108 Teaching Path Pointers – 45 – Krishnamacharya’s approach to teaching children Āsana….

Krishnamacharya’s approach
to teaching children Āsana,
was more about cultivating
strength in Prāṇa Sthāna and
movement in Apāna Sthāna.
Whereas for teaching adults
Āsana, the approach was
now more about cultivating
movement in Prāṇa Sthāna
and strength in Apāna Sthāna.

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108 Teaching Path Pointers – 44 – eight steps in the journey towards learning the teachings…

Desikachar taught me that there were eight steps
in the journey towards learning the teachings.

1. Upadeśa
– To come near to the teachings and remain
2. Śravaṇa
– To listen to the teachings with an open ear
3. Grahaṇa
– To seize hold of or grasp onto the teachings
4. Dhāraṇā
– To concentrate on memorising the teachings
5. Manana
– To carefully reflect on the teachings
6. Anuṣṭhāna
– To live with and put the teachings into practice
7. Anubhāvana
– To have some experiences from following the teachings
8. Pracāra
– To share and apply the teachings with others

In the other words the journey towards
coming near to, listening to, grasping, memorizing,
reflecting, applying, experiencing and sharing the teachings.

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108 Teaching Path Pointers – 43 – The teaching of Krishnamacharya around Āsana included an in-depth appreciation of the Lakṣaṇa……


My Āsana study with Desikachar was shaped around forming
a deep appreciation of specific core principles that underpin
the planning and practice of Āsana and their application to
the individual student’s constitution, psychology and need.

Amongst these dozen or so core principles,
the first group when looking at any Āsana in depth,
were the concepts of Nāma, Rūpa and Lakṣaṇa, or the
nameform and characteristics of that particular Āsana.

Obviously, the Nāma is a useful tag point for identification
and the Rūpa is vital as a reference point for the Sat Viniyoga,
or right application of the Āsana within overall considerations of
initial direction and outcomes through such as the Śikṣaṇa Krama,
Rakṣaṇa Krama or Cikitsā Krama application of the forms used.

However, I do feel these days that our understanding in Āsana
practice is more dominated by the Nāma and the Rūpa with
little emphasis on the Lakṣaṇa or inherent characteristics of the
Āsana and how understanding this aspect can have a profound
effect on the approach, application and outcome of the overall or
accumulative impact of the Āsana within the student’s practice.

The teachings of Krishnamacharya around Āsana included
an in-depth appreciation of the Lakṣaṇa, especially around
the thirty or so primary and secondary support Āsana such as
Uttānāsana, Jaṭhara Parivṛtti, Bhujaṅgāsana or Januśīrṣāsana.

Link to Series: 108 Teaching Path Pointers

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

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

108 Teaching Path Pointers – 42 – The principles of Cikitsā, Rakṣaṇa and Śikṣaṇa Krama…

The principles of CikitsāRakṣaṇa and Śikṣaṇa Krama
are more applicable to the ‘mindset’ of a person,
rather than looking through the ‘fitness’ of their body.

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108 Teaching Path Pointers – 41 – You apply therapeutics through Cikitsā…

You apply therapeutics through Cikitsā,
but not protection or preservation.
This is the role of Rakṣaṇa.

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108 Teaching Path Pointers – 40 – Has the fusion of Yoga and Fitness…

Has the fusion of Yoga and Fitness
become a confusion of Yoga as Fitness?

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108 Teaching Path Pointers – 40 – Yoga offerings include Yoga for Asthma……

Yoga offerings include
– Yoga for Asthma
– Yoga for Bunions
– Yoga for Colds
– Yoga for Digestion
– Yoga for Eyesight
– Yoga for Flexibility
and so on through to

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108 Teaching Path Pointers – 39 – Krishnamacharya and Desikachar’s life work focused on the training of students……

All of Krishnamacharya’s and Desikachar’s
life work focused on the training of students,
some of whom then went on to become teachers.
Rather than the reality that pervades Yoga today,
in that the priority is on the training of teachers,
some of whom may go on to became students.

