We can only begin to improvise after we begin to understand the various postures……

supta_eka_padangusthasanasupta_eka_padangusthasana_2

“We can only begin to improvise after we begin to understand the various postures.
We do not suggest improvisation for the sake of improvisation.
We do it when we need help to develop or to sustain attention,
or as an aid to a particular physical need”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Seven Page 101

Thus we us improvisation to bring something new and useful into the practice of Āsana……

uttanasana_4uttanasana_3

“Thus we use improvisation to bring something new and useful into the practice of  Āsana.
Therefore, if one of you is asked to do an Āsana with the legs straight and another to do that same Āsana with the legs bent, please don’t think you are winning or losing a contest.
Since this is not dance, form is not important.
What is important when doing an Āsana is the experience that happens at the moment.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Seven Page 98

If we are doing Āsana and the mind continues to wander……

janu sirsasana

“If we are doing Āsana and the mind continues to wander,
we are not doing the Āsana, only our bodies are doing them.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Seven Page 91

The association with the world full of form and change starts with the mind……

baradavajrasana

“The association with the world full of form and change starts with the mind.
Suffering caused because of this association is an eye opener.
Who is suffering?
Who is recognising it?
What can release this suffering?
All these questions exist because of this association,
even though it may often be painful
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 23

Religiousness in Yoga Study Guide: Chapter Six Theory

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House

‘Religiousness in Yoga: Lectures on Theory and Practice’ by the University Press of America,
a transcript of recordings of a one month Yoga Programme in Colgate University in 1976, published in 1980.

A chapter by chapter Study guide is offered below with added verse and word cross-references where possible to support a a deeper linking with the teachings within these lectures and Q & A sessions.

Chapter Six Theory: Puruṣa and Prakṛti – Pages 81-90

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When there is clarity, there is silence……

Desikachar_1999_1
“When there is clarity, there is silence.
When there is intellectual clarity we are happy,
we are pleased but this might not last.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Six Page 90

The breath can be a key to unlocking the mystery of the relationship……

In looking at how to deepen (rather than broaden) our personal practice choosing to focus on exploring the breath can be a key to unlocking the mystery of the relationship between body, breath, mind and beyond.

Here we can think of the deepening into our practice arising through progressively slowing the patterning of our breathing. To do this we have to reconsider our practice, not in terms of what we do with our body but what we do with the breath within our body.

This means firstly knowing what is our basic practice breath rate per minute and then progressively slowing that rate as we progress from Āsana, through to Mudrā and then to Prāṇāyāma.

For example when working with Āsana we can start with four breaths per minute, then with Mudrā slow it to three breaths per minute and finally with Prāṇāyāma, slow it again to two breaths per minute.

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There is no death for the Puruṣa because there is no change for it……

purusa

“There is no death for the Puruṣa
because there is no change for it,
and what is death but change.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Six Page 87

When the mind thinks it is seeing rather than the Puruṣa there is Avidyā

Desikachar_1999_1
“When the mind thinks it is seeing rather than the Puruṣa there is Avidyā,
and this is the beginning of Duḥkha.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Six Page 85

The mind is an accumulation of actions and memories of actions……

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House
“The mind is an accumulation of actions and memories of actions.
This conditions us to act as we have been acting.
In doing so, we cannot detect that things are changing and therefore,
our actions might go wrong.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Six Page 85

Yoga is a Saṃskāra in that it equips us to realise our greatest potential……

svastikasana

”Yoga is a Saṃskāra in that it equips us to realise our greatest potential.
If we wish, it can prepare us for and lead us to the beatitude of the divine presence.”
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 1

Āsana based Exercises for the management of Low Back Pain


Abstract
Low Back Pain is an endemic disorder afflicting a large percentage of people. The aetiological factors are mostly psychosomatic along with postural defects, occupational predispositions and sendentary life styles. Though several rehabilitative techniques are prescribed, no systematic analysis of these are available.

