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