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108 Teaching Path Pointers – 38 – Krishnamacharya and Desikachar’s teaching……

Krishnamacharya and Desikachar’s transmission
sought to preserve specific personal priorities
when transmitting Yoga teachings to others.
For example when teaching youngsters,
the focus was on doing less with more.
However when teaching adults personally,
the focus was on doing more with less.
This would be with regards to Āsana practice,
as well as with regard to the number of Students.

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108 Teaching Path Pointers – 37 – Consider Āsana as vehicles to transmit the fundamental principles of practice……

As a teacher it can be helpful to consider Āsana as
vehicles to transmit the fundamental principles of practice.
For example a cardinal principle of practice is that Āsana
have a primary and a secondary aspect within their Lakṣana.
Thus we must inquire into what is the primary aspect in this Āsana,
and what is the secondary aspect in this particular Āsana?
The idea is to maintain the integrity of the primary characteristics.
Thus we may need to compromise the secondary characteristics.
For example in Uttānāsana to sustain the primary work in the spine
we can consider a secondary compromise by releasing the knees.

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108 Teaching Path Pointers – 36 – I feel we need to ensure that we use our practice……

I feel we need to ensure that
we use our practice to support our teaching,
rather than using our teaching to support our practice.

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108 Teaching Path Pointers – 35 – There are those Yoga teachers who speak to your fantasies…….

There are those Yoga teachers who speak to your fantasies
and those Yoga teachers who speak to your realities.

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108 Teaching Path Pointers – 34 – Something spreading more widely may not automatically mean……

Something spreading more widely may not
automatically mean that something is developing.
Should we be reflecting more on that which helps Yoga to develop,
rather than on that which helps Yoga to spread more widely?

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108 Teaching Path Pointers – 33 – TKV Desikachar did not teach different people different things……

TKV Desikachar did not teach different people different things.
Nor did he just teach the same thing to different people.
He taught different people the same thing in different ways.
The same could be said of T Krishnamacharya’s teaching.
Hence the context of the phrase the viniyoga of Yoga.

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108 Teaching Path Pointers – 32 – One hallmark within TKV Desikachar’s teaching on Āsana……

One hallmark within TKV Desikachar’s teaching on Āsana,
was not to confuse ‘appropriate’ alignment techniques,
with ‘proper’ alignment techniques.
The former implies a personalised starting point,
whilst the latter implies a developmental potential.
However both need to be related to 3 questions:
Where am I coming from?
Why am I practicing Āsana?
Where am I going to?

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108 Teaching Path Pointers – 31 – Amongst the Antarāya that relegate Prāṇāyāma to the wish list……

nadi_sodana
Amongst the Antarāya that
relegate Prāṇāyāma to the wish list
is the choice of a long relaxation as
a substitute ending to Āsana practice.

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108 Teaching Path Pointers – 30 – Two primary roles in the adaptation of Āsana……

“Two primary roles in the adaptation of Āsana
to the needs and potential of the student are
Facilitating a decrease of tension within the body
whilst
Facilitating an increase of attention within the breath.”
– Reflections on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 47

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108 Teaching Path Pointers – 29 – Yoga Cikitsā is about treating a person in a problem……

Yoga Cikitsā is about Respecting the Problem and Treating the Person

Yoga Cikitsā is about
treating a person in a problem.
Rather than
treating a problem in a person.

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108 Teaching Path Pointers – 28 – I wonder if Modern Postural Yoga is confusing……

I wonder if Modern Postural Yoga is confusing,
experiencing a supple body,
with experiencing a subtle body?

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108 Teaching Path Pointers – 27 – Sat viniyoga is about learning to do more with less……

Sat viniyoga
is about learning to do more with less.
Asat viniyoga
is about learning to do less with more.
Whether Āsana or Students!!

Link to Series: 108 Teaching Path Pointers