For Yoga Teachers it is important to understand……

“For Yoga Teachers it is
important to understand
the movement of the mind
as well as of the body.”
TKV Desikachar on Sāṃkhya and Yoga

In order to experience Dhyānam, the sixth step, Dhāraṇā……

Dhyānam is the seventh Aṅga of the Aṣṭāṅga Yoga.
In order to experience Dhyānam, the sixth step,
Dhāraṇā, should have been practiced thoroughly.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Dhyānam

Q: How necessary is Yoga in these modern times?

Question to T Krishnamacharya:
How necessary is Yoga in these modern times?
Krishnamacharya’s Response:
“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.”

The whole system functions on the strength of mind……

“The whole system functions on the strength of mind.
Mind is affected by what we eat.
‘Our mind is like our food‘.
Tapas is to discipline our eating habits.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 1

As is the food in front of you……

“As is the food in front of you,
so is the mind behind you.”
– TKV Desikachar 1979

One’s own actions can develop or make one Guṇa prominent……

guna

“One’s own actions can develop or make one Guṇa prominent.
Thus we can plan or practice Āsana or Prāṇāyāma to promote one Guṇa.
The practice of Yoga can influence the Guṇa.
the room where you practice can affect the Guṇa
by photographs, colour of paint, smell.
Even Mantra are classified into Guṇa.
This needs to be considered when using Mantra for the individual.
Meditation can be related to the Guṇa.
The object of our inquiry must be related or,
in accordance with what we want to produce.”
TKV Desikachar on Sāṃkhya and Yoga

Everything we see, including the instrument of mind, has three qualities……

guna

“Everything we see,
including the instrument of mind,
has three qualities or natures.
All matter has the three qualities.
In Saṃskṛta they are known as Guṇa.
In Sāṃkhya it is said that every problem
comes from the Guṇa and their interplay.
The effects can be based on what we see, eat, hear,
and the effects of what we see, eat, hear.
In Yoga one who has mastered themselves is one
who can produce whatever Guṇa is required.”
TKV Desikachar on Sāṃkhya and Yoga

If engaging therapeutically, firstly examine the gait of the breath……

“If engaging therapeutically, firstly
examine the gait of the breath
and the power of the body.
Otherwise it will not bestow fruits.”
– From T Krishnamacharya’s composition,
the Yoga Rahasya Chapter One verse 85

Prāṇāyāma done along with Mantra yields fruits…..

According to one’s capability and reference,
Prāṇāyāma done along with Mantra yields fruits
in the treatment of all kinds of diseases.”
– From T Krishnamacharya’s composition,
the Yoga Rahasya Chapter One verse 84

Owing to differences in the body structure, all Āsana are not meant for everybody.

“There are different body structures,
therefore not all Āsana are enjoined.”
– From T Krishnamacharya’s composition,
the Yoga Rahasya Chapter One verse 31

Prāṇāyāma practice of at least 24 breaths should be done….

nadi_shodana

“For curing an illness,
Prāṇāyāma practice of at least 24 breaths
should be done several times each day
– ideally eight times.
All other unnecessary physical activities should be curtailed.
Food should be limited to liquids – primarily milk;
and hot, dry foods avoided.
Breathing practice should be done without the aid of any tools or instruments.”
–  T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 34

While it is used as a metaphor that the Kuṇḍalinī is going up, really, it does not make sense……

“While it is used as a metaphor that the Kuṇḍalinī
is going up, really, it does not make sense.
If we say that Kuṇḍalinī is an energy that gives us truth,
then we have to a accept the fact that we have
two energies in life, Prāṇa and Kuṇḍalinī.
Some also say that energy is sleeping.
What is meant by this?

read more

As teachers we can only confine ourselves to diseases……

“As teachers we can only confine ourselves
to diseases where we have a role to play.
These are diseases where the mind is involved.
We work with diseases where a relationship
exists between body and mind.”
– TKV Desikachar France 1983

The terms Ha and Ṭha also represent two extreme sides of a wavering mind……

“The terms Ha and Ṭha also represent
two extreme sides of a wavering mind.
Ha often is meant to represent the sun, Ṭha the moon.
Suṣumṇā in the middle Nāḍī.
Prāṇa in the Ha and Ṭha represents
a confused and wavering mind.
Prāṇa in the  Suṣumṇā represents a clear, steady mind.
Hence, Jñāni is one whose Prāṇa is in Suṣumṇā
and Ajñāni is one whose Prāṇa is still
in the opposite two Nāḍī, Ha and Ṭha.”
TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga
‘Various Approaches to Yoga’
Chapter Seventeen Page 246-247

The obstacle is also called Kuṇḍalinī because it looks like an earring……

“The obstacle is also called Kuṇḍalinī because it looks like an earring
worn by women in the olden days and Kuṇḍali means ‘earring’.
It is also called Śakti because its power is so great that
it is able to block the flow of Prāṇa into the Suṣumṇā.
We must note that it is Prāṇa that is eventually
supposed to go into the Suṣumṇā.
Many books describe that which goes up as Kuṇḍalinī.
Kuṇḍalinī does not go up.
Suṣumṇā is like a conductor through which energy flows.
This energy is the same energy that is always present, Prāṇa.”
TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga
‘Various Approaches to Yoga’
Chapter Seventeen Page 243-244

In observing, we must remember a few more things……

“In observing, we must remember a few more things:

When we are not able to see something,
It is either because something else is more obvious,
or because it is too close to us.
(Sāṃkhya Kārikā of Īśvara Kṛṣṇa Āryā Seven)

We can only observe when there is an inclination to do so.
(Yoga Sūtra Chapter Four verse 17)

Because of our own memories, backgrounds, cultures, etc.
Each person looks at the same problem differently,
which may cause problems.
(Yoga Sūtra Chapter Four verse 15)

We must respect time and change,
although the tendency nowadays is otherwise.
We must wait and observe more than once
so as not to be trapped by the fact
that things appear like this one day
and like that another day.”

TKV Desikachar on Sāṃkhya and Yoga

Sometimes Yoga is called Darśana Vijñāna……

“Sometimes Yoga is called Darśana Vijñāna.
Vijñāna means ‘to know things in detail,
which involves also the techniques, the process of knowing, etc’.
It mean that not only we see things, we also know how to apply.

Darśana means ‘mirror, view, projection;
showing something that we cannot normally see.’
For instance, the Six Darśana in Indian philosophy
are six ways of seeing things.

Darśana in Yoga is divided into two classes:

read more

In Samādhi there is an understanding……

samadhi

“In Samādhi there is an understanding.
Something not based on your memories,
something that transcends your memories.
Prajña comes only in Samādhi.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 20

Samādhi is a state of mind and an understanding that arises from it.

samadhi

Samādhi is a state of mind and an
understanding that arises from it.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 18

It is not enough to realise that there is somewhere to go……

sraddha

“It is not enough to realise that there is somewhere to go,
you must also be really interested in taking the step.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 20