Yoga Yatta – A chance to chat around your questions on Yoga

yoga yatta image

I am receiving an increasing number of emails from around the globe regarding questions and requests for clarification around Yoga practice, theory and philosophy.

I talk more easily than I type and I also feel direct contact and dialogue is much more preferable to a keyboard based to’ing and fro’ing of views, opinions or questions.

Also we live increasingly in an age where direct face to face, albeit via screen and speaker, contact is possible through media such as Skype, FaceTime, WebEx, etc.

Hence I am proposing an offering of time and space using modern media to engage in a direct dialogue with your questions or requests for clarification with those interested.

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A collation of articles by Srivatsa Ramaswami around the teachings of T Krishnamacharya

Sri_TK_SR

A collation of articles by Srivatsa Ramaswami around the teachings of
T Krishnamacharya published in the ‘Indian Review’ circa 1979-1981.

View or Download this Series of Articles as a Single PDF Collation

List of Articles and Indications of Content:

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There are also fundamental differences between Yoga and Vedānta……

Desikachar and Krishnamacharya in Madras 1980

Desikachar and Krishnamacharya in Madras 1980

There are also fundamental differences between Yoga and Vedānta. And, if at all we can link them, it is as follows: Yoga is a means towards Vedānta for those who are interested.

Vedānta involves a lot of enquiry and reflection, and also demands the development of Bhakti, and, for both the mind and for the individual, Yoga is the means towards Bhakti.

Also, Vedānta is Jñāna Mārga, and a state of mind that is necessary for Jñāna can only come through the practice of Aṣṭāṅga.”

– TKV Desikachar from lectures on ‘The Yoga of T Krishnamacharya’, given at Zinal, Switzerland 1981.

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Thanks to him, it is possible to say that there are certain distinctions between Yoga and Hinduism.

TK_1980_aged_91

T Krishnamacharya @ 91

“Thanks to him, it is possible to say that there are certain distinctions between Yoga and Hinduism.”

– TKV Desikachar from lectures on ‘The Yoga of T Krishnamacharya’, given at Zinal, Switzerland 1981.

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It is only through a deep understanding of family life that one can go beyond it…….

Desikachar and Krishnamacharya Chanting Madras 1980

Desikachar and Krishnamacharya Chanting Madras 1980

“He insists that it is very important for a human being to go through family life. It is only through a deep understanding of family life that one can go beyond it.

He, himself, twice rejected the position of an important Ācārya because, he said, he would like to remain with his family.”

– TKV Desikachar from lectures on ‘The Yoga of T Krishnamacharya’, given at Zinal, Switzerland 1981.

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Ordinary people need certain forms, certain visualisations, for Dhyāna……

svastikasana

“Then, he has also some views on Dhyāna. Since Dhyāna is a characteristic of mind, and since the mind is limited to form, Deśa, or the object of meditation, must be Saguṇa and not Nirguṇa.

Ordinary people need certain forms, certain visualisations, for Dhyāna, so any Dhyāna which is Nirguṇa is only Vikalpa.”

– TKV Desikachar from lectures on ‘The Yoga of T Krishnamacharya’, given at Zinal, Switzerland 1981.

Kriyā without a knowledge of the individuals Doṣa is certainly going to do more harm than good

uddiyana_bandha

In addition, the use of Kriyā, without a knowledge of the individuals Doṣa is certainly going to do more harm than good.

Doṣa, briefly, means the constitution of the individual; some are fat, some tend to get a lot of colds, some have acid problems, some are nervous.

So different beings show different predominances in the Doṣa, and Kriyā must be considered in relation to these varying constitutions.”

– TKV Desikachar from lectures on ‘The Yoga of T Krishnamacharya’,
given at Zinal, Switzerland 1981.

He has very clear ideas on the Ṣat Kriyā and the Mudrā……

tadaka_mudra

T Krishnamacharya in Taḍāka Mudrā

“He has very clear ideas on the Ṣat Kriyā and the Mudrā. He believes that if a person does Āsana properly, with breathing, and has certain restraints regarding food, there is no need for these Kriyā.”

– TKV Desikachar from lectures on ‘The Yoga of T Krishnamacharya’, given at Zinal, Switzerland 1981.

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Regarding Yama and Niyama, these days they have no validity except for two……

tk2008

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

“Regarding Yama and Niyama, these days, he believes, they have no validity except for two of them.

