Year Ending ’17 and Year Beginning ’18

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Once more another year has almost passed into history, for me becoming too many to want to count! However I am no longer so directly involved in the manic movements so often a part of this month.
My daughters are now both parenting their own off-spring with a six year old boy and two month old baby girl, whilst my son is still roaming abroad and currently in South America with his partner till next summer.

So these days Granpa can increasingly sit back a bit with the Xmas break offering moments to pause to reflect on what has passed this year, especially on what is deadwood to discard and what are seeds to hold onto for the next year. On that note along with my commitment to maintaining personal time and space in my monthly schedule for UK and Overseas students, for my ongoing work with individuals and small study groups, the behind the scenes needs for a continual review and refinement of the curation aspects of the ever accumulating Yoga practice and study resources have commanded my focus, time and energy.

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The Centre for Yoga Studies Journal Posts & Articles 2017 Revision

Seven Years have now passed since the Yoga Studies website was re-launched with a bringing together of a number of existing projects, along with the incorporation and correlation of a range of Yoga Study and Practice resources, all under one webrella.

Within this time it has been over two years since the Journal Blog aspect of the website has seen a Menu Category revision. Plus during this time the website has also developed or added:

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PDF Repository for Yoga Practice & Study Posts and Resources

The role of this post is to let readers know that there is now a single resource page where you can centrally access whatever PDF versions of the Yoga Studies posts are available from individual posts within the Journal section of the website. Links to existing PDF’s will gradually be correlated on this page from two primary fields, that of Yoga Practice and of Yoga Study.

“Yoga Practice is an essential part of Yoga Study.
Rather than Yoga Study being an essential part of Yoga Practice.”

Hopefully this will offer those interested a single point of reference to PDF versions of posts around the topics below. As I collate these resources the date at the bottom of the page will indicate the last update.
Meanwhile thank you for your interest.

Currently available group categories are listed below:

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Paul’s Personal & Professional Yoga Programme Modules

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The Art of Personal Sādhana aims to reflect the fundamentals of Śrī T Krishnamacharya and TKV Desikachar’s teaching, namely transmission occurs through the direct experience of the teacher with the student’s personal Yoga Sādhana through 121 Lessons or Small Group Studies limited to a maximum of five students.

– What are the advantages for students interested in the Art of Personal Sādhana Programme?

The Practice and Textual Study Personal Programme offers over 600 contact hours in Small Group Study Projects through Modularised two day Workshops and four day Courses, all with an in-depth focus around:

  • Single topic specialisation facilitating a learning intensity
  • Modular structuring offering progressive levels for study and development
  • Exclusive learning environment supporting study and absorption
  • Small group size limited to a maximum of five students for personal attention
  • Relevance to personal situation through limited group size and single topic focus
  • Studying practice and texts with a personal rather than teacher training priority

Each topic guides the student, through a Module One 2 day Workshop, complete in itself, into the selected area of practice or study. These are followed by Modular progressions to refine and deepen our skills and experience via Module Two and onwards options each comprising a 4 day Course over two weekends.

To Read more follow this link for Paul’s Personal & Professional Yoga Programme Modules

Overview of the viniyoga of Āsana Practice Techniques and Theory Modules

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Follow this link for details of Small Group Learning Art of viniyoga of Āsana Study Workshop options
Follow this link for details of Online Personalised Learning Art of viniyoga of Āsana Study options

The Module One Workshops and Module Two to Seven Courses are in depth studies through:

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We have lost a fine teacher and a Yoga master……

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This picture, taken 1979, with fond memories of early days with
TKV Desikachar and the KYM with co-founder AG Mohan and the faculty.

“Many years ago and not knowing my connection, a Yoga student commented around me “Don’t go to Desikachar, he has no charisma”. At the time, though saying nothing, I was reminded that this was for me an important facet around my appreciation of him, in that it was his ordinariness that I found engaging.

Furthermore, this quality was reflected throughout his life in terms of its simplicity in that it didn’t actually change over the decades that I visited and studied within lessons or spent personal time or travelled with him privately.

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As I sit within this time of passing and remembrance……

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TKV Desikachar 1938-2016

As I sit within this time of passing and remembrance it occurred to me that August 2016 exactly marks the 40th anniversary from the first time I met and worked with Desikachar in August 1976.

The setting was a small group of students, especially by todays seminar norms, amidst the august settings of Cambridge University at a week organised by a student of Desikachar from that era, Ian Rawlinson.

I remember the first moments of Desikachar coming onto a small platform in the room, a shy somewhat reticent person and asking us to show to him our personal Yoga practice, already not what we were expecting at our first meeting.

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TKV Desikachar has passed away from this life……..

