The Link between the practice limbs of Āsana, Mudrā, Prāṇāyāma and Dhyānam
One of the essences of Krishnamacaharya’s and Desikachar’s teaching focused on the developmental and progressive integration of the different aspects of Āsana, Mudrā, Prāṇāyāma and Dhyānam into a single constantly evolving organism.
Thus in honouring the Paramparā it is not possible for me to separate these four practice components into four completely disconnected study topics to be learnt in any random order.
From there a knowledge of the practice and planning principles within Āsana and Mudrā are necessary to appreciate the practice and planning principles within Prāṇāyāma, and so with Āsana, Mudrā and Prāṇāyāma regarding Dhyānam.
The same goes with the study of Prāṇāyāma being an extension of the practice and study of Āsana and Mudrā. Finally the practice of Dhyānam is an extension of the practice of Āsana, Mudrā and Prāṇāyāma.
“What good is the sword of wisdom
to cut away the chains of illusion
if the holder is too weak to bear it.”
– T Krishnamacharya
This was the message of Krishnamacaharya’s and Desikachar’s teaching in that we are learning to practice Yoga as a developmental, progressive, holistic process, rather than the more compartmentalised, learnt in any order, boxes of postures, breathing and meditation so prevalent in todays Yoga market place.
This same message is seen within the teachings and texts of Haṭha and Rāja Yoga in that we need to develop step by step the practice tools of Āsana, Mudrā and Prāṇāyāma in order to be prepared for the demands of Dhyānam.