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

Often Dhyāna fails because one is not able to reach the first stage……

“Often Dhyāna fails because one is not able to reach the first stage,
the Pūrva Aṅga.
Often one wants to go to the second stage
without going through the first one,
and that is not possible.”
TKV Desikachar Madras December 19th 1988

Yama – How we relate, how we face the society we are part of……

yama

Yama – How we relate, how we face the society we are part of.
How we link ourselves to others in speech, action, confidence.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 30

Can these four Yoga Aṅga be practiced by everyone at every stage of life?

anga

“Can these four Yoga AṅgaYama, Niyama, Āsana, Prāṇāyāma
– be practiced by everyone at every stage of life?
How often and how long should one practice?
How can we adapt our practice to changing circumstances?
These questions and others like them must be answered by a competent teacher,
according to each student’s individual circumstances.”
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 30

To experience Āsana is to meld the Mastery of outer Stillness to the……

Āsana_16

To experience Āsana is
to meld the Mastery of outer Stillness to the world
into the Mystery of inner Openness to the beyond.
– Reflections on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 46

All models for meditation have a preliminary step, Pūrva Aṅga……

dhyana
“All models for meditation have a preliminary step, Pūrva Aṅga,
in which one does things which lead to a situation where Dhyāna may be possible.
Dhyāna, then, the ability to pursue and fix a question,
also requires Pūrva Aṅga, preparation.”

“Proper preparation can involve eliminating divisive forces and
making certain the person is ready for the work.”

“Not everyone needs Pūrva Aṅga.
Some extraordinary people, because of merits in the past,
do not need this preparation. Quite a few examples exist.
However, if we try to emulate them we are in trouble.”

“We must recognise the necessity of preparation,
the need to work so we can come to a level where we are able to fix the question.”

“Thus, the ability to fix the question is a requisite for Dhyāna.
One who cannot is not ready for meditation.”

“One need not fix the question first.
Instead, one must do the preliminary preparation.
If that is done properly, one does not have to decide: the question will come.
You just rise to the level where questioning is possible.”

“Sometimes, a question may arise when you are not ready.
How to reach the question requires preliminaries,
for there must be a freshness in your approach.
If the approach is habitual, the response will be wrong.”

“When we equip ourselves better,
we will know the right question.
Only then can we say,
‘It is MY question’.”

TKV Desikachar Madras December 19th 1988

How do we know that the Āsana has served its purpose?……

Āsana_24b

“How do we know that the Āsana  has served its purpose?”
From study notes with TKV Desikachar England 1992

The arrangement of Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two involves four components….

Patanjali_3

“The arrangement of Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two involves four components:
1. Duḥkha
What is it that I want to avoid?
2. Avidyā/Saṃyoga
Association or from where has this come?
3. Kaivalya/Viveka
Where should we be in order to be free from this association?
4. Viveka/Aṣṭāṅga
What is the way?
What is the discipline that will give Viveka,
not just for a moment, but there all the time?
This is the place of Yoga.”
– TKV Desikachar January 9th 1999

Among the disciplines to be applied are……

tapas devanagari

“Among the disciplines to be applied are:
– Using appropriate breathing technique when moving the body in Āsana practice.
– Eliminating unnecessary travel.
– Regulating the intake of food.
Without these disciplines, the practice of Āsana, Prāṇāyāma and Vairāgya will not be effective.”
–  T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 34

The Das Indriya or ten senses of experience and action……

dhyanam

The Das Indriya or ten senses of experience and action,
whilst seen as belonging to the Bāhya Aṅga or five external limbs
in the eight limb Aṣṭa Aṅga Yoga of Patañjali,
are also the gateway to the Antar Aṅga or three internal limbs.

