108 Mudrā Practice Pointers – 19 – In Practicing the Tri Bandha we engage with Haṭha Yoga…

In Practicing the Tri Bandha we engage with Haṭha teachings:
In that, the inhale takes the Agni towards the Mūlādhāra.
This effect on Agni increases with the Antar Kumbhaka,
as the Antar Kumbhaka helps to intensify the fire.
Following this process in bringing the Agni down,
the exhale takes the Mūlādhāra towards the Agni.
Thus the exhale draws the Apāna towards the Agni,
plus adding Uḍḍīyana Bandha holds the Apāna up.
This is the link with the effect on the Kuṇḍalinī,
though in terms of practice, very hard to get.
Here also, the coming down period is important.
For example, do not eat just after, though you feel hungry.
Uḍḍīyana Bandha is a heating process and Madhura Rasa,
such as sweet rice cooked with milk is initially recommended.

Link to Series: 108 Mudrā Practice Pointers

Āsana and Mudrā Glossary
– Grouped into Standing, Kneeling,
Lying, Inverted, Backbend, Seated & Sitting

Glossary of Prāṇāyāma & Bandha Practice Techniques
– Grouped into Primary, Secondary & Ancillary Techniques

108 Mudrā Practice Pointers – 18 – In Learning the Tri Bandha we engage with certain potential contraindications…

In Learning the Tri Bandha we engage with certain potential contraindications:
1. The Tri Bandha reduce the length and subtlety of the breath.
2. The accumulative effect when repeated should be more intense,
but often the opposite is what can actually happen.
3. In the beginning the use of the Tri Bandha can disturb the system and
create tendencies, such as for the practitioner to lose their temper.
4. The continued use of the Tri Bandha can easily
raise tensions in the neck and shoulders.
5. If the abdomen appears to be retracted strongly, but the breath
is getting shorter the practitioner is probably cheating.

Link to Series: 108 Mudrā Practice Pointers

Āsana and Mudrā Glossary
– Grouped into Standing, Kneeling,
Lying, Inverted, Backbend, Seated & Sitting

Glossary of Prāṇāyāma & Bandha Practice Techniques
– Grouped into Primary, Secondary & Ancillary Techniques

108 Mudrā Practice Pointers – 17 – Teaching Bandha starts the day we teach exhalation…

The Teaching of the Tri  Bandha starts the day we teach the exhalation.
1. Introduce the exhalation.
2. Extend the exhalation.
3. Attention on Lower Abdomen during exhalation.
4. Deepen attention on Lower Abdomen during exhalation.
5. Further intensification on the Bāhya Kumbhaka.
6. Introduce Uḍḍīyana Bandha by moving Navel Backwards
and Upwards, towards the point between the shoulder blades.
7. Retain the Mūla Bandha during the inhalation, by holding
the lower abdomen as you release the diaphragm.

Link to Series: 108 Mudrā Practice Pointers

Āsana and Mudrā Glossary
– Grouped into Standing, Kneeling,
Lying, Inverted, Backbend, Seated & Sitting

Glossary of Prāṇāyāma & Bandha Practice Techniques
– Grouped into Primary, Secondary & Ancillary Techniques

108 Sūtra Study Pointers – 131 – Kaivalya is the outcome of the equality of Sattva and Puruṣa…

Kaivalya is the outcome of the
equality of Sattva and Puruṣa.
The clarity of Sattva acquired
through our efforts with Citta,
coexisting with the eternal
abiding awareness of Puruṣa.
– Paul Harvey on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Three verse 55

Paul’s Yoga Mālā – A Thread of Pearls from Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtra

108 Sūtra Study Pointers – 130 – The mutual aim of Yoga and Sāṃkhya is to experience the more discerning aspects……

The mutual aim of Yoga and Sāṃkhya is to
experience the more discerning aspects of the psyche,
rather than just the more grasping aspects of the psyche.

