iti pratipakṣa-bhāvanam |
“Negative reasoning such as harming and the rest;
may be done, brought about, or by approval;
is preceded by greed, anger or delusion;
may be mild, moderate or intense;
its infinite fruits are suffering and ignorance;
thus cultivate the opposite side.”
– Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 34
वितर्कबाधने प्रतिपक्षभावनम् ॥३३॥
“When oppressed by negative reasoning cultivate the opposite side.”
– Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 33
Yoga Practice is about a re-turning towards our inner life. However, even without outer obstacles, we can encounter inner feelings that arise and manifest as obstacles to that re-turning.
There are some who are ruled by how they perceive the world as treating them.
There are others who reflect on how they are treating the world.
– Reflections on Yoga Sūtra Chapter 2 verse 15
Design an Āsana Practice for around 45′ according to the planning principles taught by TKV Desikachar.
The Vinyāsa Krama or planning steps in the practice will be a total of 90 breaths based around:
- Standing Āsana 24 Breaths
- Lying Āsana 12 Breaths
- Inverted Āsana 12 Breaths
- Prone Backbend Āsana 12 Breaths
- Sitting Āsana 24 Breaths
- Closing Counterpose Āsana 6 Breaths
In this instance the practice will not include any sitting Mudrā, or seated Prāṇāyāma or Dhyāna.
In the structure link Āsana such as Samasthiti, Śavāsana, Vajrāsana, do not count in the breath tally.
- State the aim or purpose of the practice in terms of the Āsana goal or goals
- Indicate the primary or crown Āsana you are choosing to build the practice around
- Justify your choice of supporting or compensatory Āsana within the scheme
“The witness cannot be witnessed.”
– Yoga Sūtra Chapter Four verse 18
Plan an Āsana practice to include:
1. Śalabhāsana – Repeat 12 times
2. Tiryaṅgmukha Ekapāda Paścimatānāsana – Stay 6 breaths each side
3. Paryaṅkāsana – Stay 12 breaths
A question given it me by TKV Desikachar during our 121 lessons in 1980 when learning Āsana practice planning skills.
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 can read the book but the book can’t read us.
Plus we tend to read a book through our Kleśa.
According to Patañjali in the Samādhi Pādaḥ or Book One,
there are two paths for cultivating Dhyānam Sādhana.
Firstly that of Jñāna Dhyānam where the Prayatna is Viyoga.
Here the Bhāvana is to unlink from the activities of the Citta.
Secondly that of Bhakti Dhyānam where the Prayatna is Yoga.
Here the Bhāvana is to link to the stillness of the Cit.
Both Sādhana lead towards the same goal,
Kaivalya or freedom from the effects of the past.
Compare Ardha Utkāṭāsana and Bhujaṅgāsana in relation to the following situations:
1. In strengthening neck and arm muscles.
2. Potential stress on the sacroiliac joint.
3. Influencing the digestion.
4. Potential risk on the knees.
5. As a preparation for Dhanurāsana.
6. In helping with flat feet.
7. In improving elimination.
8. In decreasing lower back pain.