As a Yoga therapist, focus on increasing people’s quality of life……

“As a Yoga therapist,
focus on increasing people’s quality of life,
not on curing diseases.”
– TKV Desikachar

My own father, Krishnamacharya, started using Yoga for sickness…….

“My own father, Krishnamacharya,
started using Yoga for sickness,
even before his journey to Tibet.”
– TKV Desikachar

108 Teaching Path Pointers – 20 – Five Musings around Śīrṣāsana……

sirsasana

Five questions my teacher taught me that need to be ‘posed’,
for or to any student wishing to practice Śīrṣāsana,
or even for and to any teacher wishing to teach Śīrṣāsana,
whatever the situation.

1. Who is going to practice it?
2. Why do they wish to use it?
3. When are they going to practice it?
4. How are they going to get in and out of it?
5. What do they need to have done to verify their capability?

Link to Series: 108 Teaching Path Pointers

Questions on T Krishnamacharya – Answered by TKV Desikachar

This day, August the 8th marks TKV Desikachar’s passing one year ago.
Two posts from this time are shown below.

As I sit within this time of passing and remembrance……

We have lost a fine teacher and a Yoga master……

To honour his memory one year later, this article from the Darśanam Journal is offered.

Questions on T Krishnamacharya – Answered by TKV Desikachar

“Though familiar with some well known details of his early life, the students of the Mandiram were keen to know more about their teacher, T. Krishnamacharya. T.K.V. Desikachar answers a wide range of questions giving us details that were not known before. It covers his views on subjects as diverse as his early orthodoxy, Mahatma Gandhi, the qualities he respected, his diet and entertainment.”

Originally published by the KYM Darśanam November 1993

View or Download as a PDF

Yoga serves the individual……..

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House

“Yoga serves the individual,
and does so through inviting transformation,
rather than by giving information.”
– TKV Desikachar

One should move the spine as you would inhale and exhale.

“One should move the spine as you would inhale and exhale.”
– TKV Desikachar

Traditionally legs remain straight with thighs contracted and knee caps lifted…..

“Traditionally legs remain straight with thighs contracted and knee caps lifted.
Practically the idea is to bend the knees when strain is felt.
This can be observed in several areas.
In the knee caps by movement,
thigh muscles by contraction and resistance in the hamstrings.
When coming up straighten the legs after half way.”
– TKV Desikachar

Its potentially complex these days when something taught……

Its potentially complex these days when something taught to an individual student,
in a personalised, age and situation relevant context;
within a specific environment and epoch;
becomes the ‘gold’ standard for groups of students to follow ‘faithfully’,
through respecting every inch of the formal nuances.

Equally, its potentially complex these days when something taught to a group of students,
in a generalised, open aged and multi-need context;
within a non-specific trans-national environment and epoch;
becomes the ‘gold’ standard for individual students to follow ‘faithfully’,
through respecting every inch of the formal nuances.

108 Yoga Practice Pointers – 36 – Once you lose the breath in Āsana……

Once you lose the breath in Āsana,
effort becomes force.

Link to Series: 108 Yoga Practice Pointers

108 Yoga Practice Pointers – 35 – Because I am too wired to practice I don’t practice……

Because I am too wired to practice I don’t practice.
Because I don’t practice I am too wired to practice.
Because I am too wired to practice I don’t practice.
Because…….

Link to Series: 108 Yoga Practice Pointers

108 Yoga Practice Pointers – 34 – Because I am too tired to practice I don’t practice…..

Because I am too tired to practice I don’t practice.
Because I don’t practice I am too tired to practice.
Because I am too tired to practice I don’t practice.
Because…….

Link to Series: 108 Yoga Practice Pointers

If I had a student I would give more respect to the exhalation……

Of the Four Aspects of the Breath which is more important

“If I had a student I would give more respect to the exhalation.
The course would be based on the observation of the exhalation in Prāṇāyāma and Āsana.
This would give the type of Prāṇāyāma and for which Āsana.
One should see what is the response of the exhalation in the posture or when sitting.
When fixing Prāṇāyāma, even if you are reducing the length of the exhalation,
if any problem then the cycle should be completely changed.
One must give respect to the exhalation.
One can get an idea by the position of the stomach.
One should keep 2/3″ in hand on inhalation and exhalation.”
TKV Desikachar Switzerland 1978

Yoga is a simple system that does not require any equipment…..

“Many years ago my father said that Yoga is a simple system that does not require any equipment.
One only requires some floor space!”
– TKV Desikachar

We are welcome to use Kumbhaka…..

“We are welcome to use Kumbhaka,
but if it in any way affects the quality of the inhale or exhale
and our own relation with this flow, then there is no meaning.
The tragedy of Kumbhaka is that we can use force,
as in Āsana, to achieve our aim.
But why and at what price?”
– TKV Desikachar Switzerland 1978

Patañjali says that it is possible to influence the mind……

Patañjali says that it is possible to influence the mind.
If it is left to itself things may not work out.
Why not?
Because the mind has accumulated certain things.
For instance, this could lead to prejudicing people or situations.
Therefore if we can locate that which acts in this way we will reduce problems.”
– TKV Desikachar

One should inquire onto one’s habits……

“One should inquire onto one’s habits.
Good or bad.”
TKV Desikachar Switzerland 1978

The process of Cikitsā has two parts…..

cikitsa

“The process of Cikitsā has two parts:
1. Rakṣaṇa Krama
I am healthy and don’t want to be sick.
By not doing anything there will be no Rakṣaṇam.
For example:
Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 16
heyaṃ duḥkham anāgatam
I’m alright now,
but I must be careful so I don’t get sick tomorrow.
This is Rakṣaṇa Krama.”
TKV Desikachar France 1983

When is an Āsana an Āsana?

“When is an Āsana an Āsana?
When does it become one?”
– TKV Desikachar

The convention of Paraṃparā or ongoing transmission from teacher to student…

Guru Pūrṇimā

The convention of Paraṃparā or ongoing transmission from teacher to student
is especially honoured annually on this particular full moon day called Guru Pūrṇimā.

The chant below is from traditional prayers chanted at the beginning of any textual studies.
It honours ones teacher and their teacher and their teacher and so on in time memorial.

The recording below by TKV Desikachar I made within lessons over 30 years ago
and is offered as a downloadable MP3 along with a notated chant sheet.

gurubhyastad gurubhyaśca
To my teacher and all their teachers

namo vākamadhīmahe |
I salute through my words

vṛṇīmahe ca tad rādyau
Lauding and that first

dampatī jagatāṃ pati ‖
couple world Lord of

To my teacher and all their teachers
I salute through my words.
Lauding not only them, but the first
couple, Lord of the world.

– Śrī Gurubhyo Namaḥ –

View or Download Gurubhyastad Gurubhyaśca Opening Prayer PDF with notations

Listen or Download Gurubhyastad Gurubhyaśca Opening Prayer MP3 Sound File

So in many Yoga schools the beginning of change is suffering…..

duhkha_5

“So in many Yoga schools the beginning of change is suffering.
We find ourselves in a situation that we don’t like.
Even if we can do 500 Āsana or recite the Yoga Sūtra this suffering can be there.
It is the absence of suffering that is the measure of Yoga.”
– TKV Desikachar