Pratikriyāsana, the idea of compensation and counterpose……

purvatasana

Krishnamacharya in Pūrvatāsana

“He has also given to us the concept of Pratikriyāsana,
the idea of compensation and counterpose.
Since all actions have some reactions,
we have to compensate for the reactions.”
TKV Desikachar from lectures on ‘The Yoga of T Krishnamacharya’,
given at Zinal, Switzerland 1981.

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Breathing is an essential tool in the practice of Āsana……

baddha_konasana

Most importantly, he also has gone to the final limits of the use of the breathing in postures. He found, and he insists, that breathing is an essential tool in the practice of Āsana.

Varying the way to breathe, varying the length of the breath, using different combinations of postures and breath, he has proven that it is possible to modify postures to meet the requirements of individuals.

For him, breathing is like the steering wheel of a car.”

– TKV Desikachar from lectures on ‘The Yoga of T Krishnamacharya’, given at Zinal, Switzerland 1981.

The person who taught me how to vary postures……

Āsana_18a

The person who taught me how to vary postures, to bend the legs, to turn the neck, all the simple and complicated variations, as necessary, is Krishnamacharya. It is important to vary each posture according to the individuals requirements.

Further, he also introduced the use of other aids or supports, so that the person gets the benefit of a posture through other means when he is not able to do the posture itself. This can involve sitting on a chair, using a roll, using supports, etc., the use of other means to help a person achieve certain results.”

– TKV Desikachar from lectures on ‘The Yoga of T Krishnamacharya’, given at Zinal, Switzerland 1981.

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Krishnamacharya practices Yoga Āsana and Prāṇāyāma every day……

sirsasana

Let us look at his usual day. Whether you believe it or not, this old man gets up at one o’clock in the morning. Anybody is welcome to wait on the verandah and see that he gets up at one o’clock in the morning. And one o’clock in the morning is something for us, I mean it is like a terror to get up at one o’clock, and he is 93. He prepares his own tea and then he practices.

I did not believe that, until I saw, because he is staying with me, that he practices Yoga Āsana and Prāṇāyāma every day. In fact more than once every day, including headstand and Padmāsana, I am mentioning Padmāsana you see, because we are all sitting on chairs.

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Is belief in God a must for the success of Dhyāna?

dhyana

“Is belief in God a must for the success of Dhyāna?”
TKV Desikachar Madras December 19th 1988

The Hindu Veda classify Dhyāna into three major but not water-tight divisions……

garuda

“The Hindu Veda classify Dhyāna into three major but not water-tight divisions:

1. Karma – actions, the details, precise actions and results of rituals, such as the how and where you sit; considered most important for  Dhyāna.

2. Jñāna – inquiry, into anything from the lowest to the highest, such as God, myself, Prāṇa, Brahma, etc; recognising absolutely one object of inquiry, not many.

3. Bhakti – trying to connect myself with the highest force; to accept the absolute power of God – that he is Master and Teacher, the only reality.

Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtra, the definitive text on Yoga, classifies Dhyāna in different yet similar terms.”

TKV Desikachar Madras December 20th 1988

Patañjali’s view is close to that of the Veda, but there are significant differences……

patanjali-1

Patañjali’s view is close to that of the Veda,
but there are significant differences such that the highest teaching of the Veda,
which is for this life and beyond this life,
cannot accept the teachings of Yoga which are for this life only.

So Hinduism rejects Yoga,
especially since Yoga does not insist on faith or belief in God.
But Hindus, so conditioned to being Hindu,
do Yoga as Hindus and therefore act in ways not consistent with Yoga teaching.”
TKV Desikachar Madras December 20th 1988

In the Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two Patañjali introduces the term Kriyā Yoga……

kriyayoga

“In the Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 1 Patañjali introduces the term Kriyā Yoga,
a Yoga that anyone can practice,
as distinct from the Yoga practiced by those who devote themselves totally to Yoga,
those whose only concern in life is too reach the highest.”
TKV Desikachar Madras December 20th 1988

I don’t think anybody can identify ‘Krishnamacharya’s style’…..

tkv_tk_1980

“He has developed so much in his teaching, made so many changes,
that I don’t think anybody can identify ‘Krishnamacharya’s style’.
One person will say one thing, and a few minutes later somebody else will say,
no, no, this is what he taught me.
So fortunately it solved the problem of the ‘Krishnamacharya style’,
unless you are unwilling to see, of course.”
– TKV Desikachar from lectures on ‘The Yoga of T Krishnamacharya’,
given at Zinal, Switzerland 1981.

