Some people who practice Yoga develop such a good physical condition that this becomes their only concern.

“Some people who practice Yoga develop such a good physical condition that this becomes their only concern.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Five Page 77

Programs are planned taking into consideration our free time, capabilities and……

“Please don’t have the idea that programs are fixed, that is, on Monday we do the headstand, on Tuesday we do the shoulderstand, etc. Programs are planned taking into consideration our free time, capabilities, and desires. We must always plan our practice as a unit, whether it is small or large. This means we start and finish in one session, at one particular time.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Four Page 68

When we teach the headstand we first teach preparation……

bhujangasanasarvangasanasirsasana

“When we teach the headstand, we first teach preparation, then we teach the counterpose Sarvāṅgāsana which in itself is a major pose that demands its own counterpose Bhujaṅgāsana. It is all very systematic.
Planning means to go gradually, to prepare, and then to compensate.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Four Pages 53-54

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Yoga, unlike dance or mime, is not an expression of form for others to watch.

“Yoga, unlike dance or mime,
is not an expression of form for others to watch.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Four Page 46

The more we expose ourselves to practice……

“The more we expose ourselves to practice,
the more we will understand how we can observe ourselves
and how to discover our starting point.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Four Page 48

We must be able to stay and breathe in this posture……

maha_mudra

“I had one student who could do all the Āsana and was shocked to discover that she was unable to stay in Mahā Mudrā for eight breaths! She was so flexible that she took her body for granted.
Mahā Mudrā requires more than suppleness of the body.
We must be able to stay and breathe in this posture.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Four Page 45

I think, that all those who want to practise Vedic chanting……

tryambakam_mantra

“I think, that all those who want to practise Vedic chanting must be able to do so,
provided there is no confusion with Patañjali’s Yoga.”
– Extract from an interview with TKV Desikachar on Vedic Chanting

If a teacher is unable to follow the unique conditions of each student……

“In a group class, if a teacher is unable to follow the unique conditions of each student, it would be unfortunate, since not only we would not understand Yoga, we might also be discouraged.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Two Page 15

What appears as Yoga to an outsider is mainly the physical aspects……

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House“What appears as Yoga to an outsider is mainly the physical aspects of our practice.
They will not be aware of how we breathe, how we feel the breath,
and how we co-ordinate breathing with physical movement.
They tend to be interested only in our flexibility and suppleness.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Two Page 13

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Just because one person can bend more than another does not prove……

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House“Just because one person can bend more than another
does not prove or disprove that the former is better in the practice of Yoga.
Such comparisons cannot be the basis of happiness based upon superiority,
or the opposite, unhappiness over inferiority.
Often this unhappiness is so severe that it makes us quit our pursuits.”

– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter One Page 7

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Āsana offers a purpose more than just physical.

pascimatanasana

Āsana offers a purpose more than just physical.
Āsana offers a link of the mind to the physical.
Āsana introduces the concept of Dhyāna as a practice.
Āsana seeks to minimise the Saṃskāra or habitual patterns which dull the mind.

In doing so it seeks to increase our sensitivity to ourselves,
what is around us and its corresponding influences,
and to what sustains us.

– Extract from my personal notes taken during 121 lessons with TKV Desikachar on the ‘Principles of Practice’ in Madras during April 1980.

It is clear that no examination of the body will reveal Cakra.

2visuddhi

“It is clear that no examination of the body will reveal Cakra. The ancients knew this well and my father often repeated it. The system of Cakra is a subtle vision of the Yogi, in accordance with his own personal experience. For this reason there are different descriptions.

If we want to concern ourselves with the Cakra, we must accept them and recognise them in this way. This is why it is a a waste of time to argue about it, as people tend to do these days. Why does it matter if this or that Cakra is one or two centimetres higher or lower, if it is vertical or horizontal, blue or green.

On the contrary, it is a question of showing that we are concerned with particular inner images and to avoid this ridiculous situation of having useless arguments.”

– ‘Concerning the Cakra’ by TKV Desikachar

Science, Medical Conditions and Yoga as a Therapy

Desikachar_PH_2

Interview with TKV Desikachar

By Paul Harvey in 2000 whilst studying with TKV Desikachar in Chennai

Download or view this interview as a PDF

Paul thanks Desikachar for agreeing to give time for this interview and Desikachar replies with thanks.

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The spirit of viniyoga is starting from where one finds oneself……

viniyoga

“The spirit of viniyoga is starting from where one finds oneself.
As everybody is different and changes from time to time,
there can be no common starting point,
and ready-made answers are useless.
The present situation must be examined
and the habitually established status must be re-examined.”
– TKV Desikachar

So how can we establish a link between Nāḍī and Cakra?

Unknown

“So how can we establish a link between what has been said about Nāḍī and Cakra
and the practice of Yoga?
What role does Yoga practice have here?”
– ‘Concerning the Cakra’ by TKV Desikachar

Concerning the number of Cakra, we also find different ideas……

ajna

Concerning the number of Cakra, we also find different ideas. The most frequent is that which considers there to be seven. However in his book ‘Yoga Makaranda‘ my father talks of ten. There are other ideas as to the number elsewhere, the form in which they are visualised varies according to tradition.

Many Yogins visualise them as circles or wheels. According to other sources, they are described as lotuses or Padma with varying number of petals. Compared to the idea of a wheel, which evokes more the idea of movement and rotation, the lotus evokes more the idea of creation.

If we analyse all this seriously, we see, in the respect of the Cakra, that the sages, during meditation, did not always have the same experiences and visions. There is no need to discuss this, because it depends on the personal experience of each seer. However, it is important to be aware of these differences and the consequences that they can have for the way in which we imagine the experience.”

– ‘Concerning the Cakra’ by TKV Desikachar