108 Mudrā Practice Pointers – 26 – According to such as the Gheraṇḍa Saṃhitā, Aśvinī Mudrā and Mūla Bandha are……

maha_mudra_UB

According to such as the Gheraṇḍa Saṃhitā,
Aśvinī Mudrā and Mūla Bandha are seen as very
different forms in terms of definition and application.
Regarding application, only Aśvinī Mudrā is focussed around
the repeated contraction of the anal sphincter muscles.
Whereas, Mūla Bandha is a single sustained contraction.

It also appears that there are differing certainties within
the modern use, definition and application of the two terms,
with a single contraction variant of Aśvinī Mudrā often being
passed off in ‘Krishnamacharya’ terminology, as if Mūla Bandha.
For example, Mūla Bandha being described as somethng you
take all the time whether sitting, talking, walking, or eating.
This would not be possible given T Krishnamacharya’s view of
what is Mūla Bandha and its relationship to Uḍḍīyana Bandha.

Comparing Mūla Bandha to Aśvinī Mudrā:
Aśvinī Mudrā can be an outcome of an effective Mūla Bandha.
If Mūla Bandha is good then Aśvinī Mudrā can follow automatically.
But not the other way round, as Aśvinī Mudrā is only
a localised contraction of the anal sphincters.
Also, Mūla Bandha is considered as complete,
whether or not Aśvinī Mudrā is there.

Also, the use of Aśvinī Mudrā can produce gas and
too much use can affect the peristaltic reflex.
Plus avoid in certain conditions such as haemorrhoids.
Āsana can be used for the same effect on these organs.
A direct Aśvinī Mudrā pushes the stomach forward,
so its contraindicated for Mūla Bandha.

Thus, Krishnamacharya’s view of what is Aśvinī Mudrā and what is
Mūla Bandha differed, both in terms of definition, technique, and
application, as well as regarding the student starting prerequisites,
Vinyāsa Krama and links to other layers of their Yoga Sādhana.

Download or View this post as a PDF

Link to Series: 108 Mudrā Practice Pointers

Āsana & Mudrā Practice Techniques Glossary
– Grouped into Standing, Kneeling, Lying,
Inverted, Backbend, Seated & Sitting

Prāṇāyāma & Bandha Practice Techniques Glossary
– Grouped into Primary, Secondary & Ancillary Techniques

Correct vibrational intonation was an important emphasis within all aspects of Mantra initiation

Correct vibrational intonation was an important emphasis within all aspects of Mantra initiation and there was a strict process in the transmission of a Mantra lest the vitality of the Mantra becomes increasingly diminished if the vibration is compromised at any level.

As with all aspects of a personal practice, Krishnamacharya and Desikachar taught Mantra within a private and individual initiation with a specific Vinyāsa Krama, which would mean that by the time it came to introduce the Mantra as a form of Japam the student was prepared and capable to both hold and sustain a mental consistency and vibratory resonance.

read more

108 Postural Practice Pointers – 35 – The Pratikriyāsana needs to be mastered before a particular Āsana is attempted

How do we know that a student is ready to attempt
a more progressive Āsana such as Sarvāṅgāsana?

From following a core principle in the teachings of Vinyāsa Krama.
In that, the Pratikriyāsana for a particular Āsana needs
to be mastered before that particular Āsana is attempted.

For example, if we want to teach Sarvāṅgāsana,
because it will have a specific potential for the particular student,
then we teach the Pratikriyāsana Bhujaṅgāsana first.

So the student first works around Bhujaṅgāsana
within their personal practice and the information that arises
guides the teacher as to their readiness for, in this case, Sarvāṅgāsana.

The information arising from observing how
the student practices Bhujaṅgāsana guides
the teacher as to the appropriateness of Sarvāṅgāsana.
The information that feeds back may be on the level
of Annamaya, Prāṇamaya, Manomaya or beyond.
Obviously, this implies that we are observing the student’s practice directly.