Svādhyāya is an inquiry into one’s true nature.

svadhyaya_2

“Svādhyāya is an inquiry into one’s true nature.”
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 1

The three Upāya to take control of our inability to see things clearly…….

patanjali-1

तपः स्वाध्यायेश्वरप्रणिधानानि क्रियायोगः ॥१॥
tapaḥ svādhyāya-īśvara-praṇidhānāni kriyā-yogaḥ |
“The activities of Yoga are self-discipline, self-study and contemplation on the divine.”
Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 1

“The three Upāya to take control of our inability to see things clearly.

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It is not enough to clean a vessel, you must put something in.

kriyayoga

‎”It is not enough to clean a vessel,
you must put something in.”
– TKV Desikachar 1998 on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 1

Reflecting on the relationship between Svadharma and Dharma

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House

“Once I am very clear about what is to be known – Svadharma,
then I can be clear about what is universal Dharma.”

Reflecting on this quote  from TKV Desikachar posted on February 15th 2014 on the relationship between Svadharma and DharmaI feel we first need to understand our personal place within our inner world, only from there can we understand our universal place within our outer world.

This is a concept that can appear to be contrary to the more usual expectations within the Yoga world whereby we are often given a set of universal standardised principles which we are told to constantly aspire to and strive towards realising.

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The practice of Āsana without breathing and without remembering Ananta has no value.

bhujangasana

“The practice of Āsana without breathing and without remembering Ananta has no value.”
– Śrī T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 47

Āsana and Prāṇāyāma can create a condition where the mind is fit for Dhāraṇā.

Āsana_19

Āsana and Prāṇāyāma can, according to the Yoga Sūtra,
create a condition where the mind is fit for Dhāraṇā.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Eleven Page 156

Being absorbed in the breath in Prāṇāyāma is Pratyāhāra.

seated_pranayama_2

“If we are completely absorbed in the breath in Prāṇāyāma,
automatically there is Pratyāhāra.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Eleven Page 153

Pratyāhāra means withdrawing from that on which we are feeding.

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House

Pratyāhāra means withdrawing from that on which we are feeding.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Eleven Page 152

In order to experience Dhyānam, the sixth step, Dhāraṇā……

dhyanam

Dhyānam is the seventh Aṅga of the Aṣṭāṅga Yoga.
In order to experience Dhyānam, the sixth step,
Dhāraṇā, should have been practiced thoroughly.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Dhyānam

Religiousness in Yoga Study Guide: Chapter Eight 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 Eight Theory:
Yama, Niyama and Āsana – The First Three Aṅga of Yoga
– Pages 107-115

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There are also fundamental differences between Yoga and Vedānta……

Desikachar and Krishnamacharya in Madras 1980

Desikachar and Krishnamacharya in Madras 1980

There are also fundamental differences between Yoga and Vedānta. And, if at all we can link them, it is as follows: Yoga is a means towards Vedānta for those who are interested.

Vedānta involves a lot of enquiry and reflection, and also demands the development of Bhakti, and, for both the mind and for the individual, Yoga is the means towards Bhakti.

Also, Vedānta is Jñāna Mārga, and a state of mind that is necessary for Jñāna can only come through the practice of Aṣṭāṅga.”

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

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Regarding Yama and Niyama, these days they have no validity except for two……

tk2008

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

“Regarding Yama and Niyama, these days, he believes, they have no validity except for two of them.

First, what is called Satya Niyama, or what to speak, what not to speak, to whom to speak, how to write, what not to write. These are Satya Niyama.

Another Niyama that should be followed is Āhāra Niyama. That is, how much to eat and what to eat, according to age, profession, etc. You see, the ancient people believed that a young boy could eat as much as he liked. But a Saṃnyāsi should only eat eight handfuls of rice, no more, per day.”

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

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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

Through Yoga Sādhana we work towards the present dominating the past……

sadhana

More usually the past dominates the present.
Through Yoga Sādhana we work towards the present dominating the past.

For Anuṣṭhānāt to become and remain important there needs to be Śraddhā.

sraddha

“For Anuṣṭhānāt to become and remain important there needs to be Śraddhā.”
– TKV Desikachar Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 28

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