During such a moment, the power of the source of perception……

“During such a moment, without distractions,
the power of the source of perception,
full of clarity and completeness, shines forth.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 3

The Viniyoga of Inversion as an Āsana or as a Mudrā……

The Viniyoga of Inversion as an Āsana or as a Mudrā……

There are some forms within the postural resources developed by Krishnamacharya that can function as either an Āsana or as a Mudrā, depending on how they are approached and utilised. This choice of direction and outcome can be realised according to the specific Bhāvana associated with the intention of the practitioner and the style of performance.

This distinction in characteristics can be generalised around whether the practitioner focuses on a dynamic form with the developmental priority around the variations of and in the posture, or on a static form with the focus on the developmental priority on the lengthening and refinement of the breath.

In other words, as to whether the focus is on the development of the various Vinyāsa Krama within the dynamic form through a specific competence within a number of physical variations. Or, the focus is on the development within the static form, of a specific competence within a number of respiratory ratios.

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Learning Support for Chanting the Nārāyaṇa Sūktam

Śrī TKV Desikachar 1938-2016

In Memorium August 8th 2020

Learning Support for Chanting the Nārāyaṇa Sūktam

– From the Taittirīya Upaniṣad Chapter 4 verses 25-27 in the Mahānārāyaṇaya Upaniṣad
An offering for this day from my personal library of recordings from my studies with TKV Desikachar.
To Listen or Download the Nārāyaṇa Sūktam as an MP3 Sound File
To Download the Chant Sheet with Romanised Saṃskṛta and Chant Notations

This Sūtra introduces what Patañjali calls Kriyā Yoga……

“This Sūtra introduces
what Patañjali calls Kriyā Yoga.
Kriyā in the sense of action.
Take the first step.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 1

108 Gītā Study Pointers – 2 – Karma is a force driving us through our memories.

The first Śloka sets the saga on the field of Dharma.
Dharma is how we respond, whatever the situation,
presuming we can sustain our view within the present.
Karma is how we respond, having lost sight of our view,
because it’s become obscured by  the force of our memories.
Then Karma is the force now driving us through our memories.
So, Arjuna’s Dharma becomes obscured because of his Karma.
– Reflection on Bhagavad Gītā Chapter One verse 1

Link to Series 108 Gītā Study Pointers

The mind acts in countless ways and all of them stem from……

“The mind acts in countless ways and all of them
stem from the power of past Karma Vāsanā.
This is why individuals differ from one another.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 6

It must be remembered that Śīrṣāsana is one form of the Viparīta Karaṇī Mudrā……

“It must be remembered that Śīrṣāsana is
one form of the Viparīta Karaṇī Mudrā.
For those who cannot do Śīrṣāsana
or any other inverted posture,
alternatives do exist.
Mahāmudrā is one such alternative
which would yield similar benefits.”
TKV Desikachar KYM Darśanam February 1994

108 Mudrā Practice Pointers – 8 – The Viniyoga of Jihvā Bandha taught that it was to be used……

Mudrā Pointer 8 – The Viniyoga of Jihvā Bandha taught that it was to be used……

Jihvā Bandha, as taught by Krishnamacharya is described as,
‘the big tongue has to turn back and touch the little tongue‘.
The tongue is seen as one of the Ādhāra points in the body.
In that stilling the tongue is a support for fixing the attention.
It is also known in the Gheraṇḍa Saṃhitā as Nabho Mudrā.
Here it is defined as ‘the keeping of the tongue turned upwards,
wherever you are and in whatever the activity you are engaged’.
The Viniyoga of Jihvā Bandha taught that it was to be used
in most Seated Āsana, with the exception of Seated Twists.
Though not so much in Standing Āsana,
or Backbend Āsana like Matsya Āsana.

Link to Series: 108 Mudrā Practice Pointers

Nidrā or deep sleep is the state in which the mind’s link with……

Nidrā or deep sleep is the state in which the
mind’s link with external stimuli is cut off.
In this state, Tamas is dominant.
Although in deep sleep the mind
has no link with anything external,
this does not exclude all links,
which is why we are often able to recall
whether our sleep was sound or disturbed.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 10

Prāṇāyāma must be properly instructed……

nadi_sodana

Prāṇāyāma must be properly instructed.
The posture used, seated erect for example,
is also important.
The duration and regularity in terms of time
is also as important as proper instructions.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 34

108 Gītā Study Pointers – 1 – In the Bhagavad Gītā Karma is defined as a Śodhana Kriyā……

In the Bhagavad Gītā, Karma is defined as a Śodhana Kriyā where,
as actions are performed, they also offer a chance to refine oneself.
Thus, whatever I do and whatever happens is a chance to refine myself.
The Bhāvana here is Ātma Śuddha where all actions are an opportunity
for purification of that which inhibits the expression of our essence.
– Reflection on Bhagavad Gītā Chapter Five verse 11

Link to Series 108 Gītā Study Pointers

Guidelines for skilful dynamics within the performance of Vīrabhadrāsana……

Vīrabhadra Āsana or warrior pose is an Āsana where the postural focus at the level of Annamaya or the structural aspect, involves the skill of holding seemingly opposite points of attention at the same time.