Once the student shows an adequate performance of Bhujaṅgāsana
and it can be integrated into their existing personal practice,
then we can be more secure that the student is ready to approach
integrating Sarvāṅgāsana into their regular practice.

Link to Series: 108 Postural Practice Pointers

Āsana & Mudrā Practice Techniques Glossary
– Grouped into Standing, Kneeling, Lying,
Inverted, Backbend, Seated & Sitting

108 Postural Practice Pointers – 34 – Pratikriyāsana have counterpostural, compensational and transitional roles

PKA_2015

Pratikriyāsana have counterpostural, compensational and transitional roles
and are applied at specific points in the practice in order to
maintain a sound physiological and psychological base.

This principle has an important role in how
we link the different aspects of the Āsana practice,
how we close the practice or how we integrate the Āsana
element of the practice into other aspects of our Yoga practice.

There are specific guidelines around how
they can be integrated into the practice,
the first of which is that the counter posture needs to
be mastered before a particular Āsana is attempted.

This principle is especially important when
attempting to integrate more complex Āsana such as
Sarvāṅgāsana and Bhujaṅgāsana into our practice.

Link to Series: 108 Postural Practice Pointers

Āsana & Mudrā Practice Techniques Glossary
– Grouped into Standing, Kneeling, Lying,
Inverted, Backbend, Seated & Sitting

108 Postural Practice Pointers – 33 – When considering the Viniyoga of Pratikriyāsana…

pka

When considering the Viniyoga of Pratikriyāsana
within a student’s personal practice,
it may help to look at the integration of
their intended role from three perspectives.

Firstly their intended role as a counterposture,
thus more from a physiological perspective.
Secondly their intended role as a compensation,
thus more from a psychological perspective.
Thirdly their intended role as a transition,
thus more from a sequential perspective.

Appropriate integration of these three
principles constitute an essential component in
the Vinyāsa Krama utilised within practice planning.

Link to Series: 108 Postural Practice Pointers

Āsana and Mudrā Glossary
– Grouped into Standing, Kneeling,
Lying, Inverted, Backbend, Seated & Sitting

108 Sūtra Study Pointers – 132 – Given the at all other times in this verse, we need to thwart the ploys of the mind…

Given the at all other times in this verse,
we need to thwart the ploys of the mind to
conform to its unhelpful fluctuations by reducing:
1. The tendency of the mind to perceive in too many ways.
2. The tendency of the mind to distort what we see.
3. The tendency of the mind to fantasize.
4. The tendency of the mind to go to sleep at inappropriate moments.
5. The tendency of the mind to get lost in memory or impose memory on reality.
When these old or other tendencies take over you are not there.
So if you are not consistent with your efforts,
you will not change your state of mind.
Plus, the unhelpful aspects of the fluctuations reduce
the tendency of the mind to experience a clarity of being.
– Paul Harvey on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 4

Paul’s Yoga Mālā – A Thread of Pearls from Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtra

108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers – 24 – Prāṇāyāma is common to both Haṭha and Rāja Yoga Sādhana……

nadi_sodanaPrāṇāyāma is common to both Haṭha and Rāja Sādhana,
whether working with the Prāṇa Śodhana of Haṭha Yoga,
where you were taught to practice it at each
of four transitional points through the day,
or with the Citta Śodhana of Patañjali,
where it is the pivotal Bahya Aṅga,
Prāṇāyāma is seen as the primary means to engage
the Élan Vital, the vital force or creative principle.

Link to Series: 108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers

Glossary of Āsana and Mudrā Practice Techniques
– Grouped into Standing, Kneeling, Lying,
Inverted, Backbend, Seated & Sitting Categories

Glossary of Prāṇāyāma & Bandha Practice Techniques
– Grouped into Primary, Secondary & Ancillary Techniques

108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers – 23 – Leave more than enough time for Prāṇāyāma……

nadi_sodanaOne of the joyful experiences that can emerge within our morning practice
is the feeling that arises on arriving at our Prāṇāyāma seat and taking
that first breath within an atmosphere of having more than enough time
in hand left to engage with this aspect of our on the mat Sādhana that day.

