Religiousness in Yoga Study Guide: Chapter Fifteen Theory

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House

‘Religiousness in Yoga: Lectures on Theory and Practice’ by the University Press of America,
a transcript of recordings of a one month Yoga Programme in Colgate University in 1976, published in 1980.

Unlike the later redacted edition, re-published in 1995 as the ‘Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice’, it captures the evolution of the retreat with the days lectures and Q & A dialogues as they alternated between ‘lectures on the principles and purposes of Yoga and discussions related to the practice of Yoga with special reference to the postures and the breathing techniques’.

TKV Desikachar, in his forward to the original version wrote:

“These lectures and discussions, printed words put before persons I might never meet,
are but reflections of that deeper result that grew out of a living face-to-face encounter.
Coming to learn of Yoga only through reading leaves much to be desired.
Yet, something worthwhile about Yoga might be shared through the medium of the printed word.”

A chapter by chapter Study guide is offered below with added verse and word cross-references where possible to support a a deeper linking with the teachings within these lectures and Q & A sessions.

Chapter 15 Theory: The Antarāyāḥ, Obstacles to Progress, Techniques to Overcome them Pages 207-219

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108 Postural Practice Pointers – 20 – Bhāvana for moving within Forward Bends

Postural Practice Pointer 20 – Bhāvana for moving within Forward Bends

Keep the arms up as you go down
Thus moving from from Apāna Sthāna to Prāṇa Sthāna.
Lift the arms first as you come up.
Thus moving from from Prāṇa Sthāna to Apāna Sthāna.

Link to Series: 108 Postural Practice Pointers

108 Sūtra Study Pointers – 43 – Fear and Insecurity feed on the leftovers……

abhinivesa

“Fear and Insecurity feed on the leftovers
from the meals of past experiences.”
– Commentary around Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 9

Link to Series: 108 Sutra Study Pointers

2022 Art of Sūtra Psychology Course Module Four – Vibhūti Pādaḥ

Exploring Chapter Three of the Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali

The Art of Sūtra Psychology Course Module Four
Yoga Sūtra Chapter Three – Vibhūti Pādaḥ
March 26/27th 2022 and June 25/26th 2022

This Art of Sūtra Psychology Modular Course is limited to a maximum of five students to allow for a personalised approach and in-depth transmission between teacher and student. It is offered as a 4 day course modulecomprising two 2 day meetings over 3-4 months.

Based in the Cotswolds, it offers an in-depth study of Chapter Three of the Yoga Sūtra. It is presented with the aim of reflecting the fundamentals of Śrī T Krishnamacharya’s teaching, namely, transmission occurs through the direct experience of the teacher with the students personal practice and study Sādhana.

It is an opportunity for a Yoga student from any Yoga background or style to experience an in-depth exploration of Chapter Three of the Yoga Sūtra of Patāñjali over a 4 day module.

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Postscript to yesterdays post around the three Niyama within Kriyā Yoga…… 

A postscript to yesterdays post around the three Niyama
within Kriyā Yoga on the uses of the terms ‘self’ or ‘Self’ within
the legs in the tripod supporting our efforts at nurturing a state of Yoga.

“Activities that nurture a state of Yoga involve
self-discipline, Self-inquiry and Self-awareness.”

The first leg supporting the tripod refers to Citta
as the self in terms of nurturing self-discipline.

Tapas is to discipline our eating habits.”
– T Krishnamacharya

The second leg supporting the tripod refers to Cit
as the Self in terms of nurturing Self-inquiry.

Svādhyāya is an inquiry into one’s true nature.”
– T Krishnamacharya

The final leg supporting the tripod refers to Cit
as the Self in terms of nurturing Self-awareness.

