts are subject to change."
It took me such long time to see that if I'm sad today this might not be the case tomorrow, if I'm sick today this might not be my condition tomorrow. Being sad or sick are true experiences but they are changing states or conditions and maybe not the best basis for choice... For most my life I based my choices on trying to become more safe, happy and healthy - these are good motives. But if the facts I interpret as stable reliable static facts are in essence changing I will get screwed in my search for joy and health. Actually I don't have a clue.

Having a daily practice gives me a new relationship to changing facts like "feel like doing the practice" or "getting something out of my practice" and "doing it tomorrow"... I know I don't have the longest practice but I'm given something steady through meeting up on my mat (and these 90 days on my chair), perspective. This perspective shows me that my "kick of doing it" might not always be there, if I always should feel like doing it, I would have stopped years ago, and never gained a steady practice. And if I didn't get a steady practice I would never have seen how many things change. And I'm given a miraculous "trust the process" and patience that has nothing to do with me and what I recognized as my characteristics.

I'm given the following parables, for example is the substance the same in dust, clay and the formed vase. I guess that the substance is the same in water, ice and steam... So do we have something significant, something essential that is us through childhood, youth and old age.

I relates this to my asana work, something I might have been able to do in my childhood or youth and something I might be able to enjoy and do in my old age. And than there is the form I unfold today. Deep in the center is the essence or substance that don't change into forms, or is the same in all these forms.

Desikachar have written a longer translation than Iyengar, but with my language difficulties it was more understandable. When I read the surrounding commentary I read the same message to me. So it's easy :-)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

bringing the most authentic, genuine and true

Sutra 3.13 “Through these three phases, cultured consciousness is transformed from its potential state (dharma) towards further refinement (laksana) and the zenith of refinement (avastha). In this way, the transformation of elements, senses and mind takes place” (Iyengar translation)
So many things I need to check up on reading this…

As I understand, the three phases are; 1. the rising and falling of unbalanced thought 2. recognizing the alterations and hold steady a one-pointed attention 3. the maintenance of this uninterrupted flow and intensity of (one-pointed into no-pointed) attention.

And I need to check into dharma, laksana and avasta – again, to see how I can relate.
Iyengar describes it as a way to talk about the relation between the divine motionless self (purusa) and the ever changing, for us, human nature (prakrti). Dharma is somehow our essence or fundament, laksana are character markers or signs, and avasta is condition and state. I’m given the example of how I am a mother, a daughter, a employee and a friend.
This human jenni-being is my dharma, all the roles and situations I’m in, is modifications to me, part of my forming and avasta is the most authentic, truthful and genuine jenni-being in every situation and relation I encounter. Bringing the Jenni-contribution that only I can.
This reminds me of some words I’ve been given “I’m not me – nobody is” and “If two of us were alike than one of us would be superfluous” and “we are all part of the spirit, if one is missing spirit would be not perfect” well I’m changing the words a bit, mostly because I cannot remember…

To my teaching; It inspires me to go for the personal relation to every asana. To go for the balance in the balance-pose but also balance of mind in every asana. The possibility to take the position of observing the rise and fall of thought instead of being the thinker.
Jenni Saunte

Saturday, November 20, 2010

get back into the flow of uniterrupted attentivness

"When rising and falling thought processes are in balance, one-pointed consciousness emerges. Maintenance of awareness with keen intensity from one-pointed attention to no-pointed attentiveness is ekagrata parinama." Iyengar translation

Oh God, in these days the maintenance -or what I call (keep coming back, or fight-surrender-process) sometimes is all i get to experience... I'm grateful that Iyengar mentions how the mind suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, can get upset and in fight mode. I know!!! it's astonishing!! fine thing for me, is that it have happened so much that I don't even ask why any longer. And the good news is that it (often) takes shorter and shorter time to get back into center! Yoga is one good magic wand - to get into one-pointed attentiveness, kids is another. Pain is kind of a good one as well.

I think maybe... balance is onepointed attentiveness (brain-freeze) maybe not.
In yoga posture practice I relate most clearly to this in the stillness of the asana. Where I can see how different ideas a

I don't think this sutra inspires my daily practice, but more... describes it. In my daily practice there is a constant possibility to experience the transformation into uninterupted flow and intensity of attention.

So when we get disturbed (and we will) the only thing is to get back into the intesity of one-pointed attention and back into enjoying the flow!
easy ! ?
Jenni Saunte

Sunday, November 14, 2010

from scattered to whole

Sutra 3.11 “ The weakening of scattered attention and the rise of one-pointed attention in the citta (consciousness) is the transformation towards Samadhi” (Iyengar translation)
How do I relate to this?
I am more aware and present when my mind and my action and my body is at one place. There is a peace and a sensation of being whole in this.
What is my experience?
When attention is scattered I feel like eczema, a rash, I get more irritated and impatient and unsatisfied. In moments of one-pointed attention, a comfort comes along, because a discomfort would in essence be a scatter of attention.
How can this inspire my personal daily practice?
Well my daily practice often is the “thing” that gathers this loony mind of mine.
How can this inspire my teaching?
When students seem to wonder I can… challenge them so that they cannot ignore the present ;-) or I can keep my own focus – it usually rubs off. I can stop giving so many different instructions and try go for the simple..

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


Iyengars translation and comment on sutra 3.9 is one of the most important texts I've ever read.
If I could I would just quote the whole text to you :-) I give this a go instead.

To me it's all about getting free.
We are born into a human condition and it is a gift, a changing, challenging gift. Somthing in us know a stillness, a tranquility and moves us towards this, seeking to get free from the attachment from sensory stories of "need, want, don't want". Iyengar writes that the central thread in Patanjalis sutras is the relation between the divine Self (purusa) and nature (prakriti).

I hear that transformation happens in the pause.
For example it is not in the inhalation that the magic transformation to exhalation happens, it happens in the moment, the pause, the intermission in between breathing in and out.
It is not in the sensation of an experience or our reaction to the experience change takes place, the magic of impact or change in us, happens in the stillness between them. Between two situations, between a rising thought and relating to (restraining) the thought :-) He takes it further! the transformation takes place between the seer and the seeker. I am given inclusion of the one who search for (reality/god/connection/grace) and the one who live (reality/god/connection/grace).

I read my assignment:
"Jenni, the precious psychological moments of intermission where there is stillness and silence, are to be prolonged into extra-chronological moments of consciousness, without beginning or end"
Thank you I've got it!! Or as another guide put it to me; ever expanding our limits by softly dissolving them from the inside (or this is as close to the original I can remember..)

I've always enjoyed the moments between in- and ex- halation and the opposite (don't care if this is the right way to write this ;)
It's like there is a treasure in this moment, and here Iyengar passes down to me the name of the treasure - transformation or what I, as a kid called: Magic! Miracle!
I will post a minifilm of drops just before the float - this is a picture to me of magic moments... But I have to wait for my internet to work at home again...

As a teacher, these moments are the moments between asanas, moments in and out of asanas, moments of complying to conditions in asana. It is the moment of magic between analyses and action. As a teacher I'm just as much on the path when I encourage the student to go for it, to seek more, as I am when I encourage to experience wholeness and perfection like this.

Now, there are so many beautifully put words in this sutra, that I only can encourage you to read Iyengars light on the sutras (especially 3.9 and 3.10) your self.
Moving on to sutra 3.10 Iyengar translation; "The restraint of rising impressions brings about an undisturbed flow of tranquility."

I recognize my guideline this time followed by a promise:
"By maintaining perfect awareness in the intervals between rising and restraining impressions, steadiness becomes effortless and natural. Then the stream of tranquility flows without any ripples in the consciousness"
This is also where I see him presenting the use of vairagya and abhyasa as possible adaptations to stay calm and focused. This is part of what I have been passing on for four years now, so I'm glad to get it validated!
We move towards "- that the seeker and the sought are one; that the seeker is the seer."

so expand go try do lets see
still happy on the chair :-)

Sunday, November 07, 2010


This is my dedication and love for the sutras :) My acces to the net is not working (6th day) so I will post again soon. Its about the stillness in between <3 Namaste jenni

Sendt fra min iPhone

Saturday, October 30, 2010

soo tired and soo happy ;-)

Be back on Monday – I am beat. So for a couple of days I will enjoy my kids that are back home from a long journey. The translations differ a lot this week, but here is Desikachar translation:

3.9 “The mind is capable of having two states based on two distinction tendencies. These are distraction and attention. However, at any one moment, only one state prevails, and this state influences the individuals’ behavior, attitude and expressions.” (Desikachar translation)

Signals which indicate where we’re at:
-serene, quite breathing, absorbed = attentive state.
- disturbed, irregular breathing, little capacity to be attentive =distracted.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

personal practice and starting point

First my weeks celebration - I want to celebrate all Iyengar-yoga-teachers for so consequently pointing out the importance of personal practice!! Thank you - you all seem to agree on this and you bring this message to me from all over the world and it is a beautifull experience.
Oh I'm tired, autumn has really set in - dark cold nights, bicycle lights and warm yoga rooms :-)

I love my 90 days on a chair (after-daily-practice-asanas). My first great experience -after 11 days- comes from kapotasana, I get to be able (even though it's only for a while after the practice) to lift my chest and no part of the movement is brought about from the lower back! tak!

