108 Sūtra Study Pointers – 76 – To hold the Citta for connective moments is Dhāraṇā……

dharana

“To hold the Citta for connective moments is Dhāraṇā.
To be held by the Citta for connective moments is Dhyānam
– Paul Harvey on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Three verses 1-2

Link to Series: 108 Sutra Study Pointers

Meditation can’t be taught, but can be learnt.

dhyanam

Meditation can’t be taught,
but can be learnt.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Three verse 2

108 Yoga Practice Pointers – 62 – We realise the Āsana through the breath……

We realise the Āsana through the breath,
rather than the breath through the Āsana.

Link to Series: 108 Yoga Practice Pointers

108 Sūtra Study Pointers – 75 – Through Avidyā we see two as if one…….

Through Avidyā we see two as if one.
Through Vidyā we know two is as if one.
Hence before there can be a state of Yoga,
there needs to be a process of Viyoga.
– Paul Harvey on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 17

Link to Series: 108 Sutra Study Pointers

108 Yoga Practice Pointers – 61 – There are those who can’t find time for Prāṇāyāma……

There are those who can’t find time
for Prāṇāyāma but don’t make time.
There are those who can’t find time
for Prāṇāyāma but do make time.

Link to Series: 108 Yoga Practice Pointers

Cultivating the skills within Yoga Practice Planning for Individual Students

One important facet I experienced within the teaching process of Krishnamacharya and Desikachar was an intensive apprenticeship into the skills of being able to design individual practices for a range of possibilities, as well as for a variety of situations and stages within a student’s learning interests, needs and practice potentials.

Within this was the key premise of designing an individualised developmental practice for all aspects of practice, rather than just the more well-known notions of therapeutic adaptations, or the homogenous sequencings, that are more commonly seen as representative of Krishnamacharya’s teaching within modern Yoga approaches.

Accordingly, this meant that I spent a lot of time over the years in my lessons with Desikachar learning how to plan practices that incorporated a wide variety of Āsana, Mudrā and Prāṇāyāma techniques, initially as goal in themselves, ere to how these schematics could be applied within a students developmental Yoga journey.

For example in terms of Āsana

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The Cakra are points of concentration for the mind.

“The Cakra are points of
concentration for the mind.”
– ‘Concerning the Cakra’ by TKV Desikachar

108 Gītā Study Pointers – 3 – What is it that Air does not erode……

What is it that:
Air does not erode?
Fire does not burn?
Water does not wet?
Earth does not cover?
– Paul Harvey on Bhagavad Gītā Chapter Two verse 23

Link to Series 108 Gītā Study Pointers

Autumn greetings as the seasonal changes appear to be arriving quite suddenly…….

Autumn greetings as the seasonal changes appear to be arriving quite suddenly as I move back into teaching, seemingly along with the UK educational establishment, after a Covid co-incidental two month sabbatical planned from last year. Within which I must say I felt increasingly hermit like from the demands of living in a social solicitude in the hills that have been my home these past 15 years.

It was certainly a good time weatherwise and the Cotswolds are a great landscape for walking as I covered over 300 miles in two months around the surrounding countryside. Though, as September arrives, I am not sure we are in any way closer to a maskless existence? Accordingly my teaching work is still confined to the online studies and consultations that became the normality through the months preceding my study break.

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108 Mudrā Practice Pointers – 9 – Whatever the effect Bahya Kumbhaka has……

Mudrā Pointer 9 – Whatever the effect Bahya Kumbhaka has……

Whatever the effect Bāhya Kumbhaka has, it is
extended by the use of Uḍḍīyāna and Mūla Bandha.
However the total length of the breath is reduced.
Bandha substantially reduces the lengths
of the Pūraka, the Recaka and the Kumbhaka.
Which and by how much depends on the individual.

Link to Series: 108 Mudrā Practice Pointers

cYs Practitioner Training Programme Retreat Extract 2 – Self Planning & Self Practice

cYs Practitioner Training Programme 2004 Retreat Extract 2

Session 4 – Self Planning & Self Practice

This was a five day mid-afternoon Prāṇāyāma only planning and practice project for year Two students within a Four year Practitioner Training Programme.

The format was:

  • 5′ Pulse taking
  • 15′ Prāṇāyāma Planning
  • 10’ Group Chanting
  • 15′ Prāṇāyāma Practice
  • 5’ Sitting
  • 5′ Pulse taking
  • 5’ For recording your pulse, personal notes or reflections from the practice

The Bhāvana practice proposition and Prāṇāyāma practice techniques that set each afternoons focus, technique and crown ratio are shown below.

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The pupil must be Paripāka – Cooked on all sides.

“The pupil must be Paripāka.
– Cooked on all sides.”
– T Krishnamacharya

To raise the awareness of the pupil to Dhyāna, the teacher must instruct the pupil during Āsana practice.

“To raise the awareness of the pupil to Dhyāna,
the teacher must instruct the pupil during Āsana practice.”
– T Krishnamacharya 1984

Just because a person is not practicing Dhyāna, but only Āsana……

“Just because a person is not practicing Dhyāna,
but only Āsana,
we cannot say he is not practicing Yoga.
In a body, each limb belongs to the body.
Similarly, practice of Āsana is indeed
practice of Yoga to that extent.”
– T Krishnamacharya 1984

Without Rajas Guṇa there can be no Pariṇāma.

“Without Rajas Guṇa
there can be no Pariṇāma.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Three verse 16

The three Guṇa, Sattva, Rajas and Tamas determine whether the mind is……

“Working together with and directed by past impressions,
the three Guṇa, Sattva, Rajas and Tamas determine
whether the mind is calm, agitated or dull.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 4

Good habits can be as enslaving as bad ones……

“Good habits can be as enslaving as bad ones
and can also lead to Duḥkha.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 15

cYs Practitioner Training Programme Retreat Extract 1 – Self Planning & Self Practice

cYs Practitioner Training Programme 1999 Retreat Extract 1

Session 1 – Self Planning & Self Practice

This was a six day pre-breakfast planning and practice project for year three students within a four year Practitioner Training Programme.

The format was:

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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.
– Paul Harvey 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