“You have to practice in such a way that day to day the breath gets longer and longer.”
– From T Krishnamacharya’s composition, the Yoga Rahasya
Question to T Krishnamacharya:
How necessary is Yoga in these modern times?
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.
“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.
“The practice of Yoga is linked to the Nāḍī, or pulse, so he always thinks that the pulse rate tells whether you have done a good practice or a bad practice.
He suggests that our life may be measured by the number of beats to the heart, and if somebody wants to live long and well, he has to reduce the rate of the heart beat.
This is, of course, a little different from what the aerobic people say, who think you should boost your heart rate to 130/140.”
“Because of the different uses of breathing,
he strongly believes that the beginning of Prāṇāyāma is in Āsana.
Āsana, and Āsana alone,
with proper breathing techniques,
leads you to the idea of Prāṇāyāma.”
“I had one student who could do all the Āsana and was shocked to discover that she was unable to stay in Mahā Mudrā for eight breaths! She was so flexible that she took her body for granted.
Mahā Mudrā requires more than suppleness of the body.
We must be able to stay and breathe in this posture.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Four Page 45