Sutra 3.8 "The state where the mind has no impressions of any sort and nothing is beyond its reach (nirbija samadhi) is more intricate than the state of directing the mind towards an object (samadhi)" (Desikachar translation)
So we are moving in towards a centre. Desikachar writes; "this state is simply transparent". This is a promise to us, that we can get to experience a state with no resistance, where we are completely free from past impressions.

We have heard of it before, in sutra 1.51 it is defined as the highest state of yoga; nirbija samadhi.
Desikachar writes that samyama is only possible at our individual levels. There can be no universal gradation in choosing the direction of the enquiry. I relate to this as being present is the way to go I'm whole including everything in this moment, I don't have to change a thing.

Contacting and working from the now And the "here" which I understand as the specific personal place that each and every one of us have - seems to be utterly important. Last sutra Iyengar used ink on it and this sutra Desikachar writes about it. I hear, see and sense you!

Doing the asana from your own capacity, getting to use the breath in your own tempo, putting the hands and feet in adho mukha svanasana to celebrate and experience the length of your back - not the length of the mat or an idea of "how far apart your hands and feet should be". Right here right now... happyjenni

To me it is a practice of truth - or authenticity; we are not on the same level all of us, and we're not even at the same level at all times,
we bring different capacities at different times to start with. Starting where you are strengthens the contact to reality which is vital to practice.

Iyengar writes that this transparent deep state comes naturally like sleep. "The soul surfaces on its own accord"

This as well is a promise to me. I just meet up in trust. Trusting the process, not forcing it. I cannot force me to fall asleep, but I kind of surrender to it. Iyengar gives me a promise as well as a guideline for good practice.



Saturday, October 16, 2010

subtle, internal, intimate and subjective

Sutra 3.7 Desikachar translation “Compared to the first five components of yoga (sutra 2 – 29) The next three (sutra 3 – 1,2,3) are more intricate.” All my texts sees the first five aspects of yoga to be about; our attitude (action) to our environment (yama), our attitude towards us self (perception)(niyamas), practice of body exercise (asana), practice of breathing exercises (pranayama)and restraint of the senses (pratyahara). Iyengar writes about them all that they are cleansing and purifying practices, this is interesting to me. I’ve been given the guideline of uncover, discover, discard, with the promise that everything I truly am and everything that I need to be will still be there after discarding as good as I can :-) Or maybe in yoga-discourse, to be new, cleansed and purified…

Well they all write about how subtle and internal the last three aspects of yoga are.

Intricate, I need to look up, it means; “having many complexly interrelating parts or elements”. So I move on to Iyengars text, which gives me the words I can relate to: “dharana, dhyana and Samadhi are more subtle, internal, intimate and subjective practices.” It’s about the inner layers, the intelligence, the consciousness and the soul – all very close to the spiritual heart.

Yoga asana and pranayama can be a meditation and have these aspects. Have you tried to have a teacher that just strengthens you in your own rhythm, your own true path? Well I have, and this is what I relate to when I hear about these intimate, subjective and subtle aspects, when I’m with a good teacher who is not trying to control – then my experience of these subtle qualities comes fourth. Beautifully.

Love and light

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

chair madness

First day of 90 with chair programme :-) was yesterday 12th of October. Today I get to confirm that –yes it’s the right programme for me right now.
I do the chair stuff after my daily routine and sometimes with children talking to me, it's the only way I get to do it every day...
My success criterion is to do the kapotasana (and sing while in the pose -haha). But I also do sitting rotations, variant of halasana and sarvangasana. If I get really into it, I might even do the challenging pincha mayurasana with the chair to open the chest even more, but I don’t think so ;-)
So who else is on the chair for 90 days?
It is a trial and error process, after 90 days I’m going to look at the results and see if it changed something (to the better).
Love and light

Saturday, October 09, 2010

trust the process

When the translations differ a lot from each other I usually works with the one that relates the most to where I'm at. The most inner spark for me. A few times I'm not sure, in these cases I give you both translations. This is such a time :-)

Sutra 3.6 Iyengar translation: "Samyama may be applied in various spheres to derive its usefulness"

Desikachar translation: ""Samyama must be developed gradually"

Together they give me that this is a gradual process and that this process might apply to all parts of life. I can relate to this. The state of "being at one with" have been given to me in different parts of my life. I get to experience it more and more often. Iyengar tells us that this insight and wisdom, we can achieve are to be properly distributed in various spheres of ones life. This encourages me to continue to see how my asana can teach me about life.
I'm grateful to Iyengar for pointing out that samyama-glimpses is not "being enlightened". Not that I thought so :-) but I'm grateful for the idea that we sometimes are given this litle glimpses, appetizers of oneness or bliss, in order to return with greater commitment to the path! "Moment of grace", he calls it, to get to experience samyama, only as an motivation to go to yoga. Yes I get this. It's like the famous carrot. So in essence; -a guideline for me; bad day - go to the mat... good day go to the mat... When I give up practice and isolate me from this possibility I also see that the toutch of natures flow is what I move away from. I don't get it from the stimuli, like a beautiful sunset or a kids smile, I get it from an inner state of awareness that is awake to discover the sunset or the kids smiling face.

Even though the translations are different Iyengar makes a point out of development. He writes that it is very rare that someone becomes enlightened and stays that way. And the healthy way is through development and practice.
Desikachar writes that; "We should begin with simpler objects and with those with which we can inquired into in several different ways". He also states that a teacher who knows us, can be helpful in choosing objects for meditation and contemplation.

The eight fold path of yoga is "a path of spiritual evolution whose motto might be "safety first"" (Iyengar) Spiritual experience can be a frightening experience of loosing ones mind. Yoga is a safe way, where we try something and evaluate the result.
I just want to pas on the words of Vyasa (claimed author of mahabarata (of which bhagavad gita is a part))

"Yoga is to be known by yoga.
Yoga is the teacher of yoga.
The power of yoga manifests through yoga alone.
He who does not become careless, negligent or inattentive,
he alone rests in yoga and enjoys yoga."

this gives me perfect freedom, perfect ease and perfect path to walk

Saturday, October 02, 2010

insight and awareness mmmm

Sutra 3.5 “From mastery of samyama comes the light of awareness and insight.”

Iyengar writes that in samyama “the knower comes closer and closer to the known, merging in it, loses his separateness.” When I take these two ideas together, I get that it is by loosing my distance, my identity, my “separate from” that I get to experience light of awareness and insight.

I relate to “insight” as a eureka-experience, it suddenly makes sense or I suddenly get the bigger picture. It is a deep sensation of contact to a purpose or meaning. It is an awakening, I never worked my way to it, my experience is one of suddenly arriving at this insight-point.

Desikachar writes about how samyama brings comprehension and knowledge. This gives me that insight and awareness is true knowledge and comprehension is in it’s essence insight, not this school-good-girl thing that I, sometimes, have going on :-)

It inspires me to go for awareness and light in my teaching. In my personal practice it awakes my attention to the experience of insight. To be in my every breath and every moment. It awakes my desire to move towards complete awareness.

Love and light
Jenni Saunte

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Sutra 3.4 “The three together – dharana, dhyana and Samadhi – constitute integration or samyama.” (Iyengar translation)
Ok, first for me, find out what integration means on a semantic level, Merriam Webster:

Definition of “Integrate”:
1 : to form, coordinate, or blend into a functioning or unified whole : unite
2 : to find the integral of (as a function or equation)
3 a : to unite with something else b : to incorporate into a larger unit
4 a : to end the segregation of and bring into equal membership in society or an organization b : desegregate

So I’m back at the subject of unite and oneness a unified whole. When I read Desikachar and Iyengar I understand that samyama is a describing concept of what goes on.
I relate to samyama as a description of a process in which dharana (removal of obstacles, concentration), dhyana (staying in focus, meditation) and Samadhi (unification of the seer and the object, absorption) is not always chronologically connected but happens in the now as a movement and a stillness. They happen at once. There is an evolvement but it is more like the breath, expanding and contracting.

Iyengar describes it as a depth, where dharana brings stability in mind, dhyana develops maturity in intelligence and Samadhi acts to diffuse the consciousness. “The intermingling of mind, intelligence and consciousness is samyama of the three.” At the deep level, within the mind, the intelligence and the consciousness is the seer.

(Iyengar also writes that a samyami is a person who subdues her passions and remains motionless. It relates to a theme of abstinence and ahimsa, which is growing in me, so I had to write it in. I think “motionless” was my personal hint/spark/jenniplace)

Somehow this makes my daily practice more steady, I don’t have to have all obstacles removed before I can practice, I don’t have to know where it’s going, I just have to do it and look at the results.
In teaching it reminds me of how we say “observe the state of your mind/thoughts/feelings” not that the student have to be in a certain way to be able to do yoga but just awareness to what is, is a start on this integration.

