Even these days the influence of Krishnamacharya’s teachings……

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Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

Even these days, the influence of Krishnamacharya’s teachings around Yoga are primarily known through his exacting teaching of Āsana. This has also been mainly experienced in the West with the developmental work of his early students, such as through the choreographical artistry in the work of Pattabhi Jois or through the geometrical precision in the work of BKS Iyengar.

However this area of Āsana teaching, though itself multifaceted and hugely influential, if disproportionately predominant within Yoga today, only reveals one aspect of the many dimensions of practice expressed within his teaching. This teaching evolved and refined over 70 years, from his return from his long stay around the borders of Nepal and Tibet in 1919, to his death in 1989

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The Art of Yoga Sūtra Chanting – 2018 Module Two Practice Course

The Art of Yoga Sūtra Chanting Course Module Two
Yoga Sūtra Chanting Intensive over Two Weekends
January 27/28th 2018 and April 28/29th 2018

The 2018 Art of Yoga Sūtra Chanting Module Two Course is limited to a maximum of five students to allow for a personalised approach and in-depth transmission between teacher and student.

Based in the Cotswolds, it is intended for those students, having completed 
a Sounding and Chanting Module One Workshop, wish to explore in-depth the primary principles and teachings from T Krishnamacharya and TKV Desikachar teachings on Yoga Sūtra Chanting and how it can inspire and guide our personal Chanting Sādhana or where relevant, our professional work in these areas for others.

Comprising two weekend workshops over three months, each meeting offers in-depth intensive Yoga Sūtra Chanting practice, building on the theory and practice principles taught within the Sounding and Chanting Module One Workshop.

The Art of Yoga Sūtra Chanting Module Two Course is offered for interested students from any walk of life, or Yoga teachers and trainee teachers from any Yoga background, wanting an in-depth training to learn the art of Yoga Sūtra Chanting, though prior completion of an Sounding and Chanting Module One Workshop is necessary.

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Navaratri or the Nine Nights of Durgā as a time for Mantra Sādhana

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The nine-night long Navaratri, an important occasion in India, is celebrated as a time to honour the Divine Feminine, especially the Goddess Durgā within the Indian tradition. It will commence today Thursday 21st September 2017, the first day of the month of Aśvin, according to the Hindu calendar. During this time the primary focus is Durgā manifesting through three primary aspects of the Divine Feminine.

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An example of a Secondary Yoga Practice, primarily for early evening use.

An example of a Secondary Yoga Practice.

This 25′ practice is intended mainly for post-work early evening use. It was designed for a student as a secondary practice to complement their existing pre-work early morning practice.

The context within which it sits is that they have an early morning Āsana and Prāṇāyāma practice before leaving for work. Getting to work involves 10′ walking to catch a train, often standing during the train journey and then walking a further 10-15′ after getting off.

This framework also includes a demanding decision making and team management working environment, often involving many meetings during a typical day.

Hence this example of a secondary evening practice does not involve standing Āsana, nor emphasis on any demanding lying, inverted or back bend Āsana. Relevent aspects of these characteristics being accessed in the morning along with a Prāṇāyāma practice.

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In some moments the heart melds with the Mantra…..

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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.

Then there are those Āsana that you learn solely for practices other than Āsana.

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Then there are those Āsana that you learn solely for practices other than Āsana.

Bhakti Dhyānam uses Japa to build a bridge….

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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

Are we confusing the maturation of our Āsana practice with the maturation of our Yoga practice?

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Are we confusing the maturation of our Āsana practice
with the maturation of our Yoga practice?

The viniyoga of Yoga Practice & Study – Two Day Core Workshop May 19/20th 2018

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The Art of the viniyoga of Yoga Core Workshop
– Āsana, Prāṇāyāma, Mantra & Sūtra Study & Practice

This Workshop is offered as a starting point for students wishing to explore the viniyoga of Yoga but finding the range of Yoga practice and study options in the cYs Programme offering too many initial choices. Thus this two day workshop draws together a number of the core practice and study strands that this approach specialises in into one composite workshop. From this hands-on experience developmental choices will become clearer.