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Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

It is with profound sadness and a great personal sense of loss,
that I offer the news that TKV Desikachar has died this Sunday evening at 9.15pm London time on Sunday August 7th or 2.45am Monday August 8th Madras time.
With my prayers and deep condolences to his wife Menaka and family for the loss of the light and clarity he offered to all who had the privilege to have contact with him and his teachings.

Reflections by Paul around TKV Desikachar following his passing on August 8th 2016……..
As I sit within this time of passing and remembrance……
We have lost a fine teacher and a Yoga master……

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The Art of Sacred Chanting – Monthly Veda Mantra and Chant Saṅga

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The Art of Personal Sādhana aims to reflect the fundamentals of Śrī T Krishnamacharya teaching, namely transmission occurs through the direct experience of the teacher with the student’s personal Practice and Study Sādhana through 121 Lessons and Small Study Groups limited to a maximum of five students.

Monthly Group Veda Mantra Chanting Saṅga in the Cotswolds 2017-2018

As well as the Individual Lesson, Weekend Workshop and Longer Course intensive study options through:

A Free Monthly Veda Mantra Chant Class is offered in the Cotswolds as a support for all interested in exploring, learning and experiencing the ancient Art of Veda Mantra as a Sacred Sādhana.

Each monthly meeting will introduce the student to the primary principles and teachings from T Krishnamacharya and TKV Desikachar on the Art of Sounding and authentic Veda Mantra Chanting.

Each meeting will focus on developing the principles of Veda Mantra Chanting and authentic Saṃskṛta Mantra practice through practical experience along with theory teaching on Chant and Saṃskṛta.

“Sound is something that takes you in the direction of its origin.”
– TKV Desikachar

Veda Mantra Chanting in small groups allows interested students from all backgrounds to practice with the added support of others and benefit from the group dynamic. Small group classes can also support developing or enhancing a personal practice.

“To share Chanting is to share an experience of silence through listening,
a process of healing, and a link with nature, the deeper self and the divine.”
– TKV Desikachar

The Art of Veda Mantra Chanting Class is limited to a maximum of five students to allow for a personalised approach, interactive teaching and in-depth transmission between student and teacher.

Meetings will be at Paul’s home studio, near Stroud, monthly on Wednesdays from 6.45 – 8.00pm.

Upcoming Dates. Please contact Paul to discuss dates and places.

The Monthly Veda Mantra Chanting Class is free and all are welcome to join, though a consistent commitment would be helpful for both student and teacher.

As the group will be limited to a maximum of five students please contact Paul to confirm a place is available. The meetings will be free and there will be no fee for the ongoing sessions.

Welcome to the Centre for Yoga Studies Website 2016 Home Page Revision

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Programmes – Journal – Freenotes – Downloads – Registry

A post to let all know that the Welcome Page on the Website has been enhanced with succinct synopses for each of the five primary routes to help guide the visitor into the many resources added these past six years. Thank you to all for your interest and support. These five threads are listed and described below:

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2016 Spring Reflections on Time, Teaching and Transmission.

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I recently needed to renew all my ageing and failing lever arch files, giving me an opportunity to peruse and reflect on the contents accumulated from my decades of personal study with Desikachar. As well as sifting out any stuff that was superfluous, it was a reminder of how wide and deep my studies in Madras were. As per the shelves in the picture, my notes fell into two main groups, that of Personal Textual Study and that of Personal Yoga Practice.

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Aṣṭāṅgāsana – The eight limbs of Āsana Planning and Practice

With nearly 2000 Posts and Resources on the site I have been reflecting on how to expand the access points and yet simplify the reader experience for visitors. So I started by looking at the Blog Page by reviewing the broad topic categories and considering the need to re-organise the groupings as well as increasing the  range of related topics within the sub-groupings.

The first general topic in the Journal is that of Posts on Yoga Practice and its five main areas for study are:

Going deeper into these five aspects of practice I see that the first topic, that of Āsana & Kriyā Practice, now has some 500 posts in the one thread. Obviously a need for review here! So turning my attention to this I started to consider what would be a useful, yet appropriate way to sub-categorise the topics in this particular section.

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The Krishnamacharya methodology of melding the viniyoga of Āyurveda with that of Yoga

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One other study area that I was privileged to be able to experience alongside my many visits to study Yoga Practice Techniques and Associated texts in Chennai with my teacher TKV Desikachar, within the intimacy and vitality of private lessons, was that of Āyurveda and its application within Yoga.

