Yoga is the pursuit of the unpursuable.

cit devanagari

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

Niṣṭhā – The holding of a question throughout the days activities.

srimad_bhagavad_gita

Niṣṭhā – The holding of a question throughout the days activities.”
– TKV Desikachar commentary on Bhagavad Gītā Chapter 5 verse 17

Module Two Art of Haṭha Energetics Course

Āsana_35

I have just finished preparing a 25 page workbook as a student study support for the upcoming Module Two Art of Haṭha Energetics Course.

Once again I am filled with appreciation for the Paramparā and my Haṭha Yoga teachers from the many hours study in India from personal lessons in India with TKV Desikachar at his home and small study groups with AG Mohan in the KYM.

The group size for this Module Two weekend is limited to five students to allow for a personalised approach and in-depth transmission between teacher and student.

It is presented with the aim of reflecting the fundamentals of Śrī T Krishnamacharya’s teaching, namely, transmission occurs through the direct experience of the teacher with the students personal practice and study Sādhana.

The Module Two Course builds on the foundational Art of Haṭha Energetics Module One weekend workshop on the principles underpinning the study and practice of the processes involved in Haṭha Yoga.

This particular textual study weekend Course is focused on an in-depth exploration of the Haṭha Yoga Pradīpikā by Svāmi Svātmārāma. We will be studying each of its four chapters on Āsana, Prāṇāyāma, Mudrā and Nāda Dhyānam.

Below is a quote from my personal studies with Desikachar which I feel encapsulates the process known as Haṭha.

“There are two different energies which are in conflict – Ha and Ṭha.
Because of these two energies we are not in our natural state.
Why do they never meet?
Because there is a big obstacle in the form of a coiled serpent.
Further we add to the obstacle rather than reduce it.
Through practices we can use the fire that is in our system to slowly reduce the obstacle.
When this happens the two have the possibility of entering Suṣumnā and become one.
When this happens there is the union of Ha and Ṭha.”

How rigorous should we be in the practice of Tapas?

tapas devanagari

Question to TKV Desikachar:
How rigorous should we be in the practice of Tapas?
Tapas is not the rejection of everything around us.
In the Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 1,
Tapas means to be able to discipline oneself.
So if you are too fat eat less.
If you are too thin eat more.
Tapas which harms the mind should be rejected.”
TKV Desikachar Madras December 21st 1988

Suffering is basically either the result of the……

duhkha“Suffering is basically either the result of the absence of something that we want,
or the presence of something that we don’t want.”
– TKV Desikachar from unedited manuscript for ‘What are We Seeking?’.

We usually start seeking because we have something which we do not want……

duhkha“We usually start seeking because we have something which we do not want: suffering.
Suffering pushes us to seek.”
– TKV Desikachar from unedited manuscript for ‘What are We Seeking?’.

When we are seeking pleasure and possession the mind is very busy.

TKV_5

“When we are seeking pleasure and possession the mind is very busy.”
– TKV Desikachar from unedited manuscript for ‘What are We Seeking?’.

Whatever is the source of life is surely the source of freedom……

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

“Whatever is the source of life is surely the source of freedom,
a source which knows us and cares for us.
It is everybody’s right, and is not beyond us, but within us.”
– TKV Desikachar from unedited manuscript for ‘What are We Seeking?’.

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Is freedom to do what we wish?

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

We are seeking freedom. We all desire freedom.
But what sort of freedom? Is freedom to do what we wish?
Are all the people who have the liberty to do what they want really free inside?
– TKV Desikachar from unedited manuscript for ‘What are We Seeking?’.

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The desire to have is pushing us to seek things, but to seek what sort of things?

kama

“The desire to have is pushing us to seek things,
but to seek what sort of things?”
– TKV Desikachar from unedited manuscript for ‘What are We Seeking?’.

The heart knows no boundaries.

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House

“The heart knows no boundaries.”
– TKV Desikachar from unedited manuscript for ‘What are We Seeking?’.

The new is not as strong as the old.

Desikachar_France_1999

“The new is not as strong as the old.”
– TKV Desikachar commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter 4 verse 27

When we act unconsciously we go back into the past.

TKV_5

“When we act unconsciously we go back into the past.”
– TKV Desikachar commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter 4 verse 27

Any attempt to meditate is going to fail if you are sitting on a pile of junk……

srimad_bhagavad_gita

“Any attempt to meditate is going to fail if you are sitting on a pile of junk.”
– TKV Desikachar commentary on Bhagavad Gītā Chapter 6 verse 34

Sometimes Yoga is called Darśana Vijñāna……

TKV_5

“Sometimes Yoga is called Darśana Vijñāna. Vijñāna means ‘to know things in detail, which involves also the techniques, the process of knowing, etc’.
It mean that not only we see things, we also know how to apply”
– TKV Desikachar 1981

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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