First, what is called Satya Niyama, or what to speak, what not to speak, to whom to speak, how to write, what not to write. These are Satya Niyama.

Another Niyama that should be followed is Āhāra Niyama. That is, how much to eat and what to eat, according to age, profession, etc. You see, the ancient people believed that a young boy could eat as much as he liked. But a Saṃnyāsi should only eat eight handfuls of rice, no more, per day.”

TKV Desikachar from lectures on ‘The Yoga of T Krishnamacharya’, given at Zinal, Switzerland 1981.

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Rāja Yoga is just words without Sādhana……

IWYS_M1

“Now let us go to some of his views on matters of interest. He believes that the only Yoga text that has any clear presentation of Yoga is the Yoga Sūtra.

But, he says, Rāja Yoga is just words without Sādhana, just like I read the other day, that philosophy itself is more interesting than any result from it.

However, with SādhanaRāja Yoga is the same as Bhakti Yoga.”

– TKV Desikachar from lectures on ‘The Yoga of T Krishnamacharya’, given at Zinal, Switzerland 1981.

Another contribution is how he utilises the Yoga Sūtra in the practice……

IWYS_M1

“Another contribution, I feel, is how he utilises the Yoga Sūtra in the practice. I remember in the first Zinal, when I used the word Yoga Sūtra, people thought I was talking about Greek civilisation or something.

My own reading of the Yoga Sūtra, without him, would have made me think it just another of those useless books on India. He linked each of the Sūtra to the practice.”

– TKV Desikachar from lectures on ‘The Yoga of T Krishnamacharya’, given at Zinal, Switzerland 1981.

The practice of Yoga is linked to the Nāḍī, or pulse……

jathara_parivrtti

“The practice of Yoga is linked to the Nāḍī, or pulse, so he always thinks that the pulse rate tells whether you have done a good practice or a bad practice.

He suggests that our life may be measured by the number of beats to the heart, and if somebody wants to live long and well, he has to reduce the rate of the heart beat. This is, of course, a little different from what the aerobic people say, who think you should boost your heart rate to 130/140.”

– TKV Desikachar from lectures on ‘The Yoga of T Krishnamacharya’, given at Zinal, Switzerland 1981

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Mahā Mudrā, if practiced every day, prevents ill health……

maha_mudra

“Another thing that he made very simple, and practical, is the use of Mahā Mudrā.
This is a very well known posture now,
but when you start looking at the texts, nothing is clear there.
He has incorporated the Āsana part, the breathing part, and the Mudrā part,
and, he feels, Mahā Mudrā, if practiced every day, prevents ill health.”
– TKV Desikachar from lectures on ‘The Yoga of T Krishnamacharya’,
given at Zinal, Switzerland 1981.

He also added the idea of Bhāvana in the practice of Prāṇāyāma……

jalandhara_bandha

“Further, he also added long ago, the idea of Bhāvana in the practice of Prāṇāyāma. Long, long ago, he said, the breathing, inhalation, exhalation and retentions have some sort of relationship with the highest force, Lord Nārāyaṇa.

Inhalation is like an inspiration from God himself.
Retention is some sort of meditation, because you are with Him.
Exhalation is some sort of movement towards God,
and retention after exhale is like a surrender to God.”

– TKV Desikachar from lectures on ‘The Yoga of T Krishnamacharya’, given at Zinal, Switzerland 1981.

One of the most complicated aspects of Yoga practice is the Bandha……

nadi_shodana

“One of the most complicated aspects of Yoga practice is the Bandha. He has been able to link correctly various ideas on the Bandha that appear in different texts, and is able to say that certain Bandha can only be done in certain parts of the Prāṇāyāma.
I may also say, that nobody is clearer about the Mūla Bandha than Krishnamacharya.”
– TKV Desikachar from lectures on ‘The Yoga of T Krishnamacharya’,
given at Zinal, Switzerland 1981.

Prāṇāyāma as Bṛṃhaṇa Kriyā or Laṅghana Kriyā……

Prāṇāyāma

“Because of his knowledge of Āyurveda,
he conceived Prāṇāyāma also as Bṛṃhaṇa Kriyā or Laṅghana Kriyā.”
– TKV Desikachar from lectures on ‘The Yoga of T Krishnamacharya’, given at Zinal, Switzerland 1981.

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