Monday, November 07, 2011

Unity and individuality

Iyengar translation of sutra 4.4:
"Constructed or created mind springs from the sense of individuality (asmita)."

He writes: from self-awareness, numerous activities becomes associated in ones consciousness, thereby giving rise to mental states called moods... They taint, distort or disturb the intelligence" (amen!!) He tells me that if my confused and mood-driven mind becomes steered towards the right focus, it can unfold a fine sensitivity.

I relate Iyengars understanding of this sutra to a speaker I once heard, who said that all problems arise out of self, and that "being something else than "at-one" is the root of all pain and suffering. Iyengar writes "The sadhaka [the yoga practitioner] has to draw back ... the "I" consciousness, from the head towards its base, so as to lose its identity." To me this sounds like becoming the hole in the donut.

Ok, so in asana-work this means, to me, that if I'm in individuality-mode, trying to show off or comparing (pride or judgment) I'm not "at-one" with the asana and my mind is disturbed. Then my asana is weak and often off balance. My asana-work suffers. When the roles of individuality is gone, the asana just is, and it doesn't matter if anybody sees it or don't sees it, if I'm adjusted or not. It is just fulfilled - this is a blessed state.
I've had the same teacher where there was many intrigues in the room (loads of ego and showing off), and every asana was affected by these tensions, and with the same teacher and no comparison or ego-motifs were on, and the asanas deepened and were more soft and intense (which is a remarkable combination!)

I relate the unfolding of this sutra to the saying: "hold dig til din egen måtte" :-) in english something like: "keep the focus on your own mat". Words I was given to teach from my first education. It also gives depth to the words in every class about letting go of all ideas and expectations there might be to this now.

It inspires my daily practice... well I've been complaining in my head like mad about always always always doing supta padanghustasana - every time. Oh I've had a grudge on this asana big time. But this sutra tells me - that it's not about me and my wants and wills. I'm to go into the asana for unity and cultivating awareness.

Jenni Saunte

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