What the mind desires does not diminish as we age…..

kama

“What the mind desires does not diminish as we age,
only the capacity to realise it.”
– TKV Desikachar

Religiousness in Yoga Study Guide: Chapter Twelve Practice

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House

‘Religiousness in Yoga: Lectures on Theory and Practice’ by the University Press of America,
a transcript of recordings of a one month Yoga Programme in Colgate University in 1976, published in 1980.

Unlike the later redacted edition, re-published in 1995 as the ‘Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice’, it captures the evolution of the retreat with the days lectures and Q & A dialogues as they alternated between ‘lectures on the principles and purposes of Yoga and discussions related to the practice of Yoga with special reference to the postures and the breathing techniques’.

TKV Desikachar, in his forward to the original version wrote:

“These lectures and discussions, printed words put before persons I might never meet,
are but reflections of that deeper result that grew out of a living face-to-face encounter.
Coming to learn of Yoga only through reading leaves much to be desired.
Yet, something worthwhile about Yoga might be shared through the medium of the printed word.”

A chapter by chapter Study guide is offered below with added verse and word cross-references where possible to support a a deeper linking with the teachings within these lectures and Q & A sessions.

Chapter Twelve Practice: Choosing a Ratio and the Proper Technique for Prāṇāyāma
– Pages 163-177

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A feeling of well-being is not just having flexible joints…….

Āsana_20

“A feeling of well-being is not just having flexible joints,
it is much more.’
– TKV Desikachar ‘Choosing a Ratio and the proper technique for Prāṇāyāma’
Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Twelve Page 173

What can be done can be easily established if we observe our breath in Āsana.

asana_15a

What can be done can be easily established if we observe our breath in Āsana.”
– TKV Desikachar ‘Choosing a Ratio and the proper technique for Prāṇāyāma’
Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Twelve Page 163

The choice of a proper ratio involves two things……

seated_pranayama_2

“The choice of a proper ratio involves two things,
what can be done and what should be done.
What can be done involves a given person’s capacity
to inhalehold the breath, exhale and hold the breath.
What should be done involves
our direction of movement, our aim, our need.”
– TKV Desikachar ‘Choosing a Ratio and the proper technique for Prāṇāyāma’
Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Twelve Page 163

The body can be underused, overused and abused……

asana

“The body can be underused, overused and abused,
we need to be aware of what is happening with the body,
but we also need to do something for the mind.”
From study notes with TKV Desikachar England 1992

If we direct the mind onto one part of the breath, then the mind……

prana

“If we direct the mind onto one part of the breath,
then the mind affects the other parts of the breath.”
TKV Desikachar Switzerland 1978

If we relate to part of the breath we are related to all of the breath.

prana

“If we relate to part of the breath,
we are related to all of the breath.”
TKV Desikachar Switzerland 1978

The breath makes it possible to find ways to achieve access to……

jathara_parivrtti

“The breath makes it possible to find ways to achieve access to the posture,
it is possible to adapt a posture through the breath.”
From study notes with TKV Desikachar England 1992

Any posture far removed from the normal posture is a problem and……

Āsana_12

“Any posture far removed from the normal posture is a problem
and therefore risky if there is any problem with the body.”
From study notes with TKV Desikachar England 1992

The hands should be upwards for counting and breathing….

pranayama hands

“The hands should be upwards for counting and breathing,
with elbows slightly bent to keep the shoulders relaxed.”
From study notes with TKV Desikachar England 1992

It is possible to be aware of the state of the mind by observing……

Āsana_35

“It is possible to be aware of the state of the mind
by observing the body during an Āsana practice.”
From study notes with TKV Desikachar England 1992

Breathing should be done to have maximum effect on the spine……

puraka

“Breathing should be done to have maximum effect on the spine;
so start the inhale at the top of the lungs down,
with contracted abdomen to hold spine erect, offering from top to bottom.
Inhale from top to bottom makes sure that the spine is erect.
It was believed that breathing from the bottom to the top
would send the internal organs further down, which wasn’t considered healthy,
whereas breathing from the top to the bottom lifted the organs.
It also helps to work on the upper portion of the spine, which is a very sluggish area,
this type of breathing helps to create movement.”
– From study notes with TKV Desikachar England 1992

The breath becomes very short using Bandha……

maha_mudra_UB

“The breath becomes very short using Bandha.
It is necessary to have a very long exhale
before it is possible to work with them effectively.”
From study notes with TKV Desikachar England 1992

Rāga – Something in us needs to be satisfied.

raga

Rāga – Something in us needs to be satisfied.”
– TKV Desikachar 1997 on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 7

The mind is like a glass through which we perceive……

raga

“The mind is like a glass through which we perceive.
When it is painted there is Rāga.
Often the painting colours what we see.
It is the colour of the mind that decides the quality of perception.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 4