viniyoga Vignette 2 – Combining techniques in Prāṇāyāma

seated_pranayama_2

A short mid-afternoon Prāṇāyāma practice from a year one Practitioner Training Programme, to offer an example of how to combine three different Prāṇāyāma techniques within a single Vinyāsa Krama.

Step 1.
Śītalī inhale with Ujjāyī exhale
1.½.1.0 for 8 breaths
Step 2.
Anuloma Ujjāyī
1.½.1½.0 for 8 breaths
Step 3.
Pratiloma Ujjāyī
1½.0.1½.0 for 8 breaths
Step 4.
Ujjāyī
½.0.½.0 for 8 breaths

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The Krishnamacharya methodology of melding the Application of Āyurveda with that of Yoga

nadi_pariksa

One other study area that I was privileged to be able to experience alongside my many visits to study Yoga Practice Techniques and Associated texts in Chennai with my teacher TKV Desikachar, within the intimacy and vitality of private lessons, was that of Āyurveda and its application within Yoga.

“In Āyurveda, it gives certain behaviour by which we can stay well.
If a person follows the following he will freer of sickness.
Regularly, systematically he eats, rests and exercises adequately.
Both in amount and quality. Food or Ahāra,
along with Vihāra – recreation, rest, exercise, other activities.”
– TKV Desikachar 

Thus during my many visits to India, between 1979 and 2002, my work in Yoga was complemented by the study of Āyurveda constitutional diagnosis and prognosis, along with Nādī Parīkṣā or pulse diagnosis and the application skills of Āyurveda, into Yoga practice and lifestyle, according to the teachings of T Krishnmacharya within Yoga Rakṣaṇa (lifestyle support) or Yoga Cikitsā (therapeutic recovery) situations.

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108 Dhāraṇā Practice Pointers – 3 – Dhāraṇā – a state of effortful attention……

dhyanam

Dhāraṇā – a state of effortful attention.
Dhyānam – a state of effortless attention.

Link to Series: 108 Dhāraṇā Practice Pointers

viniyoga Vignette 1 – Antar and Bāhya Kumbhaka in Āsana

A short pre-lunch 25′ practice from the first day of the two day Module One Haṭha Energetics Workshop.

As well as emphasising the use of Jihvā and Jālandhara Bandha, the primary Bhāvana or theme was to explore the application of and response to the introduction and accumulative intensification of Antar Kumbhaka (AK) and Bāhya Kumbhaka (BK) throughout the practice.

I would emphasise that this is an example of a unique situation that existed at that moment and thus reflects an expression of a study point or the students group dynamic as a need at that moment.

Yet within this caveat, this example of a short but intensive practice, whilst not to be taken as a fixed template, also reflects the richness and multifarious possibilities in how the principles in the viniyoga of Yoga can be expressed as learning and experiential tools within a myriad of situations and personalities.

If there is a sketch quality in the PDF copy it is because these practices were not preplanned and were being notated as they unfolded whilst teaching the group. This also meant I could photocopy them as the practice concluded so copies were immediately available for reflection, reference and discussion.

Link to view or download this Practice as a PDF

Link to Series: Viniyoga Vignettes

108 Sūtra Study Pointers – 19 – In the Yoga Sūtra, the pre-eminent text on Dhyānam within Yoga……

In the Yoga Sūtra, the pre-eminent text on Dhyānam within Yoga.

Book One is about the Process of the practice of Dhyānam;
Book Two is about the Preparation for the practice of Dhyānam;
Book Three is about the Outcome of the practice of Dhyānam;
Book Four is about the Goal of the practice of Dhyānam.

Link to Series: 108 Sutra Study Pointers

108 Yoga Practice Pointers – 18 – It seems that with ‘Modern Postural Yoga’ the perception of ‘advanced’ is……

It seems that with ‘Modern Postural Yoga’
the perception of ‘advanced’ practice is based
around physical appearance and artistic performance,
as exemplified by Āsana;
over psychological efforts and cultivation of inner skills,
as exemplified by Prāṇāyāma and Dhyānam.

Link to Series: 108 Yoga Practice Pointers

Prāṇāyāma leads to this…..

