If we start from Kleśa our action will be faulty.

If we start from Kleśa our action will be faulty.

“If we start from Kleśa our action will be faulty.”
– TKV Desikachar France 1983

Yoga Practice is about a re-turning towards our inner life.

Yoga Practice is about a re-turning towards our inner life.

Yoga Practice is about a re-turning towards our inner life. However, even without outer obstacles, we can encounter inner feelings that arise and manifest as obstacles to that re-turning.

Here it might be helpful to reflect on the four pillars of Maitrī, Karuṇā, Muditā and Upekṣā and the role they can have in helping to transform the unhelpful aspects of these inner feelings.

Bhāvana is a beneficial attitude that is consciously cultivated despite tendencies to the contrary”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 33

With the spirit of Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 33 in mind, the cultivation of the four pillars is a practice that can support a stepping, rather than stalling, onto our mat or seat through:

  1. Maitrī
    Cultivating a feeling of friendliness towards our own attempts,
    let alone other’s demands, to distract ourselves.
  2. Karuṇā
    Cultivating a feeling of compassion towards our bodies and minds,
    whatever state we find them in.
  3. Muditā
    Cultivating a feeling of looking for the positive spot in ourselves
    and what we can do well and now, rather than what we can’t do well or now.
  4. Upekṣā
    Cultivating a feeling of keeping distance from the self-deprecation that can so often accompany our attempts to improve the quality of our inner life and old responses to inner tensions and memories.

– Personal commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 33

Manasika Sādhana – Mind has a part to play……

Manasika Sādhana – Mind has a part to play.

Manasika Sādhana
Mind has a part to play.
We can either direct or restrain.
Mind mentioned a lot in Yoga texts.
i.e. Attitude of Saṃtoṣa – mental contentment also a Sādhana.

Also Bhāvana.
Also Yama and Niyama.
When Yama and Niyama accomplished they become Siddhi.

Svādhyāya example of Sādhana – Study to know something about oneself or others.
Adhyayayana – To repeat exactly what is said by your teacher.
Based on three steps:

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Aindriyika Sādhana – Concerning the Senses……

Aindriyika Sādhana – Concerning the Senses

Aindriyika Sādhana – Concerning the Senses.
FoodDiet – Temptation – Restraining the tongue.
Many things concerning senses of smell, taste, sight, touch, hearing.”
TKV Desikachar France 1983

Śarīrika Sādhana – Keeping the body fit and well……

Śarīrika Sādhana – Keeping the body fit and well.
In the language of Patañjali Āsana is mostly Śarīrika Sādhana.”
TKV Desikachar France 1983

There are categories of Sādhana relating to Body, Breath, Senses and Mind.

There are categories of Sādhana

“There are categories of Sādhana relating to Body, Breath, Senses and mind.”
– TKV Desikachar France August 1983

108 Teaching Path Pointers – 11 – Yoga Cikitsā is about Respecting the Problem and Treating the Person

Yoga Cikitsā is about Respecting the Problem and Treating the Person

Yoga Cikitsā is about
Respecting the Problem and Treating the Person.
Rather than
Respecting the Person and Treating the Problem.

Link to Series: 108 Teaching Path Pointers

Yoga is trying to do something for oneself.

Yoga is trying to do something for oneself

‎”Yoga is trying to do something for oneself.”
TKV Desikachar England 1976

The Art of Setting Priorities for Āsana and the Yoga Body

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ISRAELI YOGA TEACHERS’ ASSOCIATION
Two Day Yoga Intensive January 8/9th 2016

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The Art of Setting Priorities for Āsana and the Yoga Body

This two day intensive will explore how to set priorities when establishing a core Āsana practice.

We will look at short and long term goals in choosing postures to focus and develop within our practice.

It is for all interested in the structural and energetic principles that underpin the selection, application and practice of Āsana respecting the principles of Haṭha Yoga and their importance within Modern Postural Yoga.

We will explore Krishnamacharya and Desikachar’s teachings on Yoga and its relationship to and links with modern Kinesiological processes, as well as to its roots within the energetic principles underpinning Haṭha.

It is offered for all Yoga students, teachers and trainee teachers from any background interested in the core principles in the teachings of Haṭha Yoga that support refining and developing the body in our Āsana practice.

Each session will help us to develop, through presentation, textual contexting, and kinesiological examination, along with practical demonstration, small group interaction and personal practice experience, how we can:

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Krishnamacharya also decided that you could be in one posture and do a number of variations.