Jenni –who’s cold and fever, gets medicine from Iyengar yoga treatment this now ;-) thanks for Janet MacLeod

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Do we dare to say we have had an experience of samadhi?

Sutra 3.3 “[When]… the individual is so involved in the object [of meditation], that nothing except its comprehension is evident. It is as if the individual has lost her own identity. This is complete integration with the object of understanding – Samadhi.” (Desikachar translation)

Samadhi is a word I first met in school. I was told that samadhi is the heaven of Hindu and Buddhist religion. This have somehow stayed with me, even through yoga-teacher-training and studying philosophy at the university. Sure, I got that it was something that you could reach through meditation and that it was a release from the bondage of earth – but here the reference to heaven and my old ideas about a Christian God (which also have changed through the years) took over.

Today it feels like wakening up. Samadhi becomes a whole new landscape where I actually have some experience.

A couple of years ago I had a professor at the university who said that we cannot have any experience without educating our intellect. Without experiencing it as an subject- object relation ( a subject who’s amount of knowledge grew). This is a part of the theory of “lifelong learning” (livslang læring) and “knowledge society” (videns samfundet). This was such a provocation to me and everything I had experienced – so I started to find academically honored theoreticians who have proved her wrong. And all they said is the same as Patanjali stated here 2500 years before!!!!

Anyone who has experienced losing oneself in art/nature/challenge/meditation (both in the creating and the receiving act) has tasted this unification, that Samadhi guides us towards.

My experience with this makes it clear, that there are some situations where intellect and sensation is lost and there is no “I” and no “object”.

This is where Iyengar takes it to the next level.

“For the yogi, however, whose “art” is formless and whose goal has no physical expression like a painting, a book or a symphony, the fragrance of Samadhi penetrates every aspect of her “normal” behaviour, activities and state of being.”

My favourite example is cutting cucumber, becoming aware of the sensation, the rhythm, the beauty and suddenly it makes it self, there is only a now – nothing else matters and it is self-fulfilling.

This is it – Yes. The process and the goal of the process becomes one. Moving towards perfection and being perfect is one – not oppositions but inclusions… hmm lack of words here.

Yoga as unification and the movement towards this unification becomes one – it is already done. Like praying/searching -well aware that everything is already given/found, and knowing that the prayer/search is still right, is still a true position.

This inspires me to go for the unification in class, breath and movement, body, mind and soul, the goal and the process of moving towards it. The limbs and the core. The front and the back. The here and now! It’s essence of change, move towards perfection knowing it’s already here. Open and courage is main focus as well, taking in that I get to teach and inaugurate this new yoga-space. Bring the sunlight in – Gayatri mantra :-) love and light

Jenni Saunte

Saturday, September 11, 2010

meditation, clean house, get born and die-move

Sutra 3.2 "A steady, continuous flow of attention directed towards the same point or region is meditation (dhyana)." (Iyengar translation)
For years my breath have functioned as a focal point, not just in pranayama, but I remember as a kid I use to spend hours experiencing it. Making a sound again and again, to feel how the air moved in me, or spend days breathing on a window and look at the moist-picture fade away again. Breathing in different rhythms and holding my breath, challenging –whatever. Today breath is my shortcut into that state, it is my focal-point when things are tough, it is a revelator (yes I think you should have a word like that) someone who reveals stuff :-) My heart listened when my master told me that the breath is the key that opens up between different layers, for example the mind and the body. The best part of this focal point is that it is always with me, everywhere I go.

Desikachar writes: "Initially our understanding is influenced by misapprehension, imagination and memories. But, as the process of comprehension intensifies, it freshens and deepens our understanding if the object."
I relate to this, when I do yoga I sometimes get to feel the different obstacles disappear. I guess this is why I love intensity; I somehow know that that’s where it happens.

Iyengar makes me understand that dharana (explained in last sutra) is, the achievement of single-pointed concentration and dhyana is the ... maintenance of this concentration. In this maintaining act we move from "one-pointed concentration to no-pointed attentiveness" beautifully put down on paper! For me it fully fits into a huge theoretical universe from Bakhtin, Nishida, Gadamer, Dewey to Cikszentmihalyi, Juncker, Merleau-Ponty and well, so many more. The feeling of "fit" or conjunction is fine. I also love that it is a maintaining act, somehow it makes it ok to get off the beam and the act is to come back. Right now (cleaning house) it seems like life is not meant to be “done” or “tidy” its meant to move, get messy, clean up, start up, tear down, get born and die. From meditation, to theory, to clean house and to be born and die – that’s me :-) and absolutely fine!
Jenni Saunte

Saturday, September 04, 2010

a new begining: chapter 3

Do you know the feeling of getting something that is very important somehow to you personally, and not being able to describe and tell anyone about it? And it feels so big that it is pointless to try to start writing about it, it will take forever to get it done. –well :-) that’s me right now!

So, I’m gonna try to keep it short and sweet.
In Iyengars start to the third chapter he talks about our quest in general terms. He describes how we, when we vigorously engage in this path, can achieve some power;
the eight siddhis:
(anima=to become as minute as an atom, mahima=to wax in magnitude, laghima=to become light, garima=to become heavy, prapti=the power to dominate and obtain what one wants, prakamya=the freedom of will and attainment of wishes, isatva=supremacy over all, vasitva=the power to subjugate anyone or anything)
However, Iyengar writes, that Patanjali “holds them to be obstacles” to meditation and oneness because they create attachment and affliction. We kind of get sidetracked. The powers of the siddhis are only of use if we have forgotten the aim of yoga. “”Discard them”, he says, “and devote all energies to the realization of God””

This is what is overwhelming to me. It feels like my heart is on fire for these sentences and singing; “listen jenni! Listen jenni!”

I have not felt like supremacy over all, as in supremacy over all other fellow human beings :-) but yoga-practice and regularity of daily practice have given me a sense of this feeling towards for example my emotional life, like there is something above this. And this could be such a kick that it suddenly could be the goal for me, instead of using this new freedom to realize oneness, unity or something greater than…
I had the urge to shift goal the first couple of times I felt the extreme lightness that yoga can give me, like all flesh is gone and there is only breath and spine left – an urge to go for experiencing this instead of a neutral acceptance and back the realization of the great reality.

I can’t write more about this, I have to sit with it. Back to the next sutra:

Sutra 3.1!!! “The mind has reached the ability to be directed (dharana) when direction towards a chosen object is possible in spite of many other potential objects within the reach of the individual” (Desikachar translation). I have so many relating points to the sutra and the text about them that I have to discard a lot :-)

I love the part that Iyengar writes about how absorbed we can become, how “dharana is the art of reducing the interruptions of the mind and ultimately eliminating them completely, so that the knower and the known become one”. Yes, I can relate to this. This is a part of both my work as a teacher and work in the projects at the library, this year especially with the young inventors and the innovation. It does bring humility and gratitude. And there is very little sense of ego, but not destruction or fight the ego. Something else. Dharana, I’m tasting the word, right now it tastes best whispering…
I am grateful for the suggestions that an external focus object should be associated with purity and that internal focus in reality is “pure existence”. Thanks.
I have to come back and write about my focusing points and unfoldings. I’m a bit to overwhelmed right now. Your are welcome, to make suggestions :-)
Love and light
Jenni Saunte

Saturday, August 28, 2010

every end is a new beginning...

We are at the end of chapter 2 :-) and I’m at the end, having my last class at my old work-place and at the same time moving into the newborn yoga-space at
The last sutra 2.55 “Then the senses are mastered” (Desikachar translation), can seem so little, but oh! What a long way to go – to let go of the “needs” and the “must haves”, the “I don’t wanna” and the “it hurts”.
But when it all is done – by the practice of yoga, then this sutra promises us total freedom from being driven by our senses. “The senses cooperate in the chosen enquiry instead of being a cause of distraction.” (Desikachar)
Chapter 2 have brought up the self inventorying, the practice of the body and the breath, the art of living together in society and the cleansing acts to impurities. How to get focused and how to maintain balance.
Now we can move toward “the internal quest of yoga” (Iyengar)

Maybe that’s the walk of the last seven years of teaching… From construction work, in some kind of control trying to build up poses, to go for the nuances, to let go of the control and be of service to the group as a teacher, to discover how impurities –wrong sayings, tensions or disturbance from outside (or my head) – get cleansed, not by me, but by focusing into the practice we are working with –right here right now!
More and more the nuances appear to me, the subtle differences that make a world change.
More and more I get to step into a certainty of teaching, which is evolving through me and to be a god enough teacher is perfect(tak Winnicot). Always improving is true, not a threat, a promise of there is more :-)

Things are changing in so many ways for me, and I can’t control them, I can’t fix them and it’s not about me. It just is. Welcome!

I wish I could tell you that “I” control my senses – this is just not my experience. I do relate to this sutra, as a sadakha (aspirant) I feel that yoga, the power of daily practice and the power of this practice masters my senses. That my senses follow along and I become more whole, more unified.
But I know several yoga-teachers that have the experience that they can master their senses – to this I say: “beautiful!! – good on you!”

