We usually start seeking because we have something which we do not want……

“We usually start seeking because we have something which we do not want: suffering.
Suffering pushes us to seek.”
– TKV Desikachar from unedited manuscript for ‘What are We Seeking?’

When we are seeking pleasure and possession the mind is very busy.

TKV_5

“When we are seeking pleasure and possession
the mind is very busy.”
– TKV Desikachar from unedited manuscript for ‘What are We Seeking?’

Whatever is the source of life is surely the source of freedom……

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

“Whatever is the source of life is surely the source of freedom,
a source which knows us and cares for us.
It is everybody’s right, and is not beyond us, but within us.”
– TKV Desikachar from unedited manuscript for ‘What are We Seeking?’

Is freedom to do what we wish?

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

We are seeking freedom.
We all desire freedom.
But what sort of freedom?
Is freedom to do what we wish?
Are all the people who have the liberty to do what they want really free inside?
– TKV Desikachar from unedited manuscript for ‘What are We Seeking?’

The desire to have is pushing us to seek things, but to seek what sort of things?

kama

“The desire to have is pushing us to seek things,
but to seek what sort of things?”
– TKV Desikachar from unedited manuscript for ‘What are We Seeking?’

The heart knows no boundaries.

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House

“The heart knows no boundaries.”
– TKV Desikachar from unedited manuscript for ‘What are We Seeking?’

The new is not as strong as the old.

Desikachar_France_1999

“The new is not as strong as the old.”
– TKV Desikachar commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter 4 verse 27

When we act unconsciously we go back into the past.

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“When we act unconsciously we go back into the past.”
– TKV Desikachar commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter 4 verse 27

Any attempt to meditate is going to fail if you are sitting on a pile of junk……

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“Any attempt to meditate is going to fail if you are sitting on a pile of junk.”
– TKV Desikachar commentary on Bhagavad Gītā Chapter 6 verse 34

The quality of the Pūraka or Recaka determines the quality of the Kumbhaka.

sarvangasana

“The quality of the Pūraka (inhale) or Recaka (exhale)
determines the quality of the Kumbhaka (suspension).”
– TKV Desikachar 1987

Duḥkha arises because of change, greed and conditioning……

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“This Sūtra describes the origin of Duḥkha.
Duḥkha arises because of change, greed and conditioning.
Besides the Guṇa cause inherent changes unexpectedly.
This disturbs balance and Duḥkha follows.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 15

108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers – 2 – Bhāvana for the Breath in Prāṇāyāma

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Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointer 2 – Bhāvana for the Breath in Prāṇāyāma

Link to Posts Series: 108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers

108 Yoga Practice Pointers – 12 – Mahā Mudrā is the bridge between Āsana and Prāṇāyāma.

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Mahā Mudrā is the bridge between Āsana and Prāṇāyāma.

Link to Series: 108 Yoga Practice Pointers

The viniyoga of Planning Principles – 4 – Whatever the specific aims or intended outcomes preserve the spirit of Yoga……

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The viniyoga of Planning Principles 4 – Whatever the specific aims or intended outcomes preserve the spirit of Yoga

General Aims and Intended Outcomes around Practice Planning:

  • Be clear about the difference between aim(s) and intended outcome(s)
  • Distinguish between short-term and long-term aim(s) and intended outcome(s)
  • Appreciate how you can factor short term outcomes within long term aims
  • Avoid having too many aims or intended outcomes within one practice – keep it focused
  • Consider the five areas that practice can interact with – body, spine, breath, mind and emotions
  • Whatever the specific aims or intended outcomes preserve the spirit of Yoga

Link to Post Series: The viniyoga of Planning Principles

The viniyoga of Planning Principles – 3 – Make the practice shorter than the time available

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The viniyoga of Planning Principles 3 – Make the practice shorter than the time available

Some General Guidelines:

