“Another important thing that he has understood is
that these Āsana should not be taken one by one,
they have to be taken as a group and as a composition.
This means you don’t do headstand on Monday,
shoulder stand on Tuesday,
you do your group of Āsana linked like words in a sentence.”
– TKV Desikachar from lectures on ‘The Yoga of T Krishnamacharya’,
given at Zinal, Switzerland 1981.
“Breathing techniques should support the Āsana whichever way it needs to be supported.
Sometimes you can de-emphasise the movement by the use of the breath.
This can be in a positive or a negative role.
In a negative role the breath is being abused and not supporting by overpowering the Āsana.
In a positive role the breath can shift the emphasis or attention away from the body.
This would be useful in the case of bodily tension or a particularly sensitive or painful area.”
– From personal lessons with TKV Desikachar
Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 47
When working with the Breath in Āsana its perhaps less appealing initially,
but ultimately more attractive, satisfactory and effective,
to integrate a focus of Samāpatti (Unity) of
Śaithilya (Relaxation) in Ananta (the Infinite),
through a developmental Sādhana (Means to Accomplish)
on the Siddhi (accomplishment) of Dīrgha or Length,
supported by Sūkṣma or Subtlety.
From Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 47 T Krishnamacharya taught that:
– the common denominator for successfully uniting (Samāpatti)
both (Bhyām) aspects of relaxation (Śaithilya) and the infinite (Ananta)
within the practice of Āsana is the Breath.
He saw it as Prayatna (continued effort)
and synonymous with Jīvana (giving life).
The continued effort of the Breath is that which gives life.
“The Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali deals with the mind.
It examines the different functions of the mind
and provides means to modify these functions
so that it serves the person in a very constructive way.
The means by which certain qualitative changes in the mind
are brought about is called Sādhanā.”
– TKV Desikachar on Śraddhā in the Yoga Sūtra
“Through Śraddhā we get the Vīrya to pursue to the end
and if we hold firm to this Śraddhā we always have the Smṛti,
the memory of our original goal.
This is very important as with progress on the path to the goal,
we get distracted by or satisfied with some of the gains made
that were previously not within our capacity.
It is through Śraddhā that we have the Smṛti,
the memory of the original goal, that prevents us from being satisfied
with anything less than what we started out for.”
– TKV Desikachar on Śraddhā in the Yoga Sūtra
“My understanding of Prāṇāyāma is that the Kumbhaka should be an aid.
The aim is to get a feeling difficult to put into words, but different from normal states.
The question is how much does Kumbhaka play a part in this?
So Investigate the use of Kumbhaka and only use it when it helps you be with the breath.”
– TKV Desikachar Switzerland 1978
Seven Years have now passed since the Yoga Studies website was re-launched with a bringing together of a number of existing projects, along with the incorporation and correlation of a range of Yoga Study and Practice resources, all under one webrella.
Within this time it has been over two years since the Journal Blog aspect of the website has seen a Menu Category revision. Plus during this time the website has also developed or added:
- A searchable Romanised Saṃskṛta Core Glossary and Cross Reference Indexed Database with some 800 entries to date. Each word is increasingly cross linked in terms of textual sources, similar and opposite words and related concepts. Being added to each word are associated quotes, posts and articles, primarily from Krishnamacharya and Desikachar.
- A continuing development of the online verse by verse, word by word offering of the Yoga Sūtra with added commentaries of T Krishnamacharya and TKV Desikachar
- Plus on-going progress in setting up online verse by verse, word by word, versions of traditional texts such as the Bhagavad Gītā, the Gītārtha Saṃgraha, the Sāṃkhya Kārikā, the Haṭha Yoga Pradīpikā, along with Krishnamacharya’s Yoga Rahasya. Obviously much work is still to be done with adding the verses, along with notes and commentaries. However the verses added so far are up and functioning in terms of searchable cross text reference resources.
- A Yoga Posts as PDF’s Repository with some 200 downloadable PDF’s of Yoga Articles and Textual Resources.
- An extensive resource accessed from within the Dharma Downloads section of the website for Veda and Sūtra Chanting with chant sheets and sound files
What is the most important aspect of Pūrva Aṅga?
“Pūrva Aṅga is essentially a process of elimination
in which we eliminate those thoughts that are not relevant.
In fact Yoga is the process of eliminating the undesirable
so we can be linked with the desirable.
It is the movement from Saṃyoga to Viyoga,
from Saguṇa to Nirguṇa.
But we must be careful how we define desirable or undesirable.”
– TKV Desikachar Madras December 19th 1988
“If you are not in a hurry
you will enjoy the process.”
– TKV Desikachar