A teacher needs to know a students body and state of mind…….

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House

“A teacher needs to know a students body and state of mind
to prepare a suitable practice,
take into account the particular students problems,
be they physical or psychological.”
From study notes with TKV Desikachar England 1992

Where do Āsana lead us?……

“Where do Āsana lead us?
1. For seated practices. (Adhyātmika – Concerning our essence)
To stay in a stable position with the spine erect for Dhyāna or preparation for Dhyāna.
2.  For health. (Cikitsā – Therapeutics)
They do something for the energy flow of the body.
3. Ability to master the body. (Śakti – Power)
Not necessarily to promote health but to show that we can master the body.
Often these are good for health, though many are only useful as challenges.”
– From personal lessons with TKV Desikachar

One should practice and inquire into the effects of the practice…….

One should practice and inquire into the effects

“One should practice and
inquire into the effects of the practice
as well as the practice.”
TKV Desikachar Switzerland 1978

108 Sūtra Study Pointers – 20 – From meditating on the Heart we come to know……

hrdaya

From meditating on the Heart,
we come to know the habits of the Mind.
From coming to know the habits of the Mind,
we come to know the Intrinsic Nature of the Mind.
– Personal Commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter 3 verse 34

Link to Series: 108 Sutra Study Pointers

We must discover why we practice.

TKV_5

“We must discover why we practice.”
TKV Desikachar Switzerland 1978

The senses can be faster than the mind in triggering Saṃskāra.

indriya

“The senses (Indriya) can be faster than the mind in triggering Saṃskāra.”
– TKV Desikachar commentary on Bhagavad Gītā Chapter Three verse 41

Yoga Postures in Practice – A series on Āsana by Paul Part 4 Utkaṭāsana

Part Four – Building our Support with Utkaṭāsana

This is the fourth in a series of articles presenting the core principles for Āsana practice as taught to me through many years of personal lessons in India with my teacher TKV Desikachar.

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Avidyā is anything else other than Vidyā.

avidya

Avidyā is anything else other than Vidyā.”
Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 3
– TKV Desikachar January 1997

Whatever perceives is always right……

drastr

“Whatever perceives is always right,
it is the mind that colours what we see.”
– TKV Desikachar 1979 on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 4

The test for intelligent effort is the response of the breath.

prana

“The test for intelligent effort is the response of the breath.”
TKV Desikachar Switzerland 1978

Musings on the Student’s Relationship with the Teacher

Memories from my early days, over 40 years ago now, of going to teachers to teach me Yoga were generally around the notion, replete with conscious and unconscious expectations, that the teacher was there to bring out the best in me.

For example I feel that many of us if group class teachers are used to working with the Lazarus factor (raising folks from the dead each week). Here we can get caught or even need the expectation, both in you and/or in the student, that you will be or are ‘the one’ to revitalise the students tired and/or wired bodies as well as restoring confident dispositions.

However my experiences arising from working with TKV Desikachar stood that notion on its head. This was not through anything he said or did but from my own slowly acquired realisation that my way of looking at the relationship was confused.

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Chatting with TKV Desikachar during a lesson in the early 1990’s…..

Chatting with TKV Desikachar during a lesson in the early 1990’s I commented on an observation formed from discussions with my students within a study group I had brought to Madras (Chennai) for a two week programme at the KYM during my personal study stay that year.

As a part of this particular study group visit to the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram some of the students took up the option of 121 lessons with teachers at the KYM. Sharing the content of the practices with me revealed the introduction of a sequence that I had not come across before within, at that time, my nearly 20 years of studies within the work of T Krishnamacharya.

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In the case of a person whose mind is calm……

TK_1980a

“In the case of a person whose mind is calm and free from disturbances,
there is the integration of the person who meditates,
the mind which is utilised for meditation
and the object that is meditated upon.”
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 41

There are essentially three causes for fear….

abhinivesa

“There are essentially three causes for fear….
desire, disease and death.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 9

Śraddhā: What holds, what nourishes……

sraddha

Śraddhā:
What holds, what nourishes.
As a mother with a child.”
– TKV Desikachar commenting on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 20

We have also to ask ourselves the question……

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House

“We have also to ask ourselves the question:
What do we want our (teacher training) students to be equipped to do?
– Personal Practice.
– Training Work.
– Supervision.”
TKV Desikachar speaking with his senior Western students London 1998

We need to find a balance between the demand and the capacity……

“We need to find a balance between the demand and the capacity.
It needs careful reflection if we want this great teaching to continue.
If we don’t want it to become another museum we have to check our work and care for the future.
Many organisations with a vertical structure have collapsed.
Our structure must not be vertical.”
TKV Desikachar speaking with his senior Western students London 1998

I don’t think any system, even though it has all the possibilities……

TKV_France_1999

“I don’t think any system, even though it has all the possibilities,
has all the answers, for all of the people, for all of the time.”
TKV Desikachar speaking with his senior Western students London 1998

Matsara or Jealousy – To find fault in others.

matsara

Matsara or Jealousy –
“To find fault in others.”
– TKV Desikachar on Bhagavad Gītā Chapter Four verse 22

Yoga directs the mind to what is happening now.

atha

“Yoga directs the mind to what is happening now.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 4