My understanding of Prāṇāyāma is that the Kumbhaka should be an aid……

kumbhaka

“My understanding of Prāṇāyāma is that the Kumbhaka should be an aid.
The aim is to get a feeling difficult to put into words, but different from normal states.
The question is how much does Kumbhaka play a part in this?
So Investigate the use of Kumbhaka and only use it when it helps you be with the breath.”
TKV Desikachar Switzerland 1978

During the practice of Āsana one must constantly use Ujjāyī……

“During the practice of Āsana one must constantly engage
in regulating the exhale, inhale and retention.
Ujjāyī is to be smooth and slow,
according to the strength or capability of the student.”
– From T Krishnamacharya’s composition,
The Yoga Rahasya Chapter One verse 33

Without Āsana, Prāṇāyāma cannot become accomplished……

“Without Āsana,
Prāṇāyāma cannot become accomplished.
Without containing Prāna,
the mind cannot achieve steadiness.”
– From T Krishnamacharya’s composition,
The Yoga Rahasya Chapter One verse 45

Without mastering Āsana and regulating the inhale and exhale in Āsana……

“Without mastering Āsana and
regulating the inhale and exhale in Āsana,
the Āsana will not produce the desired fruits.”
From T Krishnamacharya’s composition, the Yoga Rahasya

When the body is disordered………….

“When the body is disordered,
make use of the body to reduce.
When thought is agitated,
make use of Prāṇāyāma to reduce.”
– From T Krishnamacharya’s composition,
The Yoga Rahasya Chapter Four verse 31

Uḍḍīyāna Bandha is a pre-requisite for the other two Bandha…….

Uḍḍīyāna Bandha is a pre-requisite for the other two Bandha, Jālandhara and Mūla.”
– From T Krishnamacharya’s composition, The Yoga Rahasya Chapter One verse 67

Āsana is not just another form of exercise……

Āsana_5_web

In exploring the principles that underpin the practice of Āsana the first idea to consider is that our practice is not just another form of exercise. Yoga Āsana are more than just physical postures or exercises to stretch and tone the body, or enhance our sense of personalised well-being. From within its Haṭha roots the concern of Yoga is our relationship with the force which is behind our movements and its source that initiates our every action.

Further the different practice elements that constitute a mature Yoga practice are not separate compartments. They are linked through the principles underpinning them. For example a respiratory competence learnt through the practice of Āsana facilitates progress within the seated practice of Prāṇāyāma. An enduring stable posture learnt through the practice of Prāṇāyāma supports the cultivation the meditative attitude inherent in progress towards Dhyāna or meditation.

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The practice which is Śodhana for the Antar Aṅga is Antaraṅga Sādhana.

“The practice which is Śodhana for the Antar Aṅga
is Antaraṅga Sādhana.”
– T Krishnamacharya introduction to Yoga Sūtra Chapter Three

Dhyāna is an activity of a mind dominated by Sattva linked to Ātma…….

dhyana

Dhyānam is an activity of a mind
dominated by Sattva linked to Ātma.
So Ātma and Sattva required for Dhyānam to occur.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Three verse 2

If you are not in a hurry you will enjoy the process.

“If you are not in a hurry
you will enjoy the process.”
– TKV Desikachar

The Art of Yoga Sūtra Chanting – 2018 Module Two Practice Course

The Art of Yoga Sūtra Chanting Course Module Two
Yoga Sūtra Chanting Intensive over Two Weekends
January 27/28th 2018 and April 28/29th 2018

The 2018 Art of Yoga Sūtra Chanting Module Two Course is limited to a maximum of five students to allow for a personalised approach and in-depth transmission between teacher and student.

Based in the Cotswolds, it is intended for those students, having completed 
a Sounding and Chanting Module One Workshop, wish to explore in-depth the primary principles and teachings from T Krishnamacharya and TKV Desikachar teachings on Yoga Sūtra Chanting and how it can inspire and guide our personal Chanting Sādhana or where relevant, our professional work in these areas for others.

Comprising two weekend workshops over three months, each meeting offers in-depth intensive Yoga Sūtra Chanting practice, building on the theory and practice principles taught within the Sounding and Chanting Module One Workshop.

The Art of Yoga Sūtra Chanting Module Two Course is offered for interested students from any walk of life, or Yoga teachers and trainee teachers from any Yoga background, wanting an in-depth training to learn the art of Yoga Sūtra Chanting, though prior completion of an Sounding and Chanting Module One Workshop is necessary.