The sense of Sukha is palpable and offers a spaciousness that facilitates
the breath both releasing and entering into the spirit of, as Krishnamacharya
spoke of in terms of Āsana, Prayatna Śaithilya and Ananta Samāpatti.

This feeling in itself can both automatically lengthen and deepen
the flow of the breath without any conscious effort on our part.
A precious gift to start the days journey into exploring this vital area of practice.

A constant reminder, if not rejoinder, to not forget
to leave more than enough time for Prāṇāyāma,
rather than it being the token twiddle at the end of the practice,
or that which is oft easily at best compromised or at worst,
forgotten within the seduction of the bodily experiences.

Link to Series: 108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers

Glossary of Āsana and Mudrā Practice Techniques
– Grouped into Standing, Kneeling, Lying,
Inverted, Backbend, Seated & Sitting Categories

Glossary of Prāṇāyāma & Bandha Practice Techniques
– Grouped into Primary, Secondary & Ancillary Techniques

108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers – 22 – When reflecting on the intimacy of the relationship between Prāṇāyāma and Āsana…

When reflecting on the intimacy of the relationship between
Prāṇāyāma and Āsana experientially, we could consider
exploring the practice of Prāṇāyāma and its developmental
conjunction with Āsana, via the following reference points.

Within the age-old coalescence of Prāṇāyāma and Āsana,
Prāṇāyāma can have three potential roles in influencing
the physical, energetic, psychological or emotional
effects arising from the prior practice of Āsana.

In this context the application of Prāṇāyāma can be
from one of three directions. It can be used to either
pacify, or to stabilise, or to intensify, the various
experiences arising from the practice of Āsana.

Link to Series: 108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers

Āsana and Mudrā Glossary
– Grouped into Standing, Kneeling,
Lying, Inverted, Backbend, Seated & Sitting

Glossary of Prāṇāyāma & Bandha Practice Techniques
– Grouped into Primary, Secondary & Ancillary Techniques

108 Mudrā Practice Pointers – 25 – So Uḍḍīyana Bandha is the technique for…

So Uḍḍīyana Bandha is the technique
for introducing Mūla Bandha.
Uḍḍīyana Bandha elevates Mūla Cakra,
having elevated it, you tie it
and each time it wants to slide
back down, you bring it back up.
Therefore opposite to techniques such as
Bhujaṅgāsana, which is counter to the principle
of Uḍḍīyāna and pushes the Mūla Cakra down.

Link to Series: 108 Mudrā Practice Pointers

Āsana and Mudrā Glossary
– Grouped into Standing, Kneeling,
Lying, Inverted, Backbend, Seated & Sitting

Glossary of Prāṇāyāma & Bandha Practice Techniques
– Grouped into Primary, Secondary & Ancillary Techniques

108 Mudrā Practice Pointers – 24 – With regard to the breath, inhale pushes down…

With regard to the breath, inhale pushes down,
exhale brings up, Bāhya Kumbhaka tightens.
Then total effect should be in the Apāna area,
therefore exhale and Bāhya Kumbhaka important.
With regard to directional breathing,
if no Mūla Bandha then exhale can start from the navel.
If Mūla Bandha held then exhale from the navel is not possible.

Link to Series: 108 Mudrā Practice Pointers

Āsana and Mudrā Glossary
– Grouped into Standing, Kneeling,
Lying, Inverted, Backbend, Seated & Sitting

Glossary of Prāṇāyāma & Bandha Practice Techniques
– Grouped into Primary, Secondary & Ancillary Techniques

108 Mudrā Practice Pointers – 23 – The practice of Jālandhara Bandha requires the practitioner…

The practice of Jālandhara Bandha requires the practitioner
to keep the spine straight, the head will be slightly forward.
So draw the head back as well, as it tends to come forward,
ie the centre of gravity in the head moves forward of the body.
If set right you will feel a little contraction in the abdomen.
So, align the spine up, draw the head and neck back, and tilt
the chin in, though not to the throat, the chest or to the heart.

