In terms of Haṭha Yoga the role of freedom in movement is not an end in itself…….

bhujangasana 5pascimatanasana

Freedom of or in movement is a useful pursuit and obviously an asset in the world of homo-sedens that abounds these days.

However movement according to the principles inherent in Hatha Yoga has another role other than freedom of movement as an end in itself.

Thus in terms of Haṭha Yoga the role of freedom in movement is a useful tool but not the goal that seems to dominate Āsana classes within Modern Postural Yoga.

Of course freedom in movement is obviously a support in allowing us to apply the principles of Hatha Āsana practice, but not the end in itself it seems to have become.

For example it can help with facilitating an exploration of the energetic processes that define, guide and differentiate Hatha Yoga from movement forms such as exercise, fitness, dance, etc.

Yet it seems to be that on the way to the goals of Haṭha Yoga and its relationship to Rāja Yoga, we are being sidetracked by the goals within the myriad of movement forms that proliferate or even pose (‘xcuse pun) as Āsana practice today.

Module Two Art of Haṭha Energetics Course

I have just finished preparing a 25 page workbook as a student study support for the upcoming Module Two Art of Haṭha Energetics Course.

Once again I am filled with appreciation for the Paramparā and my Haṭha Yoga teachers from the many hours study in India from personal lessons in India with TKV Desikachar at his home and small study groups with AG Mohan in the KYM.

The group size for this Module Two weekend is limited to five students to allow for a personalised approach and in-depth transmission between teacher and student.

It is presented with the aim of reflecting the fundamentals of Śrī T Krishnamacharya’s teaching, namely, transmission occurs through the direct experience of the teacher with the students personal practice and study Sādhana.

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The viniyoga of Planning Principles – 5 – Consider the accumulative effect

The viniyoga of Planning Principles 5 –  Consider the accumulative effect of Āsana and Pratikriyāsana

Vinyāsa Krama – Intelligent sequence building within Āsana, Mudrā and Prāṇāyāma

Specific Areas within Āsana, Mudrā and Prāṇāyāma practice to consider when planning:

1. Consider the overall purpose of practice (short/long term as appropriate)

  • Be clear about the goal and don’t try to reach too many goals in same practice
  • Keep the practice short and simple in intention and execution
  • Consider time of day and season both inside and out
  • Consider the accumulative effect of Āsana and Pratikriyāsana, in any one practice, and over time if being practiced regularly
  • Consider psychological, physiological and energetic aspects of practice.
  • Energetically we seek to expand, open upper part of the body, above diaphragm and close, reduce lower part of the body below the diaphragm

Link to Post Series: The viniyoga of Planning Principles

Different suggestions are available in our tradition to help the beginner……

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

“Different suggestions are available in our tradition
to help the beginner arrive at the highest state of Samādhi.
For example, using the image or idol of Īśvara
in the form pleasant to the seeker or even a picture frame.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 42

How we feel during the action is the quality of the action.

TK6

“How we feel during the action is the quality of the action.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 13

How rigorous should we be in the practice of Tapas?

tapas devanagari

Question to TKV Desikachar:
How rigorous should we be in the practice of Tapas?
Tapas is not the rejection of everything around us.
In the Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 1,
Tapas means to be able to discipline oneself.
So if you are too fat eat less.
If you are too thin eat more.
Tapas which harms the mind should be rejected.”
TKV Desikachar Madras December 21st 1988

Saravāṅgāsana as a Mudrā – Part One

There are certain Yoga postures that, depending on how they are approached and utilised, can function as either an Āsana or as a Mudrā.

This distinction in function can be generalised around whether the practitioner focuses on a static form with the focus on the development of the breath or on a dynamic form with the development of the variations of and in the posture.