Being free is my focus. Every ending is a new beginning is my focus and this is written to you with paint-spots on my fingers – from painting the lovely yoga room, where we can meet and get access to some of this caring, harmonious power of yoga!
Jenni Saunte

Saturday, August 21, 2010

not to be deprived - to be free

Sutra 2.53 Patanjali defines “Pratyahara”(the fifth aspect of yoga see sutra 2.29):
“Restraint of the senses occurs when the mind is able to remain in its chosen direction and the senses disregard the different objects around them and faithfully follow the mind.” (Desikachar translation)
My first recognition of this sutra is from the trataka-meditation, where the whole world can disappear and there is only the flame of light and oneness. First after this initiating recollection I can relate, and recognize that pranayama is a good source for this type of experiences.
Ups I looked ahead, this is the second last sutra of chapter 2… (and the last one is really very revealing, long and challenging and important so you can look forward to next week!!)
Oh and there my focus went off…. Back into centre Jenni – Pratyahara, restraint of the senses, or focus in the inner world, the possibility to perceive everything directly (Iyengar on this sutra) the movement “towards the realization of the soul” (Iyengar).

What I personally get from reading Iyengar is that now! the journey back to the origin starts. The body and mind have been moving towards something external for gratification. We become hypnotized and drawn outwards towards pleasure. The need of pleasure and gratification (of the ego) is ever ongoing and brings us out of centre. “Pratyahara is the withdrawal of the mind from its contact with the senses of perception and the organs of action; then its direction is towards the soul.” (Iyengar) We get the suggestion that the science of restraining the senses is: “depriving them from what feeds them, the external objective world”.
All this in order to be free. Not to be deprived :-) to be free

Inspiration for class, focus on inner state. Does this mean to lay back on corrections/adjustments? Don’t think so. Maybe it is conscious contact in class to the focus on what is, in asana, before and after. We always do this, but increased contact… Maybe it is a “letting go” of seeking pleasure in every asana, and go for being free instead? To have a meditation focus point for the whole class, maybe personal maybe in fellowship?

Inspiration for my daily practice; I can feel my urge for this withdrawal. External world can make me absolutely disturbed (or I can use external focus to stimulate my own ego to boost and “disturbedness” is absolutely a good ego-booster). These sutras show me the way. I can follow.
Thank you – Namasté

Saturday, August 14, 2010

to get fit for focusing... and daily practice..

Soo, a regular pranayama-practice reduces obstacles to clear perception "And the mind is now prepared for the process of direction towards a chosen goal." sutra 2.53,
(Desikachar translation)
Iyengar: "the mind becomes fit for concentration" sutra 2.53

I get some poetry this week as well, that talking about pranayama seems to bring about. Iyengar writes: "Once the new light of knowledge has dawned through the practice of pranayama, the mind is fit and competent to move on towards the realization of the soul"
I really want this. I can tell that some people use 2-3 hours a day to be in meetings with other people on the same path, some people can have a daily practice of 3 hours yoga asana-pranayama-meditation.
This is not me.
Sometime I think that having an enormous posture-practice or being in 2-3 meetings with others a day is the only way and I'm just doomed... but
Here I am.

Reality keeps sending me messengers that tell me that my everyday is my ashram, my work and caring for my kids is my yoga practice, my listening to the negative persons is a gift for my development in staying centered. My guru is the random next person on my path every day, ever-changing.
I have as much time as anyone. Right.
The best yoga-practice is to be. With this. Do the next thing.
God or yoga or universe haven't told me to leave my kids and go into a monastery. One strong sense of direction I get is to experience the promises of Patanjali come alive in my everyday.
I get to experience it here and now, I don't have to change my whole life (other than it has been changed for me). I just have to engage in today.
I found the courage to tell my teacher and guide that I have 30 minutes for yoga posture practice a day, that off course there were days every week where I could do more, but 30 minutes was the continuous possibility. “I”(the inner jock) felt so much shame, there is a very strict jock in me - that think no less than 3 hours a day can do it.

The fact is my regular practice often takes 3-4 hours a day, but as you can tell yoga posture practice is only a 4th of my regular practice. I haven't chosen how much time should be spent on prayer/meditation/study/inventory/posture practice. Life and what keeps me alive and in sanity have formed my daily practice.
Today it is more important to have continuity, than to be able to fulfill my inner jocks need to brag about loads of training time :-)
To have a reasonable goal like 30 minutes is something that takes me on the mat.

Some days I'm not still while doing yoga - oh-oh!!! bad jenni :-) but it is true. Sometimes while standing in adhomukha svanasana my kids come and show me drawings - and they turn the picture upside down - well those are the days where I know I'm too tired to do the practice when they sleep, so I do it in the kitchen with them, often they join me for a while.
Some days my ego is the only thing that brings me to the mat - oh-oh!! bad jenni :-) but it is true.. why not, it makes so much mess, let it use some pride (I do it every day!) to bring me into what works for me.

What really makes my daily practice a possibility is reality, it just brings practice into my life. Reality have brought a group of women that also have a daily practice to me. So that I can talk to them and we can share about having this practice and the efforts and effortlessness the gifts and the obstacles on the path.

Iyengar also writes that the practitioner of yoga, "who had to struggle initially to cultivate a yogic way of life by self-discipline and study, now finds her efforts transformed into a natural zeal" Here my ego could jump in and say that this transformation and zeal is to serve ego and make me more important than others but Iyengar passes down the goal for this transformation; we are transformed in order: "to proceed in her sadhana (practice)". I just love that the goal for the process is to keep on being in the process. It makes so much sense for me.

ok - so I got off on an tangent, I obviously have to share about having a daily practice... again. Maybe because it makes my life full of purpose and freedom or maybe I just have a weird brain - thank you for reading!!!
Jenni Saunte

Saturday, August 07, 2010

rythm of our every day

Sutra 2.52 “The regular practice of pranayama reduces the obstacles that inhibit clear perception”

How can I relate to this?
Well regular practice of anything gives me perspective. It is only the last 7-8 years I’ve been given a steady practice. But I can tell that perspective is a part of clarity, it gives proportions. And proportions give me that some things actually shrink and become insignificant – they don’t fill up my sight, so that’s contributing to clear perception. Right now the regular practice of staying in my centre, when talking to a very negative person on a returning almost daily occasion gives me clear vision that the other person is not my problem, I get clear vision into me. My yoga practice can teach me something here.
Smiling helps to stay centred in the asana, not to become a fighter a militant gymnast :-) In order to smile in real life, I share my experience (the strugle with the negative person), with somebody outside the whole situation. We can smile and laugh at my reactions and sometimes confused actions – well I experience the same release into a centeredness and lightness, as in the asana. In this centeredness I experience clear perception.

I’m not avoiding to write about the “pranayama-part” in this sutra :-)
I’m very grateful to get, yet another push into action on everyday basis.
You see, last weeks sutra made me start my morning yoga-practice again – it was soo nice!!!! Until Tuesday (haha), where me and the girls left for a mini-vacation on an island… I just couldn’t get it done. Yoga and meditation become the walk alongside the water, the engaging in the kids play, tales and the sound of the waves and the amending meeting with oldtime friends and family. Which is all fine, but not the same, so continuity…

But this weeks sutra gives me, that this is fine. It’s true that we do all sorts of things in life and situations change, continuity breaks and we follow along. Then when we are back – there can be a rhythm in our everyday, that unfolds in for example a yoga-routine, a pranayama practice. Keep coming back, like in meditation. Not to do the same thing every day, but to keep coming back to what works..

My teaching will start up soon. This sutra encourages me to go for clarity in teaching situations. To try on whatever tiny start up level to introduce pranayama or conscious contact to the breath. It also tells me that I as a teacher is not the “problem remover” but the practice is. I love that!!

Love and light
Jenni Saunte

Saturday, July 31, 2010

awakening and evening review :-)

Desikachar translation: In the state of yoga “Then the breath transcends the level of the consciousness” sutra 2.51. I love that he writes “It is not possible to be more specific” Yes! Gotta go there, gotta try, do, experience -not all this talking. Can’t learn to surf by watching the tv… go, do, try, experience. And it is a language-philosophically-logic fulfilment; not trying to explain what is beyond consciousness.

"The fourth type of pranayama transcends the external and internal pranayamas, and appears effortless and non-deliberate" (Iyengar translation, sutra 2.51)

I relate this to "being breathed" instead of being the "breather". Iyengar writes that this state goes beyond the ordinary pranayama retention and conscious contact to the breath. He writes about the experience of an awakening and the experience of being penetrated by "the light of intelligence" to our innermost being.

My focus will be on awakening; to live as awakened as ever possible in every situation, every relation. Morning as a focal point, this is really needed after my long journey I have had problems starting up my morning routine (kids still sleeping and Copenhagen still sleeping). Right now, thinking about awakening a big yawn comes to me, the picture of a cat waking up and stretching the back - so some long stretches will be included.

