However the body is only part of the problem……

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House

“However the body is only part of the problem,
you have to do something at a deeper level.
This comes back to the mind.”
– TKV Desikachar

When I do something is it because I want to do it or……

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

“When I do something is it because I want to do it,
or am I being led to do it by the mind?”
– TKV Desikachar

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108 Teaching Path Pointers – 9 – Throughout Krishnamacharya’s teaching life he remained focused on……

Throughout Krishnamacharya’s teaching life he remained focused on
the priorities of seeing the who as the starting point
before considering the what.

Link to Series: 108 Teaching Path Pointers

Plan an Āsana practice to include Jaṭhara Parivṛtti……

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Plan an Āsana practice to include:

1. Jaṭhara Parivṛtti – Stay 8 breaths each side

2. Uttāna Pādāsana – Stay 8 breaths

3. Viparīta Daṇḍāsana – Stay 8 breaths

A  question given it me by TKV Desikachar during our 121 lessons in 1980 when learning Āsana practice planning skills.

It is not the request but where it is coming from.

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House

“It is not the request but where it is coming from.”
– TKV Desikachar

Plan an Āsana practice to include Śalabhāsana……

Plan an Āsana practice to include:

1. Śalabhāsana – Repeat 12 times

2. Tiryaṅgmukha Ekapāda Paścimatānāsana – Stay 6 breaths each side

3. Paryaṅkāsana – Stay 12 breaths

A  question given it me by TKV Desikachar during our 121 lessons in 1980 when learning Āsana practice planning skills.

Pratikriyāsana or opposite action postures have counterpostural, compensational and transitional roles

PKA_2015

Pratikriyāsana or opposite action postures have counterpostural, compensational and transitional roles and are applied at specific points in the practice in order to maintain a sound physiological and psychological base.

This principle has an important role in how we link the different aspects of the Āsana practice, how we close the practice or how we integrate the Āsana element of the practice into other aspects of our Yoga practice.

There are specific guidelines around how they can be integrated into the practice, the first of which is that the counter posture needs to be mastered before a particular Āsana is attempted.

This principle is especially important when attempting to integrate more complex Āsana such as Bhujaṅgāsana or Sarvāṅgāsana into our practice.

On this point you may wish to refer back to a previous post around the question, how do we know that a student is ready to attempt a more progressive posture such as Sarvāṅgāsana?

Links to Related Posts:

The counter posture needs to be mastered before a particular Āsana is attempted

TKV Desikachar on Dhyānam in the Bhagavad Gītā……

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“In the Indian tradition, a Śāstra is always studied under a teacher.
It is the teacher who gives the text life and meaning
by presenting it in a manner that the student can relate to and apply in his life.
The Bhagavad Gītā offers help to those in trouble.
How its teachings can be related to our lives and taken advantage of,
is explained by TKV Desikachar in his introduction and answers to his students.”
Originally published by the KYM Darśanam May 1995

Download or view this article as a PDF

Prāṇāyāma must be properly instructed……

nadi_sodana

“Prāṇāyāma must be properly instructed.
The posture used, seated erect for example, is also important.
The duration and regularity in terms of time is also as important as proper instructions.”
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 34

Another term for Citta Vṛtti Nirodha is Dhyānam……

svastikasana

”Another term for Citta Vṛtti Nirodha is Dhyānam,
the state of mind in which an individual focuses on,
visualises and remains with Īśvara.”
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2

Āsana practice to ascertain capability for Sarvāṅgāsana……

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Āsana practice for an intermediate level Āsana student to ascertain capability for working with and exploring in depth the potential of Sarvāṅgāsana or shoulderstand as an Āsana.

Download a PDF version of this practice

Citta Vṛtti Nirodha, the state of mind in which no distractions arise……

svastikasana

Citta Vṛtti Nirodha, the state of mind in which no distractions arise from undesirable external stimuli and the individual is able to choose an object of focus, ideally Īśvara.”
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2

Cikitsā Practice for a Beginning, though not Novice, Level Āsana student

cikitsa_example_practice_june_2015

Cikitsā Practice for a Beginning, though not Novice, level Āsana student

Download a PDF version of this practice

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There is a particular order of teaching Āsana……

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“There is a particular order of teaching Āsana,
so also an order to follow when teaching Prāṇāyāma.”
– From T Krishnamacharya’s composition,
the Yoga Rahasya Chapter One verse 89

Prāṇāyāma done, along with a Mantra, has a role to play in Yoga Cikitsā.

