Breath can change the Āsana…

Breath can change the Āsana,
as in Mahā Mudrā 10.0.10.0,
or the same with 10.0.20.0.”
– TKV Desikachar 1991

Āsana is offered as a means not an end…

Āsana is offered as a means not an end.
This is important because in current use,
there is no difference between Yoga and Āsana.
People say doing Yoga when in fact doing Āsana.
Yet they don’t say I am doing Yoga when
they are doing Prāṇāyāma or Meditation.”
– TKV Desikachar 1991

Where do Āsana lead us?……

“Where do Āsana lead us?

1. For seated practices
(Adhyātmika Krama or Yoga Practice as a Self-Inquiry)
To stay in a stable posture with the spine erect,
for Dhyāna or preparation for Dhyāna.
2.  For health.
(Cikitsā Krama or Yoga Practice as a Self-Healing)
They do something for the energy flow of the body.
3. Ability to master the body
(Śakti Krama or Yoga Practice as a Self-Empowerment)
Not necessarily to promote health,
but to show that we can master the body.
Often these are good for health,
though many are only useful as challenges.”
– TKV Desikachar

Further Reading – What is the Yoga of Krishnamacharya?

Observation must have a direction and be complete…

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House

“Observation must have a direction and be complete.
We always have a tendency to tell more than what we see,
which is a mistake.
If we tell somebody that they have a problem,
yet we know that we will not be able to give them a solution
because of a lack of time or any other reason,
maybe we are going to hurt them.
Therefore,
we should first make sure that we have a solution to offer.”
– TKV Desikachar 1981

The breath should be slow, smooth and powerful…

“The breath should be slow, smooth and powerful.
It should be held for 1”-2” after the inhale to prevent contraction.
Retention is also the extension of the hold after the exhale
and it is carried out to retain the state of contraction.
It is necessary to complete an exhale otherwise the inhale will get shorter.
Contraction of the stomach after the exhale will make it more effective.”
– TKV Desikachar England 1992

Using the breath in Āsana makes the Āsana adaptable…

“Using the breath in Āsana
makes the Āsana adaptable.
For example, by varying the
breath we can vary the effect.”
– TKV Desikachar England 1992

The breath presents different possibilities in Āsana…

“The breath presents different possibilities in Āsana.
For example, there can be a refinement of the
posture through developing the breath.”
– TKV Desikachar England 1992

The breath involves the spine…

“The breath involves the spine,
and it brings out changes in
the most vital part of the body.”
– TKV Desikachar England 1992

The Āsana are presented in Vinyāsa Krama, the way it was…

“The Āsana are presented in
Vinyāsa Krama, the way it was
taught to children in the Yoga Śāla.
This should not create the impression
that T Krishnamacharya taught
in this manner to everyone.”
– TKV Desikachar Introduction to Yoga Makaranda

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The whole process of observing others and observing oneself is entirely different……

tkv_6a

“The whole process of observing
others and observing oneself
is entirely different.
Often we confuse the two.
Ideally, when we observe others,
we should forget about ourselves.
– TKV Desikachar 1981

The practices dealing with the body and the breath are known as Āsana and Prāṇāyāma…

“The practices dealing with the body and the
breath are known as Āsana and Prāṇāyāma.
They are interlinked, in Āsana the body is
the focus and the breath serves this focus.
In Prāṇāyāma the regulation of the breath is the focus,
the body is prepared adequately via Āsana for this
regulation to materialise without any resistance.”
– TKV Desikachar Madras 1996

Krishnamacharya’s understanding of Cikitsa or Yoga therapy…

“Krishnamacharya’s understanding of Cikitsā
or Yoga therapy and the arrangement and
sequencing
of postures, along with modifying
the posture and using different breathing
patterns, plus the use of sound and different
Bhāvana or mental foci was profound.
This allowed for many possibilities to be
offered, for a great number of students
with problems, from a range of relatively
few postures and breathing techniques.”
– TKV Desikachar Madras 1996

Use Āsana for problems of the body and Prāṇāyāma for problems of the mind.

‎”Use Āsana for problems of the body and
Prāṇāyāma for problems of the mind.”
– T Krishnamacharya

Preventive health is a self-discipline and only a minority…

Preventive health is a self-discipline and only a minority
seeks Yoga as a preventive measure to prevent illness.
Most people seem to seek Yoga only for therapy.”
– TKV Desikachar 1998

We can really see the weaknesses of a body when a person is becoming tired…

“We can really see the weaknesses of a body when a person is becoming tired. Sometimes we have to bring the body to its limits for physical or psychological weaknesses to appear.

This need not take a long time; we just have to put the person in an unusual position. Someone who can easily sit in Daṇḍāsana, for example, could be asked to lean backward.

Someone who can do Utkaṭāsana could be asked to squat with one foot slightly in front of the other, comparing the two sides.

Breathing can also be used. It is possible to save time by asking someone to add special breathing requirements to their Āsana. They will be concerned about these and problems in the body may appear faster. For example repeating Uttānāsana twelve times with a 15″ inhale.”
– TKV Desikachar

Śavāsana is the road between cities…

Śavāsana is the road between cities‎”Śavāsana
is the road between cities.”
TKV Desikachar England 1976