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Learning Support for Chanting Śrī Viṣṇu Sahasranāma Stotram v108 Vanamālī Gadī

vishnu
Learning Support for Chanting Vanamālī Gadī
– From the Śrī Viṣṇu Sahasranāma Stotram verse 108
From my personal library of recordings from my studies with my teacher TKV Desikachar recorded by one of his senior chant students Sujaya Sridhar.
To Download or Listen
To Download the Chant Sheet with Romanised Saṃskṛta and Chant Notations

Modern Postural Yoga is most certainly one way in…….

bhekasanaustrasanae_p_r_k

Modern Postural Yoga is most certainly one way in.
However have we become trapped within this way in and thus can’t find the way out?

To experience the spaciousness of Cit……

cit devanagari

To experience the spaciousness of Cit,
Yoga says practice enclosing the Citta.
Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2-3

Suffering is basically either the result of the……

duhkhaSuffering is basically either the result of the absence of something that we want,
or the presence of something that we don’t want.”
– TKV Desikachar from unedited manuscript for ‘What are We Seeking?’

Cit or awareness is the heart of Yoga.

cit devanagari

Cit or awareness is the heart of Yoga.
Neither full nor empty, nor mine nor yours.
Awareness is as it is and is as it isn’t.

We usually start seeking because we have something which we do not want……

“We usually start seeking because we have something which we do not want: suffering.
Suffering pushes us to seek.”
– TKV Desikachar from unedited manuscript for ‘What are We Seeking?’

When we are seeking pleasure and possession the mind is very busy.

TKV_5

“When we are seeking pleasure and possession
the mind is very busy.”
– TKV Desikachar from unedited manuscript for ‘What are We Seeking?’

Online Live Learning 121 eStudy 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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Whatever is the source of life is surely the source of freedom……

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

“Whatever is the source of life is surely the source of freedom,
a source which knows us and cares for us.
It is everybody’s right, and is not beyond us, but within us.”
– TKV Desikachar from unedited manuscript for ‘What are We Seeking?’

Is freedom to do what we wish?

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

We are seeking freedom.
We all desire freedom.
But what sort of freedom?
Is freedom to do what we wish?
Are all the people who have the liberty to do what they want really free inside?
– TKV Desikachar from unedited manuscript for ‘What are We Seeking?’

The desire to have is pushing us to seek things, but to seek what sort of things?

kama

“The desire to have is pushing us to seek things,
but to seek what sort of things?”
– TKV Desikachar from unedited manuscript for ‘What are We Seeking?’

The heart knows no boundaries.

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House

“The heart knows no boundaries.”
– TKV Desikachar from unedited manuscript for ‘What are We Seeking?’

The new is not as strong as the old.

Desikachar_France_1999

“The new is not as strong as the old.”
– TKV Desikachar commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter 4 verse 27

When we act unconsciously we go back into the past.

TKV_5

“When we act unconsciously we go back into the past.”
– TKV Desikachar commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter 4 verse 27

Any attempt to meditate is going to fail if you are sitting on a pile of junk……

srimad_bhagavad_gita

“Any attempt to meditate is going to fail if you are sitting on a pile of junk.”
– TKV Desikachar commentary on Bhagavad Gītā Chapter 6 verse 34

Sometimes Yoga is called Darśana Vijñāna……

TKV_5

“Sometimes Yoga is called Darśana Vijñāna. Vijñāna means ‘to know things in detail, which involves also the techniques, the process of knowing, etc’.
It mean that not only we see things, we also know how to apply”
– TKV Desikachar 1981

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The quality of the Pūraka or Recaka determines the quality of the Kumbhaka.

sarvangasana

“The quality of the Pūraka (inhale) or Recaka (exhale)
determines the quality of the Kumbhaka (suspension).”
– TKV Desikachar 1987

Duḥkha arises because of change, greed and conditioning……

tk5_1980

“This Sūtra describes the origin of Duḥkha.
Duḥkha arises because of change, greed and conditioning.
Besides the Guṇa cause inherent changes unexpectedly.
This disturbs balance and Duḥkha follows.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 15