The purpose of Āsana and Prāṇāyāma are twofold….

Āsana_4

“The purpose of Āsana and Prāṇāyāma are twofold,
to reduce symptoms of ill-health or,
to prepare the mind towards fulfilling the main emphasis of Patañjali,
which is Meditation.
However according to the teaching I have received,
both of these roles can be fulfilled with
relatively few Āsana postures and Prāṇāyāma techniques.”
– TKV Desikachar Madras 1996

read more

Some people say they practice Āsana, Prāṇāyāma, Meditation….

“Some people say they practice Āsana, Prāṇāyāma, Meditation.
Among these things which is close to Sādhana and which is not close to Sādhana?”
– TKV Desikachar France 1983

There are certain things we do in Yoga which seem to aid Dhyāna

dhyana

“There are certain things we do in Yoga which seem to aid Dhyāna
because they remove something which is blocking it.”
– TKV Desikachar ‘The Antaraṅga Sādhana, Saṃyama and Kaivalya’
Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Thirteen Page 186

It is not the number of hours in Meditation…..

dhyanam

“It is not the number of hours in Meditation,
the type of Ratio in Prāṇāyāma,
the number of times you turn the Mālā,
it is the intensity of the attempt.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 22

We start our practice where we are and look toward a certain goal….

Desikachar_France_1999

“We start our practice where we are and look toward a certain goal.
Then we choose the steps that will lead us toward realising that goal
and will gradually bring us back into our everyday life,
but our daily practice does not return us to the exact place we started.
The practice has changed us.”
– TKV Desikachar

There are different grades of inclination and possibility…..

samadhi

“There are different grades of inclination and possibility
among those who are interested to experience the state of Samādhi.”
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 21

Meditation must elevate the mind.

dhyana

Meditation must elevate the mind.
That is its basic purpose, to be where I was not.
This involves an ascent of the individual’s mind.”
TKV Desikachar Madras 1988

According to Patañjali even when you have something in front of you……

uparaga

“According to Patañjali,
even when you have something in front of you,
you may not see it.
Even when you don’t have something in front of you,
but you want to see it,
you will see it.
Everything depends on YOU.”
TKV Desikachar Madras 1988

Unless there is a shift from Manas to Citta it is not possible to do Dhāraṇā……

dharana

“Unless there is a shift from Manas to Citta,
it is not possible to do Dhāraṇā.”
– TKV Desikachar 1998

All models for meditation have a preliminary step, Pūrva Aṅga……

dhyana
“All models for meditation have a preliminary step, Pūrva Aṅga,
in which one does things which lead to a situation where Dhyāna may be possible.
Dhyāna, then, the ability to pursue and fix a question,
also requires Pūrva Aṅga, preparation.”

“Proper preparation can involve eliminating divisive forces and
making certain the person is ready for the work.”

“Not everyone needs Pūrva Aṅga.

read more

Any model for Meditation presented in this Tradition will have…..

dhyana

“Any model for Meditation presented in this Tradition will have:
1. Preliminaries.
2. Peak.
3. Descent.”

“The preliminaries are very important,
especially in isolating one object for meditation.”

“How ineffective one’s meditation will be if one thinks he or she can start at the peak.”

“In Meditation, one needs time for the preliminaries;
then the actual meditation may be short because the mind is ready.”

“From Pūrva Aṅga,
one goes into a state of Dhyāna,
and then must come out.
One must have the means to come out of that state.”

“The length of time for each step of the meditation model is variable.
However, the preparation is linked to the exact character and evolution of Dhyāna.”

TKV Desikachar Madras December 19th 1988

In India the Purohita has the authority to say……

purohita

“In India the Purohita (person appointed to be in charge of the teaching)
has the authority to say:
Anuloma – What goes with what the person wants.
Viloma – What goes against what the person wants.
Pratiloma – What is different from what the person wants.
In the West too much Anuloma.
In India more Viloma and Pratiloma.”
– TKV Desikachar Madras 1998

Principles behind why Krishnamacharya only taught adults 121……

tkv_tk_3_1980

“There is another practical thing, it is like what we call Vinyāsa.

At different times, he (Krishnamacharya) has said that any teaching must have the following conditions:

First, from where is the student coming? What is called Deśa. Is he from America, or is he from North India? Teaching must consider whether the person is from one country or another.

read more

Where do Āsana lead us?……

“Where do Āsana lead us?
1. For seated practices. (Adhyātmika – Concerning our essence)
To stay in a stable position with the spine erect for Dhyāna or preparation for Dhyāna.
2.  For health. (Cikitsā – Therapeutics)
They do something for the energy flow of the body.
3. Ability to master the body. (Śakti – Power)
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.”
– From personal lessons with TKV Desikachar

One should practice and inquire into the effects of the practice…….

One should practice and inquire into the effects

“One should practice and
inquire into the effects of the practice
as well as the practice.”
TKV Desikachar Switzerland 1978

In the case of a person whose mind is calm……

“In the case of a person whose mind
is calm and free from disturbances,
there is the integration of the person who meditates,
the mind which is utilised for meditation
and the object that is meditated upon.
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 41

Where a person wants to grasp the true nature of the I……

sraddha

“In the Yogavallī, T Krishnamacharya’s commentary on the Yoga Sūtra,
Śraddhā has been seen in a different, very interesting way.
In it, he has said that Śraddhā is a symbol for a special meditation
and he calls this meditation, Ahaṃ Graha Upāsana.
Aham is the I, Graha is to grasp and Upāsana is to stay near.
Where a person wants to grasp the true nature of the I,
it is called Ahaṃ Graha Upāsana.”
– TKV Desikachar on Śraddhā in the Yoga Sūtra

Prāṇāyāma leads to this…..

Prāṇāyāma leads to this.
Pratyāhāra, to see without the senses distracting or pulling the mind,
and Dhāraṇā, to see without the mind losing itself,
because of colouring or expectations.
Dhyānam arises out of this.”
– TKV Desikachar

Dhāraṇā – To see without the mind losing itself……

dharana

Dhāraṇā –
To see without the mind losing itself,
because of colouring or expectations.”
– TKV Desikachar

There is nothing better than Prāṇāyāma for this preparation…..

Prāṇāyāma

Dhyānam is not Naimityakam –
something that is done once in a while.
It is a regular practice, almost a ritual.
One must prepare for this ritual every day.
There is nothing better than Prāṇāyāma for this preparation.”
– TKV Desikachar commentary on Dhyānamālikā Śloka 14