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


alienne said...

Hi Jenni! I just found your blog browsing through blogspot. I love your thoughts! I'm still only just beginning to get into yoga, but I find it so enlivening and inspiring. I also think Iyengar is an amazing man who has achieved some very amazing things.
I love that something so simple like body movements and postures can have such a huge effect on the mind and connection to the soul.
Love Sonja.

Jenni said...

Thank you Sonja -for reading and commenting, it is so nice to have company!! How good you found yoga! and I agree it is inspiring and kind of like an ocean - soo big!! You are always welcome - jenni