Friday, December 09, 2011

A yogi's action are neither white nor black

"A yogi's action are neither white nor black. The actions of others are of three kinds, white, black and grey." (Iyengar translation of sutra 4.7)
Iyengar points out that "The unmixed action of the yogi are beyond sattva, rajas and tamas. They produce no positive or negative reactions in the consciousness and hence are free from duality". I get to be the one to see how duality expresses it self in yoga sometimes, and I'm Not attracted to it (this and this teacher say so and so,,, and this and that is right and wrong). It is really uncomfortable to sit in - so I move along. And feel release. I guess this is being safe and sound and not be part of the duality game (this time).

Desikachar points out that the "state of yoga" can lead us to "the highest state of clarity and detachment [we] can be beyond motivation" . I remember the first time I heard the stories of Mahabharata (11 years old) the meeting between Arjuna (my personal hero) and Krishna, made a lifelong impression on me. This is where Krishna tells Arjuna to be a warrior and go into battle, not to win, not to loose, not because of right or wrong, but just because this is what he is, and I think the word duty was used :-) and I could just return to this moment again and again. Today it connects to the thinking of "what's true will last" to me it's an encouragement to be what I am (it's a really smart shortcut to reality).

First thing I think, when I read the sutra is; this is an instrument to measure "what is and what is not"- yogic. If my action is neutral and undisturbed, it's probably part of living the yoga-state.
So in my asana work; if I'm undisturbed (this doesn't necessarily mean not shaking or not sweating), and not in judgment of my asana, just being and experiencing, well then it IS yoga. If I'm in judgment (comparing me to the others, or showing off or being ashamed) -then the yoga-state IS NOT.
My master just thought me that it's not about good or bad, or right or wrong, it just IS or it just IS NOT :-) so I'm complying to this suggestion.

My experience can only confirm this sutra is. And just as I wrote last week, I still long for more neutrality. Neutrality feels like heaven.

In my personal practice neutrality is often a part. I almost always feel more neutral and free when alone with asana than in a group setting. With my master the neutral yoga-state almost always is a part. When neutrality-blessing is there, I usually don't even think about it. I show up in my warm, tight woolen underwear, that really don't suit me :-) but it's easy, I live spiritual consent with my master to adjust whatever I do on my mat, so he better be able to see what's going on, and I need something warm, so... wool :-)
Last time I really could feel I lost the "state" was in Stavanger, where I just got so tired of being weak. All my expression, work and mind got unstable, by judging me as weak. It's non of my business and I get free by remaining neutral.

In the beginning (some ten years ago) I was very picky on who did what and how, but today this neutrality is more extended, sometimes things happens (body-adjustments), change appears over time, instead of trying to pull every little bit out this one class, I can see is this an expression for how this student shape is today or is it a part of a development, a change. It also works much better for me to welcome people that are late than to yell or ban them - I know most yoga-teachers do the opposite, it just is Not efficient in my experience.
In my personal practice my effort is neither black nor white but I get to be stable, by showing up on a daily basis, I get to have a daily practice by showing up every day. I get to be loving by loving my practice unfolding. I get to be amending and caring, by showing up in my practice. So, sure all three gunas are there at times, off course I'm sometime overly excited, sometime lazy (often) and sometime balanced and harmonious - but just by showing up - I'm blessed and grateful.


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