Consider the accumulative effect of Āsana and Pratikriyāsana……

bhujangasana2 pascimatanasana2

The viniyoga of Planning Principles Series Post 5

Vinyāsa Krama – Intelligent sequence building within Āsana, Mudrā and Prāṇāyāma

Specific Areas within Āsana, Mudrā and Prāṇāyāma practice to consider when planning:

1. Consider the overall purpose of practice (short/long term as appropriate)

  • Be clear about the goal and don’t try to reach too many goals in same practice
  • Keep the practice short and simple in intention and execution
  • Consider time of day and season both inside and out
  • Consider the accumulative effect of Āsana and Pratikriyāsana, in any one practice, and over time if being practiced regularly
  • Consider psychological, physiological and energetic aspects of practice.
  • Energetically we seek to expand, open upper part of the body, above diaphragm and close, reduce lower part of the body below the diaphragm

Saravāṅgāsana as a Mudrā – Part One

śīrṣāsana sarvāṅgāsana

There are certain Yoga postures that, depending on how they are approached and utilised, can function as either an Āsana or as a Mudrā.

This distinction in function can be generalised around whether the practitioner focuses on a static form with the focus on the development of the breath or on a dynamic form with the development of the variations of and in the posture.

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Modern Postural Yoga is most certainly one way in…….

bhekasanaustrasanae_p_r_k

Modern Postural Yoga is most certainly one way in.
However have we become trapped within this way in and thus can’t find the way out?

Bhāvana for the Breath in Āsana, Mudrā and Prāṇāyāma

nadi_sodana

Bhāvana for the Breath in Āsana, Mudrā and Prāṇāyāma

Mahā Mudrā is the bridge between Āsana and Prāṇāyāma.

maha_mudra_UB

Mahā Mudrā is the bridge between Āsana and Prāṇāyāma.

Whatever the specific aims or intended outcomes preserve the spirit of Yoga……

matsyendrasana

The viniyoga of Planning Principles Series Post 4

General Aims and Intended Outcomes around Practice Planning:

  • Be clear about the difference between aim(s) and intended outcome(s)
  • Distinguish between short-term and long-term aim(s) and intended outcome(s)
  • Appreciate how you can factor short term outcomes within long term aims
  • Avoid having too many aims or intended outcomes within one practice – keep it focused
  • Consider the five areas that practice can interact with – body, spine, breath, mind and emotions
  • Whatever the specific aims or intended outcomes preserve the spirit of Yoga

Make the practice shorter than the time available……

tiryang_mukha_eka_pada_pascimatanasana

The viniyoga of Planning Principles Series Post 3

Some General Guidelines:

  • Be clear about your purpose
  • Hold the reflection that practice is a means not an end
  • Remember ‘can’ is not the same as ‘should’
  • Ask yourself what is most effective
  • Plan for others as it applies to them, not as it applies to you
  • Consider its relationship to both short term and long term goals
  • Aim to cultivate a state of Sattva by reducing Tamas and stabilising Rajas
  • Keep it simple and consider how to spend more time in fewer Āsana
  • Make the practice shorter than the time available
  • Stick to the conventions of technique unless there is a reason to change them

In terms of practice planning the spirit of viniyoga is achieved……

jathara_parivrtti

The viniyoga of Planning Principles Series Post 2

In terms of practice planning the spirit of viniyoga is achieved by two broad means:

1. The selection of practice material that is appropriate to the needs and circumstances of the student.

2. The intelligent use of Vinyāsa Krama.

A collation of articles by Srivatsa Ramaswami around the teachings of T Krishnamacharya

Sri_TK_SR

A collation of articles by Srivatsa Ramaswami around the teachings of
T Krishnamacharya published in the ‘Indian Review’ circa 1979-1981.

View or Download this Series of Articles as a Single PDF Collation

List of Articles and Indications of Content:

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The first step in the practice of Āsana is the linking of the mind to movement and breath.

Āsana_25a

“The first step in the practice of Āsana is the linking of the mind to movement and breath.”
TKV Desikachar Madras December 26th 1988

The Westernisation of Yoga Āsana with its emphasis on structural focus……

Āsana_12

The Westernisation/Modernisation of Yoga Āsana with its increasing emphasis on structural postural focus according to the latest postural trends or particular flavour of the teachers style are prominent within the modern diversity which sees Yoga taught as only a Postural Practice and extending into many varied fields of exercise ranging from Aqua Yoga to Zen Yoga.

However there are questions that increasingly need to be asked within these approaches, especially where the boundaries around what is now generically grouped Yoga Āsana, blur into more generalised concepts of Yoga as hot exercise, cool exercise, medicalised exercise, meditative exercise, etc.

Otherwise in this simplification or reductionism of Yoga into Āsana, into modern postural exercise, or the current increasing mis-identification of postural exercise with Yoga, or even more tragic, with Yoga itself; the deeper purposeful principles within the relationship of the physical body, within the energetic body, within the psychic body, disappear in the search for perfect posture, perfect performance, perfect structural integrity, safe postural practice, etc.

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Kriyā without a knowledge of the individuals Doṣa is certainly going to do more harm than good

uddiyana_bandha

In addition, the use of Kriyā, without a knowledge of the individuals Doṣa is certainly going to do more harm than good.

Doṣa, briefly, means the constitution of the individual; some are fat, some tend to get a lot of colds, some have acid problems, some are nervous.

So different beings show different predominances in the Doṣa, and Kriyā must be considered in relation to these varying constitutions.”

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

He has very clear ideas on the Ṣat Kriyā and the Mudrā……

tadaka_mudra

T Krishnamacharya in Taḍāka Mudrā

“He has very clear ideas on the Ṣat Kriyā and the Mudrā. He believes that if a person does Āsana properly, with breathing, and has certain restraints regarding food, there is no need for these Kriyā.”

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

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Cale Vāte Calaṃ Cittam – As is the Breath so is the Psyche…….

Cale Vāte Calaṃ Cittam –
As is the breath so is the psyche.

The concept according to my teacher, oft quoted by Krishnamacharya, appears in the second verse of Chapter Two in the Haṭha Yoga Pradīpikā. It follows the opening verse which introduces Prāṇāyāma albeit with caveats around certain prerequisites.

Firstly establish an Āsana as a firm seat, not as simple as it seems given the predilection for action Āsana contrasting a difficulty in remaining seated, upright and still for half an hour.

Secondly the diet needs to be sorted in terms of being nourishing (not spartan or predominantly raw) and in appropriate quantities.

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Prāṇāyāma within Rāja Yoga and Haṭha Yoga

 

According to the Yoga Kuṇḍalinī Upaniṣad verse 1 – the activity of Citta or psyche has two causes, the movement of Vāsana or latent impressions and the movement of Vāyu or Prāṇa. If one of them is active so is the other, equally if one of them is influenced so is the other.

These are the primary foci within the principles and practices of Rāja Yoga around Citta and Haṭha Yoga around Prāṇa. In terms of primary practices common to both we have Prāṇāyāma.

However as with Āsana within either Rāja Yoga and Haṭha Yoga (a topic for a future post), there are different priorities in the viniyoga (application) of this common primary tool.

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The practice of Yoga is linked to the Nāḍī, or pulse……

jathara_parivrtti

“The practice of Yoga is linked to the Nāḍī, or pulse, so he always thinks that the pulse rate tells whether you have done a good practice or a bad practice.

He suggests that our life may be measured by the number of beats to the heart, and if somebody wants to live long and well, he has to reduce the rate of the heart beat. This is, of course, a little different from what the aerobic people say, who think you should boost your heart rate to 130/140.”

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

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