So in many Yoga schools the beginning of change is suffering…..

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“So in many Yoga schools the beginning of change is suffering.
We find ourselves in a situation that we don’t like.
Even if we can do 500 Āsana or recite the Yoga Sūtra this suffering can be there.
It is the absence of suffering that is the measure of Yoga.”
– TKV Desikachar

To define the word Yoga is very difficult…..

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“To define the word Yoga is very difficult, as the word is so adaptable.
A starting point would be Patañjali.
Patañjali removed all the complicated definitions and simplified it to:

‘Making the best out of the most difficult object, the mind.’

His idea was to create a situation,
where the mind becomes more faithful than it is.”
– TKV Desikachar

The act of establishing contact with the external world is called Yoga…

TKV_France_1999

“The act of establishing contact with the external world is called Yoga.
It is continuous, inevitable, swiftly changing.
Yoga is a basic fact of life.
However it is the quality of the relationship that leads to a healthy life and well being or otherwise.
The clarity and strength of the force involved in the contact and awareness of the contact
is reflected in the flow of what is called Prāṇa Śakti.
What is it that disturbs this flow?”
– TKV Desikachar

Śīrṣāsana as a Viparīta Karaṇī Mudrā

sirsasana

Śīrṣāsana as a Viparīta Karaṇī Mudrā

This day, for so long TKV Desikachar‘s birthday, is the first since his death last August.
In memorium is the article below:

“In the scheme of Haṭha Yoga where the harnessing and channelising of one’s life energy is the goal, the Viparīta Karaṇī Mudrā occupies a special place.
A person’s full potential is realised when this energy moves to the top of the head.
There are various techniques that the ancient seers had formalised to remove the obstacles in the path of this energy and to aid its movement.
All these techniques culminated the Viparīta Karaṇī Mudrā, the principle of inversion,
one form of which is Śīrṣāsana.

TKV Desikachar explains this concept starting with the most basic requirements of the practice and moving step by step through the various techniques, all of which are used in  Śīrṣāsana.”

Originally published by the KYM Darśanam February 1994

Download or view this article as a PDF

How you bring about the length of the breath affects Āsana…..

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“The difference in chest to stomach and stomach to chest
breathing is minimal in the length of the breath.
How you bring about the length of the breath affects Āsana differently.
Apart from medical restrictions,
to give respect to the chest, the spine and gravity
we need to breathe chest to stomach on the inhale.”
– From personal lessons with TKV Desikachar

To understand and refine the mind Patañjali offers some specific tools….

Patanjali_B_and_W

“To understand and refine the mind Patañjali offers some specific tools.
These tools are based on the understanding that the human system is not
a set of distinct unrelated compartments but a very closely connected structure.
What happens in one part profoundly affects every area.
Therefore if we can bring some positive changes in one area,
positive changes ensue in other parts.”
– TKV Desikachar Madras 1996

The purpose of Āsana and Prāṇāyāma are twofold….

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“The purpose of Āsana and Prāṇāyāma are twofold,
to reduce symptoms of ill-health or,
to prepare the mind towards fulfilling the main emphasis of Patañjali,
which is Meditation.
However according to the teaching I have received,
both of these roles can be fulfilled with
relatively few Āsana postures and Prāṇāyāma techniques.”
– TKV Desikachar Madras 1996

Some people say they practice Āsana, Prāṇāyāma, Meditation….

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“Some people say they practice Āsana, Prāṇāyāma, Meditation.
Among these things which is close to Sādhana and which is not close to Sādhana?”
– TKV Desikachar France 1983

The Siddhi depends on the Bhāvanam.

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“The Siddhi depends on the Bhāvanam.”
– TKV Desikachar

One must be clear when one speaks about Yoga…..

Patanjali Yoga Sutra

“Therefore one must be clear when one speaks about Yoga:
as far as we are concerned, we refer mainly to Patañjali’s Yoga.
Otherwise, quoting various texts,
one can justify almost anything in the name of Yoga.
Patañjali’s Yoga is obviously the most open, universal
and the most clearly distinct from Vedānta, which is a school in itself.”
– Extract from an interview with TKV Desikachar on Vedic Chanting

The Yoga of Patañjali as a complete process of learning……

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“The Yoga of Patañjali as a complete process of learning
provides the best instrument for helping the individual
know that he is more than a money making machine.”
– TKV Desikachar 1983
– Introduction to Learning through Yoga by TV Ananthanarayanan

For Yoga Teachers it is important to understand the movement of the mind……

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“For Yoga Teachers it is important to understand
the movement of the mind
as well as the body.”
– TKV Desikachar 1979 on Sāṃkhya and Yoga

Krishnamacharya’s teaching is a Nimitta Kāraṇa….

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“Krishnamacharya’s teaching is a Nimitta Kāraṇa
– Where you discover your own way.”
– TKV Desikachar Yoga Sūtra Chapter Four verse 3

Nirodha is a restraining of OTHER things, not a cessation of activity.

nirodha

Nirodha is a restraining of OTHER things,
not a cessation of activity.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2

There are certain things we do in Yoga which seem to aid Dhyāna

dhyana

“There are certain things we do in Yoga which seem to aid Dhyāna
because they remove something which is blocking it.”
– TKV Desikachar ‘The Antaraṅga Sādhana, Saṃyama and Kaivalya’
Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Thirteen Page 186

When we say our name we relate to our mind and not Cit……

cit devanagari

“When we say our name we relate to our mind and not Cit.
However we are not able to separate mind from Cit.
They are so close – mind and not mind.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2