The present study evaluates several simple Āsana on the basis of biomechanical principles. These studies also select a set of Āsana which work on the back with increasing intensity. A series of tests are evolved to assess the physiological debility of a patient. These test results form the basis of selection of Āsana to be prescribed to the patient. A chart is finally provided to enable the therapist to increase the intensity of Āsana so that the muscles of the low back can be strengthened systematically and progressively.

The results of clinical trials on 16 patients using this method of Āsana selection and rehabilitation indicates the usefulness of this method for the management of low back pain, Only regular practitioners of these exercises improve while indifferent or improper practice has no rehabilitative value.

by TV Ananthanarayanan – Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram and
TM Srinivasan – Founder Member, Biomedical EngineeringDivision, I. I. T., Madras

Originally published in The Yoga Review Vol. III, No. 1, 1983

Download or view as a PDF

Who is suffering?……

duhkha_5

“Who is suffering?
Who is recognising it?
What can release this suffering?”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 23

Sample Practice by T Krishnamacharya for a student with diabetes……

TK_Diabetes_PracticeA handwritten copy of a sample Practice by T Krishnamacharya for a student with diabetes.
It was shared with me by TKV Desikachar from his father’s teaching files.
Download or view this practice as a PDF

There are those people who change as a result of practice and those……

“There are those people who change as a result of practice and those who never change in spite of practice.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Six Page 88-89

Apart from right food other activities like travel to holy places……

tapas devanagari

“Apart from right food other activities like travel to holy places,
giving away gifts to the needy are also part of Tapaḥ.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 1

The power of Īśvara alone ensures success……

isvara

“With faith in Īśvara, the master of the whole universe,
regularly offering prayers.
Whether it is Tapas, Svādhyāya or Īśvara Praṇidhānā,
the power of Īśvara alone ensures success.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 1

Our journey to our roots is Svādhyāya……

svadhyaya_2

“The study that helps us to know where we are from and what progress we have achieved.
In short, our journey to our roots is Svādhyāya.
There are many means. Vedic chant where the student repeats exactly how the teacher recites the text is one. The means should respect our culture.
It must help explore our own background, our strengths and weaknesses and our progress.
Even a good teacher can be a mirror, a Svādhyāya.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 1

They are called Kleśa because they cause difficulty……

They are called Kleśa because they cause difficulty

“They are called Kleśa because they cause difficulty.
If not now then some other time.”
– TKV Desikachar Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 3

For Anuṣṭhānāt to become and remain important there needs to be Śraddhā.

sraddha

“For Anuṣṭhānāt to become and remain important there needs to be Śraddhā.”
– TKV Desikachar Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 28

The Healthcare Yoga Programme – Fitness – Well Being – Recovery

Personal Yoga Lessons can be offered whether for Fitness, Well Being or Recovery

Private lessons can be for anybody in any situation or life phase, though those with specific interests or needs 
will find the advantages of working individually more beneficial than group classes.

Furthermore certain situations may better suited to individual Yoga Lessons and require practices and advice customised and developed for home use within the privacy of a personal context.

Thus whatever your situation 121 lessons mean Yoga can be customised to meet your needs as a:

  • Developmental Practice for Personal Pursuits of body, breath or mind, or
  • Constitutional Practice for Lifestyle Support in sustaining health, energy and vitality, or
  • Therapeutic Practice within Recovery from illness, disease or unhelpful lifestyle consequences
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Aṅgānuṣṭhānāt – Irrespective of failures and testing times you will not leave it.

“Aṅgānuṣṭhānāt – Commitment
Irrespective of failures and testing times you will not leave it.”
– TKV Desikachar Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 28

The order is important – from gross to subtle, we need one to appreciate the next.

kriyayoga

“The order is important
– from gross to subtle,
we need one to appreciate the next.”
– TKV Desikachar Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 1

Kriyā Yoga means to have certain qualities in our actions……

kriyayoga

“Kriyā Yoga means to have certain qualities in our actions.
e.g. listening to this lecture
Natural for people with a stable mind.
So something has to be done for others.”
– TKV Desikachar Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 1

Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two is for those who want to move to the state of Chapter One.

“Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two is for those who want to move to the state of Chapter One.”
– TKV Desikachar