In the novice phase of our relationship with a Yoga Class,
it’s not so much about what we bring to the Class,
it’s more about what we take away from the Class.
A sign of a maturing in our relationship with a Yoga Class,
is that we accept more responsibility for what we bring to the Class,
being a determining factor in what we take away from the Class.
In the novice phase of our relationship with personal practice,
Yoga is not so much about what we bring to the practice mat,
it’s more about what we take away from the practice mat.
A sign of a maturing in our relationship with personal practice,
is that we accept more responsibility for what we bring to the practice mat
being a determining factor in what we take away from the practice mat.
As a Yoga Teacher we need to ensure that our personal Yoga Practice
doesn’t become a repetition of, or rehearsal for, our Yoga Teaching plans.
Our Yoga Teaching needs to be an appurtenance to our Yoga Practice.
Rather than our Yoga Practice being an appurtenance to our Yoga Teaching.
In some moments the heart melds with the Mantra,
in others the mind grapples with the Mantra,
occasionally there is just the wonder of the Mantra.
“Prāṇa is the élan vital.
It is the mover and the sustainer of the body in all living beings.
Because of this all pervasive movement and irrepressible vitality,
it is also hard to keep reined in through the ten sensory horses.
When the personalised field of Prāṇa becomes unreined,
it transforms into Vāta and the system becomes disturbed.
The primary practice in Yoga to minimise the conversion of Prāṇa into Vāta is Prāṇāyāma.”
“Bhakti Dhyānam uses Japa to build a bridge,
over the fear bringing streams of the mind.”
– Personal Commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 28
The beauty of Krishnamacharya’s teaching is that it is about
learning Yoga for different types of people,
rather than todays increasingly studio driven group class modality of
learning different types of Yoga for people.
To experience Āsana is
to meld the Mastery of outer Stillness to the world
into the Mystery of inner Openness to the beyond.
– Reflections on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 46
Some are satisfied with what Āsana brings them.
Others are curious as to where Āsana can take them.
The art of viniyoga presumes that
the five application principles of
1. What is being taught,
2. Why it is being taught,
3. When it is being taught
4. Where it is being taught and especially
5. How it is being taught,
are personally applicable and
socially relevant to
Who is being taught.
Sometimes the Vinyāsa Krama,
or special placing of steps from,
is more important than the steps to.
At other times the Vinyāsa Krama,
or special placing of steps to,
is more important than the steps from.
In our life as well as our practice.
To be within the presence of the Mantra
is to be within the presence of Grace.
Amongst other roles Ujjāyī is a breathing technique that
can facilitate the ability to remain in the doorway of awareness,
neither going in and introverting, when tempted by the manoeuvring of the mind,
nor going out and extraverting, when tempted by the shimmering of the senses.
Dhāraṇā – a state of effortful attention.
Dhyānam – a state of effortless attention.
It seems that with Modern Postural Yoga the perception of ‘advanced’
practice is based around physical appearance and artistic performance,
as exemplified by Āsana;
over psychological efforts and cultivation of inner skills,
as exemplified by Prāṇāyāma and Dhyānam.
धारणासु च योग्यता मनसः ॥५३॥
dhāraṇāsu ca yogyatā manasaḥ
“As Prāṇāyāma dissolves the covering of the light,
fitness of the mind for concentration arises.”
– Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 53
ततः क्षीयते प्रकाशावरणम् ॥५२॥
tataḥ kṣīyate prakāśa-āvaraṇam
“From Prāṇāyāma the covering of the light dissolves.”
– Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 52
Constancy of form reveals the inconstancy of the breath.
Constancy of form and breath reveals the inconstancy of the mind.
Constancy of form, breath and mind reveals the constancy of awareness.
The viniyoga of Yoga is about a system to teach to a student,
rather than about students to teach a system to.
A Mantra is that which shapes space through vibration of sacred syllables.
In the art of Mantra Saṃskṛta is a sacred tool for shaping sacred form out of space.
Sounding the Saṃskṛta according to the precisions of pronunciation and vibration
manifests the sacred form inherent in each Mantra out of universal space.
The ancient seers understood this process and left us sacred phonemes
to guide our journey into and beyond the self.
When practicing Āsana,
it is as if something watches something.
What is the something that is watched?
What is the something that watches?
It increasingly appears that Yoga has been acculturated into the fitness mindset
rather than fitness being acculturated into the Yoga mindset.