The test for intelligent effort is the response of the breath.

prana

“The test for intelligent effort is the response of the breath.”
TKV Desikachar Switzerland 1978

However first we should know where we are……

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“However first we should know where we are.
We must examine ideas like we must start from where we actually are,
not where we want to be.
We must first recognise our actual state of mind.”
TKV Desikachar France 1983

Unless you take one step in Yoga……

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“Unless you take one step in Yoga,
you will not know what is the next step.”
– TKV Desikachar

The aim in Yoga is to train ourselves so that we can modify inhalation or exhalation……

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“The aim in Yoga is to train ourselves so that we can modify
inhalation or exhalation and hold the breath to meet a demand.
That is why we develop different ratios.
If these things can be done,
and if we need a particular ratio,
it is in our pocket.”
– TKV Desikachar ‘Choosing a Ratio and the proper technique for Prāṇāyāma’
Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Twelve Page 173

We need to evolve……

TKV_France_1999

“We need to evolve.
Evolution is like a river.
When we see the river at the source the water is so clean, so pure, almost blue.
As it comes closer and closer to the ocean it becomes a different river,
we don’t want to go near it because it is so dirty.
This is the natural flow, from up to down.
But where does this river get its water from?
It comes from the snow up in the mountains.
Where does the snow come from?
From the clouds. Where do these clouds come from?
From the ocean where all the dirty water goes.
There is some magic which is done in the ocean.
It can absorb all this dirt and gives such fresh water.
In our tradition, they say that when things get too dirty,
when disorder comes to a limit, when suffering is too widespread,
something will happen.”
– TKV Desikachar from unedited manuscript for ‘What are We Seeking?’

Our goals are not always to strive for what we cannot do.

seated_pranayama_2

“Our goals are not always to strive for what we cannot do.”
– TKV Desikachar ‘Choosing a Ratio and the proper technique for Prāṇāyāma’
Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Twelve Page 171

This is what I mean by having Prāṇa inside the body……

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“This is what I mean by having Prāṇa inside the body.
When this is the case,
a person is not affected by the whims and opinions of others.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Eleven Page 148

In observation, try to go from Annamaya to the deeper levels.

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“In observation, try to go from Annamaya to the deeper levels.”
– TKV Desikachar Madras 1987

Meditation is not a technique it is a journey.

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‎”Meditation is not a technique, it is a journey.”
– TKV Desikachar 1998

Yoga uses an intelligent approach which is applied to all things and during all the day.

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‎”Yoga uses an intelligent approach
which is applied to all things
and during all the day.”
TKV Desikachar England 1976

Sometimes the length of the exhale can be sacrificed, but not the quality…….

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“It is not essential to work in the firm order of exhale, inhale, holds.
However the exhale should come first,
then you can emphasise the inhale or holds, whichever suits the person or situation.
If the exhale is disturbed you must be careful.
Always start the use of the ratio from the exhale.
Based on the reaction you can play with the inhale and holds.
Never sacrifice the quality of the exhale.
Sometimes the length of the exhale can be sacrificed, but not the quality.
One can refer to Yoga Sūtra I 34 to show that the exhalation should come first.”
– From personal lessons with TKV Desikachar

Any movement can be done on the exhale or stop……

“Any movement can be done on the exhale or stop.
Not every movement can be done on inhale or hold.
Therefore the gradual movement of the breath
or introduction of the breath
should be directed into the exhale.
The exhale must be respected.
When the exhale is secure or firm,
then the attention can be shifted to the inhale or to work on the holds.”
– From personal lessons with TKV Desikachar

The breath is related to the intellect, chest, respiratory system, digestive system etc

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“The breath is related to the intellect, chest, respiratory system, digestive system etc.
So one should consider and understand the relevance of the breath to these areas.
Also how these areas are in students before we start applying specific principles of breathing,
otherwise it could aggravate the area and any inherent problem.”
– From personal lessons with TKV Desikachar

There is nothing better than Prāṇāyāma for this preparation…..

Prāṇāyāma

Dhyānam is not Naimityakam –
something that is done once in a while.
It is a regular practice, almost a ritual.
One must prepare for this ritual every day.
There is nothing better than Prāṇāyāma for this preparation.”
– TKV Desikachar commentary on Dhyānamālikā Śloka 14

Yoga is not an escape from life but an approach to living.

Yoga is not an escape from life but an approach to living.

‎”Yoga is not an escape from life but an approach to living.”
TKV Desikachar England 1976

What sustains Saṃkalpa day after day?

samkalpa

“What sustains Saṃkalpa day after day?”
– TKV Desikachar 1998

The target of Yoga is ‘svatantra’……

svatantra

“The target of Yoga is ‘Svatantra’ 
which means to discover our own technique.
Sva’ means self and ‘Tantra’ means technique.
The techniques are in oneself and we must discover them;
if not we will depend on others.
This is ‘Svatantra’.”
– TKV Desikachar

Saṃkalpa is mainly the intention to do something……

samkalpa

Saṃkalpa is mainly the intention to do something,
to be serious about my goal; it is something I feel I must do.
Saṃkalpa must be on both parts: student and teacher,
like when we chant ‘saha nāvavatu…’.
Saṃskāra means the purification,
like cleaning a vessel before I use it for another purpose.
It’s a kind of Viyoga or separation.
It concerns how I prepare for the situation.
The Saṃskāra is an effort in both directions: student and teacher.
Saṃyoga means there is a good exchange;
something begins to happen, something is given and something is received.
The best teaching has all three of these.”
TKV Desikachar speaking with his senior Western students London 1998

Begin your practice from where you are……

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House

“Begin your practice from where you are,
finish your practice where you are going.”
TKV Desikachar Switzerland 1978

Whether or not I like it, I should know where I am……

Whether or not I like it, I should know where I am

“Whether or not I like it, I should know where I am.
Otherwise we try to draw the line from where we are not to where we want to be.
Therefore the first point must be understood and then we can go to the next point.”
– TKV Desikachar France August 1983

Yoga is trying to do something for oneself.

Yoga is trying to do something for oneself

‎”Yoga is trying to do something for oneself.”
TKV Desikachar England 1976

Krishnamacharya also decided that you could be in one posture and do a number of variations.

Krishnamacharya also decided that you could be in one posture and do a number of variations

“Krishnamacharya also decided that you could be in one posture
and do a number of variations.”
– TKV Desikachar England 1992

The traditional model, Śikṣaṇa, for Yoga was to stay in a posture……

The traditional model, Śikṣaṇa, for Yoga was to stay in a posture

“The traditional model, Śikṣaṇa, for Yoga was to stay in a posture,
Krishnamacharya introduced movement in the postures.”
From study notes with TKV Desikachar England 1992

The true purpose of Krishnamacharya’s teaching was to bring Man into contact with something beyond himself

The true purpose of Krishnamacharya’s teaching
“The true purpose of Krishnamacharya’s teaching was
to bring Man into contact with something beyond himself,
and far greater.”
– TKV Desikachar: Health, Healing and Beyond C1 p17

In Āyurveda, it gives certain behaviour by which we can stay well……

TKV_5

“In Āyurveda, it gives certain behaviour by which we can stay well.
If a person follows the following he will freer of sickness.
Regularly, systematically he eats, rests and exercises adequately.
Both in amount and quality.
Food or Āhāra, along with Vihāra – recreation, rest, exercise, other activities.”
– TKV Desikachar France 1983

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