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


Tim, Lisa, Trenton, and Grant said...


Jenni said...

thank you for walking a bit with me :-)