Link to Series: 108 Mudrā Practice Pointers

Āsana and Mudrā Glossary
– Grouped into Standing, Kneeling,
Lying, Inverted, Backbend, Seated & Sitting

Glossary of Prāṇāyāma & Bandha Practice Techniques
– Grouped into Primary, Secondary & Ancillary Techniques

108 Mudrā Practice Pointers – 22 – Holding Mūla Bandha places a strain on the neck…

Holding Mūla Bandha places a strain on the neck,
so check the neck first by using Jālandhara Bandha.
Also, Uḍḍīyana Bandha and Mūla Bandha are seen
to be not so effective without Jālandhara Bandha.

Link to Series: 108 Mudrā Practice Pointers

Āsana and Mudrā Glossary
– Grouped into Standing, Kneeling,
Lying, Inverted, Backbend, Seated & Sitting

Glossary of Prāṇāyāma & Bandha Practice Techniques
– Grouped into Primary, Secondary & Ancillary Techniques

108 Mudrā Practice Pointers – 21 – Hands shouldn’t be used in Uḍḍīyana Bandha…

Hands shouldn’t be used in Uḍḍīyana Bandha,
the effect should come from the exhale which
starts in the navel, as if pulling up a piece of string.
It must be pulled up and brought closer to the Maṇipūra.
If this is done properly, then very little to be done afterwards.
Exhale is followed by a small jerk as Uḍḍīyāna pulls the Mūla up.

Link to Series: 108 Mudrā Practice Pointers

Āsana and Mudrā Glossary
– Grouped into Standing, Kneeling,
Lying, Inverted, Backbend, Seated & Sitting

Glossary of Prāṇāyāma & Bandha Practice Techniques
– Grouped into Primary, Secondary & Ancillary Techniques

108 Mudrā Practice Pointers – 20 – Lying Āsana such as Taḍāka Mudrā can be initially used…

Lying Āsana such as Taḍāka Mudrā can be
initially used for Uḍḍīyana Bandha as less
strain on the legs and better for observation.

Link to Series: 108 Mudrā Practice Pointers

Āsana and Mudrā Glossary
– Grouped into Standing, Kneeling,
Lying, Inverted, Backbend, Seated & Sitting

Glossary of Prāṇāyāma & Bandha Practice Techniques
– Grouped into Primary, Secondary & Ancillary Techniques

108 Mudrā Practice Pointers – 19 – In Practicing the Tri Bandha we engage with Haṭha Yoga…

In Practicing the Tri Bandha we engage with Haṭha teachings:
In that, the inhale takes the Agni towards the Mūlādhāra.
This effect on Agni increases with the Antar Kumbhaka,
as the Antar Kumbhaka helps to intensify the fire.
Following this process in bringing the Agni down,
the exhale takes the Mūlādhāra towards the Agni.
Thus the exhale draws the Apāna towards the Agni,
plus adding Uḍḍīyana Bandha holds the Apāna up.
This is the link with the effect on the Kuṇḍalinī,
though in terms of practice, very hard to get.
Here also, the coming down period is important.
For example, do not eat just after, though you feel hungry.
Uḍḍīyana Bandha is a heating process and Madhura Rasa,
such as sweet rice cooked with milk is initially recommended.

Link to Series: 108 Mudrā Practice Pointers

Āsana and Mudrā Glossary
– Grouped into Standing, Kneeling,
Lying, Inverted, Backbend, Seated & Sitting

Glossary of Prāṇāyāma & Bandha Practice Techniques
– Grouped into Primary, Secondary & Ancillary Techniques

108 Mudrā Practice Pointers – 18 – In Learning the Tri Bandha we engage with certain potential contraindications…

In Learning the Tri Bandha we engage with certain potential contraindications:
1. The Tri Bandha reduce the length and subtlety of the breath.
2. The accumulative effect when repeated should be more intense,
but often the opposite is what can actually happen.
3. In the beginning the use of the Tri Bandha can disturb the system and
create tendencies, such as for the practitioner to lose their temper.
4. The continued use of the Tri Bandha can easily
raise tensions in the neck and shoulders.
5. If the abdomen appears to be retracted strongly, but the breath
is getting shorter the practitioner is probably cheating.

