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?

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The problem is in the mind and the key is in the mind.

“The problem is in the mind
and the key is in the mind.”
– TKV Desikachar

People often ask me if I teach Āsana……

“People often ask me if I teach Āsana.
When I say “Yes, I do.” they say,
“Oh you are a Haṭha Yogi.”
If I talk about the Yoga Sūtra
they say, “You are a Rāja Yogi.”
If I say I am chanting the Veda,
they say, “You are a Mantra Yogi.”
If I say I just practice Yoga,
they can’t understand.
They want to put a label on me.”
TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga
‘Various Approaches to Yoga’
Chapter Seventeen Page 247-248

Āsana brings steadiness, health and lightness of limb……

‘Āsana brings steadiness, health and lightness of limb.’

For me, still to this day, one of the finest, simplest, direct and most succinct definitions on the purpose of Āsana within the processes and practices of Haṭha Yoga, is the definition offered in the Haṭha Yoga Pradīpikā Chapter 1 verse 17. It is a definition valid for any situation, or presentation, or as a response to questions from any background or level of interest around why we practice Āsana.

It can also be a springboard to discussing physiological qualities such as the relationship of Agni to the energetic qualities of health and lightness of limb. Or it can be a springboard to discussing psychological qualities such as the relationship of the Guṇa Rajas, to mental qualities, such as steadiness.

Paul’s Short & Longer Yoga Practice Theory Articles – Collected & Collated

Paul’s Short & Longer Yoga Practice Theory Articles – Collected & Collated

There are currently some 100 short and longer articles I have written around Yoga Practice and Yoga Practice Theory. So I felt it could be worthwhile to set up a webpage where they are all collected together onto a single page, as well as being collated into topics according to content.

So, below you can find an outline of the primary Yoga practice topics and where relevant, practice sub-topics. Live links are shown to take you to the page itself and directly to the topic in question.

As well as aiming to help the reader by offering resources from my studies with Desikachar around Āsana, Mudrā, Prāṇāyāma, Dhāraṇā and Chant Practice, it also highlights that there are some topics that I could offer more articles around. So over the next months I will post around themes such as the application of Dynamic and Static Form or understanding the differences in the Variation or Modification of Āsana.

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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 Viniyoga of Āsana Practice & Practice Theory Progressive Modules

The Viniyoga of Āsana Modular Workshop and Courses
– Empower your Practice Exploring how to Customise your Personal Āsana Practice

This Post introduces the Art of the Application of Āsana Modular Workshop and Courses Student Study Programme. As the student progresses through the interlinked and developmental Modules they will experience an in-depth learning in all areas of Āsana practice techniques and Āsana study theory.

Together these Modules will initiate and empower the student into the arts of learning to skilfully work with the principles that underpin creating and sustaining a personalised Āsana practice. The outcome will be the ability, through skilful practice planning, to independently and intelligently choose, adapt and ultimately self-develop and self-refine our personal Āsana Sādhana.

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

The Viniyoga of Āsana Modular Programme is offered as a:

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The Practice Planning Interrelationship between Āsana, Mudrā, Prāṇāyāma and Dhyānam

One of the essences in Krishnamacharya’s and Desikachar’s teaching focused on the developmental and progressive integration of the different aspects of ĀsanaMudrā, Prāṇāyāma and Dhyānam into a single constantly evolving organism.

Thus in honouring the Paramparā it is not possible for me to separate these four practice components into four completely disconnected study topics to be learnt in any random order.

The way I was taught was that a knowledge of the practice and planning principles within Āsana are necessary to appreciate the practice and planning principles within Mudrā.

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108 Postural Practice Pointers – 25 – Forward Bending and the Role of the Arms

Postural Pointer 25 – Forward Bending and the Role of the Arms

When moving out of Paścimatāna Āsana such as Uttānāsana.
Focus on the arms bringing the back up.
Rather than the back bringing the arms up.

Link to Series: 108 Postural Practice Pointers

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

108 Sūtra Study Pointers – 57 – The experience known as Sthira Sukha Āsana……

The experience known as Sthira Sukham Āsanam,
described in Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 46,
arises from melding the mastery of outer stillness in the world,
described as Prayatna Śaithilya, or relaxation of continued effort,
with the mystery of inner openness to the beyond,
described as Ananta Samāpatti, or unity in the infinite.
– Reflections on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 47

Link to Series: 108 Sutra Study Pointers

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:

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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

The Art of Gītā Scripture Module One Workshop May 23/24th 2020 – 4 Places Available

srimad_bhagavad_gita

Follow this link for details of Online Personalised Learning Art of Gītā Scripture Study options

The Art of Gītā Scripture Workshop Module One
Search your Heart in The Quest for Relationship with the Beyond

The Art of Gītā Scripture – 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 to a weekend workshop on the primary principles and teachings from T Krishnamacharya and TKV Desikachar on the Bhagavad Gītā.

Based in the Cotswolds, it is a 2 day workshop open to all except complete beginners and offers an opportunity for a student from any Yoga background or style to have an in-depth introduction to the Bhagavad Gītā, either for personal development or, if relevant, professional skills.

Upcoming Dates

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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

Learning Support for Chanting the Long Version of Mā Aham

This day, for so long TKV Desikachar‘s birthday, is the third since his passing in August 2016.
In memoriam, as an offering of respect and fond remembrance, is a chant he composed for Western students as a condensed highlighting of the key concepts within the inquiry into the Pañca Maya, contained within Chapter Three of Taittirīya Upaniṣad known as the Bhṛguvallī.

Listed below are the links to both a text file and a sound file from my personal library of recordings with TKV Desikachar. This particular one is recorded with one of his senior chant students, Sujaya Sridhar.

View or Download the Long Version of Mā Aham as a PDF with notations
Listen or Download the Long Version of Mā Aham as an MP3 Sound File

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

Some people describe that Kuṇḍalinī  goes through the Suṣumṇā……

Question to T Krishnamacharya –

Q: Some people describe that Kuṇḍalinī
goes through the Suṣumṇā
to the Sahasrāra.
Is this correct?
A: No, it is the Prāṇa Vāyu that
moves through the Suṣumṇā.
Śrī Krishnamacharya – The Pūrnācārya
– published by the KYM in 1997