In the former, the tendency of the Buddhi to discern discriminately
prevails over the tendency of Ahaṃkāra to grasp indiscriminately.
In the latter, the tendency of the Ahaṃkāra to grasp indiscriminately
prevails over the tendency of the Buddhi to discern discriminately.

The former is a state known as Buddhi Sattva,
where the clarity of discernment prevails over the
indiscriminate grasping nature of the Ahaṃkāra.
The latter is a state of Buddhi Tamas,
where the discerning clarity of the Buddhi
is obscured by the grasping nature of the Ahaṃkāra.

Thus our Yoga Sādhana has but one primary Saṃkalpa,
that of the reduction of the obscuration by Tamas in the Buddhi.
This reduction of Tamas facilitates the advent of the clarity of Sattva,
as in the metaphor of the reduction of the cloud facilitates the advent of the sun.
– Paul Harvey on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Three verse 49

Paul’s Yoga Mālā – A Thread of Pearls from Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtra

108 Yoga Sūtra Study Question Pointers – 10 – In Sūtra 1.10 Patañjali defines Nidrā as…

The aim of this series, and its companion series (Paul’s Yoga Sūtra Study Keywords), with its single guided Sūtra word within a parallel flow, is to progress through a themed reflective journey across the four chapters or Pāda that comprise the Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali.

Here a question will be proffered as a reflection and inquiry into a single verse. Each verse in the text will be explored successively, via a link to its translation, word by word breakdown and added commentaries collated from the website, to invite the reader to form their own opinion as to what is implied.

In the companion series, a word will be listed as a symbol for a specific verse or set of verses as we progressively traverse each chapter. It will offer an exploration, via a link to the Saṃskṛta Glossary, of all the connected quotations and posts, collated from within the website these past 12 years, again to invite the reader to form their own opinion as to what is implied.

My wish is to offer an insight into the spectrum of Yoga teachings received from T Krishnamacharya mainly via TKV Desikachar, in terms of both breadth and depth.

Chapter One Samādhi Pādaḥ verse 10

abhāva-pratyaya-ālambanā tamaḥ vṛttiḥ nidrā |

In Sūtra 1.10 Patañjali defines Nidrā as a
Citta Vṛtti or, a specific type of cognition, one
where Tamas is the object, to the point where
the mind’s link with external stimuli is cut off.
How do we discern between states such as
Pratyāhāra as a disengagement, or Samādhi,
where one is as if empty of one’s own character,
and what is seen as the experience of Tamo Nidrā?

To Download or View this Question as a PDF Study Sheet

Paul’s Yoga Sūtra Study Keywords – Collected & Collated into Chapters
Paul’s Yoga Sūtra Study Questions – Collected & Collated into Chapters

The first type of Pramāṇa, Pratyakṣa, arises from the continuous active link…

“The first type of Pramāṇa, Pratyakṣa, arises from the continuous active link,
through the mind and senses, between Jīva and the object it perceives.
The second type, Anumāna, is when present perception is
based on what has been seen in other situations in the past.
For instance, when I see dark clouds, I think that it may rain.
With the third type, Āgamā, undistorted words from
a reliable source are the basis for perception.
The Veda are Pramāṇa by virtue of their source.
The sage Āpastamba proclaimed that the Veda are Pramāṇa for Dharma.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 7

T Krishnamacharya Yoga Sūtra Study Quotes Collected and Collated

Although the activities of the mind are countless…

“Although the activities of the mind are countless,
Patañjali categorizes all of them in one of five groups:
Pramāṇa, Viparyaya, Vikalpa, Nidrā, and Smṛti.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 6

T Krishnamacharya Yoga Sūtra Study Quotes Collected and Collated

108 Yoga Sūtra Study Word Pointers – 8 – Nidrā

The aim of this Series, and its companion page (Paul’s Yoga Sūtra Study Questions), with its Sūtra by Sūtra guided study question within a parallel flow, is to progress through a themed reflective journey across the four chapters or Pāda that comprise the Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali.

