An example personal practice from 1980 from TKV Desikachar……


Following on from yesterdays post on Kumbhaka quoted below:

“According to Krishnamacharya,
one who has not mastered the Bāhya Kumbhaka,
has not mastered the breath.”
– TKV Desikachar 1988

I thought it might be helpful to republish a post from early 2014. Here I wanted to offer a example of a personal practice given to me by TKV Desikachar. It evolved from within our one to one lessons in Chennai, from over 35 years ago, in 1980 and is based around:

  1. Ardha Utkaṭāsana
    with 10″ Bāhya Kumbhaka
  2. Parśva Uttāsana and Vīrabhadrāsana
    Increasing Stay of 1 breath in each 2 breaths in each 3 breaths in each, both sides
    +/- 8″ Antar Kumbhaka
    Aṅga Lāghava combination
  3. Śīrṣāsana
    Stay 8 breaths and 8 breaths
  4. Dvipāda Pīṭham
    Increasing Stay of 1/2/3/4 breaths
  5. Bhujaṅgāsana
    Increasing/Decreasing Stay of 2/4/2 breaths
  6. Daṇḍāsana and Paścimatānāsana
    Increasing Stay of 1/2 breaths in each, 2/4 breaths and 3/6 breaths in each.
    Aṅga Lāghava combination
  7. Brahmāsana
    Ujjāyī as Prāṇāyāma 8 breaths
    5″ Antar Kumbhaka and 5″ Bāhya Kumbhaka
    Ujjāyī as Prāṇāyāma 8 breaths
    10″ Antar Kumbhaka and 5″ Bāhya Kumbhaka

Though obviously relevant to my personal situation as a mid thirties bloke, at that time and place, it is an illustration of how Antar Kumbhaka (AK) and Bāhya Kumbhaka (BK) can be employed whatever the Āsana or techniques chosen.

I would also add some quotations from earlier posts from TKV Desikachar on the topic of Kumbhaka:

‎”We are welcome to use Kumbhaka (breath suspension) but if it in any way affects the quality of the Inhale or Exhale and our own relation with this flow, then there is no meaning. The tragedy of Kumbhaka is that we can use force, as in Āsana, to achieve our aim. But why and at what price?”
– TKV Desikachar June 30th 1978

“Kumbhaka is the continuation of a specific movement that preceded it.”
– TKV Desikachar December 1987

Tomorrow I will offer a further example of how Kumbhaka may be applied within a contrasting sample practice from TKV Desikachar given for my practice over two decades later in 2002.

Download this example practice from 1980 from TKV Desikachar as a PDF

Download this practice post from 1980 from TKV Desikachar as a PDF

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