  • Be clear about your purpose
  • Hold the reflection that practice is a means not an end
  • Remember ‘can’ is not the same as ‘should’
  • Ask yourself what is most effective
  • Plan for others as it applies to them, not as it applies to you
  • Consider its relationship to both short term and long term goals
  • Aim to cultivate a state of Sattva by reducing Tamas and stabilising Rajas
  • Keep it simple and consider how to spend more time in fewer Āsana
  • Make the practice shorter than the time available
  • Stick to the conventions of technique unless there is a reason to change them

Link to Post Series: The viniyoga of Planning Principles

The viniyoga of Planning Principles – 2 – The spirit of viniyoga is achieved……

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The viniyoga of Planning Principles 2 – The spirit of viniyoga is achieved……

In terms of practice planning the spirit of viniyoga is achieved by two broad means:

1. The selection of practice material that is appropriate to the needs and circumstances of the student.

2. The intelligent use of Vinyāsa Krama.

Link to Post Series: The viniyoga of Planning Principles

Leave more than enough time for Prāṇāyāma……

nadi_sodanaOne of the joyful experiences that can emerge within my morning practice is the feeling that arises on arriving at my Prāṇāyāma seat and taking that first breath within an atmosphere of having more than enough time in hand left to engage with this aspect of my on the mat Sādhana that day.

The sense of Sukha is palpable and offers a spaciousness that facilitates the breath both relaxing and entering into the spirit of, as Krishnamacharya spoke of in terms of Prāṇāyāma, Prayatna Śaithilya and Ananta Samāpatti.

This feeling in itself both automatically lengthens and deepens the flow of the breath without any conscious effort on my part. A precious gift to start my days journey into exploring this vital area of practice.

A constant reminder, if not rejoinder, to not forget to leave more than enough time for Prāṇāyāma, rather than it being the token twiddle at the end of the practice, or that which is oft easily at best compromised or at worst, forgotten within the seduction of the bodily experiences.

Another personal practice from 1980 from TKV Desikachar……

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Following on from previous posts on practices from my teacher I wanted to offer a another example, this time purely around the Āsana element of my practice, given to me by my teacher, TKV Desikachar.

It evolved from within our one to one lessons in Chennai, from over 35 years ago, in 1980 and is based around working on a stiff, but strong lower back.

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Yoga Yatta – A chance to chat around your questions on Yoga

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I am receiving an increasing number of emails from around the globe regarding questions and requests for clarification around Yoga practice, theory and philosophy.

I talk more easily than I type and I also feel direct contact and dialogue is much more preferable to a keyboard based to’ing and fro’ing of views, opinions or questions.

Also we live increasingly in an age where direct face to face, albeit via screen and speaker, contact is possible through media such as Skype, FaceTime, WebEx, etc.

Hence I am proposing an offering of time and space using modern media to engage in a direct dialogue with your questions or requests for clarification with those interested.

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Yoga, Zen and Koestler……

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“Because the West has deprived itself of its own original irrational methods and yet needs them badly; because its inner Life can only be repressed, but not helped, by rationalism, it tries to adopt Yoga and Zen.”

– A letter from CG Jung to Encounter Magazine February 1961 vol XVI no 2

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Dhyāna is not simply to still the mind……

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Dhyāna is not simply to still the mind.
It involves our ability to reflect afresh,
to discover what we had not known before.”
TKV Desikachar Madras December 27th 1988

A collation of articles by Srivatsa Ramaswami around the teachings of T Krishnamacharya

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A collation of articles by Srivatsa Ramaswami around the teachings of
T Krishnamacharya published in the ‘Indian Review’ circa 1979-1981.

View or Download this Series of Articles as a Single PDF Collation

List of Articles and Indications of Content:

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Who in you linked breath to body movement?

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“A question:
Who in you linked breath to body movement?”
TKV Desikachar Madras December 26th 1988

Who regulates your Yoga Practice?

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“I would like to put to you a question asked me by my teacher:
Who regulates your Yoga Practice?
Although I was given that question some twenty years ago, I still have no answer for it”
TKV Desikachar Madras December 26th 1988

The first step in the practice of Āsana is the linking of the mind to movement and breath.

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“The first step in the practice of Āsana is the linking of the mind to movement and breath.”
TKV Desikachar Madras December 26th 1988