In this post, a word will be listed as a symbol for a specific verse or set of verses as we progressively traverse each chapter. It will offer an exploration, via the Saṃskṛta Glossary, of all the connected textual links, quotations and posts, collated from within the website these past 12 years, to invite the reader to form their own opinion as to what is implied.

On the companion page, a question will be proffered as a reflection and inquiry into a single verse. Here each verse in the text will be explored successively, via a link to its translation, word by word breakdown and added commentaries collated from the website, again to invite the reader to form their own opinion as to what is implied.

My wish is to offer an insight into the spectrum of Yoga teachings received from T Krishnamacharya mainly via TKV Desikachar, in terms of both breadth and depth.

108 Yoga Sūtra Study Word Pointers – 8

NIDRĀ

Chapter One verse 10

Paul’s Yoga Sūtra Study Keywords – Collected & Collated into Chapters
Paul’s Yoga Sūtra Study Questions – Collected & Collated into Chapters

Mental activities are called Kliṣṭa when they result in Duḥkha…

Mental activities are called Kliṣṭa when they result
in Duḥkha and Akliṣṭa when they do not.
When the three Guṇa are dominant,
Jīva is troubled and mental activities result in Duḥkha.
When the mind is free from desires, inclined toward discrimination
and seeking truth, mental activities do not result in Duḥkha.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 5

T Krishnamacharya Yoga Sūtra Study Quotes Collected and Collated

The Veda speak eloquently of the lotus in one’s heart…

“The Veda speak eloquently of the lotus in one’s heart, where Īśvara resides.
It is only when the mind is quiet, clear, and steady that we can
reach into and visualise this most intimate part of ourselves.
Yoga as a Saṃskāra leads to Yoga as a means to experience this.
The experience of Dhyānam, in this ideal sense,
eventually evolves into Samādhi – total absorption in Īśvara.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2

T Krishnamacharya Yoga Sūtra Study Quotes Collected and Collated

In this Sūtra, Patañjali lists the five types of mental activities…

“In this Sūtra, Patañjali lists the five types of mental activities:
Pramāṇa Vṛtti, Viparyaya Vṛtti, Vikalpa Vṛtti, Nidrā Vṛtti, and Smṛti Vṛtti.
Vṛtti and Pariṇāma are synonymous, meaning “change of form”.
These five Vṛtti represent changes in the characteristics and functions of the mind.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 6

T Krishnamacharya Yoga Sūtra Study Quotes Collected and Collated

108 Postural Practice Pointers – 32 – Bhāvana on the relationship between the chest and the legs

Postural Pointer – 32 – Bhāvana on the relationship between the chest and the legs

In Bhujaṅgāsana the Bhāvana is in the chest
and on keeping the legs down.
In Śalabhāsana the Bhāvana is in the legs
and on keeping the legs up.
In Dhanurāsana the Bhāvana is in the legs
and on keeping the chest down.

Link to Series: 108 Postural Practice Pointers

YOGA AND MODERN MEDICINE – Interview by TKV Desikachar

Yoga and Modern Medicine

TKV Desikachar talks to Dr Uma Krishnaswamy – from ‘The Hindu’ June 1998

TKV Desikachar:  Some doctors like you send your patients to us, though we have not been trained in the field of health and sickness. The patients too come to us and report back to you. So, I am sure you are not washing your hands of your patients! How is it that you are so confident about us, who are not technically competent in your field?

Dr Uma Krishnaswamy:  Despite the fact that modern medicine has made such enormous strides as far as management of illness is concerned, there are certain areas where we are unable to proceed beyond a particular point. Consequently, we as practitioners of medicine and as impartial scientists honestly acknowledge that there are limitations to our system of healing.

