A sample Parivṛtti and Paścimatāna Themed Group Practice

Āsana_69

Attached as a PDF is a sample group class practice offered to a student as an example of theming two complementary Āsana groupings, that of Parivṛtti and Paścimatāna.

These complementary Lakṣaṇa, or characteristics, can be expanded from either:

  • An Annamaya or structural viewpoint, in terms of the work on such as the spine and the legs.
  • Or from a Prāṇamaya or energetic viewpoint in terms of the effect on Agni, Apāna and Vāta.
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How you bring about the length of the breath affects Āsana…..

Āsana_26

“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

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

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

Variations of Āsana to make Navāsana more accessible……

navasana

Practice Study Question around Āsana Planning Theory:
Identify a minimum of two variations of preparatory Āsana
which can be used to make Navāsana more accessible.

To Download or View this Question as a PDF Study Sheet

We can learn how we can fine tune our practice according to our basic nature…

 Āsana_16a

One of the potentials in the Haṭha Yoga teachings of Krishnamacharya and Desikachar is the understanding around the viniyoga or application of Bṛṃhaṇa Kriyā and Laṅghana Kriyā in terms of their potential to enhance sensory stimulation or to diminish sensory stimulation.

Both approaches can be used where appropriate to impact on how we are stimulated by the world through the senses and thus be more drawn to interact with it in a more extravert way, or how our sensory stimulation is quietened and thus we are more easily able to withdraw from the activities of the senses.

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For standing Āsana it is not necessary to close the eyes…..

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“For standing Āsana it is not necessary to close the eyes.
As standing Āsana are usually at the beginning of a practice,
it can sometimes be distracting to close the eyes,
because of all the visual activity proceeding the practice.
Having the eyes open can also stop you becoming unbalanced as you move.
The eyes can be useful for checking alignment within dynamic movements.
You may not observe this with the eyes closed.
However, the attention with the eyes open should be passive and aware.”
– TKV Desikachar 1980

Where are we starting from?……

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“We must consider the direction of one’s Āsana Practice.
Where are we starting from?
Where are we going to?
Is this journey of Pariṇāma working with immediate needs in mind?
Is this journey of Pariṇāma working with long term needs in mind?
Is this journey of Pariṇāma trying to integrate both immediate needs and long term needs?”
– TKV Desikachar 1980

What are the factors to consider in our teaching?

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“What are the factors to consider in our teaching?
At least they should be made known to the student.
Deha Bheda – tall, fat, lean, scoliosis, straight back.
Sādhana according to the physical characteristics.
Something which must be fed, otherwise it will destroy.
For example lumbar lordosis and deep back bends could cause problems.”
– TKV Desikachar France 1983

Vinyāsa Krama is pronounced according to its meaning as……

Āsana_24b

Vinyāsa Krama is pronounced according to its meaning as Vi-Nyāsa Krama or special placing in a sequence of steps. It is the arranging of the various postures or breathing patterns in an intelligent sequence, respecting the variables in the student and the purpose of the practice.

What might be helpful to consider is one of the ways Desikachar presented this teaching to me within our lessons in that the viniyoga of Vinyāsa Krama is comparable to the notion of climbing steps. Here intelligent application means to climb each step by bringing both feet onto the same step before taking the next one. In other words ensure we are grounded and stable before we take another step.

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According to Patañjali even when you have something in front of you……

uparaga

“According to Patañjali,
even when you have something in front of you,
you may not see it.
Even when you don’t have something in front of you,
but you want to see it,
you will see it.
Everything depends on YOU.”
TKV Desikachar Madras 1988

Students need to be aware of which parts of the body to……

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“Students need to be aware of which parts of the body to bring attention to,
without the teachers hands to remind them;
so by reminding them in another posture,
they will be aware of which part to move.”
From study notes with TKV Desikachar England 1992

The request for learning must come from the aspirant……

Desikachar_PH_2

“The request for learning must come from the aspirant.
Only then can be the process be step by step.
First one question which is understood, then the next.
For example Annam is Brahma,
then Prāṇa is Brahma.
This was the traditional approach by the aspirant.”
– TKV Desikachar France 1983

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.

“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 wise person should cross by the boat of Mantra…..

mantra

“Holding the body steady, with the three (upper parts, chest, neck, head) erect,
causing the senses and the mind to enter the heart,
the wise person should cross by the boat of Mantra,
all the fear bringing streams of the mind.”
– Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad Chapter 2 verse 8

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

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“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

Guidelines for exploring the Breath in Āsana Mudrā and Prāṇāyāma

Explore how the Breath can:

  • Stimulate Prone Backbend Āsana.

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

Even Yogis have some reaction to what is Yoga.

yoga

“Even Yogis have some reaction to what is Yoga.”
TKV Desikachar France 1983

The art of viniyoga presumes that the five application principles of……

viniyoga

The art of viniyoga presumes that
the five application principles of
1. What is being taught,
2. Why it is being taught,
3. When it is being taught
4. Where it is being taught and especially
5. How it is being taught,
are personally applicable and
socially relevant to
Who is being taught.