A person who is physically fit and who has been cleansed by the Agni of Dhyānam……

“A person who is physically fit and
who has been cleansed by the Agni of Dhyānam
has no fear of sickness, disease, age or death.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Dhyānam

Q: How necessary is Yoga in these modern times?

Question to T Krishnamacharya:
How necessary is Yoga in these modern times?
Krishnamacharya’s Response:
“For the strengthening of the Aṅga,
Yoga Āsana practiced with long
inhalation and exhalation is important.
To reduce the disturbances of the mind,
to gain mental strength and to increase longevity,
Prāṇāyāma is necessary.”

The whole system functions on the strength of mind……

“The whole system functions on the strength of mind.
Mind is affected by what we eat.
‘Our mind is like our food‘.
Tapas is to discipline our eating habits.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 1

108 Mudrā Practice Pointers – 7 – The journey towards Uḍḍīyana Bandha begins with……

maha_mudra_UB

Mudrā Pointer – 7 – The journey towards Uḍḍīyana Bandha……

The journey towards Uḍḍīyana Bandha
begins with the learning of the
process of active exhalation.

Link to Series: 108 Mudrā Practice Pointers

108 Yoga Practice Pointers – 56 – Better to think about Āsana being part of your Yoga practice……

Better to think about Āsana
being part of your Yoga practice.
Rather than your Yoga practice
being part of an Āsana practice.

Link to Series: 108 Yoga Practice Pointers

What sustains Saṃkalpa day after day?

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House

“What sustains Saṃkalpa day after day?”
TKV Desikachar speaking with his senior Western students London 1998

Mano Bandha is Dhyānam……

“Just as Mūla BandhaUḍḍīyāna Bandha,
Jālandhara Bandha and Jivha Bandha
are very important for Prāṇāyāma,
Mano Bandha is very important for Dhyānam.
Mano Bandha is Dhyānam.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Dhyānam

As is the food in front of you……

“As is the food in front of you,
so is the mind behind you.”
– TKV Desikachar 1979

One’s own actions can develop or make one Guṇa prominent……

guna

“One’s own actions can develop or make one Guṇa prominent.
Thus we can plan or practice Āsana or Prāṇāyāma to promote one Guṇa.
The practice of Yoga can influence the Guṇa.
the room where you practice can affect the Guṇa
by photographs, colour of paint, smell.
Even Mantra are classified into Guṇa.
This needs to be considered when using Mantra for the individual.
Meditation can be related to the Guṇa.
The object of our inquiry must be related or,
in accordance with what we want to produce.”
TKV Desikachar on Sāṃkhya and Yoga

Everything we see, including the instrument of mind, has three qualities……

guna

“Everything we see,
including the instrument of mind,
has three qualities or natures.
All matter has the three qualities.
In Saṃskṛta they are known as Guṇa.
In Sāṃkhya it is said that every problem
comes from the Guṇa and their interplay.
The effects can be based on what we see, eat, hear,
and the effects of what we see, eat, hear.
In Yoga one who has mastered themselves is one
who can produce whatever Guṇa is required.”
TKV Desikachar on Sāṃkhya and Yoga

Breath is indispensable for life and its absence is death……

Breath is indispensable for life
and its absence is death.
Hence the necessity to make it longer
and accumulate the Prāṇa Śakti.
Just as a rich man accumulates money slowly to get wealthy,
so also one should practice every day,
through the proper use of the breath in Āsana,
to maintain good health.”
T Krishnamacharya‘s response to a question on breathing.

108 Sūtra Study Pointers – 62 – Dhāraṇā is the process of ‘holding onto’ the object……

Dhāraṇā is the process of ‘holding onto’ the object.
Dhyānā is the process of ‘linking with’ the object.
Samādhi is the process of ‘integration into’ the object.
Reflections on Yoga Sūtra Chapter 3 verses 1-3

Link to Series: 108 Sutra Study Pointers

Religiousness in Yoga: Study Guide Compilation Chapters One to Eighteen

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

Religiousness in Yoga

TKV Desikachar

Lectures on Theory and Practice

Chapter by Chapter Study Guide Compilation

‘Religiousness in Yoga: Lectures on Theory and Practice’, by the University Press of America, is a transcript of recordings of a one month Yoga Programme in Colgate University in 1976, published in 1980.