We acknowledge the fact that we can go thus far and no further. On account of this, we tend to be always on the lookout to see how else we can help the patient. This may be in conjunction with what we have done or what we hope to do with the patient or it may take the patient completely away from our hands. Either way, it does not matter, as long as the patient benefits. Among the various alternative systems of healing, I feel comfortable with Yoga, because it is a system of healing which concentrates on physical movement very deeply.

Of course one is not blind to the fact that this concentration on the body is towards a spiritual end – but, that is a different dimension altogether. As Yoga teachers, you know more about the physicalities of the body and its requirements for health than most other systems of healing. For example, you know which particular Āsana or posture can relax a muscle or which can help joint mobility.

From my point of view, these are all very well defined and very precise areas of anatomy and physiology that you understand instinctively, by habit, by practice, by study or by tradition! You may not view anatomy or physiology the way we do. But I see that you are working on human anatomy and physiology, albeit in a different manner. This gives me confidence that Yoga has the potential to help some of my patients.

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Can we find some similar characteristics between various individuals around Āsana practice…

Can we find some similar characteristics between various individuals within Āsana…

If we look at all the variables, can we find some similarities between various individuals within Āsana and Āsana practice?

Here a pragmatic choice that arises, especially relevant for Western bodies today, is the question of establishing what are the priority areas within any given Āsana. This question can be examined through the lens of consideration of setting postural priorities around what constitutes a primary characteristic and what constitutes a secondary characteristic. In other words the importance of where, within the form, to choose or allow an adaptation in the Āsana and where, within the form, to endeavour not to compromise the Āsana.

I do feel these days that our understanding in Āsana practice is dominated by the Nāma, or name and the Rūpa or final form, with little emphasis on the Lakṣaṇa or inherent characteristics of the Āsana. Furthermore, how understanding this aspect can have a profound effect on the approach, application and outcome of the overall or accumulative impact of the Āsana within the student’s personal practice.

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108 Yoga Sūtra Study Question Pointers – 9 – In Sūtra 1.9 Patañjali defines Vikalpa as an understanding arising…

The aim of this series, and its companion series (Paul’s Yoga Sūtra Study Keywords), with its single guided Sūtra word within a parallel flow, is to progress through a themed reflective journey across the four chapters or Pāda that comprise the Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali.

On this page, a question will be proffered as a reflection and inquiry into a single verse. Here each verse in the text will be explored successively, via a link to its translation, word by word breakdown and added commentaries collated from the website, to invite the reader to form their own opinion as to what is implied.

On the companion page, a word will be listed as a symbol for a specific verse or set of verses as we progressively traverse each chapter. It will offer an exploration, via a link to the Saṃskṛta Glossary, of all the connected quotations and posts, collated from within the website these past 12 years, again to invite the reader to form their own opinion as to what is implied.

My wish is to offer an insight into the spectrum of Yoga teachings received from T Krishnamacharya mainly via TKV Desikachar, in terms of both breadth and depth.

Chapter One Samādhi Pādaḥ verse 9

śabda-jñāna-anupātī vastu-śūnyaḥ vikalpaḥ |

In Sūtra 1.9 Patañjali defines Vikalpa as an
understanding arising from the spoken word.
How do we discern whether Vikalpa is actually what arises
from the spoken word from what was said to us, or what
arises from the spoken word in how what was said is heard?
In other words how to discern if there is any difference
between what is said to us and what we imagine we hear?

To Download or View this Question as a PDF Study Sheet

Paul’s Yoga Sūtra Study Keywords – Collected & Collated into Chapters
Paul’s Yoga Sūtra Study Questions – Collected & Collated into Chapters

Vikalpa is a particular kind of Citta Vṛtti in which understanding arises from…

Vikalpa is a particular kind of Citta Vṛtti in which understanding
arises from the spoken word. Is this kind of understanding valid or not?
Patañjali, in the definitive Mahābhāṣya commentary on Saṃskṛta grammar,
states that the essence of the spoken word is not separate from the fact
or object it refers to. Objects themselves cannot express their various aspects;
only Śabda can present them to us. Śabda can convey nuances
of meaning that only a special faculty of the mind can grasp.
Such an ability to comprehend is not given to everyone.
The essence of this Sūtra is that Vikalpa is the mental activity by
which what is spoken is understood to mean what it represents,
even when the actual thing is not present.
Thus when we hear the word Sarpa we know it means snake
even though there is no snake present at the moment.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 9

