How long should a person stay in an Āsana?

maha_mudra

Question to T Krishnamacharya –

Q: How long should a person stay in an Āsana every day?
A: A person must stay in any one Āsana for at least fifteen minutes.
From the book ‘Śrī Krishnamacharya – The Pūrnācārya’, published by the KYM in 1997

Impurities in the heart cause mental agitation……

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

“Impurities in the heart cause mental agitation
– anxiety, lack of direction, anger.
This agitation, in turn, affects the body,
sometimes making it impossible to sit still even for a few minutes.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 31

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Sukha and Duḥkha cannot be there at the same time.

srimad_bhagavad_gita

Sukha and Duḥkha cannot be there at the same time.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Bhagavad Gītā Chapter Thirteen verse 21

(Refer also to Yoga Sūtra Chapter Three verse 9 for similar idea regarding the oscillation between being either in a state of being present or one of being distracted.)

Āsana for problems of the body and Prāṇāyāma for problems of the mind.

Āsana_19

‎”Use Āsana for problems of the body and
Prāṇāyāma for problems of the mind.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Practice Priorities

Chief among preparations for Dhyānam are proper diet and Prāṇāyāma

dhyana

“The ideal Dhyānam, which becomes easier with practice,
requires certain preparations to reduce the tendency of the mind to be distracted,
either by being jumpy and agitated, or dull and inert.
Chief among these preparations are proper diet and Prāṇāyāma.”
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2

Bhakti is the mark of a certain unique relationship……

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

“Serious practitioners of Yoga from Vedic times to the present day
emphasise that a clear mind is a prerequisite for Bhakti and
that it is only through Bhakti that the true nature of the Jīva is revealed.
Bhakti, singe minded and abiding, is the mark of a certain unique relationship
characterised by unshakeable faith, absolute trust and boundless devotion.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 30

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The state of Dhyānam is possible in a seated posture……

dhyanam

“The state of Dhyānam is possible in a seated posture.
If a person lies down, it may induce sleep.
If a person walks and moves about, he may be distracted by the objects around him.
This posture must be in a place where the mind will not be distracted.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Dhyānam

In order to experience Dhyānam, the sixth step, Dhāraṇā……

dhyanam

Dhyānam is the seventh Aṅga of the Aṣṭāṅga Yoga.
In order to experience Dhyānam, the sixth step,
Dhāraṇā, should have been practiced thoroughly.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Dhyānam

A person who is physically fit and who has been cleansed by the Agni of Dhyānam……

dhyanam

“A person who is physically fit and who has been cleansed by the Agni of Dhyānam
has no fear of sickness, disease, age or death.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Dhyānam

Mano Bandha is Dhyānam……

dhyanam

“Just as Mūla BandhaUḍḍīyāna BandhaJālandhara Bandha and Jivha Bandha are very important for Prāṇāyāma, Mano Bandha is very important for Dhyānam.
Mano Bandha is Dhyānam.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Dhyānam

Mudrā practice is important since it assists the 10 Prāṇa to move freely in the Nāḍī.

maha_mudra

Mudrā practice is important since it assists the ten Prāṇa to move freely in the Nāḍī.”
– T Krishnamacharya introducing Chapter Three in the Gheraṇḍa Saṃhitā

Prāṇāyāma must be properly instructed……

nadi_sodana

“Prāṇāyāma must be properly instructed.
The posture used, seated erect for example, is also important.
The duration and regularity in terms of time is also as important as proper instructions.”
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 34

Another term for Citta Vṛtti Nirodha is Dhyānam……

svastikasana

”Another term for Citta Vṛtti Nirodha is Dhyānam,
the state of mind in which an individual focuses on,
visualises and remains with Īśvara.”
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2

Citta Vṛtti Nirodha, the state of mind in which no distractions arise……

svastikasana

Citta Vṛtti Nirodha, the state of mind in which no distractions arise from undesirable external stimuli and the individual is able to choose an object of focus, ideally Īśvara.”
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2

There is a particular order of teaching Āsana……

nadi_sodana

“There is a particular order of teaching Āsana,
so also an order to follow when teaching Prāṇāyāma.”
– From T Krishnamacharya’s composition, the Yoga Rahasya Chapter One verse 89

For the householder the most important practice is Prāṇāyāma.

nadi_sodana

“For the householder, in line with Sthiti Krama,
the most important practice is Prāṇāyāma.”
– From T Krishnamacharya’s composition, the Yoga Rahasya