Yoga Postures in Practice – A series on Āsana by Paul Part 3 Uttānāsana

Part Three – Moving from our Spine with Uttānāsana

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This is the third in a series of articles presenting the core principles for Āsana practice as taught to me through many years of personal lessons in India with my teacher TKV Desikachar.

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Yoga Postures in Practice – A series on Āsana by Paul Part 2 Tāḍāsana

Part Two – Growing from our Roots with Tāḍāsana

This is the second in a series of articles presenting the core principles for āsana practice as taught to me through many years of personal lessons in India with my teacher TKV Desikachar.

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Yoga is not an escape from life but an approach to living.

Yoga is not an escape from life but an approach to living.

‎”Yoga is not an escape from life but an approach to living.”
TKV Desikachar England 1976

We cannot say that this Āsana or this Prāṇāyāma can be given……

janu_sirsasana

“We cannot say that this Āsana or this Prāṇāyāma can be given for this disease.”
– T Krishnamacharya 1984

If a person can’t exhale from the lower abdomen then you can be sure……

baddha_konasana

‎”If a person can’t exhale from the lower abdomen
then you can be sure their Mūla is gone.”
– T Krishnamacharya

Reflections on TKV Desikachar’s Teaching and Svatantra……

As his pupil my teacher worked at guiding me towards becoming increasingly independent in developing and refining more and more my personal practice skills so I became less and less dependent on him being the vehicle for if, when, where, what and how well I practice.

I have always respected this aspect of his 121 teaching in that, like a parent with a child, he progressively facilitated my learning to enable me to grow into an intelligently consistent, situation adaptive and yet long term developmental self-practice, initially through, then much more than just Āsana.

Especially as, like any art that we wish to become accomplished in, this self-skill was cultivated primarily within my home environment with all its hues and moods that inevitably influence, or are driven by deeper motivations within our current intentions and situation realities.

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Yoga Postures in Practice – A series on Āsana by Paul Part 1 Samasthiti

Part One – Moving into our Bodies with Samasthiti.

This is the first in a series of articles presenting the core principles for āsana practice as taught to me over many years of personal lessons in India with my teacher TKV Desikachar.

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Begin your practice from where you are……

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

“Begin your practice from where you are,
finish your practice where you are going.”
TKV Desikachar Switzerland 1978

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Whether or not I like it, I should know where I am……

Whether or not I like it, I should know where I am

“Whether or not I like it, I should know where I am.
Otherwise we try to draw the line from where we are not to where we want to be.
Therefore the first point must be understood and then we can go to the next point.”
– TKV Desikachar France August 1983

Sometimes we try to transmit what we cherish……

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“Sometimes we try to transmit what we cherish.
This is not viniyoga.”
– TKV Desikachar France August 1983

We never know when we are going to die……

We never know when we are going to die.

“We never know when we are going to die.
So we must prepare for death.
Because at the moment of death you become what you think.”
– TKV Desikachar France 1983

Manasika Sādhana – Mind has a part to play……

Manasika Sādhana – Mind has a part to play.

Manasika Sādhana
Mind has a part to play.
We can either direct or restrain.
Mind mentioned a lot in Yoga texts.
i.e. Attitude of Saṃtoṣa – mental contentment also a Sādhana.

Also Bhāvana.
Also Yama and Niyama.
When Yama and Niyama accomplished they become Siddhi.

Svādhyāya example of Sādhana – Study to know something about oneself or others.
Adhyayayana – To repeat exactly what is said by your teacher.
Based on three steps:
Śravaṇam – Listen
Mananam – Reflect
Nidhidhyāsanam – Go into what the teachers says.

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Śarīrika Sādhana – Keeping the body fit and well……

Śarīrika Sādhana - Keeping the body fit and well

“Śarīrika Sādhana – Keeping the body fit and well.
In the language of Patañjali Āsana is mostly Śarīrika Sādhana.”
– TKV Desikachar France August 1983

Yoga is trying to do something for oneself.

Yoga is trying to do something for oneself

‎”Yoga is trying to do something for oneself.”
TKV Desikachar England 1976

The traditional model, Śikṣaṇa, for Yoga was to stay in a posture……

The traditional model, Śikṣaṇa, for Yoga was to stay in a posture

“The traditional model, Śikṣaṇa, for Yoga was to stay in a posture,
Krishnamacharya introduced movement in the postures.”
From study notes with TKV Desikachar England 1992

What is the relationship between Yoga and Āyurveda?

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Question to TKV Desikachar:
What is the relationship between Yoga and Āyurveda?

TKV Desikachar Response:
First of all, we believe that the same master gave us Āyurveda and Yoga: Patañjali. We worship Patañjali remembering him as the person who gave us Āyurveda for the body and Yoga for the mind.

Body and mind are so interlinked that you cannot really separate them. Since Āyurveda is a complete system, they talk also about Yoga. Yoga is defined in Āyurveda. And the language of Yoga is such that a person cannot understand the Yoga texts without understanding the concepts of Āyurveda.

At least in theory, these sciences go very well together. However, in India, the treatment given to Yoga in the Āyurveda University is very scarce, it is not even worth mentioning. So, in reality, Āyurveda people are not familiar with Yoga as much as they should be. The only exception was my father. He knew both, that is why he was able to mix both systems, according to the need.

“What Patañjali gave for the mind through Yoga,
he gave for the body through Āyurveda.”

What I would say is, what Patañjali gave for the mind through Yoga, he gave for the body through Āyurveda.

– Extract from an interview in the Journal Viniyoga Italia on Yoga and Well Being.

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