“Yoga is awareness, a type of knowing.”
– T Krishnamacharya

The Art of Āyurveda Lifestyle Module One Workshop November 21st/22nd 2020

ayurveda

Follow this link for details of Online Personalised Learning Art of Āyurveda Lifestyle Study options

The Art of  Āyurveda Lifestyle Workshop Module One
Know your Patterns within The Ebb and Flow of Seasons, Food and Life

The Art of Āyurveda Lifestyle – Module One Personal Sādhana Workshop is limited to a maximum of five students to allow for a personalised approach and in-depth transmission between teacher and student. This weekend workshop introduces the student to the primary principles and essential teachings from Āyurveda and how they were applied by T Krishnamacharya and TKV Desikachar.

Based in the Cotswolds, it is open to all except complete beginners and offers an opportunity for any Yoga Student, teacher or trainee teacher from any Yoga background to develop and deepen their personal Yoga practice and study.

It is presented with the aim of reflecting the fundamentals of Śrī T Krishnamacharya’s teaching, namely, transmission occurs through the direct experience of the teacher with the students personal practice and study Sādhana.

It offers an in-depth approach to Āyurveda texts, through an experiential appreciation of the core teachings that underpin the Art of Āyurveda Lifestyle, either for personal development or, if relevant, to enhance professional skills. It is also a prerequisite to further work in the The Art of Āyurveda Lifestyle – Module Two Course.

Upcoming Dates

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108 Sūtra Study Pointers – 42 – Activities that nurture a state of Yoga…….

Activities that nurture a state of Yoga involve
self-discipline, Self-inquiry and Self-awareness.
– Reflections around Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 1

Link to Series: 108 Sutra Study Pointers

108 Postural Practice Pointers – 19 – In Dvipāda Pīṭham a key Bhāvana is on the feet……

Postural Practice Pointer 19 – In Dvipāda Pīṭham a key Bhāvana is on the feet.

With regard to Dvi Pāda Pīṭham, a key Bhāvana is on the feet.
A common approach is people not working from their feet.
Instead they are primarily using their buttocks to push up.
Desikachar taught that we both lift and lower from the feet
Thus Two Foot Support is controlled by using both feet.

Link to Series: 108 Postural Practice Pointers

108 Sūtra Study Pointers – 41 – Some define their experience of life by seeking Duḥkha……

Some define their experience of life by seeking Duḥkha,
some by seeking Sukha.
The Yoga Practitioner sees both as Avidyā
and defines their experience of life by seeking
what lies beyond duality through unwavering Viveka.
– Reflections around Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 26

Link to Series: 108 Sutra Study Pointers

Whenever we look at an Āsana we must look at two sides……

“Whenever we look at an Āsana
we must look at two sides:
1. What is involved in the Āsana
2. Who is doing the Āsana
– TKV Desikachar 1984

The worst obstacle of all occurs when, somewhere in the back of our minds……

“The worst obstacle of all occurs when,
somewhere in the back of our minds,
we think we have understood something and we haven’t.
That is, we fancy that we have seen the truth.
We think, because of a situation in which we feel
we have some sort of calmness, we have reached our zenith.
We say, ‘That is what I have been looking for; I have progressed.’
But in actual fact we have not progressed.”
– TKV Desikachar ‘Antarāyāḥ, Obstacles to progress, Techniques to Overcome them’
Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Fifteen Page 209

108 Sūtra Study Pointers – 40 – Awareness is a quality not a quantity.

cit devanagari

Awareness is a quality not a quantity.
Commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Four verse 34

Link to Series: 108 Sutra Study Pointers

108 Teaching Path Pointers – 34 – Something spreading more widely may not automatically mean……

Something spreading more widely may not
automatically mean that something is developing.
Should we be reflecting more on that which helps Yoga to develop,
rather than on that which helps Yoga to spread more widely?

Link to Series: 108 Teaching Path Pointers

108 Sūtra Study Pointers – 39 – Prāṇāyāma is a key to the door of Dhāraṇā.

Prāṇāyāma is a key to the door of Dhāraṇā.
Commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 53

Link to Series: 108 Sutra Study Pointers

Different Yoga practices are meant to prepare a person towards Dhyānam.