Link to Series: 108 Mudrā Practice Pointers

Āsana and Mudrā Glossary
– Grouped into Standing, Kneeling,
Lying, Inverted, Backbend, Seated & Sitting

Glossary of Prāṇāyāma & Bandha Practice Techniques
– Grouped into Primary, Secondary & Ancillary Techniques

108 Mudrā Practice Pointers – 17 – Teaching Bandha starts the day we teach exhalation…

The Teaching of the Tri  Bandha starts the day we teach the exhalation.
1. Introduce the exhalation.
2. Extend the exhalation.
3. Attention on Lower Abdomen during exhalation.
4. Deepen attention on Lower Abdomen during exhalation.
5. Further intensification on the Bāhya Kumbhaka.
6. Introduce Uḍḍīyana Bandha by moving Navel Backwards
and Upwards, towards the point between the shoulder blades.
7. Retain the Mūla Bandha during the inhalation, by holding
the lower abdomen as you release the diaphragm.

Link to Series: 108 Mudrā Practice Pointers

Āsana and Mudrā Glossary
– Grouped into Standing, Kneeling,
Lying, Inverted, Backbend, Seated & Sitting

Glossary of Prāṇāyāma & Bandha Practice Techniques
– Grouped into Primary, Secondary & Ancillary Techniques

108 Sūtra Study Pointers – 131 – Kaivalya is the outcome of the equality of Sattva and Puruṣa…

Kaivalya is the outcome of the
equality of Sattva and Puruṣa.
The clarity of Sattva acquired
through our efforts with Citta,
coexisting with the eternal
abiding awareness of Puruṣa.
– Paul Harvey on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Three verse 55

Paul’s Yoga Mālā – A Thread of Pearls from Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtra

108 Sūtra Study Pointers – 130 – The mutual aim of Yoga and Sāṃkhya is to experience the more discerning aspects……

The mutual aim of Yoga and Sāṃkhya is to
experience the more discerning aspects of the psyche,
rather than just the more grasping aspects of the psyche.

In the former, the tendency of the Buddhi to discern discriminately
prevails over the tendency of Ahaṃkāra to grasp indiscriminately.
In the latter, the tendency of the Ahaṃkāra to grasp indiscriminately
prevails over the tendency of the Buddhi to discern discriminately.

The former is a state known as Buddhi Sattva,
where the clarity of discernment prevails over the
indiscriminate grasping nature of the Ahaṃkāra.
The latter is a state of Buddhi Tamas,
where the discerning clarity of the Buddhi
is obscured by the grasping nature of the Ahaṃkāra.

Thus our Yoga Sādhana has but one primary Saṃkalpa,
that of the reduction of the obscuration by Tamas in the Buddhi.
This reduction of Tamas facilitates the advent of the clarity of Sattva,
as in the metaphor of the reduction of the cloud facilitates the advent of the sun.
– Paul Harvey on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Three verse 49

Paul’s Yoga Mālā – A Thread of Pearls from Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtra

108 Yoga Sūtra Study Question Pointers – 10 – In Sūtra 1.10 Patañjali defines Nidrā as…

The aim of this series, and its companion series (Paul’s Yoga Sūtra Study Keywords), with its single guided Sūtra word within a parallel flow, is to progress through a themed reflective journey across the four chapters or Pāda that comprise the Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali.

Here a question will be proffered as a reflection and inquiry into a single verse. Each verse in the text will be explored successively, via a link to its translation, word by word breakdown and added commentaries collated from the website, to invite the reader to form their own opinion as to what is implied.