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Navaratri or the Nine Nights of Durgā as a time for Mantra Sādhana

tri_devi_470

The nine-night long Navaratri, an important occasion in India, is celebrated as a time to honour the Divine Feminine, especially the Goddess Durgā within the Indian tradition. It will commence today Thursday 21st September 2017, the first day of the month of Aśvin, according to the Hindu calendar. During this time the primary focus is Durgā manifesting through three primary aspects of the Divine Feminine.

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Yoga regards the mind principally, this is absolutely universal…….

“I unintentionally mixed the Vedic tradition,
teaching about God’s pre-eminence,
with Yoga, whose goal and intention are different.
Yoga regards the mind principally, this is absolutely universal.

In the Yoga system, Īśvara, the principle of perfection,
is nothing but a means to attain mental clarity,
and still, it is a means among others!

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The Āsana in which you sit can alter the characteristics of the breath.

“The Āsana in which you sit can alter the characteristics of the breath.”
– TKV Desikachar 1980

This is what Patañjali says in that everything must be given step by step…..

viniyoga

“This is what Patañjali says in that everything must be given step by step.
Yoga Sūtra Chapter Three verse 6 reflects this idea.”
– TKV Desikachar France August 1983

An example of a Secondary Yoga Practice, primarily for early evening use.

An example of a Secondary Yoga Practice.

This 25′ practice is intended mainly for post-work early evening use. It was designed for a student as a secondary practice to complement their existing pre-work early morning practice.

The context within which it sits is that they have an early morning Āsana and Prāṇāyāma practice before leaving for work. Getting to work involves 10′ walking to catch a train, often standing during the train journey and then walking a further 10-15′ after getting off.

This framework also includes a demanding decision making and team management working environment, often involving many meetings during a typical day.

Hence this example of a secondary evening practice does not involve standing Āsana, nor emphasis on any demanding lying, inverted or back bend Āsana. Relevent aspects of these characteristics being accessed in the morning along with a Prāṇāyāma practice.

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108 Postural Practice Pointers – 10 – Forward Bends are Back Stretches

 

Postural Practice Pointer 10 – Forward bends are Paścimatāna Āsana or Back Stretches

Forward Bends are back stretching Āsana in terms of Bhāvana.
Thus in Paścimatāna Āsana one of the foci is on avoiding pushing
from the lower back as you bend forward.
Thus move forward from the abdominal area by drawing it back,
to encourage the lower back to respond by lengthening.
If we push from the lower back in forward bends,
such as Paścimatānāsana, it can tighten this area,
thus inhibiting the focus on the quality of the Apāna Lakṣaṇa,
as well as transferring stress to the sacrum, hips and hamstrings.

Example of a Vinyāsa Krama around Jaṭhara Parivṛtti

An example of a Vinyāsa Krama around Jaṭhara Parivṛtti exploring:

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The quality of our breath expresses our inner feelings.

“The quality of our breath expresses our inner feelings.”
– TKV Desikachar

Do not make a style or fashion out of Kumbhaka……

kumbhaka

“Do not make a style or fashion out of Kumbhaka.
Only use it if it helps you feel the breath and
what is happening inside the body.”
TKV Desikachar Switzerland 1978

The ancient people introduced holding of the breath to stop…..

“The ancient people introduced holding of the breath
to stop, to quieten the mind,
considered as linked to the movement of Vāta.”
– TKV Desikachar December 1987

As a Yoga therapist, focus on increasing people’s quality of life……

“As a Yoga therapist,
focus on increasing people’s quality of life,
not on curing diseases.”
– TKV Desikachar

My own father, Krishnamacharya, started using Yoga for sickness…….

“My own father, Krishnamacharya,
started using Yoga for sickness,
even before his journey to Tibet.”
– TKV Desikachar

Five Musings around Śīrṣāsana……

sirsasana

Five questions my teacher taught me that need to be ‘posed’,
for or to any student wishing to practice Śīrṣāsana,
or even for and to any teacher wishing to teach Śīrṣāsana,
whatever the situation.

1. Who is going to practice it?
2. Why do they wish to use it?
3. When are they going to practice it?
4. How are they going to get in and out of it?
5. What do they need to have done to verify their capability?

Yoga serves the individual……..

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House

“Yoga serves the individual,
and does so through inviting transformation,
rather than by giving information.”
– TKV Desikachar