Know the Breath from the feelings in the Āsana……

seated_pranayama_2

1. Know the Breath from the feelings in the Āsana.
2. Choose a ratio close to that used in Āsana.
3. Choose a technique to suit the day.
4. Choose a proper posture for the spine.
TKV Desikachar Switzerland 1978

For standing Āsana it is not necessary to close the eyes…..

Āsana_64

“For standing Āsana it is not necessary to close the eyes.
As standing Āsana are usually at the beginning of a practice,
it can sometimes be distracting to close the eyes,
because of all the visual activity proceeding the practice.
Having the eyes open can also stop you becoming unbalanced as you move.
The eyes can be useful for checking alignment within dynamic movements.
You may not observe this with the eyes closed.
However, the attention with the eyes open should be passive and aware.”
– TKV Desikachar 1980

The Guru must judge how serious is the desire……

mantra

“The Guru must judge how serious is the desire and the faith
and then teach the Mantra that he considers most appropriate.
In any event,
he needs to know that it may be that there will be no positive result,
because a lot depends on the attitude of the student.”
T Krishnamacharya

Knowledge from the past prevails and influences me…..

asmita

“Knowledge from the past prevails and influences me to either judge or inquire.
Assuming my knowledge and my memory and I proceed is Asmitā Kleśa.
Assuming that I may be wrong and wishing to find out more is Asmitā Jñāna.
However to hesitate completely or question everything is Asmitā Kleśa.”
– TKV Desikachar commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 6

How I react or choose not to react is Asmitā…….

asmita

“I know something and I am presented with something different.
How I react or choose not to react is Asmitā.
The wrong response brings Duḥkha.
The right response Viveka.
One is a hasty assessment and one is wanting to find out more.
One is ‘assuming I know I proceed’,
the other is ‘wishing to know I proceed’.”
– TKV Desikachar commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 6

Where are we starting from?……

asana_56

“We must consider the direction of one’s Āsana Practice.
Where are we starting from?
Where are we going to?
Is this journey of Pariṇāma working with immediate needs in mind?
Is this journey of Pariṇāma working with long term needs in mind?
Is this journey of Pariṇāma trying to integrate both immediate needs and long term needs?”
– TKV Desikachar 1980

Pratyāhāra is not feeding the minds identification with the senses……

pratyahara

Pratyāhāra is not feeding the tendency of the Citta to automatically form a positive, negative, or neutral identification with whatever stimuli the senses present to it. From that we can begin to understand how their external gathering activities stimulate our conscious and especially, unconscious choices.

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You put your mind in one place during an Āsana……

Āsana_14a

“You put your mind in one place during an Āsana,
the body compensates and places the escape elsewhere.”
– TKV Desikachar 1980

There is always Rāga, it just depends where we are in ourselves……

srimad_bhagavad_gita

There is always Rāga, it just depends where we are in ourselves in terms of a spectrum of being.
Thus Rāga can express itself within the spectrum of being as either a state of Jñāna Rāga
or a state of Kleśa Rāga or, as happens mostly, somewhere twixt the extremes of the two.
Either way according to TKV Desikachar’s teaching, progress is not possible without the drive of the emotional forces, they are the horses that pull the chariot.
As to which of the two paths (Jñāna Rāga or Kleśa Rāga) we find ourselves veering towards depends on our skill as a charioteer, coupled with our understanding of the nature of the forces/horses,
as well as the essential nature of the ‘food’ we ‘choose’ to feed them on.
Hence Desikachar’s quote:
“Each person has two forces Rāga and Dveṣa.
They are there to serve you, not you them.”
– TKV Desikachar on Bhagavad Gītā Chapter Three verse 34

The action of a posture may be delayed……

Āsana_12a

“The action of a posture may be delayed
because the student has tried to force the body into a posture.
Never measure something by its immediate effects.”
– From study notes with TKV Desikachar England 1992

The problems we have in life come because of Saṃskāra…..

samskara

“The problems we have in life come because of Saṃskāra.
We are not able to distinguish the coloured image of the mind from the real object.”
– TKV Desikachar ‘The Antaraṅga Sādhana, Saṃyama and Kaivalya’
Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Thirteen Page 188

108 Postural Practice Pointers – 9 – Back Bends are Front Stretches

Postural Practice Pointer 9 – Back bends are Pūrvatāna Āsana or Front Stretches

Prone Backbends as front stretches are wall to wall Āsana
in terms of Bhāvana, rather than floor to ceiling.
Thus in Sālamba Bhujaṅgāsana the focus is on
the sternum stretching forwards and
the big toes stretching backwards.

Link to Series: 108 Postural Practice Pointers

Some people use Yoga to move away from something undesirable……

abhava

“Some people use Yoga (or even training for a career as a Yoga Teacher),
to move away from something undesirable for, or in their lives (Abhāva).
Others use Yoga to move towards something desirable (Bhāva) for, or in their lives.
Either can be positive, however good to be clear about our motives,
especially if our relationship with that which we wanted to move away from,
or that which we wanted to move towards,
changes along the way.”

These problems in our observation are related to the mixing of…..

tkv_6a

“These problems in our observation are related to the mixing of:

Vikalpa:
Imagination is already there operating when we begin to observe.
All the more that we are better and better informed about what we should see, etc.

