I wonder if Modern Postural Yoga is confusing……

“I wonder if Modern Postural Yoga is confusing,
experiencing a supple body,
with experiencing a subtle body?”

Yoga is the experience of stillness……

“Yoga is the experience of stillness,
within the fluctuations of mind,
rather than the experience of stillness,
of the fluctuations of mind.”

The whole process of observing others and observing oneself is entirely different……

“The whole process of observing others
and observing oneself is entirely different.
Often we confuse the two.
Ideally, when we observe others,
we should forget about ourselves.
– TKV Desikachar 1981

Sat viniyoga is about learning to do more with less……

Sat viniyoga
is about learning to do more with less.
Asat viniyoga
is about learning to do less with more.
Whether Āsana or Students!!

If Śarīra leads Ātma, there is Kleśa…….

“If Śarīra leads Ātma, there is Kleśa.
The cause of this is Karma Vāsana and Mithyā Indriya.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 2

Yoga is a mirror of ourselves……

TKV_5

“Yoga is a mirror of ourselves.
It is Darśana Vijñāna,
the science of observation,
not just doing Āsana.
In teaching Yoga this implies:
– that we may not transmit exactly the way we have been taught.
– that we may not teach what we ourselves are doing.”
– TKV Desikachar 1981

At times getting to the practice mat……

At times getting to the practice mat
is more about exercising Mind over Matter.
In other words getting there because of the Mind.
At other times getting to the practice mat
is more about exercising Matter over Mind.
In other words getting there in spite of the Mind.

The Yoga Sūtra indicate five ways to reach the highest……

samadhi

The Yoga Sūtra in Chapter Four verse One
indicate five ways to reach the highest.
The fifth is the most laboured
because we must start from the bottom.”
TKV Desikachar Madras December 19th 1988

Compare Paścimatānāsana, Januśīrṣāsana, Upaviṣṭa Koṇāsana and Baddha Koṇāsana with regard to the following:

Compare Paścimatānāsana, Januśīrṣāsana, Upaviṣṭa Koṇāsana and Baddha Koṇāsana

With regard to:

1. Differences between them in terms of stress on the knees.

2. Differences between them in terms of stress on the lower back.

3. Differences between them in terms of effect on high blood pressure.

4. Differences between them as a preparation for runners.

5. Differences between them as a counterpose for runners.

6. Differences between them for a person with sciatica.

To Download or View this Question as a PDF Study Sheet

Viniyoga is an offering……

Viniyoga is an offering.
Every offering presents two aspects:
what is offered and the way it is offered.
Each of these aspects has two sides:
to give and to receive.
When there is harmony between these two sides,
the offering is perfect; it becomes viniyoga,
like the viniyoga of Prasādam in a modest temple in India.”
– TKV Desikachar 1983

What are the effects of Kriyā Yoga?

“What are the effects of Kriyā Yoga?
Samādhi Bhāvana
The ability to pursue the right practice that brings one closer to Īśvara.
Kleśa Tanū Karaṇa –
Reduction of those obstacles that we have somehow acquired through wrong actions,
leading to undesirable and bitter experiences.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 2

When less Āsana time than you would like……

When less Āsana time than you would like,
better to reduce the number of Āsana,
or the number of repetitions,
or the length of the stays,
rather than, reducing the length of the breath.
Or….. even considering lengthening the breath,
thus even fewer Āsana, all with a longer breath than usual.
Here the Bhāvana could be to observe the effect
of a more spacious than usual Āsana breathing
on a more cramped than usual daily mindset.

We should not worry about whether or not we have a larger audience than others……

“We should not worry about whether or not we have a larger audience than others, our only concern should be people. How to reach all those people who have not found the comfort they are looking for in other ways and for whom Yoga can be so useful.

We must urgently open the door of Yoga, and if the Bhakti of Krishnamacharya is an obstacle to this opening, people will not be able to enter. If I start by saying: “This is my tradition…” some people will reply: “All right, keep it well for you”…

I think that in Krishnamacharya’s teaching, it is necessary to remove everything that can hold people back and keep everything that is likely to be most useful to them. If Krishnamacharya’s Yoga helps, so much the better, and we must resort to it. If on the contrary it is a source of difficulty or division, we must leave it aside.”
– TKV Desikachar 1999

108 Postural Practice Pointers – 15 – Forward Bending and Prāṇa to Apāna Breathing

Postural Practice Pointer 15 – Forward bending and Prāṇa to Apāna Breathing

When moving away from the lower limbs during forward bend Āsana,
move firstly by as if arching from the arms and upper back,
before ultimately arching from the lower back.
In terms of a Bhāvana during the movement,
the focus is on inhaling from Prāṇa Sthāna towards Apāna Sthāna.
Thus breathing as if from the upper chest towards the lower abdomen.

