Its potentially complex these days when something taught……

Its potentially complex these days when something taught to an individual student,
in a personalised, age and situation relevant context;
within a specific environment and epoch;
becomes the ‘gold’ standard for groups of students to follow ‘faithfully’,
through respecting every inch of the formal nuances.

Equally, its potentially complex these days when something taught to a group of students,
in a generalised, open aged and multi-need context;
within a non-specific trans-national environment and epoch;
becomes the ‘gold’ standard for individual students to follow ‘faithfully’,
through respecting every inch of the formal nuances.

Our relationship with Food can be too little, too much, or wrong…..

annam

“Our relationship with Food can be too little, too much, or wrong.
According to Āyurveda, even the best food eaten in the wrong amount,
or at the wrong time, or with the wrong attitude
will fail to nourish and even disturb the system.
The same could be said for Yoga Practice.”

Some people use Yoga to move away from something undesirable……

abhava

“Some people use Yoga (or even training for a career as a Yoga Teacher),
to move away from something undesirable for, or in their lives (Abhāva).
Others use Yoga to move towards something desirable (Bhāva) for, or in their lives.
Either can be positive, however good to be clear about our motives,
especially if our relationship with that which we wanted to move away from,
or that which we wanted to move towards,
changes along the way.”

Vāsanā is an unconscious motivation directed towards……

vasana

Vāsanā is an unconscious motivation directed towards
satisfying a physiological or psychological need.”
Commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Four verse 8

Haṭha Yoga is about Nāḍī Śodhana…….

sodhana

Haṭha Yoga is about Nāḍī Śodhana.
Rāja Yoga is about Citta Śodhana.

A day without Gāyatrī is like a day without Sun.

gayatri4

A day without Gāyatrī is like a day without Sun.

Sūtra Mālā – A Thread of Pearls on Yoga Chapter One verses 1-4

Patanjali_B_and_W

Chapter One Samādhi Pādaḥ

First Theme Nirodha or Containment verses 1-4

verse 1
Now,
Follow the Teachings of Yoga.

verse 2
Yoga arises from the containment of,
Our propensity to fluctuate.

verse 3
From this state,
Clarity of being,
As vision is from the source of perception.

verse 4
At all other times,
We identify with the fluctuations.

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Defining our relationship with awareness is an inquiry……

na iti na iti

“na iti na iti – not this, not this”
Defining our relationship with awareness,
is an inquiry into re-defining our relationship with matter.
– Bṛhad Āraṇyaka Upaniṣat II.3.6

What’s important is not to find the solution itself……

tat_tvam_asi

“What’s important is not to find the solution itself,
but to identify the mystery,
and to continuously touch it and draw strength from it.”
– Paul Harvey Interview Israel 2006

The heart of Yoga is the way in which a profound change is effected…..

Āsana_5_web

The heart of Yoga is the way in which a profound change is effected on the way we view our environment.
In other words arising out of the various complementary practices of Yoga,
the way we see the world and its processes,
is enriched by a sensitivity to change and understanding of impermanence.
Further, the different practices are not separate compartments,
they are linked through the principles underpinning them.
For example, a meditative attitude in the practice of postures,
complements a stable posture in the practice of seated meditation.

The Das Indriya or ten senses of experience and action……

dhyanam

The Das Indriya or ten senses of experience and action,
whilst seen as belonging to the Bāhya Aṅga or five external limbs
in the eight limb Aṣṭa Aṅga Yoga of Patañjali,
are also the gateway to the Antar Aṅga or three internal limbs.

The Ten Senses or Das Indriya are the gateway between…….

samkhya

The ten senses or Das Indriya are the gateway between the inner and the outer,
in the twin roads of this phenomena we call experience or action.

The five senses that transport experience from the outer to the inner
are called the Jñāna Indriya, or the senses through which we receive the world.

The five senses that transport actions from the the inner to the outer
are called the Karma Indriya, or the senses through which we put out into the world.