In the companion series, a word will be listed as a symbol for a specific verse or set of verses as we progressively traverse each chapter. It will offer an exploration, via a link to the Saṃskṛta Glossary, of all the connected quotations and posts, collated from within the website these past 12 years, again to invite the reader to form their own opinion as to what is implied.

My wish is to offer an insight into the spectrum of Yoga teachings received from T Krishnamacharya mainly via TKV Desikachar, in terms of both breadth and depth.

Chapter One Samādhi Pādaḥ verse 10

abhāva-pratyaya-ālambanā tamaḥ vṛttiḥ nidrā |

In Sūtra 1.10 Patañjali defines Nidrā as a
Citta Vṛtti or, a specific type of cognition, one
where Tamas is the object, to the point where
the mind’s link with external stimuli is cut off.
How do we discern between states such as
Pratyāhāra as a disengagement, or Samādhi,
where one is as if empty of one’s own character,
and what is seen as the experience of Tamo Nidrā?

To Download or View this Question as a PDF Study Sheet

Paul’s Yoga Sūtra Study Keywords – Collected & Collated into Chapters
Paul’s Yoga Sūtra Study Questions – Collected & Collated into Chapters

The first type of Pramāṇa, Pratyakṣa, arises from the continuous active link…

“The first type of Pramāṇa, Pratyakṣa, arises from the continuous active link,
through the mind and senses, between Jīva and the object it perceives.
The second type, Anumāna, is when present perception is
based on what has been seen in other situations in the past.
For instance, when I see dark clouds, I think that it may rain.
With the third type, Āgamā, undistorted words from
a reliable source are the basis for perception.
The Veda are Pramāṇa by virtue of their source.
The sage Āpastamba proclaimed that the Veda are Pramāṇa for Dharma.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 7

T Krishnamacharya Yoga Sūtra Study Quotes Collected and Collated

Although the activities of the mind are countless…

“Although the activities of the mind are countless,
Patañjali categorizes all of them in one of five groups:
Pramāṇa, Viparyaya, Vikalpa, Nidrā, and Smṛti.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 6

T Krishnamacharya Yoga Sūtra Study Quotes Collected and Collated

108 Yoga Sūtra Study Word Pointers – 8 – Nidrā

The aim of this Series, and its companion page (Paul’s Yoga Sūtra Study Questions), with its Sūtra by Sūtra guided study question within a parallel flow, is to progress through a themed reflective journey across the four chapters or Pāda that comprise the Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali.

In this post, a word will be listed as a symbol for a specific verse or set of verses as we progressively traverse each chapter. It will offer an exploration, via the Saṃskṛta Glossary, of all the connected textual links, quotations and posts, collated from within the website these past 12 years, to invite the reader to form their own opinion as to what is implied.

On the companion page, a question will be proffered as a reflection and inquiry into a single verse. Here each verse in the text will be explored successively, via a link to its translation, word by word breakdown and added commentaries collated from the website, again to invite the reader to form their own opinion as to what is implied.

My wish is to offer an insight into the spectrum of Yoga teachings received from T Krishnamacharya mainly via TKV Desikachar, in terms of both breadth and depth.

108 Yoga Sūtra Study Word Pointers – 8

NIDRĀ

Chapter One verse 10

Paul’s Yoga Sūtra Study Keywords – Collected & Collated into Chapters
Paul’s Yoga Sūtra Study Questions – Collected & Collated into Chapters

Mental activities are called Kliṣṭa when they result in Duḥkha…

Mental activities are called Kliṣṭa when they result
in Duḥkha and Akliṣṭa when they do not.
When the three Guṇa are dominant,
Jīva is troubled and mental activities result in Duḥkha.
When the mind is free from desires, inclined toward discrimination
and seeking truth, mental activities do not result in Duḥkha.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 5

T Krishnamacharya Yoga Sūtra Study Quotes Collected and Collated