Link to Series: 108 Postural Practice Pointers

108 Postural Practice Pointers – 14 – Forward Bending and Apāna to Prāṇa Breathing

Postural Practice Pointer 14 – Forward bending and Apāna to Prāṇa Breathing

When bending towards the lower limbs during forward bend Āsana,
move firstly by as if rounding from the lower back,
before ultimately rounding from the upper back.
In terms of a Bhāvana during the movement,
the focus is on exhaling from Apāna Sthāna towards Prāṇa Sthāna.
Thus breathing as if from the lower abdomen towards the upper chest.

Link to Series: 108 Postural Practice Pointers

Yoga is when the mind is completely absorbed in the great force within.

“Yoga is when the mind is completely absorbed in the great force within.”
– TKV Desikachar France August 1983

It appears that one can often talk about the effects of Yoga Āsana on the spine in Yoga yet……

It appears that one can often talk about the effects of Yoga Āsana on the spine in Yoga, yet the reality is more based on the effects of Yoga Āsana on the external aspects of the structural form. It has also been an observation over some four decades of teaching Yoga that the two can get confused in terms of assessing developmental progress within the practice of Yoga Āsana.

Furthermore it appears that it is possible to work the body into ‘advanced’ Yoga Āsana yet observe that the spine is not deeply influenced, for example with the hips and shoulders or lax joint ligaments facilitating the impression of the form. Hence the application of Yoga from this perspective is to start with the spine as the primary priority with the limbs the secondary priority.

Thus the principles of modification of Yoga Āsana are from the perspective of allowing adjustments to the limbs in order to facilitate a deeper more profound impact on the spine.

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The masters taught us to move from a deeper source……

“Another important aspect is that the masters
taught us to move from a deeper source,
not just from muscles and joints.”
– TKV Desikachar France 1984

Jñāna is one who understands what is to be given up and……

Jñāna is one who understands
what is to be given up and
what is to be sought.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on
Bhagavad Gītā Chapter Seven verse 19

Even if one’s Guru says a certain thing will happen……

vikalpa

“Even if one’s Guru says a certain thing will happen and it happens,
that is still Vikalpa, as it has not gone through the necessary progression.
When you take the word of the Guru for authority,
unless you put it through the process of discriminative investigation,
the mere acceptance of it, even if true, because it suits your fancy
i.e. Vikalpa, will not make it valid for you.”
TKV Desikachar Madras December 19th 1988

Yoga is the least systematic of exercises……

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

“Yoga is the least systematic of exercises.
If one practices postures without addressing needs,
no routine is established,
because needs change from day to day.
One should act on the present and the future
and not worry too much about the past.”
– From interviews with T Krishnamacharya by Sarah Dars,
published in Viniyoga Review no 24, December 1989

I don’t think anybody can identify ‘Krishnamacharya’s style’……

“He has developed so much in his teaching, made so many changes,
that I don’t think anybody can identify ‘Krishnamacharya’s style’.
One person will say one thing, and a few minutes later somebody else will say,
no, no, this is what he taught me.
So fortunately it solved the problem of the ‘Krishnamacharya style’,
unless you are unwilling to see, of course.”
– TKV Desikachar from lectures on ‘The Yoga of T Krishnamacharya’,
given at Zinal, Switzerland 1981.

Yoga is not this or that tradition, Yoga is Yoga……

“We must ensure that we provide education that is not conflict ridden.
You have repeatedly quoted the phrase:
“That tradition…, the tradition of Krishnamacharya…”.
Others say: “Our tradition”,
but Yoga is not this or that tradition, Yoga is Yoga!”
– TKV Desikachar 1999

It is ironic when a collective term used to describe an approach……

It is ironic when a collective term used to describe
an approach to teaching an individual,
becomes an individual term used to describe
an approach to teaching a collective.

Following the Guru’s destination is another way of losing yourself……

“Following the Guru’s destination is another way of losing yourself.
The Yoga concept of Svadharma means ‘your own Dharma‘ or ‘your own way’.”
– TKV Desikachar