The co-ordinator of this remarkable interface is known as Manas.
The identifier in this remarkable process is known as Ahaṃkāra.
The discerner in this remarkable trinity is known as Buddhi.
The observer in this remarkable play of experience and action is known as Cit or Puruṣa.

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Reflection on Saṃkalpa – The Art of Volition……

samkalpa

“Yesterdays Smṛti can become Todays Saṃskāra,
without Tomorrows Saṃkalpa being re-affirmed,
through Todays Sādhana each and every day.”
– Reflection on Saṃkalpa – The Art of Volition

Yoga Cikitsā is about Respecting the Problem and Treating the Person

Yoga Cikitsā is about Respecting the Problem and Treating the Person

Yoga Cikitsā is about
Respecting the Problem and Treating the Person
Rather than
Respecting the Person and Treating the Problem

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What is and isn’t called Yoga?

practice_yoga copy

I find a curious paradox emerging between those who want to use the word Yoga to promote what,
by all accounts, isn’t really Yoga and those who want to find another name for Yoga to promote what,
by all accounts, is really Yoga.

Throughout Krishnamacharya’s teaching life he remained focused on……

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

Throughout Krishnamacharya’s teaching life he remained focused on the priorities of
seeing the who as the starting point before considering the what.

Freedom of movement within the Annamaya does not presume……

anna_prana_maya
Freedom of movement within the Annamaya
does not presume freedom of movement within the Prāṇamaya.

Is Yoga whatever you want it to be?

mainimagelondontest-440x435

A recent flier for the leading promoters of Yoga Shows, as in Dog, Caravan or Car Shows, in the UK has the header that, amongst the usual stuff around ‘a great way to get into shape’, ‘something I do for fun’, ‘a great way to start the day’, ‘the best way to relax after a long working day’, the statement………

‘Yoga is…… whatever you want it to be’.

Apart from the usual aggrandising of Āsana to Yoga, I would ask the questions:

Is Yoga whatever you want it to be?

Is this where the pursuit of this noble Mārga is headed in the world today?

Yoga is not for Everybody……

duhkha

Even though we might say Āsana is for Every Body,
we can’t say Yoga is for Everybody.

The more I chant the more I remember what my teacher taught me.

ansuyadevi_1

Temple Chanting in Ansuyadevi on Pañca Kedar

“The more I chant the more I remember what my teacher taught me.”

Krishnamacharya’s strength was not just in contexting ancient Yoga teachings……

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

I feel Krishnamacharya’s strength was not just in contexting ancient Yoga teachings or creating modern postural synthesises utilising Traditional Indian and Contemporary Western resources,
but in the viniyoga or application of Yoga to the individual student

I feel this was his greatest strength and finest grace with his potential to empower individual students into profound experiences of what Yoga is within and beyond the Pañca Maya.

viniyoga is not a term that can be applied to group class teaching.

viniyoga

viniyoga is not a term that can be applied to group class teaching.”

Within the effort of trying to remain there not clinging to what arises……

Abhyāsa and Vairāgya
Within the effort of trying to remain there not clinging to what arises within the effort of trying to remain there not clinging to what arises within the effort of trying to remain there not clinging to what arises within the effort of trying to remain there not……..
abhyāsa vairāgyābhyāṃ tat nirodhaḥ
“By both practice and dispassion that contained.”
Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 12

Natures Cakra Wheel – The Five Elements in Bloom

IMG_1541The Sound of the Chimes cools the Ears
The Touch of the Breeze delights the Skin
The Sight of Flowers softens the Eyes
The Taste of Summer fills the Mouth
The Smell of Jasmin flares the Nostrils

I wonder what kind of breathing you recommend in general?

Email Question:

“I wonder what kind of breathing you recommend in general,
the one that Desikachar recommends, or other?”

Email Response:

“What could be recommended would depend on the person, their current situation and future potential.
This means looking at many aspects of their life and how they choose to live it.
Of course there are ideals or goals however, more importantly, there are also starting points.
It seems that Yoga today highlights the former and tends to ignore the latter.
Sadly without the latter in place, the potential of the former is compromised.
This is the teaching of TKV and TK.”

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