Krishnamacharya also decided that you could be in one posture and do a number of variations

“Krishnamacharya also decided that you could be in one posture
and do a number of variations.”
– TKV Desikachar England 1992

The traditional model, Śikṣaṇa, for Yoga was to stay in a posture……

The traditional model, Śikṣaṇa, for Yoga was to stay in a posture

“The traditional model, Śikṣaṇa, for Yoga was to stay in a posture,
Krishnamacharya introduced movement in the postures.”
From study notes with TKV Desikachar England 1992

If anybody can breathe, they can do Yoga.

If anybody can breathe

“If anybody can breathe,
they can do Yoga.”
– T Krishnamacharya

The true purpose of Krishnamacharya’s teaching was to bring Man into contact with something beyond himself

The true purpose of Krishnamacharya’s teaching
“The true purpose of Krishnamacharya’s teaching was
to bring Man into contact with something beyond himself,
and far greater.”
– TKV Desikachar: Health, Healing and Beyond C1 p17

In Āyurveda, it gives certain behaviour by which we can stay well……

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“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 Āhāra, along with Vihāra – recreation, rest, exercise, other activities.”
– TKV Desikachar France 1983

The best word for health is the Saṃskṛta word Svastha.

The best word for health is the Saṃskṛta word Svastha.

Question to TKV Desikachar:
Sir, could you please tell us what is meant by health? How do you understand a healthy person?

TKV Desikachar Response:
The best word that comes to my mind for health is the Saṃskṛta word Svastha. Sva plus Stha is Svastha. Sva indicates myself and Stha means to remain.

For me health is that state of being where I can manage myself. This is indicated by the word Svastha. A-svastha is that state where I am not able to manage by myself.

TKV Desikachar from an interview in the Journal Viniyoga Italia on Yoga and Well Being.

The Saṃskāra of Yoga prepares one for Ātma Vidyā and is open to everyone.

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

“The Saṃskāra of Yoga prepares one for Ātma Vidyā and is open to everyone.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 1

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What is the relationship between Yoga and Āyurveda?

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Question to TKV Desikachar:
What is the relationship between Yoga and Āyurveda?

TKV Desikachar Response:
First of all, we believe that the same master gave us Āyurveda and Yoga: Patañjali. We worship Patañjali remembering him as the person who gave us Āyurveda for the body and Yoga for the mind.

Body and mind are so interlinked that you cannot really separate them. Since Āyurveda is a complete system, they talk also about Yoga. Yoga is defined in Āyurveda. And the language of Yoga is such that a person cannot understand the Yoga texts without understanding the concepts of Āyurveda.

At least in theory, these sciences go very well together. However, in India, the treatment given to Yoga in the Āyurveda University is very scarce, it is not even worth mentioning. So, in reality, Āyurveda people are not familiar with Yoga as much as they should be. The only exception was my father. He knew both, that is why he was able to mix both systems, according to the need.

“What Patañjali gave for the mind through Yoga,
he gave for the body through Āyurveda.”

What I would say is, what Patañjali gave for the mind through Yoga, he gave for the body through Āyurveda.

Extract from an interview in the Journal Viniyoga Italia on Yoga and Well Being.

A text like the Yoga Sūtra is something so very special……

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“A text like the Yoga Sūtra is something so very special,
it becomes a life-companion.
It is so deep, if taken seriously,
but it can also be very shallow
if the depth of the study is not there
and if there is no application.”
TKV Desikachar from an interview in the Journal
Viniyoga Italia on Yoga and Well Being.

There is an image in the world today that the Guru has a following……

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House

“There is an image in the world today that the Guru has a following
and his students follow him like the Pied Piper.
This is not good. The true Guru shows you the way.
You go your way and then you’re on your own,
because you know your place and you are grateful.
I can always thank my Guru naturally and enjoy the relationship,
but I do not have to follow him around, because then I am not in my own place.
Following the Guru’s destination is another way of losing yourself.
The Yoga concept of Svadharma means ‘your own Dharma‘ or ‘your own way’.
If you try to do somebody else’s Dharma, trouble happens.
The Guru helps you find your own Dharma.”
– TKV Desikachar

Reflections on the relationship of Dharma and Kāma

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House

“God is always inside the heart.
However we are not always inside the will of God.
So actions can be right or wrong.”
– TKV Desikachar commentary on Bhagavad Gītā Chapter 18 verse 15