“In Āyurveda, it gives certain behaviour by which we can stay well.
If a person follows the following he will freer of sickness.
Regularly, systematically he eats, rests and exercises adequately.
Both in amount and quality. Food or Ahāra,
along with Vihāra – recreation, rest, exercise, other activities.”
– TKV Desikachar 

Thus during my many visits to India, between 1979 and 2002, my work in Yoga was complemented by the study of Āyurveda constitutional diagnosis and prognosis, along with Nādī Parīkṣā or pulse diagnosis and the application skills or the viniyoga of Āyurveda, into Yoga practice and lifestyle, according to the teachings of T Krishnmacharya within Yoga Rakṣaṇa (lifestyle support) or Yoga Cikitsā (therapeutic recovery) situations.

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Yoga as Exercise, Exercise as Yoga……

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These past ten years have found me increasingly re-evaluating my work as a Yoga Teacher Trainer, within an ever widening proliferation and saturation of Yoga teacher training options, amidst accompanying concerns of competitive bar-lowering in teacher training programme course lengths and entry criteria.

This on-going re-evaluation has also sat within the ever widening debates, around the dilution/merging/hijacking/branding/re-labelling of Yoga and amidst multifarious claims as to the ‘origins’ within the oft used generic of Modern Postural Yoga. These debates and origin/ownership source arguments now exist not only within the West but even within its original home in the Indian sub-continent.

Adapting the form of Yoga is one thing.
Adapting the roots of Yoga another.
Better not to confuse the two when choosing.

Aside from this, at the heart of my concerns, amidst the backdrop of the increasing compromises I experienced in trying to ‘fit’ the methodology and process I learnt in India into the Western educational large group learning paradigms, was a wish to reflect even more studiously the 121 and small group teaching mediums that were the lifelong foundations of  T Krishnamacharya‘s and TKV Desikachar‘s work in Chennai.

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Paul’s cYs Blog Journal 2015 Revision

Paul’s cYs Blog Journal 2015 Revision

Five Years have now passed since the cYs website was re-launched with a bringing together of a number of existing projects, along with the creation and incorporation of new projects, all under one umbrella.

This re-launch incorporated existing and new projects into five different sections with:

  • A Yoga Freenotes section with Online Word by Word Yoga Sūtra, a searchable Glossary and Freenotes, with further texts and commentaries around Associated Yoga Texts

Since 2010 these past five years have seen the website accumulate:

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Candra is that which directs Prāṇa and Apāna in order to influence……

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Within the energetic processes in Haṭha Yoga the concept of Candra is that
which directs Prāṇa and Apāna in order to influence the activities of Sūrya.
These and other important concepts integral to the purpose of Haṭha Yoga form the
basis of the the Art of Haṭha Energetics Module One Personal Sādhana Study Workshop.

The implications of Krishnamacharya’s and Desikachar’s teachings on practice……

The implications of Krishnamacharya’s and Desikachar’s teachings on practice are:

Firstly –

we need to develop the twin aspects of learning Yoga practice techniques and Yoga practice theory through engaging in learning how to practice, rather than just learning what to practice.

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The Art of viniyoga of Āsana – Empower your Body Customising Āsana


Just putting the finishing touches to the viniyoga of Āsana Module Two manual as I prepare to teach its contents for the four day Course for a small group starting this weekend. Currently running to 90 pages it complements the 60 page viniyoga of Āsana Module One two day workshop manual.

These 150 pages of student training manuals sit within the Āsana section of the Arts of Yoga and Chant Practice Modular Programmes. The Āsana module sits within the five linked aspects of practice which, taken as a whole aim to reflect the Yoga practice and theory teachings of Krishnamacharya and Desikachar.

These five aspects of practice are the arts of Āsana, MudrāPrāṇāyāmaDhyāna, and Adhyayanam or Chanting. This approach to transmitting the teachings of Desikachar as individual threads arose from the choice to make a complete restructuring of all my training programmes, the first major overhaul in 25 years of teaching courses to students and especially training teachers within group class situations.

It has taken five years from conception to completion and follows a conscious choice to go back to the fundamental learning methodologies following an accumulating dissatisfaction and frustration with my existing models of group student teaching Introductory and Foundation Courses and especially teacher focused training Practitioner and Postgraduate Programmes.

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Online Personalised Live Learning Programme

121 Lessons

The aim is to reflect the fundamentals of Śrī Krishnamacharya’s teaching, namely, transmission occurs through the direct experience of the teacher with the students personal practice and study Sādhana.

Online Individualised Learning within a Personal Dialogue

Over the past decade, with the advent of online video technologies, I have found myself increasingly involved in virtual teaching situations with Yoga students and Yoga teachers. Here I have offered 121 video meetings to facilitate a personalised approach and in-depth transmission between teacher and student.

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Yoga Yatta – A chance to chat around your questions on Yoga

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I am receiving an increasing number of emails from around the globe regarding questions and requests for clarification around Yoga practice, theory and philosophy.

