The experience known as Sthira Sukham Āsanam,
described in Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 46,
arises from melding the mastery of outer stillness in the world,
described as Prayatna Śaithilya, or relaxation of continued effort,
with the mystery of inner openness to the beyond,
described as Ananta Samāpatti, or unity in the infinite.
– Reflections on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 47
What is important is the refinement of one’s
practice and study repertoire, rather than
just the enlargement of one’s repertoire,
whether it’s more Āsana, Chants or Texts.
Plus, the more time you spend on enlarging,
the less time you have to spend on refining.
Yoga Practice needs a Mat and a Map,
of the two the more important question is,
what Map are you using, rather than,
what Mat are you using.
When using Mṛgi Mudrā to control the nostril flow in Prāṇāyāma,
the ring finger and thumb remain as if glued onto the nostrils,
with one nostril being fully closed and one nostril partially closed,
with adjustments to the pressure according to technique and ratio.
Even when using Ujjāyī within techniques such as Anuloma Ujjāyī,
the finger and thumb remain as if sealed on the sides of the nostrils.
Externally it’s as if there is nothing to observe in terms of the body.
Internally there is a vibrant flow within the dynamics of the breath.
According to the teachings of Krishnamacharya and Desikachar,
Āsana involves extending the length of the breath beyond the body,
rather than the extending of the body beyond the length of the breath.
The purpose is to facilitate the field of Prāṇa accumulating in its intensity.
Postural Practice Pointer 25 – In Dvipāda Pīṭham a key Bhāvana is on the arms.
With regard to Dvi Pāda Pīṭham, a key Bhāvana is on how we use the arms.
In the beginning try exploring leaving out raising the arms as you come up,
as shoulder movement means that people can start to move about on the mat.
Here we need to focus on lifting the body upwards as many people slide backwards.
Also many people will push up too much from the buttocks and distend the belly,
which in turn will increase the abdominal pressure and disturb the Apāna Sthāna.
So initially when learning this posture the Bhāvana of lifting from the feet is enough.
Then adding the engagement of a Bhāvana on the arms, by making the arms active.
Thus whilst lifting engage pushing the full length of the arms down firmly on the floor.
Once the legs are active and the arms are active, the neck can lengthen more naturally.
To experience the intention behind
the Bandha, the body must be prepared.
For example if the pulse remains increased
after their use, it is an indicator that we are not ready.
If excessive tension is felt in the areas where they are used,
then an indicator that we are not ready for Bandha in Mahāmudrā.
Having a meditation practice is one thing,
practicing meditation is something else.
Better not to confuse the two in terms of
the gap between intention and outcome.
Meditation is that which might or might not
arise out of our efforts at meditation practice.
The outcome depends on the extent of the intention.
– Reflections around Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 14
When using the Antar Kumbhaka to lengthen the breath,
always factor in its effect on the length of the exhale.
It should be able to stay the same length and quality.
If it is affected, change the length of the Kumbhaka,
rather than compromising the flow of the breath.