“Different Yoga practices are meant to prepare a person towards Dhyānam.”
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 21

108 Teaching Path Pointers – 33 – TKV Desikachar did not teach different people different things……

TKV Desikachar did not teach different people different things.
Nor did he just teach the same thing to different people.
He taught different people the same thing in different ways.
The same could be said of T Krishnamacharya’s teaching.
Hence the context of the phrase the viniyoga of Yoga.

Link to Series: 108 Teaching Path Pointers

108 Postural Practice Pointers – 18 – Always weight on the feet not on the hands.

Postural Practice Pointer 18 – Always weight on the feet not on the hands.

With regard to Āsana where the hands are placed on the ground,
the weight should not be on them.
So always weight on the feet not on the hands.

Link to Series: 108 Postural Practice Pointers

Another obstacle is when our senses seem to take over……

“Another obstacle is when our senses seem to take over.
They reassert themselves as masters,
sometimes without our knowing it.
This is not surprising since we are trained from birth to
look here, see there, hear this, touch that, etc.
So sometimes, because of their habitual action of always looking for things, etc.,
The senses take over and our direction slowly shifts in the wrong way.”
– TKV Desikachar ‘Antarāyāḥ, Obstacles to progress, Techniques to Overcome them’
Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Fifteen Page 209

108 Sūtra Study Pointers – 38 – If you remove the past from the present what is left?

If you remove the past from the present what is left?
– Reflection on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 43

Link to Series: 108 Sutra Study Pointers

Prāṇāyāma was taught according to the principles of Cikitsā, Rakṣaṇa and Śikṣaṇa……

nadi_sodanaPrāṇāyāma, as with Āsana and Dhyānam, was taught according
to the principles of CikitsāRakṣaṇa and Śikṣaṇa Krama.
Thus we have breathing practices ranging from Cikitsā,
using simple ratio to settle an irregular breath, to Rakṣaṇa,
with competence and fluidity with various basic techniques and mild ratios,
to Śikṣaṇa and mastery of all techniques, and ratios and especially,
the Kumbhaka with long holds both after the inhale and the exhale.

The Vinyāsa Krama or steps in the evolution of practice are measured
by our practice abilities and consistency and potential within our life situation.
The longer term measure of our Prāṇāyāma potential is determined by
our skilful efforts with all four components of the breath in Āsana.
For example can we maintain 8.8.8.8. in Parśva Uttānāsana or 12.6.18.12 in Mahāmudrā?

These days though, it seems that there is not much place for or interest in the use of Kumbhaka
within breathing practices, if used at all it appears to be mainly Cikitsā or about recovery,
or at best Rakṣaṇa or constitutional, rather than Śikṣaṇa and developmental.

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We cannot escape the need for adaptation……

“We cannot escape the need for adaptation.
Adaptation is the application of certain principles,
to achieve certain results.
It implies:
– Knowing where the person is now.
– Knowing where we want them to go.
Adaptation is the means used to bridge this gap.”
– TKV Desikachar 1981

The Art of Haṭha Energetics Module One Workshop October 17/18th 2020

Sat_Cakra

“The Cakra are points of concentration for the mind.”
– TKV Desikachar ‘Concering the Cakra’

The Art of Haṭha Energetics Module One
– Vitalize your Energy Understanding Nāḍī Prāṇa Agni Cakra Bhūta

The Art of Haṭha Energetics – Module One Personal Sādhana Workshop is limited to a maximum of five students to allow for a personalised approach and in-depth transmission between teacher and student. It introduces the student, through a 2 day workshop, to the primary principles and teachings from T Krishnamacharya and TKV Desikachar on the Art of Haṭha Energetics.

Based in the Cotswolds, it is open to all except complete beginners. It offers an opportunity for a student to have an in-depth introduction to the primary principles and teachings from the major Haṭha Yoga texts.

Upcoming Dates

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