Question to T Krishnamacharya:
“Can you explain the concept of Vinyāsa and Pratikriyā Āsana?”
“The question asked relates to Yoga and not to Vidyā Abhyāsa. There is no Āsana without Vinyāsa. Yoga is an experience, Āsana is the third of the eight limbs of Yoga and it is also important to pay attention to first two limbs, namely Yama and Niyama.
Sthira – Namely firm and without disease and Sukham – pleasant and comfortable. To be in Sukham state, all parts of the body should be in perfect harmony. This is true for all, whether one is a man, woman, deaf, mute, blind or even for animals. Any action that disturbs this state of harmony should be followed by a Pratikriyā to restore the harmony. One cannot but accept this principle.
“Even with my students they teach a posture
because it has been taught to them.
Like a rubber stamp.
This is not Viniyoga.
People have rigid ideas.
For example, why Cakravākāsana for this lady
after Śīrṣāsana, whereas something else,
say Mahāmudrā for somebody else.
So it does not follow what is good for me
is good for everybody.”
– TKV Desikachar France 1983
“He has also given to us the concept of Pratikriyāsana,
the idea of compensation and counterpose.
Since all actions have some reactions,
we have to compensate for the reactions.”
– TKV Desikachar from lectures on ‘The Yoga of T Krishnamacharya’,
given at Zinal, Switzerland 1981.
“When we teach the headstand,
we first teach preparation,
then we teach the counterpose Sarvāṅgāsana
which in itself is a major pose that demands
its own counterpose Bhujaṅgāsana.
It is all very systematic.
Planning means to go gradually, to prepare,
and then to compensate.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Four Pages 53-54