Unlike the later redacted edition, re-published in 1995 as the ‘Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice’, it captures the evolution of the retreat with the days lectures and Q & A dialogues as they alternated between ‘lectures on the principles and purposes of Yoga and discussions related to the practice of Yoga with special reference to the postures and the breathing techniques’.

TKV Desikachar, in his forward to the original version wrote:
“These lectures and discussions, printed words put before persons I might never meet,
are but reflections of that deeper result that grew out of a living face-to-face encounter.
Coming to learn of Yoga only through reading leaves much to be desired.
Yet, something worthwhile about Yoga might be shared through the medium of the printed word.”

Over the past five years a study guide to Religiousness in Yoga has been posted in a chapter by chapter progression. Each chapter was supported with added textual verse and word cross-references. The chapter posts were preceded with illustrative quotes reflecting the content of that particular lecture or discussion. All were offered to support a deeper linking with the teachings within these lectures and Q & A sessions.

All in all it has been a longish project, nevertheless one within which it has been for me, as if listening to him speaking. He had such a knack of saying something that could go ‘straight to press’. Though here my thanks also goes to the editors, especially the late Mary Louise Skelton and their efforts and priorities in preserving the essence of Desikachar’s style. This direct transmission, nurtured from within the ancient succession of oral teachers, is seemingly a dying flame within the embers of India’s old school traditions.

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Religiousness in Yoga Study Guide: Chapter Eighteen Theory

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House

‘Religiousness in Yoga: Lectures on Theory and Practice’ by the University Press of America,
a transcript of recordings of a one month Yoga Programme in Colgate University in 1976, published in 1980.

Unlike the later redacted edition, re-published in 1995 as the ‘Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice’, it captures the evolution of the retreat with the days lectures and Q & A dialogues as they alternated between ‘lectures on the principles and purposes of Yoga and discussions related to the practice of Yoga with special reference to the postures and the breathing techniques’.

TKV Desikachar, in his forward to the original version wrote:
“These lectures and discussions, printed words put before persons I might never meet,
are but reflections of that deeper result that grew out of a living face-to-face encounter.
Coming to learn of Yoga only through reading leaves much to be desired.
Yet, something worthwhile about Yoga might be shared through the medium of the printed word.”

A chapter by chapter Study guide is offered below with added verse and word cross-references where possible to support a deeper linking with the teachings within these lectures and Q & A sessions.

Chapter 18 Theory: The Way the Mind Functions and the Concept of Nirodha Pages 251-254

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Without mastering Āsana and regulating the inhale and exhale in Āsana……

“Without mastering Āsana and
regulating the inhale and exhale in Āsana,
the Āsana will not produce the desired fruits.”
– T Krishnamacharya

If engaging therapeutically, firstly examine the gait of the breath……

“If engaging therapeutically, firstly
examine the gait of the breath
and the power of the body.
Otherwise it will not bestow fruits.”
– From T Krishnamacharya’s composition,
the Yoga Rahasya Chapter One verse 85

Prāṇāyāma done along with Mantra yields fruits…..

According to one’s capability and reference,
Prāṇāyāma done along with Mantra yields fruits
in the treatment of all kinds of diseases.”
– From T Krishnamacharya’s composition,
the Yoga Rahasya Chapter One verse 84

Navaratri or the Nine Nights of Durgā as a time for Mantra Sādhana……

tri_devi_470

The nine-night long Navaratri, an important occasion in India, is celebrated as a time to honour the Divine Feminine, especially the Goddess Durgā within the Indian tradition. It will commence today Sunday 29th September 2019, the first day of the month of Aśvin, according to the Hindu calendar. During this time the primary focus is Durgā manifesting through three primary aspects of the Divine Feminine.

Thus for the first three nights the focus is around the Divine Feminine in her power-bestowing aspect known as Durgā. For the second three nights the focus is around the Divine Feminine in her prosperity-bestowing aspect known as Lakṣmī. For the third three nights the focus is around the Divine Feminine in her wisdom-bestowing aspect known as Sarasvatī.

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You have to practice in such a way that day to day the breath gets longer and subtler.

TK_Baddha_Konasana

“You have to practice in such a way that
day to day the breath gets longer and subtler.”
– From T Krishnamacharya’s composition,
the Yoga Rahasya Chapter Two verse 30

Owing to differences in the body structure, all Āsana are not meant for everybody.

“There are different body structures,
therefore not all Āsana are enjoined.”
– From T Krishnamacharya’s composition,
the Yoga Rahasya Chapter One verse 31