“Our Yoga practice needs to be a conscious deepening of what we can do.
Rather than becoming an unconscious re-enforcing of what we can’t do.”

The Art of viniyoga of Yoga – Core Study & Practice Workshop is limited to a maximum of five students to allow for a personalised approach and in-depth transmission between teacher and student. It introduces the student, through a 2 day workshop, to the primary principles and teachings from T Krishnamacharya and TKV Desikachar on the art of viniyoga or application of Yoga.

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A day without Gāyatrī is like a day without Sun.

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A day without Gāyatrī is like a day without Sun.

The wise person should cross by the boat of Mantra…..

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“Holding the body steady, with the three (upper parts, chest, neck, head) erect,
causing the senses and the mind to enter the heart,
the wise person should cross by the boat of Mantra,
all the fear bringing streams of the mind.”
– Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad Chapter 2 verse 8

To be within the presence of the Mantra……..

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To be within the presence of the Mantra
is to be within the presence of Grace.

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.

Yoga Sūtra Chanting for the Mind……

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Temple Chanting in Ansuyadevi on Pañca Kedar

Yoga Sūtra Chanting for the Mind.
Veda Mantra Chanting for the Soul.

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The Art of Sounding, Sūtra and Mantra – Module One Sacred Sādhana Chant Workshop October 13/14th 2018

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Module One Art of Sounding and Chanting Workshop
– Free your Voice as a Way to Experience the Source of Vibration

The Art of Sounding and Chanting – Module One Sacred Sādhana Workshop is limited to around five students to allow for a personalised approach, interactive teaching and in-depth transmission between teacher and student. The 2 day workshop introduces the student to the primary principles and teachings from T Krishnamacharya and TKV Desikachar on the Art of Sounding and Chanting.

It is for a small group of around five students and offers a two day opportunity for a student from any Yoga background or style to have an in-depth introduction to the essential principles, practices and teachings that underpin the practice and teaching of Sound, Yoga Sūtra and Veda Mantra Chanting practice and how they can inspire and guide our personal Yoga practice and study Sādhana, either for personal development or, if relevant, professional skills.

Follow the link above for further details of the Sound, Sūtra and Mantra Module One Workshop.

After completing the prerequisite Module One Sounding and Chanting Workshop the student can choose to further their practice skills and specific chanting interest through either, Yoga Sūtra Intermediate and Advanced Module Courses, or Veda Mantra Intermediate and Advanced Module Courses, according to whichever route appeals most to their learning wishes and, if relevant, professional intentions.

Continue Reading for full details and fees

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Chanting Offering for Mahā Śiva Ratri

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Six Verses on Nirvāṇa

They are said to have arisen as a spontaneous response to the question “Who Am I”
With the climax of each of the six verses:
Cit Ānanda Rūpaḥ Śiva Ahaṃ Śiva Ahaṃ
That Form of Pure Awareness and Bliss, I am Śiva, I am Śiva

From my personal library of recordings from my studies with my teacher TKV Desikachar.
To Download or Listen
To Download the Chant Sheet with Romanised Saṃskṛta and Translation

Chanting is a practice that uses language to experience ‘That’……

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Chanting is a practice that uses language
to experience ‘That’ which is beyond language.

Learning to Chant the Four Chapters of the Yoga Sūtra

Learning to Chant the Four Chapters of the Yoga Sūtra

This post is a kind of addendum to a longer post last August on ‘The strength, depth and potential of Krishnamacharya’s teachings around practice Sādhana“. In this post I talked about the long term development and refinement of the different aspects that constitute a Yoga practice.

These many different aspects of formal practice fell into two general groups:

  • Firstly Bahya Aṅga Sādhana through Haṭha Yoga and the practice of Kriyā, Āsana, Mudrā, Prāṇāyāma and Bandha
  • Secondly Antar Aṅga Sādhana through Rāja Yoga and the practice of Dhyānam and Bhakti Adhyayanam or the chanting of the Veda or Jñāna Adhyayanam or the chanting of the Yoga Sūtra

In this post I also used the analogy of raising a family and how to accommodate the “the emerging of other issues we have to contend with, such as the impact on our time, energy and priorities around additional commitments”.