It is important that we do not start Yoga by first doing Ahiṃsā……

TKV_USA

“It is important that we do not start Yoga by first doing Ahiṃsā and when that is mastered, do Satya, etc.
As we progress, seeking to better ourselves by any means, very gradually these things happen.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Eight Page 111

Religiousness in Yoga Study Guide: Chapter Seven 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 deeper linking with the teachings within these lectures and Q & A sessions.

Chapter Seven: Improvisation in Āsana – Pages 91-106

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The principle is we must bring action to the area of the body we wish to improve……

ardha_utkatasanavirabharasana

“Some standing postures develop the legs, such as Ardha Utkaṭāsana (half squat).
This posture is like weight lifting.
Other postures like Vīrabhadrāsana (standing,
bending backward with one knee bent) will also help.
The principle is we must bring action to the area of the body we wish to improve.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Seven Page 106-7

Religiousness in Yoga Study Guide: Chapter Six Theory

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.

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 Six Theory: Puruṣa and Prakṛti – Pages 81-90

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When there is clarity, there is silence……

Desikachar_1999_1
“When there is clarity, there is silence.
When there is intellectual clarity we are happy,
we are pleased but this might not last.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Six Page 90

There is no death for the Puruṣa because there is no change for it……

purusa

“There is no death for the Puruṣa
because there is no change for it,
and what is death but change.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Six Page 87

When the mind thinks it is seeing rather than the Puruṣa there is Avidyā

Desikachar_1999_1
“When the mind thinks it is seeing rather than the Puruṣa there is Avidyā,
and this is the beginning of Duḥkha.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Six Page 85

The mind is an accumulation of actions and memories of actions……

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House
“The mind is an accumulation of actions and memories of actions.
This conditions us to act as we have been acting.
In doing so, we cannot detect that things are changing and therefore,
our actions might go wrong.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Six Page 85

We are always experiencing Duḥkha even though some of us might not be seeking clarity.

duhkha_5

“We are always experiencing Duḥkha
even though some of us might not be seeking clarity.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Five Page 79

The only Duḥkha that matters is that which is about to come.

duhkha_5

“The only Duḥkha that matters is that which is about to come.
Things that have happened or are happening must be accepted.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Five Page 74

Religiousness in Yoga Study Guide: Chapter Five Theory

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 Five Theory: Duḥkha and the Concept of Saṃskāra – Pages 69-79

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When somebody says ‘this doesn’t bother me’, they are already bothered.

“When somebody says ‘this doesn’t bother me’, they are already bothered.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Five Page 79

How can we distinguish the actual state of Dhyāna from infatuation……

d_paris_1999

Question by TKV:
“How can we distinguish the actual state of Dhyāna
from infatuation with an object that pleases and fills the mind?”
TKV Desikachar Madras December 24th 1988

Religiousness in Yoga Study Guide: Chapter Four 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 Four Practice: Practice Planning – Pages 45-68

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When a person is free, it means that things outside of himself are not as disturbing

“There is a human state called Kaivalya. That is, a person is free.
When a person is free, it means that things outside of himself are not as disturbing as they were in the past.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Three Page 42

When we see the truth, when we reach a point that is higher than ourselves……

“When we see the truth, when we reach a point that is higher than ourselves,
there is a deep satisfaction.
It is not the emotional satisfaction that we get from looking at a beautiful object,
but a satisfaction deep within us that is without emotion or sentiment.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Three Page 32