I will take some space here to write about my evening review. For a month (or 47 days) I've been relating to the yamas and niyamas before I go to sleep in the evening.
You can see the "evening-review-format" here.
These are some halfway reflections:
I love writing about how consideration have been a part of my day. I love discovering that it usually is a part of my day. I don't think, however, that my focusing on this makes me more considerate...
Often the considerate experiences are the same as the unfolding of "being at service", but not always...

"Resisting desire" have turned into the same as "moderation", since living with my desires as the driver, lack moderation in all kind of ways. I also think this change of meaning has something to do with not having a longing for other peoples stuff or stuff, this haven't been a big part of these 47 days :-) This is an old experience with writing reviews every day, if the question/stimuli don’t relate the inspiring level turns the question into something that does ring a bell (living moderation)

"cleanliness" and "the removal of impurities" could be seen as the same thing, but to me it have been turned into - cleanliness practical hygienic actions - spiritual life as karma yoga or spiritual life as the servant... and removal of impurities as actions or situations that cleanses mind, unfolds pure being, innocence, truth...

I love that work and study is something on my agenda every day - and the whole idea of vacation is abnormal, fit very well with my experience of how to live and not loose sight of "the goal".

The two non-yama related questions: "What did I put into the stream of life today?" and "How have I unfolded unity with my past and how have I lived meditation and visions for today?" are old questions in my review but what power they bring!! Presence of my meditations purpose and presence of becoming more whole more in unity. It was good for me to add these two questions.

I've been reading about the seven deadly sins and the seven virtues :-) and I must say I think the yamas-niyamas got it all. For example, the check into the "moderation" kind of includes all of it :-)

So this is it for now -
I'm moving my classes after 6½ year into a new baby yoga place here in Copenhagen: Yogacentralen You are allways welcome!
Jenni Saunte

Read more about Yogacentralen at: and

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Pranayama and the forgotten sutra :-)

This week is still in the name of pranayama, sutra 2.50 “Pranayama has three movements: prolonged and fine inhalation, exhalation and retention; all regulated with precision according to duration and place.” (Iyengar translation)
This is really a hard text for me to read, this much I get; during inhalation the inner body (the seer) moves toward the outer body. In exhalation the outer body moves towards the inner seer. The first three components of breath we’ve touched and consciously contacted in pranayama classes with Glenn and also the retention following inhalation (antara kumbhaka).

Iyengar gives us some guidelines or focusing points. If the retention after the inhalation “establishes consecration of the seer” if the retention of the exhalation establishes “frees one from the four aims of life”.

Dear – if you want to know more about these four aims of life ;-) you have to keep on working the sutras (or your yoga practice) because Iyengar refers us to the very last sutra, and there are no shortcuts in this…

I forgot my papers about sutra 2.48 in Italy, so now I’ve spent some extra time to recreate the reflections that came in that weeks meditation on the sutra (and maybe some new ;-)

2.48 “From then on the sadhaka [yoga-practitioner] is undisturbed by dualities” (Iyengar translation)
Just for myself I remind me that it is after performing asanas has become effortless ;-) that we can become undisturbed by dualities…

Iyengar talks about, in this sutra, how the practitioner gets undisturbed. I love that, I have a guide who suggests that we should make "getting undisturbed" our top priority. He also says that if there is something "wrong" it’s not with them or the situation; it's with us - we're disturbed :-)
I also love that it is undisturbed by dualities - I can surely relate to how often dualities are part of me being undisturbed. Typical example is when I think I have to choose this or that, and (I) drive me crazy, thinking of what to do, and then the, never thought off, third option comes along –haha
I guess that there is no opposition any longer when the effortless state has been reached.

In Desikachars translation he writes about how external influences get minimized. This is a great motivator for me. He talks in terms not being influenced by age, climate and diet. But for me the big promise (in this days) is from other persons, their judgements, opinions and wellbeing as well as not being influenced by situations that might evolve and negativity or … bad energy (in lack of a better description).

Back to this week’s sutra: 2.50 it calls for some more pranayama work, to follow up on what have been granted me to learn and to explore life under water in the air :-) And I have to figure out what this consecration of the seer means – since it is a measuring point for the pranayama work.

Friday, July 23, 2010


I’m back from a beautiful and challenging retreat in Italy (Quercia calante). We were about 25 yoga-teachers from all over the world that met in the most beautiful nature and worked about 7- 8 hours a day with Glenn Ceresoli (Iyengar yoga) with change. Around the practice every possible comfort, that I can imagine, was seen to.
Personally my focus point was change – so it suited me just fine, that he stressed this as a fellow-focus-point, for the retreat – I was so grateful for this. Other main subjects occurred during practice, for example there was a pranayama focus, for me. My pranayama-practice was both disturbed and developed, by changing the sitting position so drastically. Sometimes I had to open my eyes (secretly ;-) to check if it was really true – that I moved so much or so little… Often it visually didn’t look like so much – that I internally experienced the movement.

I brought 3 sutras to my three weeks of travelling. They beautifully matched the yoga-work. My teacher even used some of the pictures that Iyengar uses to describe prana :-) in the sutras I was studying the night before.
Now, I start posting about sutra 2.47 and 2.49 – since I have the papers from my contemplation and meditations on these sutras with me home. Somehow I have lost the papers for sutra 2.48… But it’s all in me, so I will write it down soon.

2.47 "Perfection in asana is achieved when the effort to perform it becomes effortless and the infinite being within is reached" (Iyengar translation)

The first experience that I remember, when I read this, is learning to drive a car or a MC for that sake. In the beginning I had tension in every muscle, even my tongue :-) when I was driving, as the effort to make the vehicle move and join traffic became ... almost subconscious - effortless I often experience "the stream of life" or the truth of the travelling position, while driving. Effortlessness.
I can also relate this to my yoga-asana-practice. But right now, I’ve done (to me) seriouse challenging yoga, so the effortless is a bit further away from me, but I can relate :-)
A more tangible experience is when the prop I've been using to hold a pose is no longer needed or when the pose I've been struggling to get into, suddenly (typically for me, by learning a small technique) is just there and available and easy.

Iyengar writes that there is a balancing edge for us, between the effortless state and the way to get to this state; through "perseverance, alertness and insight". I get this, sometimes I can try too hard. Often I give up before I even tried, the two "out of balance" or off the edge positions that lead nowhere. From the yoga-work I've been doing in Italy, this reminds me of the words from our teacher about not to lose our goal in the techniques and details that gets presented to us. To me the most significant touchable goal is lightness and ease. (tak gud)

Sutra 2.49 "Pranayama is the regulation of the incoming and outgoing flow of breath with retention. It is to be practiced only after perfection in asana is attained" (Desikachar translation)
The first thing I read is the clarity (in all my different translations) that pranayama comes AFTER mastering asanas. I take this as a very clear guideline. Don’t mess with this. And my tiny experiences of how huge I experience the subtlest of movement in my body – while doing pranayama – makes it easy for me to understand why this is so.
I only teach pranayama, for longer times with more experienced students, that chose to take this class. But I also do introductions, small “conscious contact” to the breath in every class, I think it is so important to start having a relationship with our very essence of life, or as Iyengar writes: Prana is "the prime mover of all activity. It is the wealth of life"

I love this poetry that comes in trying to describe prana "Prana is an auto-energizing force which creates a magnetic field in the form of the universe and plays with it, both to maintain, and to destroy for further creation". This is significant to me. The both destroying and creating, the both being and non-being - the all inclusive. And maybe this is change? Does all change include something dying? Our teacher said that the only thing that hurts in change is our resistance to the change. But can the death of something (like an old idea) be felt?

I’ll be back on sutra 2.48
Jenni Saunte

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The body, mind and soul are one

Sutra 2.46 "Asana must have the dual qualities of alertness and relaxation." (Desikachar translation) I’m given the understanding that sthira can be understood as; alertness, firm, steady (without tension) and sukha can be understood as ease, delight or relaxation (without dullness or heaviness). So I’m given a guideline to my asana work. Sthira points in the direction of sneaking up on my limitations and enjoying the steadiness as a gift, not as me doing it. When I try to produce stability it often turns into rigidity… addiction to habits (unflexible, one form as the only right one). Asana lets me experience that stability is already there and I just have to show up alert. Sukha points me towards the peace and ease there is to experience when I am in this stability and firmness. Sometimes I find myself clinching my teethes even though it makes no difference what so ever for the asana, except my attitude gets (or is) locked and hostile (remember driving a car for the first time, my shoulders wore sour and my face...).

I experience in this sutra-work, that asana often can be replaced with “my actions in life”, and thereby I can apply the wisdom of the sutras on every action that is in my life. And now I have a guideline for actions in Jennis life :-)

Iyengars translation; "Asana is perfect firmness of body, steadiness of intelligence and benevolence of spirit." He writes that this sutra is the "how" asanas should be "understood, practised and experienced."
Asana "should be done with a feeling of firmness in the body; goodwill in the intelligence in the head, and awareness and delight in the intelligence of the heart"
One way I experience this is that my joints are still, my thoughtlife is loving and accepting of whatever experience I have in the sutra, including my non-ability at certain times. And when I experience the stillness, firmness and my mind is loving and tolerant then there is very little noise from the ego :-) and the awareness and delight of the heart (that I suspekt is always present) can be experienced.