Prāṇāyāma leads to this.
Pratyāhāra, to see without the senses distracting or pulling the mind,
and Dhāraṇā, to see without the mind losing itself,
because of colouring or expectations.
Dhyānam arises out of this.”
– TKV Desikachar

Dhāraṇā – To see without the mind losing itself……

dharana

Dhāraṇā –
To see without the mind losing itself,
because of colouring or expectations.”
– TKV Desikachar

This way I have collected hundreds of handwritten Yoga practice examples


Some years ago now I changed the process around how students notated various practices I taught for groups within Student Training Courses or Practitioner Training Programmes.

My methodology previously had prioritised students learning the skills of being able to remember and context what they had just practiced by also being able to recall and then record it accurately. This was part of cultivating personal practice skills, as well as helping in establishing the art of keeping a practice journal over a several year period.

Thus I would teach a small group of students, studying within the contexts of either personal study courses or professional training programmes, a practice and then wait, before perhaps writing it on the board, for it to be notated down from the student’s memory and then we would at some point discuss it and its context to the current situation.

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Pratyāhāra – To see without the senses distracting or pulling the mind.

pratyahara

Pratyāhāra –
to see without the senses
distracting or pulling the mind,”
– TKV Desikachar

108 Study Path Pointers – 12 – The greatest gift in old age is the ability to be in the present.

pranayama_chair

The greatest gift in old age is the ability to be in the present.
The greatest forfeit in old age is the tendency to be in the past or the future.

Link to Series: 108 Study Path Pointers

There is nothing better than Prāṇāyāma for this preparation…..

Prāṇāyāma

Dhyānam is not Naimityakam –
something that is done once in a while.
It is a regular practice, almost a ritual.
One must prepare for this ritual every day.
There is nothing better than Prāṇāyāma for this preparation.”
– TKV Desikachar commentary on Dhyānamālikā Śloka 14

Fix yourself on something that doesn’t change….

srimad_bhagavad_gita

“Fix yourself on something that doesn’t change
and seek something higher than material things.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Bhagavad Gītā Chapter Two verse 45

Where there is Duḥkha, there is Avidyā.

duhkha

‎”Where there is Duḥkha, there is Avidyā.”
– TKV Desikachar 1995

108 Chanting Practice Pointers – 6 – Chanting is a practice that uses language to experience ‘That’……

ganesa

Chanting is a practice that uses language
to experience ‘That’ which is beyond language.

Link to Series: 108 Chanting Practice Pointers

108 Sūtra Study Pointers – 18 – The Das Indriya or ten senses of experience and action……

The Dasa Indriya or ten senses of experience and action,
whilst seen as belonging to the Bāhya Aṅga or five external limbs
in the eight limb Aṣṭa Aṅga Yoga of Patañjali,
are also the gateway to the Antar Aṅga or three internal limbs.
Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 54

Link to Series: 108 Sutra Study Pointers

108 Postural Practice Pointers – 1 – Jaṭhara Parivṛtti and Movement

jathara_parivrtti

Postural Practice Pointer 1 – Jaṭhara Parivṛtti and Movement

When coming up focus on on the lower leg lifting up the upper leg,
rather than the upper leg hauling up the lower leg.

Link to Series: 108 Postural Practice Pointers

The Ten Senses or Das Indriya are the gateway between…….

samkhya

The ten senses or Das Indriya are the gateway between the inner and the outer,
in the twin roads of this phenomena we call experience or action.

The five senses that transport experience from the outer to the inner
are called the Jñāna Indriya, or the senses through which we receive the world.

The five senses that transport actions from the the inner to the outer
are called the Karma Indriya, or the senses through which we put out into the world.

The co-ordinator of this remarkable interface is known as Manas.
The identifier in this remarkable process is known as Ahaṃkāra.
The discerner in this remarkable trinity is known as Buddhi.
The observer in this remarkable play of experience and action is known as Cit or Puruṣa.

Yoga Postures in Practice – A series on Āsana by Paul Part 2 Tāḍāsana

Part Two – Growing from our Roots with Tāḍāsana

This is the second 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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108 Sūtra Study Pointers – 17 – Prāṇāyāma brings fitness of the mind for concentration.

As Prāṇāyāma dissolves the covering of the light,
fitness of the mind for concentration arises.
Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 53

Link to Series: 108 Sutra Study Pointers