Saturday, June 18, 2011

lit a fire :-)

Here is a sutra I can only vaguely relate to:
Desikachar translation: "By mastering samana, one can experience sensations of excessive heat." (3.40)
or Iyengar translation: "By samyama on samana vayu, a yogi glows like fire and her aura shines." (3.41)

Desikachar places the focal point to the navel and Iyengar places it to be in the middle of the torso - maybe this is the same, kind of?? And they both writes about; heat, fire, digestion and life forces.

I've always believed in what I was told about agni - I was told this was the fire of life, that we could lit through yoga. This fire did not only digest food (or what we use to create body-heat), but it digested experiences (to me - it ate my bad experiences and set me free). Working with this, I know from experience that yoga can lit a fire in me and turn something into ashes and cleanse me.
Some of my colleagues tells that one can get pimples or bad breath from doing intense cleansing work with yoga, this, they tell, should be because the cleansing have been so strong that (affaldsstoffer) not poison but something along that line, let’s call it waste – has to come out afterwards. I have yet to try this, I only know of it from my mind, being cleansed from garbage in my mind/head and feeling neutral or clean like ashes afterwards.
Desikachars suggestion (passing down the tradition of) to work with retention after inhalation to access this, I have a vague baby experience with this from some of the longer retreats I've done but mostly, at home in my everyday- I don't get warm at all. My guess is that I have a long way to go.

Jenni Saunte

Saturday, June 11, 2011

mind, experience and stimuli

Sutra 3.38 "By mastering the forces that transmit sensations from the body to the mind, it is possible to master the external stimuli. For instance, one can tolerate water at any temperature or the effects of thorns, or one can walk on unstable surface, and even feel as light as a balloon." (Desikachar translation).

This sutra comments on how much the mind has to do with what we call external stimuli. Like hunger, or lack of external stimuli; food :-) Desikachar brings up an example I know too well: the child who cries violently for food and the next minute plays and smiles, all absorbed by the game. This are my kids when they were smaller.

I know this very well in my self, sometimes I get so hungry it almost hurts and I get really irritated and edgy to be with. Other times I’m so absorbed by the work or asana that I forget time and space.. and meals.

Desikachar also brings up the example of how one mans the trouble of walking in a jungle is the other mans trouble of walking in Manhattan, for the person who grew up in the tropics, in warmth of the tropics are no bother at all, just like cold arctic winter doesn’t cause distraction for the person who grew up here.

This addresses how the mind affects our experience by being a “storehouse of experiences”. Experiencing hot and cold, or the steadiness or unstableness of what we walk on is affected by our mind and our previous experiences (habits) but it doesn’t have to, is the fine message of this sutra. We all can get perfectly free from the domination of mind, by engaging in certain practices, like pranayama.

As a teacher I know that certain in asanas it helps to .. offer a possible distraction to the mind, so that the experience of being a long time in the pose doesn’t talk us out of being there. It can be of applying details and variation. This is also the toughest part of self-practice, to stay longer in an asana that brings about an effect after, but is tough during the “stay”. For me this is typical for poses that brings strength, I just want to get out of them – they almost feels painful to me. I have a few of the poses which bring about flexibility and serenity (haha) that almost gives me an explosion of thoughts about getting out of the pose. Hard, when there is nobody, but me, to keep me in the pose. Last year I put an egg-clock on five minutes in some poses, just to stay longer, but it was not the same as having a teacher to tell me to stay.
jenni Saunte

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Reach beyond the confines of oneself

I just love the challenge of this sutra!
the foundation is the understanding of the mind as a storehouse for distinct individual experience. "The function of the mind is limited to the individual to whom it belongs. Thus the mind becomes an isolated fortress, resisting all entry."
Desikachar translates the sutra 3.38:
"By enquiring into the cause of this rigid situation binding the mind to the individual, and examining the means of relaxing this rigidity, there is a great potential for an individual to reach beyond the confines of himself."
By working with these suggested disciplines for example pranayama and keeping the mind clean, "the mental activity can be extended to influence others". Desikachar exemplifies it as practical in the teaching situation.

To this I say - ok
I can relate to it this way; When I'm in a long time relationship I get more and more free from "wrong understanding" of my partner, I slowly get more and more clear insight into this persons universe and mind. This is due to yamas and niyamas work in the relation as well as each of the persons in the relation own personal inventory and unfolding.
When I'm experiencing that I'm safe and protected I get to challenge the rigidity of my mind and the limitations dissolves from inside slowly expanding the limits from the inside.
This is also where I get to experience being more than just an individual, or experiencing we are one or being part of something bigger. These experiences are the most valuable ones for me. Today I know I need them to live authentically and in accordance with my truth. I need to have a teacher who also have done the journey, I need to have many fellow-passengers to share the experience with.

In asana work (and thereby every situation in life) I have two types of understanding the "aha" experience, and the "dimmer" where I get to see the lights turned on slowly.
My literature (other than sutras) now tells me that understanding is a feeling. Nothing else. I can relate to this.
If the limit between two individuals minds, really goes away and there can be "true understanding" between persons is not important. But me sensing the feeling of being understood or understanding is great, but maybe just another color on the "palette of feelings".

I get a little dizzy when I think about how big the universe is, and I get the same weird feeling thinking that there maybe never is any understanding or meaning to it all, other than what we experience or project unto it....
So for this week, reach beyond the confines of oneself, opening and relating.
Maybe connecting or partner work?

Life is wonderful :-)