Iyengar continues; "when this is done a rythmic flow of energy and awareness is experienced evenly ...throughout... the body". I can relate to this from two very different experiences. When I work the sun salutations, I sense this rhythmic flow and being full of awareness and feeling complete, whole. This is a very dynamic, rhythmic experience, but I have the same experience when I do a sitting, sometime I experience this rhythmic flow throughout all of me, and sense of being complete and… “getting together” or with Iyengars words: "A pure state of joy is felt in the cells and the mind. The body, mind and soul are one."
This week the balance between sukha and sthira is my working guideline.
I will be travelling for some time (taking part of a yoga-teachers retreat) so I will write the next couple of sutras in hand and transfer them to you when I get back. Maybe I can get one more online before leaving, maybe not :-)
Love, kindliness, tolerance and light

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

my evening review -new format :-)

Inspired by the sutras I will start a new evening review. I've added two areas of review and I speciefied three or four things, that acctually comes from my old formula.

How did the following yamas and niyamas unfold in my day (was I.../where there...?):

1. Consideration towards all living beings, especially those who are innocent, in difficulty, or worse off than we are.
2. Right communication through speech, writing, gesture and actions. (dishonest, fearfull, resentfull?)
3. Noncoventousness or the ability to resist a disire for that which does not belong to us.
4. Moderation in all our actions.
5. Absence of greed the ability to accept only what is appropriate."
6. Cleanliness, or the keeping of our bodies and our surroundings neat and clean.
7. Contentment or the ability to be happy with what we have and do not crave what we do not have.
8. The removal of impurities in our physical and mental systems through the maintenance of correct habits such as sleep, exercise, nutrition, work and relaxation. (do I owe an amend? need to share about something?)
9. Study and the necessity to review our progress.
10. Actions done more in the spirit of service than for personal gain.”
11. What did I put into the stream of life today?
12. How have I unfolded unity with my pastand how have I lived meditation and visions for today?

Anybody wanna try asking yourself this every evening befor going to bed?? I would love to have fellowship in trying this - let's say for three months :-)
Namasté and love
Jenni Saunte

Friday, June 11, 2010

spirit of serving

Sutra 2.45
"Actions done in spirit of service promote the ability to completely understand any object of choice." (Desikachar translation)

"Surrender to God brings perfection in samadhi." (Iyengar translation) Iyengar writes; "the power of samadhi (profound meditation or unity) comes to the practitioner who takes refuge in God."

Since in my understanding God is reality, and understanding any “object of choice” means to me that there is something real besides me (experiencing reality) – there is no difference in these two translations or two unfolding of sutra 2.45.

The essence, for me, is that when I’m in a position as a servant I see things clearer than from any other position.

When I do my yoga-practice in spirit “to serve” my body or my health, I get to be rich and giving.

In my work as a teacher, if I get to serve the student, I get to be so wealthy that I can keep on trying to give it a way and what I give a way is not even mine, so I cannot get in a lacking state.

In my library work place, I can be rich in knowledge and serve by answering, finding or helping the user, I can be a rich person giving back to the local community or a rich person giving back to the treasure of wisdom, knowledge or arts. Fantastic. All I have to do to live in this wealth is to serve. And by serving I give something away and that's the only way I ever can have something (truely- everything else is a story of owning). And it becomes clear I’m not the source (and the only source;-) and there is something real and objective besides me.

“How can I best serve my body, my mind or my practice – right now?” is my starting point for classes this week. How can I serve by challenging or by going softer, easier? A possibility to serve by expressing the most authentic and loving me in every asana.


Yours servant

Jenni :-) Saunte

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Study, brings one close...

2.44 “Study, when it is developed to the highest degree, brings one close to the higher Source that promotes understanding of the most complex.” (Desikachar translation) From reading both Iyengar and Desikachar I get at least three ways of unfolding “study”. It is the understanding of weaknesses and strengths in us that can nullify the weaknesses and make us use our strengths. It can be the study of sacred scriptures and reciting of mantras. But I love the suggestion that it is the communicating process in which the sensations and experiences gets through the skin and all our inner sheaths to the inner seer and from the inner seer to the outer layers of the seers abode :-) Study as the process in which the inner seer breaths through me, the expanding and contracting motion ever ongoing – I get really happy.

To my yoga teaching (and practice) this becomes the mantra reciting :-) and the exploration of what the inner seer tells each and everyone of us.

In my life this gets united with what my dear friend, used to tell me, (before exams) that there is no use focusing on what we didn’t have time to read and work through, he said lets focus on what we know and did. I just love that! Today this turns into the wisdom of the sutra - to get the weaknesses nullified and the strengths in use. And I’m grateful for a guideline to live life today, keeping my eyes on the price :-) what already is working, free and filled up with love.

Jenni Saunte

Saturday, May 29, 2010

removing impurities

2.43“The removal of impurities allows the body to function more efficiently” (Desikachar translation)
To me; the removal of impurities refers to my daily practice – body refers to physical existence “being” in this form and efficiently is measured against (towards :-) my authentic inner guidance and meaning (to be happy joyous and free). Iyengar gives me some extra translation on “tapasah” as the ascetic devotion, and self-discipline. In these days self-discipline is out of my hand, it’s not my business, I can’t make me pure :-) I just do the dishes and the practice and follow the next direction and reality takes care of the rest.
My (small) self cannot discipline my (small) self – there is need for an other instrument – I guess spirit (grand self) is a good one! All this small and grand from the sutra about the God-spark in all of us being the big self and the little self being the ego who is part of human existence.

So this week practice will be about removing impurities (rotations, conversions, pranayama, oh… everything can do it) and lets look at the results in practice and measure our efficiency – why we do yoga.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

I'm the practitioner not the propeller

“The result of contentment is total happiness.” (Desikachar translation)
This is what I read: when I get a practice over a longer time, with the yamas and the niyamas I get cleansed and clarity unfolds. Then contentment comes out of being clear and on this path, and out of contentment comes this total happiness or “supreme happiness” as Iyengar calls it.
It is granted, because … I’m the root of my own troubles and when the cleansing process puts this “I” in perspective something else than ego can fill up time and space..
Iyengar writes about the propelling power of the tapas, the devoted practice, which will propel the practitioner into a transformation. This is a part of being on a path of concentration which makes self-study (inventory) possible and leads towards God or reality or what you understand (or don’t understand) as a higher power.

The practitioner is not the propeller neither is the practitioner the power that drives the propeller. This is given through practice. I’m the practitioner. That’s it. Everything else is a gift. I’m the observing receiver of this gift. Thanks. Tak.

Now, my teaching is influenced to be about seeking the contentment and not trying to force the asana but enjoy the force that starts up in every asana by just meeting up on the mat and follow instructions.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

cheerful and benevolent :-)

2.41 “When the body is cleansed, the mind purified and the senses controlled, joyful awareness needed to realize the inner self, also comes.” (Iyengar translation)

When I experience “clarity of mind and body”, do I feel joy? Yes. Not exaltation or bubbly but… Joy, as being free, light and at ease. When I move away from this clear centre, do I experience pain? Yes. I once heard a wise man say that pain is only a signal to guide us back into centre (the broad highway)

And Iyengar passes on the promise that “When the consciousness is cheerful and benevolent, the seeker becomes ready to receive the knowledge and vision of the soul.” I know that insights that come to me, when I’m cheerful or benevolent, reminds alto more about the words of the wisdom literature.

We are halfway through the sutras and I’m giving an event to celebrate this. It will be about subtleness and cheerfulness and benevolence. Yoga, meditation and fellowship. I look forward to it.

Love jenni

Sunday, May 09, 2010

guidelines about cleanliness

Sutra 2.40 “When cleanliness is developed, it reveals what needs to be constantly maintained and what is eternally clean. What decays is external. What does not is deep within us.”

I discover I have guidelines about cleanliness, how often I shower, brush my teeth, how and when I do laundry, how my living areal is kept clean, how my minds jumping and messing things up- is inventoried, amends gets done and how often I do these things.
The guidelines have not been passed down or pointed out to me but aroused from a trial and error over many years. What are your guidelines on keeping clean (body and mind)?
It’s not unimportant. Iyengar points out that the cleanliness of body and mind creates a good temple for the seer, the dweller deep within us. And Desikachar hands down the promise of getting freed from attachment to outward things will get reduced. Thank God! As I wrote last week, these attachments hurt…
Jenni Saunte

Saturday, May 01, 2010

great river of life

Sutra 2.39 "One who is not greedy is secure. (S)He has time to think deeply. His (her) understanding of himself (herself) is complete." (Desikachar translation) In me, the sutra awakens the word; “what we own - owns us”. We spend time and energy getting it, keeping it and fearing the lost of it.

Iyengar translates it into: "Knowledge of past and future lives unfolds when one is free from greed for possessions." And he points out that holding on to ones thoughts, can be possessive. We are given the guideline to shun the holding on to thoughts and material possessions.