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Experiencing the Yoga Sūtra through Chanting

Experiencing the Yoga Sūtra through Chanting

Over two years ago I offered a short post around Making a start in learning to Chant the Yoga Sūtra, an extract from which is quoted below:

“Mostly we come across the teachings of the Yoga Sūtra through a group class situation or by coming across a book. This is fine as a starting point, however longer term the Yoga Sūtra needs to permeate from the inside rather than just be read and thought about from the outside.

A good starting point for initiating this psychic process is to learn how to chant as a process in itself and then how to chant the Yoga Sūtra specifically. As well as offering a deepening of contact with those special Bhāvana that arise from Chanting, this can also be extremely helpful for the memory processes involved.

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A Mantra is that which shapes space through vibration of sacred syllables.

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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.

The strength, depth and potential of Krishnamacharya’s teachings around practice Sādhana……

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The teachings of Krishnamacharya and Desikachar around Yoga practice were far more complex than is often presumed from the popular perception, often formed from the more well publicised work of some of Krishnamacharya’s early students.

My own experiences with Desikachar, developed over repeated study visits to Madras over two decades, may offer an insight into the practice possibilities that I became increasingly exposed to. As with many, being introduced to this tradition meant that Āsana was the starting point for our Bahya Aṅga Sādhana.

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The more I chant the more I remember what my teacher taught me.

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Temple Chanting in Ansuyadevi on Pañca Kedar

“The more I chant the more I remember what my teacher taught me.”

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To share Chanting is to share an experience of silence through listening……

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Having just had the pleasure of spending a number of days within a 121 Yoga Immersion Intensive in my home studio, as if in retreat in the country, with a student from the USA, I am reminded of the way that Desikachar and I worked together during my numerous study visits to India.

We would meet at least twice daily morning and afternoon, for a number of hours lessons working with topics that included discussing Philosophy, Psychology, exploring Kriyā, Āsana, Prāṇāyāma, Mudrā and Dhyānam practice and studying practice theory in terms of concepts such as Sūrya, Candra, Agni, Prāṇa and Apāna, along with time out together to eat and walk.

However for the last ten plus years of our relationship the practice that was constant, nourishing and mutually connecting was that of chanting. To spend some two hours of our day together working intensively with chanting practice epitomises the essence of the process inherent within a 121 relationship.

As my teacher once said:

“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

I thank the teacher, the student, the teachings, the Sādhana and the lifelong 121 priority of Krishnamacharya and Desikachar, that combine to lead us towards an environment where we can work so intensively and extensively together.

Collection of private recordings of Veda and Yoga Chanting……

Desikachar and Paul Chanting in 1999

Currently I have been classifying my personal collection of private recordings of Veda and Yoga Chanting made over nearly 20 years with TKV Desikachar or his senior chant student Sujaya Sridhar.

They were previously all archived on some twenty ageing and fragile cassette tapes and, with many thanks to the stalwart and painstaking sound engineer work by Christina, are now digitalised and individually itemised.

Now they have been both digitalised and cut into individual tracks I am astonished to see that there are over 200 recordings from the Veda and associated Indian and Yoga  texts, along with some recordings around the Yoga Sūtra. The Veda and associated Indian textual resources draw from the textual sources listed below:

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I feel the importance of taking personal responsibility for correct pronunciation of Saṃskṛta…..

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I feel the importance of taking personal responsibility for correct pronunciation of Saṃskṛta should not be compromised by learning laziness and with it the sloppy pronunciation so apparent today, even amongst Yoga teachers of many years.

There is a vibrational power inherent in these powerful Yoga concepts in Saṃskṛta that can only be realised through correct pronunciation. Or at least learn how to pronounce the word Āsana as it is meant to be heard.

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