Feet –
Front Leg Focus on Toes Down
Rear Leg Focus on Heel Down

For example, if we start by considering the attention on the feet using the above illustration, the front left foot focus is on the rooting of toes, whereas the focus on the rear right foot is on the rooting of the heel.

Thus, here we have an example of a Pratikriyā Bhāvana, or opposite action focus, where we need to hold our attention with a contrasting dynamic in two places simultaneously. In this example on both the front left or rear right foot at the same time, but with different points of attention.

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108 Postural Practice Pointers – 27 – Bhāvana when working with Vīrabhadrāsana

Postural Practice Pointer 27 – Bhāvana when working with Vīrabhadrāsana

Feet –
Front Leg Focus on Toes Down
Rear Leg Focus on Heel Down

Knees –
Front Knee Bent Forwards
Rear Knee Straightened Backwards

Hips –
Front Leg Hip Lifted Backwards
Rear Leg Hip Lifted Forwards

Shoulders –
Front Leg Shoulder Drawn Back
Rear leg Shoulder Drawn Forward

Spine –
Upper Back and Chest Arching Forwards
Resisting the Lower Back from Bending Backwards

(View Post or Download PDF Expanding these suggestions)

Link to Series: 108 Postural Practice Pointers

108 Sūtra Study Pointers – 74 – Better not to confuse the vehicle with the direction……

This verse is commenting on the attainment of an Āsana as
an appurtenance, or foundation for more subtle practices.
Better not to confuse the vehicle with the direction.
– Reflection on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 46

Link to Series: 108 Sutra Study Pointers

Yoga Practice is about a re-turning towards our inner life……

Yoga Practice is about a re-turning towards our inner life.

However, even without outer obstacles,
we can encounter inner feelings that arise
and manifest as if obstacles to that re-turning.

Here it might be helpful to reflect
on how to cultivate the four pillars of
Maitrī, Karuṇā, Muditā and Upekṣā and
the role they can have in helping to transform
the unhelpful aspects of these inner feelings.

“Bhāvana is a beneficial attitude
that is consciously cultivated
despite tendencies to the contrary”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on
Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 33

With the spirit of Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 33 in mind,
the cultivation of the four pillars is an inner practice
that can support a stepping, rather than stymieing,
onto our practice mat or seat through:

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108 Sūtra Study Pointers 73 – Upekṣā – Cultivating a feeling of holding a distance……

Upekṣā
Cultivating a feeling of holding a distance from
the self-deprecation that can so often accompany
our attempts to improve the quality of our inner life
and old responses to inner tensions and memories.
– Reflection on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 33

Link to Series: 108 Sutra Study Pointers

108 Sūtra Study Pointers 72 – Muditā – Cultivating a feeling of looking……

Muditā
Cultivating a feeling of looking,
from a joyful space in ourselves,
at what we can do well and now,
rather than what we can’t do well or now.
– Reflection on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 33

Link to Series: 108 Sutra Study Pointers

108 Sūtra Study Pointers 71 – Karuṇā – Cultivating a feeling of compassion

Karuṇā
Cultivating a feeling of compassion
towards our bodies and minds,
whatever state we find them in.
– Reflection on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 33

Link to Series: 108 Sutra Study Pointers

108 Sūtra Study Pointers 70 – Maitrī – Cultivating a feeling of friendliness

Maitrī
Cultivating a feeling of friendliness
towards our own attempts,
let alone other’s demands,
to distract ourselves.
– Reflection on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 33

Link to Series: 108 Sutra Study Pointers

This particular full moon day is known as Guru Pūrṇimā……

Guru Pūrṇimā

This particular full moon day is known as Guru Pūrṇimā. On this day the ongoing transmission from teacher to student is especially honoured. In previous years I have offered posts with chants honouring the lineage of teachers.

This year I would like to focus on the significance of the full moon within this day by offering a chant known as the Candra Namaskṛtya Mantra.

oṣadhayaḥ saṃvadante somena saha rājñā ‖
– Taittirīya Saṃhitā 4.2.6

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