I relate to the aspect of past and future lives, it reminds me of letting go.
To me, the concrete action, to not gather possessions (material or thoughts/stories), symbolically represents my honouring of the spiritual truth; that I actually cannot own anything and that human life and material conditions will eventually die. This sutra makes me face my mortality.

Sometimes (ok- my darker moments) I wonder if everything I experience has the purpose of making me realize that life in this human body will end. Love stories end, people, situations, conditions I love disappears. “It” hurts, but I guess what hurts is my "attempt to hold on".
Other times (my lighter moments ;-) I see a big slow great river, the stream of life, and I courageously step into it and I lay down and let it carry me - wherever.

The dark and the light stories are the same; the stories just evoke different emotions in me.
This sutra makes me think of "panta rei" -everything flows, Heraklitus statement. I've loved it since I was a teenager and heard it the first time. I thought I could see this great flow in life in glimpses.

I want to let yoga be the big river of life and my role as a teacher is to invite my students to step into the water and let it carry them :-) flow, being carried and not greedy…
Jenni Saunte

Friday, April 23, 2010

right communication=there's been some wrong communication here...

Sutra 2.39 – but before I write this I kind of glanced down the “paper” and saw me going from 36 to 38 hmm let me look into this..

Ups – what I’ve called 2.36 seems to be 2.37 Soo… Hmmm I guess this will be a little loop –a pertinent one..
Because, my dears – sutra 2.36 states “When the sadhaka (the practitioner) is firmly established in practice of the truth, (her)his words become so potent that whatever (s)he says comes to realization.” (Iyengar translation)
And then he moves into a cellular plane, where all the cells have to agree, for something to be a truth – and I actually don’t have a problem with that – my body knows when there are no cells opposing. Often it sound like “we all want to play” my inner nun, kid, fame fatale, professional, grey mouse and so on – they all agree to play :-)
but oh! It hit’s me… right communication. The only right communication, I know this week; is to be as true to the now and my ideals in the present as I can be… I can’t make them communicate, so that I recognize love and respect, and I cannot communicate as they seems to wish… But being true to the most loving, respectful and honouring I know, seems to be right communication to me this week.
(just a little check in)
“One who shows a high degree of communication will not fail in (her) his actions” (Desikachar translation) I get to love my communicating skills through this week, and to realize I cannot do it as (a Buddha) perfect as I would love to, and exactly that is perfect!! In mercy, I communicate in mercy.
When I love what I say -I get to act on what I say.
When I’m in truth (attha – here and now) what I could have done with an asana or what might be possible tomorrow disappears – then I get to act in success. In the now!
Love and light

Sunday, April 18, 2010

on moderation

Ultra short
I have tiredness swimming around in me…
Desikachar translation sutra 2.38 “At its best, moderation produces the highest individual vitality”
I relate strongly to this even though my experience with feeling “alive” or “vital” is ego-experiences and have very little to do with moderation :-) too much of anything surely doeas give problems (just gave up eating a whole litre ice cream :-)
Iyengars translation goes toward a discussion about continence, celibacy here and chastity. I love his writing “The life-force which finds sexual expression also serves to find the warmth of our emotions, the passion of our intellect, and our idealism.”
Love and light

Sunday, April 11, 2010

now about stealing :-)

Now about stealing :-) sutra 2.36 continues to unfold the yamas. I’ve found myself in class to pass the yamas along as: non violence, truthfulness, not stealing, moderation in action and non greediness. I know it’s not the abbreviations that Desikachar and Iyengar uses, but translated from English to Danish and now back into English – this is what happened :-)
Iyengars translating sutra 2.36: “When abstention from stealing is firmly established, precious jewels come.” And Desikachar writes about being trustworthy and gaining confidence.

It makes me remember the feeling of honouring my sources, and passing along the yoga-tradition, in my class. Sometime I honour a teacher and dedicate a whole class to this lineage of teaching; sometimes I use precious time in class to talk about differences between traditions or just passing along, from what tradition a specific movement came to me.
This makes me a less important part of the deal and the tradition stands out. But even if I gain less “ego-boost” out of class I get to be rich in “being part of” tradition and rich in safety and protection by traditions trial and error that’s been going on for centuries…

This sutra also reminds me about stealing ideas, opinions and values from others. Pretending to know (steal knowledge) or to have an opinion, robs me; even though I seem to be rich in wisdom-treasure and personality; it robs me – when I stop this stealing and simply starts to say: “I don’t know” I get to receive the precious jewel of wisdom and knowledge and the precious jewel of no opinions peace :-) ever tried that peace? I can recommend it!!!

Now I’m beat. Dead meat-as we said in my teenage years :-)
God night and a good brad new week!

Friday, April 02, 2010

staying still- to get into the refined and subtle

Salutes from northern jutland :-) I love the sea, the big waves, the eastern bunnys, the pheasants and hundreds of wild geese and my tiny pice of amber, that I've found...

Sutra 2.36 tells me that:
"one who shows a high degree of right communication, will not fail in his action" (Desikachar translation) and Iyengar translates to:
"when the sadhaka (practitioner) is firmly established in the practice of truth, his words become so potent that whatever he says comes to realization."
The truth, or right communication is not true at the position of the mind nessecerily but honest whole-heartedly, with every cell of our being.
I know this feeling on a physical level, when "it's all comming together..." it just fits, and it has a physical resonance in me. Nice.

Desikachar writes that:-the ability to be honest, communicating with sensitivity, not hurting others, not telling lies and necessary reflection
requires refined state of being.
To me this refined state is a state of awareness, a place where my mind and ego doesn't make a lot of noice. subtle nuances can appear.
Actually I guess that inventory or self-examination both demands this subtleness but also kind of produces it.

Latley I've had kilometer long arms in my practice, and I've enjoyed it so much. When I stretch my arms out in front of my this awareness arises and I'm just there, just by inventorying my movement and surrendering into how breath and spine is totaly connected and infuate a movement in my chest and long, long arms :-)

So this week - staying still- to get into the refined subtle nuances and messages, to get honest and in peace.
Love Jenni

Sunday, March 28, 2010

consideration and peace in words, thoughts and deeds

Sutra 2.35: "The more considerate one is, the more one stimulates friendly feelings among all in one's presence" (Desikachar translation)
Yes – hear, hear!
But my experience also tells me that “stimulating friendly feelings cannot be my motive when being considerate”. The first time I read about these ideas I decided that from now on, I was going to change the world by thinking and acting in a positive way. But nobody changed around me, and I got really busy trying to make them be more positive :-) and my partner was just depressed and negative. I got the feeling that it doesn’t work.
This is why Desikachars focus in this sutra; to reflect upon ones motives, really helps me. If my motive for being considerate is to become a considerate jenni, giving room for consideration to unfold I my day, I get in contact to the source and power in me that have a considerate form. When I’m in contact with this source or power, I much more easy recognize consideration in others.

Part of me really wants to write the Iyengar translation down to this week: "When non-violence in speech, thought and action is established, one's aggressive nature is relinquished and others abandon hostility in one's presence." Partly because it’s a boost to be actually working with the text of AHIMSA !!! non-violence (childhood dream), but also because his words about seeking “peace in words, thoughts and deeds” gives me clear guidelines and connects this sutra with the earlier ones.
For my yogawork this week “peace in words, thoughts and deeds” and unfolding consideration :-)
Jenni Saunte

Friday, March 19, 2010

Through introspection comes end of pain and ignorance :-)

2.34 “Uncertain knowledge giving rise to violence, whether done directly or indirectly, or condoned, is caused by greed, anger or delusion in mild, moderate or intense degree. It results in endless pain and ignorance. Through introspection comes end of pain and ignorance.” (Iyengar translation) Today “uncertain knowledge” means jennis-ego-filters in between reality and me. When I relate more to my story of what’s going on than just be part of reality. "Ignorance" means being asleep, not awakened to reality.

Greed often sound like “I want…”, “I want more, there is not enough, I will feel better when there is some put aside for hard times” :-)
I know greed in all kinds of forms: never enough money, time, or never enough love or how about enough safety, security, energy, health, strength, flexibility, respect, love and so on… Even yoga :-) I want more… yoga. The ego-greed filter, that gives an uncertain knowledge of truth and distance to reality.
Anger affects my judgement, well to me this sentence says that when angry I tend to focus more to what I tell myself about a situation, than experiencing what is – gives uncertain knowledge.
Delusion is especially hard :-) no, that’s not true, they are all though and I agree they lead to endless pain all of them, but this night –delusion- just seems so hopeless, I’m really screwed here.. Haven’t you tried for example to “let go” of something you never had, like letting go of an ex lover – like you ever “had” him/her!!! Off course it’s hard to let go :-) or letting go of “controlling the future” how tomorrow’s work or tomorrow’s situations will turn out – that’s a tough task, to let go of the control I never had. Delusion makes it clear to me how much I need a greater power (to me reality), surrender, practice, guidelines and you, my fellow travellers :-) Because when I’m in delusion, I never know it, delusion: “implies an inability to distinguish between what is real and what only seems to be real, often as the result of a disordered state of mind” (Merriam Webster dictionary).