Viparyaya:
Because of the past Saṃskāra, there is a sort of perversion in observation.

Smṛti:
Memory is, unfortunately, never factual.

Finally, we should never forget that all conclusions are wrong, because things change.
Hence the importance of private lessons, which allow for more flexibility.”
– TKV Desikachar 1981

Observation must have a direction and be complete….

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House

“Observation must have a direction and be complete.
We always have a tendency to tell more than what we see, which is a mistake.
If we tell somebody that he has a problem, yet we know that we will not be able to give him a solution because of a lack of time or any other reason, maybe we are going to hurt him.
Therefore, we should first make sure that we have a solution to offer.”
– TKV Desikachar 1981

Jihva Cāpalya is one of the most powerful…..

TKV_5

Jihva Cāpalya (fickleness of the tongue) is one of the most powerful Cāpalya.”
– TKV Desikachar

The role of Śavāsana within an Āsana practice was as a transitional link pose…

savasana

Within the teachings of T Krishnamacharya, as transmitted to TKV Desikachar, the role of Śavāsana within an Āsana practice was as a transitional link pose between categories of Āsana.

For example between Standing and Lying Āsana, or Lying and Inverted Āsana, or Inverted and Prone Backbends, or Prone Backbends and Seated Āsana, or Seated Āsana and Sitting Practices.

The extent of its use and length of rest at each stage, when transiting from one category to another within our Āsana practice journey, was dependent on the facility of the practitioner and the intensity of the practice.

“Cale Vāte Calaṃ Cittam
As is the breath so is the mind.”

Within this individualised variance is the guiding principle that the role of Śavāsana is to facilitate a smooth transition for the flow of the breath and also the pulse through and beyond the Āsana practice as a marker for the practitioners state of mind.

However according to Desikachar the viniyoga of Śavāsana was seen in terms of recovery from the fatigue of the preceding aspect of the practice rather, than say recovery from the preceding aspects of ones life.

Regarding the approach for the latter, amongst other things such as Vihāra, the purpose, content, duration and frequency of the Āsana practice must be carefully reconsidered.

What are the factors to consider in our teaching?

Āsana_61

“What are the factors to consider in our teaching?
At least they should be made known to the student.
Deha Bheda – tall, fat, lean, scoliosis, straight back.
Sādhana according to the physical characteristics.
Something which must be fed, otherwise it will destroy.
For example lumbar lordosis and deep back bends could cause problems.”
– TKV Desikachar France 1983

T Krishnamacharya Commentaries on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verses 1-4

T Krishnamacharya aged 91

T Krishnamacharya Commentaries on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verses 1-4

 Yoga Sūtra Chapter One Title
samādhi pādaḥ

“The Yoga Sūtra is divided into four chapters.
The first chapter, called Samādhi Pādaḥ,
assumes the aspirant has progressed adequately to be in a state called Samāhita.
Such a person is not easily agitated.
They have a clearer perception to comprehend concepts such as Īśvara and Vairāgya.”

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Svabhāva is Karma Vāsana.

srimad_bhagavad_gita

Svabhāva is Karma Vāsana.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Bhagavad Gītā Chapter Five verse 14

Svabhāva (innate disposition) – Nature of a person……

svabhava

Svabhāva (innate disposition) – Nature of a person.
For example tendency to put on weight, liver problem,
muscular pains for no reason, changes in temperature.
This is why Āyurveda divides humans into 3 types.
Approximately PittaSattva, KaphaTamas, VātaRajas Guṇa.
We not only look at the physical structure,
but also how food affects the individual.
Heavy in the morning, etc.
For example different children in the family affected by the same food differently.”
– TKV Desikachar France 1983

Vāsanā is an unconscious motivation directed towards……

vasana

Vāsanā is an unconscious motivation directed towards
satisfying a physiological or psychological need.”
Commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Four verse 8

The Art of Sāṃkhya Philosophy – Module One Personal Study Workshop

samkhya

Module One Art of Sāṃkhya Philosophy February 24/25th 2018
– Exploring the Primary Principles of Sāṃkhya and its relationship to Yoga

The Art of Sāṃkhya Philosophy Module One Workshop offers a weekend opportunity for a student from any Yoga background or style to have an in-depth introduction to the primary principles and teachings from the Sāṃkhya Kārikā and how they can inspire and guide our personal Yoga practice and study Sādhana, either for personal development or, if relevant, professional skills.

“Sāṃkhya has been fundamental in its influence on the philosophical foundations
underpinning such as Yoga, Buddhism and Āyurveda.”

Based in the Cotswolds, it is open to all except complete beginners and is limited to around five students to allow for a personalised approach and in-depth transmission between teacher and student.

It is an opportunity for a student from any Yoga background or style to have an in-depth introduction to the study of Sāṃkhya. It offers teachings on the Sāṃkhya Kārikā, either for personal development or professional skills.

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The power of the breath……

prana

“The power of the breath,
the power of the senses and
physical strength of the body are each distinct properties.
They should not work against each other
but rather contribute to each others well being.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 30

Emphasis on the inhale brings attention to the upper chest….

puraka

“Emphasis on the inhale brings attention to the upper chest,
with the retention of the breath after the inhale the spine will stretch and create heat.”
– From study notes with TKV Desikachar England 1992