In the language of Yoga, the seat of all impurities is the abdomen.

mala

“In the language of Yoga,
the seat of all impurities is the abdomen.”
– TKV Desikachar 1984

It is not the number of hours in Meditation…..

dhyanam

“It is not the number of hours in Meditation,
the type of Ratio in Prāṇāyāma,
the number of times you turn the Mālā,
it is the intensity of the attempt.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 22

Looking beyond the superficial to the source, this is Abhyāsa.

Abhyāsa

“Looking beyond the superficial to the source,
this is Abhyāsa.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 14

The starting point for Abhyāsa is not the mind….

abhyasa

“The starting point for Abhyāsa is not the mind,
it is other than the mind.
The moment the mind takes over you are in difficulty.”
– From 121 Sūtra lessons with Desikachar

The phenomenon called Yoga allows the mind……

abhyasa

“The phenomenon called Yoga
allows the mind and its functions to orientate in one direction
and receive something from that direction.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 12

How does Vedānta differ from Yoga?

vedanta

“How does Vedānta differ from Yoga?
In brief, we can say that the purpose of Yoga is to change the state of mind,
so that it is less muddy.
In this effort, God may help.

The purpose of Vedānta is to become God…..
At an ideological level, Vedānta rejects Yoga’s idea of God as something potentially helpful,
beside that point it likewise rejects whatever is said in Yoga that does not take one toward God.

However, the Vedānta Sūtra does emphasise the importance of sitting properly for meditation
and the Bhagavad Gītā speaks of the need for proper breathing.
All the Śāstra, in fact, accept the physical discipline of Yoga.”
– TKV Desikachar Chennai July 1981

The ultimate goal of Yoga is to always observe things accurately……

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House

“The ultimate goal of Yoga is to always observe things accurately,
and therefore never act in a way that will make us regret our actions later.”
– TKV Desikachar

The first Sūtra also acts as a key for the memory to link all the Yoga……

atha

अथ योगानुशासनम् ॥१॥

atha yoga-anu-śāsanam

“Now follow the teachings of Yoga.”

Atha – Now in the sense of nowness.
By convention let there be something auspicious.
The Sūtra are different in the sense of not having a prayer dedication in the first Sūtra.
Thus Atha fills this role.
Particularly the letter ‘A’ which is a dedication.

“Of sounds I am the first letter A.”
Bhagavad Gītā Chapter Ten verse 33

Now I am going to tell you something about Yoga.
A serious discussion as you, the students, are ready.
This also refers to the student’s previous attempts at learning, which will now be clarified.

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Question to TKV Desikachar on Yama and Niyama:

TKV_France_1999

Question to TKV Desikachar on Yama and Niyama:

“The idea behind Yama and Niyama is the attitude we have to the inside and outside.
If I don’t know what is true there is no question of telling the truth.
However there is the intention, because one day it may become a reality.
Even though some of these things are not there in the beginning, if the intention is sincere then one day it will become an action if conditions and our psychological state change.
Yama as telling the truth also means discretion.”
TKV Desikachar France 1983

The force called Śakti or Kuṇḍalinī is indeed Prāṇa……

prana

“Then he has certain ideas also about Kuṇḍalinī.
The force is Prāṇa,
the force called Śakti or Kuṇḍalinī is indeed Prāṇa.
The only means that can have any effect is the use of Prāṇāyāma,
with emphasis on exhalation and the Bandha,
aided by devotional chantings.
And the evolution of Kuṇḍalinī is very much linked to the person’s state of mind and Vairāgya.”
TKV Desikachar from lectures on ‘The Yoga of T Krishnamacharya’,
given at Zinal, Switzerland 1981.

In each one of us there is something that experiences.

purusa

“In each one of us there is something that experiences.”
– TKV Desikachar introducing the Taittirīya Upaniṣad 2001

Conscious breathing is one of the greatest tools to influence the effect of the postures…..

Āsana_24b

“Conscious breathing is one of the greatest tools to influence the effect of the postures
without changing the posture.”
– TKV Desikachar

In the Yoga Sūtra the purpose of the different Sādhana is to clear the mind…..

Āsana_6

“In the Yoga Sūtra,
the purpose of the different Sādhana is to clear the mind,
so the light can come out.”
– TKV Desikachar 1984

We start our practice where we are and look toward a certain goal….

Desikachar_France_1999

“We start our practice where we are and look toward a certain goal.
Then we choose the steps that will lead us toward realising that goal
and will gradually bring us back into our everyday life,
but our daily practice does not return us to the exact place we started.
The practice has changed us.”
– TKV Desikachar

Exhalation is the most important part of the breath……

asana_53
Exhalation is the most important part of the breath,
it encourages the inhalation.
By increasing the exhalation we bring attention to the lower abdomen.”
– From study notes with TKV Desikachar England 1992

The breath makes Āsana part of Yoga.

Āsana_25b

“The breath makes Āsana part of Yoga.”
– From study notes with TKV Desikachar England 1992