T Krishnamacharya Yoga Sūtra Study Quotes Collected and Collated

108 Yoga Sūtra Study Word Pointers – 7 – Vikalpa

The aim of this Series, and its companion page (Paul’s Yoga Sūtra Study Questions), with its Sūtra by Sūtra guided study question within a parallel flow, is to progress through a themed reflective journey across the four chapters or Pāda that comprise the Yoga Sūtraof Patañjali.

In this post, a word will be listed as a symbol for a specific verse or set of verses as we progressively traverse each chapter. It will offer an exploration, via the Saṃskṛta Glossary, of all the connected textual links, quotations and posts, collated from within the website these past 12 years, to invite the reader to form their own opinion as to what is implied.

On the companion page, a question will be proffered as a reflection and inquiry into a single verse. Here each verse in the text will be explored successively, via a link to its translation, word by word breakdown and added commentaries collated from the website, again to invite the reader to form their own opinion as to what is implied.

My wish is to offer an insight into the spectrum of Yoga teachings received from T Krishnamacharya mainly via TKV Desikachar, in terms of both breadth and depth.

108 Yoga Sūtra Study Word Pointers – 7

VIKALPA

Chapter One verse 9

Paul’s Yoga Sūtra Study Keywords – Collected & Collated into Chapters
Paul’s Yoga Sūtra Study Questions – Collected & Collated into Chapters

Examples of Vinyāsa Krama for Sitting Āsana within a Single Practice…

Examples of Vinyāsa Krama for Sitting Āsana within a Single Practice…

As Desikachar actually had very few long term students, many people’s views around such as his Āsana teaching, or views on Yoga in general are formed from experiencing him teaching within a group situation, either at a seminar, lecture or retreat.

Actually he really was not very comfortable teaching mixed public groups in these situations, and in relation to teaching practices, what practices he could present had to be very generalised and therefore sometimes even contrary to the principles he taught according to what he learnt from his father.

On the other hand as a private student the Āsana practices I was exposed to had a precision and intensity offering a breadth and depth impossible to emulate within a group class environment.

As an example I am offering an extract from the seated section of a practice he taught me. The Āsana in this section are Daṇḍāsana, Ardha Matsyendrāsana, Mahā Mudrā, Buddha Koṇāsana, Paścimatānāsana and as a Pratikriyā Āsana, Dvi Pāda Pīṭham.

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Design and Experiment with a Practice around Bhujaṅgāsana and Paścimatānāsana…

Design and Experiment with an Āsana Practice around
Bhujaṅgāsana and Paścimatānāsana practicing each
Dynamically 4 Times followed by Static 4 Breaths

The Vinyāsa Krama or planning steps in the practice will be for a total of 60 working breaths.

– It will be based around Āsana especially Bhujaṅgāsana and Paścimatānāsana
– In this instance, the practice will not include any Mudrā, Prāṇāyāma or Dhyāna.
– In the planning structure, any link Āsana such as Samasthiti, Śavāsana, Vajrāsana, do not count in the breath tally.
– Make notes on what you have discovered from this practice
– Justify to yourself your choice of supporting or compensatory Āsana within the scheme.
– This planning question was first proffered within Study and Practice Courses whereby the student’s responses would be shared during the next meeting along with being offered a sample response.
Accordingly I will post this example by adding it as a PDF resource to this post after 10 days.

To Download or View this Question as a PDF Study Sheet
To Download or View a Sample Practice Response as a PDF

Yoga Practice Planning and Theory Questions – Collected & Collated