Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Desikachar talks about how the mind is like a double edged sword. The sweet gifts of yoga and samyama can easily be used by our creative mind to seduce us off the path and into seeking the gift that comes along instead of the ultimate state of freedom. Sutra 3.37 “For an individual who may revert to a state of distraction, this extraordinary knowledge and capabilities acquired through samyama ade worth possessing. But, for the one who seek nothing less than a sustained state of yoga, the results of samyama are obstacles in them selves.” (Desikachar translation and counting)

If I do continuous yoga posture practice I get rewarded with for example a sense of lightness or vitality in my everyday. But if I change my commitment to be about getting this sensation I somehow loose it and something else in my life breaks down or I loose contact with the sense of being free that was carrying the experience that brought about the sense of lightness hmm not easy to write about.
I can relate on a personal level as well. After a larger traumatic injury the healing process brought about some unexpected gains in form of new work and different living situation(s). And when I get sidetracked by these gains, and I do sometimes, I loose contact to what really matters… to be alive and my passion for life, being ultimately free. Somehow I find that the “sidetracks” has a lot to do with ego and my … character-challenges :-) oh yes let’s call them this today.

So I keep the focus and keep on working and walking the path that brings about truth, ease and being free. One daily practice at a time, one evening review (yama/niyamas) at a time. One asana at a time :-)
Jenni Saunte

Saturday, May 21, 2011

sense and move on

3.36 "Then, one begins to acquire extraordinary capacities" (Desikachar translation and count)
So the ordinary is to be driven by a hundred forms of fear and desires that clouds our sight and connection into the great reality and the state of yoga.
When I get set free set free from only focusing the outer object, and by samyama on the perceiving process gets connected to my inner seer, the inner truth gets revealed...
"So when I focus on the object my inner Perceiver stays unrevealed to me – but still strong. When I move my focus to the perceiving act or process, when I experience something in me receives or perceives the emotion or sensation – I start to experience the inner seer. That, which is not the stimuli, not the sensation but the canvas or the space. " from last week..

Sutra 3.36 promises me that some "extraordinary" capacities will arrive. In tha asana my surrender can lead me into completely new knowledge and experience. But reverse; my experience is that if my ego get boosted again, by for example insecurity, by visiting a new teacher, and I questions my inner truth. I can, suddenly, loose connection to the extraordinary strength or lightness I sometimes access.
This inspires my personal daily practice to keep sensing what I sense and try to move towards not being driven by my story about "why" I sense what I do and stay a bit longer
(I have a mind that always concludes I better stop, almost at any sensation of discomfort).

It can inspire my teaching to keep differentiating about what we sense in the asana and what the choices are based on. That the part of us that is sensing for example fatigue is not fatigue, the part of us that sense anger or grief is not angry or grieving. There is a possibility at all times to connect to this inner witness or observer.
I'm not good at this in asana practice, I'm actually a complete beginner in life to Not try to fix any attraction and repulsion I sense in life. In march I had this returning meditation on sensations being just like colors - not something we should put meaning into. Just sense and move on...
hard for me :-)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

change and stillness

Sutra 3.35 “The mind, which is subject to change and the Perceiver, which is not, are in proximity but are of distinct and different characters. When the mind is directed externally and acts mechanically towards objects there is either pleasure or pain. However, when at the appropriate time, an individual begins enquiry into the very nature of the link between the Perceiver and perception, the mind is disconnected from external objects and there arises the understanding of the Perceiver itself.” (Desikachar translation+counting)

So when I focus on the object my inner Perceiver stays unrevealed to me – but still strong. When I move my focus to the perceiving act or process, when I experience something in me receives or perceives the emotion or sensation – I start to experience the inner seer. That, which is not the stimuli, not the sensation but the canvas or the space.
Desikachar writes about how an attachment to an object is like having muddy glasses on – it doesn’t help that the eye is good and the sight is clear, the mud on the glass makes the object blurred.
Iyengar writes about being “free from egoism” this is very useful for me. I was given the definition of the ways ego “blurs the sight” we know them as “selfish, self-seeking, dishonesty and fear”. Or the yamas and niyamas give us useful hints :-)

When I read these two texts, I think what Iyengar calls the soul, is what Desikachar calls the perceiver. I find that in my world it is more easy to relate to the inner seer or inner Perceiver for now. But I’m not sure.
I love these sentences; “By samyama, the yogi has to disentangle the knot that binds the intellect and the self, and isolate the refined intelligence. From this comes isolation of the senses, mind and ego, and finally the release of the light of the soul.” (Iyengar on sutra 3.36)


Sunday, May 08, 2011

heart and mind

3.34 "Samyama on the heart will definitely reveal the qualities of the mind." (Desikachar translation+counting)
Heart is considered the seat of the mind.
If the mind's quality is unsteady, shifting and nervous - well my experience is that my heart beat is affected as well. If there is pain on my mind I can actually feel it in my heart region. Medically they have found that there are cells in that heart that we also have in the brain. You can read about it here:

"The idea that we can think with our hearts is no longer just a metaphor, but is, in fact, a very real phenomenon. We now know this because the combined research of two or three fields is proving that the heart is the major center of intelligence in human beings. Molecular biologists have discovered that the heart is the body's most important endocrine gland. In response to our experience of the world, it produces and releases a major hormone, ANF - which stands for Atriol Neuriatic Factor - that profoundly effects every operation in the limbic structure, or what we refer to as the "emotional brain." This includes the hippocampal area where memory and learning take place, and also the control centers for the entire hormonal system. And neurocardiologist have found that 60 to 65% of the cells of the heart are actually neural cells, not muscle cells as was previously believed. They are identical to the neural cells in the brain, operating through the same connecting links called ganglia, with the same axonal anddendritic connections that take place in the brain, as well as through the very same kinds of neurotransmitters found in the brain."

I had a slight problem to find the (french, I think) researcher who made the discovery... But I read his book 6 years ago, and this reference is describing the same thing.

Iyengar uses the word consciousness in this sutra- which is different.
I'm still not sure about what the mind is and what the consciousness is, in your beautiful language, but I will get there, I'm getting more and more close.
Iyengar writes that the yogi can tap the source of her being and identify herself with the supreme - by samyama on the heart.
If reality or authenticity is the supreme, and already the hearts movements so easily reveals to us where we're really at, I'm all open to the suggestion that samyama (meditation and integration) on the heart should lead me to my essence, and to the great reality within.

In class and practice; let the heart lead, connect to heart in practice and asana. Maybe make the connection more tangible by doing some chest-openers and some pranayama that make the area sensitive and aware.

Jenni Saunte