When I do something is it because I want to do it or……

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

“When I do something is it because I want to do it,
or am I being led to do it by the mind?”
– TKV Desikachar

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It is not the request but where it is coming from.

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House

“It is not the request but where it is coming from.”
– TKV Desikachar

Āsana is basically something linked to Prāṇāyāma……

pranayama_dhyana

“In the Yoga SūtraĀsana is basically something linked to Prāṇāyāma,
since Prāṇāyāma is a very important practice there, linked to Dhyāna.”
– TKV Desikachar

Yoga is the pursuit of the unpursuable.

cit devanagari

“Yoga is the pursuit of the unpursuable.”
– TKV Desikachar

The quality of the Pūraka or Recaka determines the quality of the Kumbhaka.

sarvangasana

“The quality of the Pūraka (inhale) or Recaka (exhale)
determines the quality of the Kumbhaka (suspension).”
– TKV Desikachar 1987

It is said that some day, everyone will get a back pain……

d_paris_1999

It is said that some day, everyone will get a back pain. There are so many reasons for it. On conducting a study on back pain, we found that there are three categories of people with back pain.

– There are people with back pain, who, after doing Yoga find that the pain has disappeared.

– The second category are those who are able to avoid back pain as long as they follow a life of discipline. But the moment they stop it starts again.

– And to the third category belong people who are not relieved of pain in spite of discipline. We have to go beyond the spine. There is a very large part for emotions here. One has to go into the emotions of the individual.”

– The Yoga of Healing – TKV Desikachar

The word Mantra means something that we will ponder……

mantra

The word Mantra means something that we will ponder, that we will reflect upon.
That is, you go to a teacher,
they say something and I go back home and reflect upon that.

That is the essential feature of Mantra, to reflect upon again and again.
The purpose of Mantra is to help us cross a harbour, an obstacle.
That is why the definition of Mantra is:

 मननात् त्रायते इति मन्त्रः॥
mananāt trāyate iti mantraḥ ||
“Who reflects on this, will cross the obstacle”.

– Extract from an interview with TKV Desikachar on Vedic Chanting

Whenever we look at an Āsana we must look at two sides……

halasana

“Whenever we look at an Āsana we must look at two sides:
1. What is involved in the Āsana
2. Who is doing the Āsana”
– TKV Desikachar France 1984

The masters taught us to move from a deeper source……

pascimatanasana

“Another important aspect is that the masters taught us to move from a deeper source,
not just from muscles and joints.”
– TKV Desikachar France 1984

Kuṇḍalinī represents that which blocks access to the central energetic channel…..

Unknown

“The great yogin Yājñavalkhya said that the constant and intensive practice of Prāṇāyāma brought Prāṇa and Agni together,
and gradually the obstacle at the base of the Suṣumnā would be totally dissolved.
He gave this block the name ‘Kuṇḍali’ meaning coiled or ‘Kuṇḍalinī’ meaning ‘rolled up’ in other texts.
Kuṇḍalinī represents that which blocks access to the central energetic channel.
When this obstacle is eliminated, Prāṇa penetrates and begins to rise in the central channel.
This is the most precise description we have of the process.
This is also the most clear and coherent.”
– ‘Concerning the Cakra’ by TKV Desikachar

The principle is we must bring action to the area of the body we wish to improve……

ardha_utkatasanavirabharasana

“Some standing postures develop the legs, such as Ardha Utkaṭāsana (half squat).
This posture is like weight lifting.
Other postures like Vīrabhadrāsana (standing, bending backward with one knee bent) will also help.
The principle is we must bring action to the area of the body we wish to improve.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Seven Page 106-7

We can only begin to improvise after we begin to understand the various postures……

supta_eka_padangusthasanasupta_eka_padangusthasana_2

“We can only begin to improvise after we begin to understand the various postures.
We do not suggest improvisation for the sake of improvisation.
We do it when we need help to develop or to sustain attention,
or as an aid to a particular physical need”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Seven Page 101

Thus we us improvisation to bring something new and useful into the practice of Āsana……

uttanasana_4uttanasana_3

“Thus we use improvisation to bring something new and useful into the practice of  Āsana.
Therefore, if one of you is asked to do an Āsana with the legs straight and another to do that same Āsana with the legs bent, please don’t think you are winning or losing a contest.
Since this is not dance, form is not important.
What is important when doing an Āsana is the experience that happens at the moment.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Seven Page 98

If we are doing Āsana and the mind continues to wander……

janu sirsasana

“If we are doing Āsana and the mind continues to wander,
we are not doing the Āsana, only our bodies are doing them.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Seven Page 91

There is no death for the Puruṣa because there is no change for it……

purusa

“There is no death for the Puruṣa
because there is no change for it,
and what is death but change.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Six Page 87

There are those people who change as a result of practice and those……

“There are those people who change as a result of practice and those who never change in spite of practice.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Six Page 88-89