I can have this in my asana work, if I get greedy, to become good fast, or to be able to do more than what is healthy (put in to many asanas in my daily practice) my body starts to hurt.
If I get angry on my body for not doing what I want it to do, I often end up in pains, or if I’m angry when I do yoga, I don’t connect and it all becomes superficial, and only gives me uncertain knowledge – not real connection - if I don't fall and break something, just by being distracted. If I’m deluded about what I’m doing, I easily can get hurt; by repeatedly place my body in unhealthy positions.

Therefore it’s is so giving to do it together with you, to have one (or several) masters, teachers who follow me, and reminds me to connect and be aware when I stray. It helps to read the sutras and to be given guidelines, so that my delusion is put in perspective and not holding the steering wheel.
And to look in to me, into my experience and meassure :-) do inventory or self-examination.
To search for reality, no; to unfold reality through introspection, are my guideline for yoga classes and my week.



Saturday, March 13, 2010

to be present, aware and search for a centre

Sutra 2.33 answers the question of how we can examine our attitudes to us and others, yamas and niyamas… “When these attitudes are questioned, self reflection on the possible consequences of alternative attitudes may help” (Desikachar translation) Iyengar brings up the understanding many have of this sutras direction, as a focus on oppositions, when sad focus on happy and when fearful focus on trust and so on.. But I love that I read that this is ok, but maybe not the only way – instead of focusing on the opposing “sides” we can look into what is, here and now in “me” and by looking into me, instead of trying to change stuff (inside and around me) a neutrality, a centeredness will arise. I get this, this is my experience.
The fight is over, I don’t need to correct my bad feelings to some feelings I judge as good, I can just observe. Instead of trying to do the asana as the woman or man on the mat next to me, I can focus on the way it unfolds today through me and dig deeper into my experience of now and a balance and lightness will occur. One of my masters used to say; “measure”. I guess I connect his word to this sutra and Iyengars words of “knowledge of discrimination”, the wisdom to see the difference. When I measure what I do, or some other way relate to my living, self-examination – I interact and relate in a meditative awareness to my being. This brings about knowledge to see the difference. Reality gets my attention and guides me into the yamas and the niyamas.
The themes for my teaching this week: to be present, aware and search for a centre. And personally I also get to look a bit more on how daily practice of self-examination can bring about yamas and niyamas in my life.
Jenni Saunte

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Somehow my daily practice suddenly had 5½ inversion, not planned by me – but what a gift from reality!! Inversions brings such new perspectives, a sense of playing and so much energy – I’m grateful

and this is not me ;-) but some nice inversions surely...

Saturday, March 06, 2010

sense of getting cleaned, and being the cleaning-person at the same time

Sutra 2.32
“Niyama comprises:
1. Cleanliness, or the keeping of our bodies and our surroundings neat and clean.
2. Contentment or the ability to be happy with what we have and do not crave what we do not have.
3. The removal of impurities in our physical and mental systems through the maintenance of correct habits such as sleep, exercise, nutrition, work and relaxation.
4. Study and the necessity to review our progress.
5. Actions done more in the spirit of service than for personal gain.” (Desikachar translation)

Ok. So this is our attitude towards ourselves. Here is my "check in": 1. yes, Cleaning as an act, is very present in my life :-) two kids, 6 and 10 years – makes it very urgent to keep on cleaning – not to get It done, once and for all, but to be in the process. It is kind of a creative act (am I too weird now?) to organize and to play that I know where stuff should be, in relation to other stuff :-) creating jennis-universe through cleaning – ha. But it sometimes also brings me the position as the servant, number 5. Because I can tell that my kids loves their rooms and our place more when the surface of the table is visible and the dog is to be found. 2. contentment is a gift, and I love the thought of us – always being content, underneath :-) some five or ten years ago I was a supporter of the idea, that if I ever got mad or sad, I’ve probably always was mad or sad, but just not in touch with (suppressing) my tru depressing feelings. Well a wise person told me – it might as well be the other way around. Maybe I’m always content and happy, and sometimes I forget it in the turbulence of my ego or life’s overwhelming richness. But there is an ease and a peace of mind, in contentment that reminds me of “were the piece of the puzzle fits”. This makes it attractive to me.
3. When I sleep well and there has been a feeling of healthy food and moving of my body, I guess I feel pure – and the opposite is also true, I feel impure or like “a mess” when I slept bad or eat really only sugar and fat and didn’t move at all :-) yea that happens !
4. I love that work and study are mentioned in 4 and 5, because I feel so passionate about these aspects of my life. They melt together, but is also a true sound position for me to be in. The months after graduation before I got a job, I renamed my job-applications to “my job”. I couldn’t relate to being without job, fine lets call my new job “hired as unemployed” but the idea of: "without job"… too weird for me. My daily and weekly practice of self-inquiry or self-examination and study of yoga, is a lifeline, my beloved oxygen mask. And it reveals me to me, again and again depths of realization, patterns and brings me to bottoming out in non-functional patterns and bringing me through vague, uncertain periods into new grounds, new positions. It brings me perspective and proportion.

In my yoga practice and in the asana, it gives me: sense of getting cleaned, and being the cleaning-person at the same time. The asana gives me (most of the time) contentment. It brings me exercise and a good nights sleep. It is both my work and my study :-) and it often gives me the position to be serving a crowd of yoga-lovers <3 This little relation practice tells me that; doing the niyamas, is the same as doing my personal practice – fantastic!
Jenni Saunte

Saturday, February 27, 2010

go for the wordless and for the unconditional

Sutra 2.31 “When the adoption of these attitudes to our environment is beyond compromise, regardless of our social, cultural, intellectual or individual station, it approaches irreversibility.” (Desikachar translations) The “attitudes” are the ones from sutra 2.30.
Yoga, or to me – reality is beyond the stories that builds the social, the cultural, the intellectual and the individual. This sutra makes me search for something – maybe not deeper – and maybe not search :-) – but leads me into an awakening into an authenticity beyond my wildest dreams and thoughts. Maybe a wordless truth… whereas the stories (just mentioned) are so full of words. I once took a great class with a teacher who lead us into a meditation which stripped us from being “academic”, “mother/daughter”, “”smart/stupid”, “fun”, “interesting”, “good looking/travelled/successful” and left was… – well I’m not gonna tell you :-) you have to give it a try – it really is amazing!!!
Desikachar writes about not adopting them abruptly, but through practice and self-examination give room for a maintaining process of the yamas. Iyengar tells me that the yamas are the vows of the yoga practitioner, which are unconditional and ought to be practiced by every yoga student.
To go for the wordless and for the unconditional, that doesn’t depend on time, place or situation -is my inspiration for the class and my week.
Jenni Saunte

(I’ve been looking into the next sutra – and I look forward to that as well (the niyamas))

Saturday, February 20, 2010

given to me through continuous practice

sutra 2.30

"Yama comprises: 1. Consideration towards all living beings, especially those who are innocent, in difficulty, or worse off than we are.
2. Right communication through speech, writing, gesture and actions.
3. Noncovetousness or the ability to resist a desire for that which does not belong to us.
4. Moderation in all our actions.
5. Absence of greed the ability to accept only what is appropriate." (Desikachar translation)

wow! Ok… my first reaction is - There is no way I can do this!! But than I'm relieved, "I" don't have to do this, this is given to me through continuous practice. "It's not about getting it and to be done with it - it (yoga) is a process... more will be revealed". Or as Desikachar writes "we strive for them… how we behave towards others and our environment reveals our state of mind".

I can relate to "consideration towards all living beings" in my everyday. When I'm in contact of how we all are connected and in my position of “I get to have a work”, I can see consideration take form. In my work I get to serve as a teacher, project manager or as a librarian. Sometime my consideration looks like "leave me out of the equation", stay in bed, and don’t met the world today. But I love to say "how can I help you?" or "If there are any questions or wishes - please come forward".

Considering "right communication" hits me especially when I write to the net, or the blog. How to communicate when the receivers eye and heart is not "there" in skin and blood (oh how dramatic) but only unified with me in mind and action. It gets very real. As honest as can be - is my guideline here.

To not be greedy, is as close as I can understand "noncovetousness", so where does this vibrate today? Well I can be greedy on making appointments, I really want to do it all and right now! To resist this desire I need help :-) yogapractice, listening to you and awareness is help!! I get to know my truth and the authentic possibility for engaging in projects. Oh, but now I can tell that not being greedy is the number four, so this one is more of not stealing? Ok, I've got to figure that word out… I'll be back on that.

Moderation in all our actions, reminds me of how I used to try to fix me a daily practice - and I figured out loong advanced schedules for training the body, and I lasted - at the most - a week, often I never got to the actual training, just kept on planning how much I was going to be faithful to my workout or practice tomorrow :-) Today, moderation vibrates on the "ambition-chord". Again "I" can't do it, but reality seems to be pretty good at making moderation happen, in one way or another :-)

Absences of greed - well I've already written about that subject.

Again, my plan is to just deliver this sutra in class – and check in during my week, to se how it unfolds in my day.
Jenni Saunte