This post was supposed to happen yesterday, but I wanted to reread Iyengar's description of the last three limbs again. I didn't feel like they quite settled in my brain or I wasn't paying much attention when I was reading them. Nevertheless, I reread all three this morning and there is still some muddled confusion. So I'll give my viewpoints a go and if you feel like chiming in to help me figure these out I would appreciate the help.
Dharana: Oh me, oh my... this one is basically the yogi's ability to concentrate on a single object. In a sense, to me it seems as if dharana and meditation are almost the same things. Yet Iyengar talks about five mental states: ksipta (mental forces are scattered and the mind hankers after objects; rago-guna being dominant), viksipta (agitated or distracted mind, the capacity to enjoy the fruits of one's efforts, but the desires are not marshaled and controlled), mudha ( mind is foolish, dull and stupid; confounded and at a loss to know what it wants; tamo-guna dominant), ekagrata (closely attentive mind and the mental faculties are concentrated on a single object with sattva-guna present; easily turns to being supremely egotistical which is not good), and lastly niruddha (where the mind, intellect, and ego are all restrained and everything is offered to the Lord for His use in His service).
Hmm.. Yep. So we are attempting to attain the state of niruddha, but I'm not quite sure how it's done. Iyengar also goes over AUM, which has multiple meanings that he discusses. I have always heard the description of it representing the one God. Since I'm not a believer of the trimurti, I transformed this into the trinity (same thing I know but different name and different aspects of God). While the Trimurti contains Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, I worship the Trinity (God the father, Jesus the son, and the Holy Spirit). Their combination creates Him, the one true God. That which is all powerful and ever present in our daily lives. When all ego and thoughts of "I" and "mine" subside, the student can then concentrate on Him and to do his will— which is the ultimate goal.
Dhyana: I've really only heard or read about this limb in reference to staring at a lit candle. The mind is suspended as the student concentrates on the flame and releases all outside disturbances or interruptions. Through my readings of dhyana by Iyengar, there was much more to it. An attempt to achieve a state of supreme bliss as the student has gained a state of no other thoughts but the contemplation on the Universal Spirit. Signs of progress on the path of yoga are "health, a sense of physical lightness, steadiness, clearness of countenance and a beautiful voice, sweetness of odor of the body and freedom from craving." The student must dedicate all his actions to the Lord, taking refuge in him.
Still, not quite sure I understand this one so much.
Samadhi: The ultimate goal of yoga. The last limb, that once attained frees one from all. The student, in a state of samadhi, is fully conscious and alert. There isn't much really explaining samadhi. It must be experienced, not written or read about. Again, here goes my confusion/ misunderstanding. I mean I understand the concept, I guess just not exactly how to attain it. Iyengar also wrote down the Song of the Soul, which also didn't quite make sense. If attaining samadhi is supposed to be the ultimate goal, then why does the song that is written not sound more tantalizing or interesting. Maybe I'm clinging to worldly things but I'm rather fond of family and friends. The second to last stanza goes like this:
I have no misgiving of death, no chasms of race divide me,
No parent ever called me child, no bond of birth ever tied me:
I am neither disciple nor master, I have no kin, no friend–
Consciousness and joy am I, and merging in Bliss is my end.
That just doesn't put butterflies in my stomach for some reason. Maybe I don't understand it completely. I'll keep searching though.
In regards to my discouragement . . . well that's a different matter. I know that my body is limited right now in what it can do physically, but it still makes me upset some. My mind wants to go further than simply five surya namaskara's but my body (or uterus rather) makes it impossible to go further. The discomfort at times is great and I end up in Child's Pose on the floor as I let the pain/discomfort subside. I listen to my body and try not to force anything. I also try not to be discouraged by my lack of a physical practice but it creeps in my mind and it's usually while I'm laying in savasana.
Savasana has been another battle for me. I want to lay on my back so bad and just melt into the ground, but I can't lay on my back for longer than three minutes because the weight of the baby will press on major blood vessels and cut of blood to him and me. So, I've been laying on my side..... only I can't get comfortable enough in that position to "relax" like the pose is supposed to do. I've tried experimenting by laying on my back first and then flipping to my side but once I am on my side I get antsy and want to sit up. I can't clear my head and just feel.
Anyone have any ideas about enjoying savasana on my side more? Maybe for increasing patience as well? haha