I talk more easily than I type and I also feel direct contact and dialogue is much more preferable to a keyboard based to’ing and fro’ing of views, opinions or questions.

Also we live increasingly in an age where direct face to face, albeit via screen and speaker, contact is possible through media such as Skype, FaceTime, WebEx, etc.

Hence I am proposing an offering of time and space using modern media to engage in a direct dialogue with your questions or requests for clarification with those interested.

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Yoga as a Therapy for Different Levels of Being……

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‘Yoga as a Therapy for Different Levels of Being’

As a support for those attending the Two Days in Israel, hosted by the Israeli Yoga Teachers Association I am posting links below to recent articles around the topic of Yoga as a Therapy within Modern Yoga:

December 1st 2014
‘This approach is known as the Yoga of Rejuvenation and Prevention……’

December 3rd 2014 –
‘It is interesting that in this current boom of Yoga Vogueing there are two distinct camps emerging……’

December 7th 2014
‘There is an increasing tendency in terms of modern Yoga therapy application strategies……’

December 17th 2014
‘What is healthy for the Heart of Yoga?’

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The Healthcare Yoga Programme – Fitness – Well Being – Recovery

Personal Yoga Lessons can be offered whether for Fitness, Well Being or Recovery

Private lessons can be for anybody in any situation or life phase, though those with specific interests or needs 
will find the advantages of working individually more beneficial than group classes.

Furthermore certain situations may better suited to individual Yoga Lessons and require practices and advice customised and developed for home use within the privacy of a personal context.

Thus whatever your situation 121 lessons mean Yoga can be customised to meet your needs as a:

  • Developmental Practice for Personal Pursuits of body, breath or mind, or
  • Constitutional Practice for Lifestyle Support in sustaining health, energy and vitality, or
  • Therapeutic Practice within Recovery from illness, disease or unhelpful lifestyle consequences
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The Art of the viniyoga of Yoga within Personal Lessons

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Who are Individual Yoga Lessons for Tuition or Therapy for?

Private lessons can be for anybody in any situation or life phase, though those with specific interests or needs 
will find the advantages of working individually more beneficial than group classes.

Furthermore certain situations may better suited to individual Yoga Lessons and require practices and advice customised and developed for home use within the privacy of a personal context.

Whether interested in learning Yoga as a: 

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What is the relationship between Yoga training as a Student or as a Teacher?

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What is the relationship between training as a Yoga Student and training as a Yoga Teacher?

Firstly –

The Yoga Studies Programme offers a comprehensive range of Personal Workshop and Course Modules for groups of around 4 students, totalling over 600 contact hours. The Modular Programme falls into the two groups, the Yoga Practice Techniques and Practice Theory Modules offer 300 contact hours study and the Associated Yoga and Lifestyle Texts Modules offer a further 300 contact hours study.

The 600 contact hours studying Yoga Practice Techniques and Theory or Associated Yoga and Lifestyle Texts can be undertaken purely as a student, without any obligation or need to simultaneously train as a Yoga teacher.

Each modular series, whether in the field of Study of Yoga Practice Techniques and Theory or Associated Yoga and Lifestyle Texts, is complete in itself and designed for Yoga students from any background or approach interested in exploring Yoga practice and textual study in small groups of around 4 students for personal development now, or if relevant in the future, professional needs.

“Training to learn how to teach Yoga is not the same as training to learn how to practice & study Yoga.”

This is unusual these days, as normally to access such a breadth and depth of Yoga training material a student would need to be a participant within a Yoga Teacher Training Course.

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An introduction to what is the Art of the viniyoga of Yoga Practice

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An introduction to what is the Art of the viniyoga of Yoga Practice

The concept of viniyoga is the art of applying Yoga to the needs and aspirations of each person as a unique individual rather than fitting a number of individuals into the more generalised Westernised educational or physical fitness modalities of group class instruction.

“The spirit of viniyoga is starting from where one finds oneself.
As everybody is different and changes from time to time,
there can be no common starting point, and ready-made answers are useless.
The present situation must be examined and the habitually established status must be re-examined.”
– TKV Desikachar

Thus, using the term ‘viniyoga’ to describe a Yoga Class as a ‘Viniyoga Group Class’ or using the term to banner our group class teaching ‘style’ would in reality be a contradiction to how the concept was intended to be used according to the lifetime teachings of T Krishnamacharya and TKV Desikachar. In this context the term viniyoga relates solely to the transmission of Yoga within a 121 relationship.

The main aim behind the viniyoga or application of Yoga is to personalise Yoga practice according to the individual and their situation, through respecting our unique differences in age, gender, mental aptitude, physical health, social lifestyle, occupation and interests, together with developmental potentials according to the persons current situation and needs.

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