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Prāṇāyāma done, along with a Mantra, has a role to play in Yoga Cikitsā.”
From T Krishnamacharya’s composition, the Yoga Rahasya

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For the mind which is disturbed Prāṇāyāma is the best solution.

“For the mind which is disturbed Prāṇāyāma is the best solution.”
– From T Krishnamacharya’s composition, the Yoga Rahasya

All Āsana are not meant for everybody……

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“Owing to differences in the body structure,
all Āsana are not meant for everybody.”
– From T Krishnamacharya’s composition, the Yoga Rahasya

Parivṛtti focused practice for an intermediate level Āsana student.

parivrtti_june_2015

Parivṛtti focused practice for an intermediate level Āsana student.

Download a PDF version of this practice

Food, eaten in moderation, at the right time and in the right environment……

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Food, eaten in moderation, at the right time and in the right environment,
is of prime importance to achieving and maintaining a healthy body.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 30

Mind should follow the breath……

recapūraka kumbheṣu mano’nusaraṇaṃ smṛtam |
recapūraka kumbhākhyāḥ sarve prāṇavidhārakāḥ ||

Mind should follow the breath.
Exhale, Inhale and Retention support life.
So during Āsana it is desirable that the mind must follow them.”
– TKV Desikachar commentary on T Krishnamacharya’s composition,
the Yoga Rahasya Chapter One verse 34

Begin then verify, again begin then verify……

srimad_bhagavad_gita

araṃbanaṃ saṃśilanaṃ punaḥ punaḥ |
“Begin then verify, again begin then verify, again begin then verify.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary to Bhagavad Gītā Chapter Eight verse 8

Trumperies and Tactics for the Discerning Gardener……

TS_Nursery_1984_web

I agree it is not easy to work on ourselves and we might compare it to being a bit like encountering a garden that has been left to become overgrown and entangled over years of neglect.

Here the first stage is to look at how we might begin:

We might begin by clearing away the old rubbish that lays all around on the surface of our lives and hampers, distracts or confuses our view of what’s really underneath.

Of course this also means that we are able to discern between the nuances around what we perceive as useful to keep, what is rubbish to clear and especially what we see as precious is in reality useful, or is in fact actually dross we need to cling onto under the illusion (Avidyā) of it being essential for our journey.

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108 Yoga Practice Pointers – 16 – When practicing Āsana, it is as if something watches something……

When practicing Āsana,
it is as if something watches something.
What is the something that is watched?
What is the something that watches?

Link to Series: 108 Yoga Practice Pointers

The implications of Krishnamacharya’s and Desikachar’s teachings on practice……

The implications of Krishnamacharya’s and Desikachar’s teachings on practice are:

Firstly –

we need to develop the twin aspects of learning Yoga practice techniques and Yoga practice theory through engaging in learning how to practice, rather than just learning what to practice.

This means learning to engage with the process of what it means to have a personal Yoga practice alongside engaging learning to study the theory of the component principles that underpin what constitutes creating and sustaining a personalised Yoga practice.

“Yoga must be adapted to an individuals needs, expectations and possibilities,
rather than adapting an individuals needs, expectations and possibilities to Yoga.”

These twin aspects of the arts of Yoga practice techniques and Yoga practice theory support our being able to independently and intelligently choose, adapt and ultimately self-develop and self-refine our personal Yoga Sādhana.

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A great number of postures, notably most standing postures, have……

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A great number of postures, notably most standing postures, have doubtless come to us directly from the Professor, who would have introduced them as appropriate to the needs of modern times.

Amongst the standing postures, uttānāsana, parśva uttānāsana, utthita trikoṇāsana and utthita parśva koṇāsana, are examples which the Professor himself codified.”

– Claude Marachel was a long serving and senior student of TKV Desikachar over 33 years from 1969-2002. This is an extract from Claude talking about what Desikachar told him about his father, Krishnamacharya.

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