Sleep and Samādhi are the only times when there is no ‘I’.

samadhi

“Sleep (Nidrā) and Samādhi are the only times when there is no ‘I’.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2

Nirodha always refers to Citta……

cit devanagari

Cit is always the same.
Nirodha always refers to Citta.
Thus Cit is a witness.
What changes is only Citta.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2

108 Sūtra Study Pointers – 9 – Within the effort of trying to remain there not clinging……

Within the effort of trying to remain there not clinging to what arises
within the effort of trying to remain there not clinging to what arises
within the effort of trying to remain there not clinging to what arises
within the effort of trying to remain there not……..
– Reflection around Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 12

Link to Series: 108 Sutra Study Pointers

Yoga is the movement of the mind in one direction. It presumes……

TKV_France_1999

“Yoga has many meanings in the Bhagavad GītāUpaniṣat, Saṃskṛta Grammar, etc.

It is defined again in the Sūtra. Yoga is the movement of the mind in one direction. It presumes:

1. There is something in each of us called mind.
2. This mind has many movements or activities.
3. It is possible to channelise these movements through certain actions.
4. When we accept movement we accept time and space – moving something from A to B. There are realities.
5. In accepting vṛtti we also accept the idea of an object.
6. We can fix the mind so it confines itself to an object.”

– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2

Sometimes we should examine how we relate to objects through the senses.

TKV_France_1999

“Sometimes we should examine how we relate to objects through the senses.”
– TKV Desikachar commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 35

A series of linked questions on the first two chapters of the Yoga Sūtra

IWYS_M1

Its that time of the year where many Yoga Teachers have a brief summer window during August during which they can turn their attention away from the needs of their students towards themselves.

Thus I am receiving requests from students as to how they may develop a directed study amidst the other demands that the summer break brings.

One suggestion is to offer a series of linked questions focused around the first two chapters of the Yoga Sūtra. These questions were part of a broader Yoga study project offered last year. However as the Yoga Sūtra section offers an opportunity for guided self study, it could be helpful to offer it again to support a reflective review on Yoga Psychology.

Further study and practice guides will be offered within other areas of Yoga Study and Practice.

read more

I think, that all those who want to practise Vedic chanting……

tryambakam_mantra

“I think, that all those who want to practise Vedic chanting must be able to do so,
provided there is no confusion with Patañjali’s Yoga.”
– Extract from an interview with TKV Desikachar on Vedic Chanting

Religiousness in Yoga Study Guide: Chapter Three 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.

Unlike the later redacted edition, re-published in 1995 as the ‘Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice’, it captures the evolution of the retreat with the days lectures and Q & A dialogues as they alternated between ‘lectures on the principles and purposes of Yoga and discussions related to the practice of Yoga with special reference to the postures and the breathing techniques’.

TKV Desikachar, in his forward to the original version wrote:

“These lectures and discussions, printed words put before persons I might never meet,
are but reflections of that deeper result that grew out of a living face-to-face encounter.
Coming to learn of Yoga only through reading leaves much to be desired.
Yet, something worthwhile about Yoga might be shared through the medium of the printed word.”

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

Chapter Three Theory: The Concepts of Avidyā and Duḥkha – Pages 31-44

read more

When a person is free, it means that things outside of himself are not as disturbing

“There is a human state called Kaivalya. That is, a person is free.
When a person is free, it means that things outside of himself are not as disturbing as they were in the past.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Three Page 42

When we see the truth, when we reach a point that is higher than ourselves……

“When we see the truth, when we reach a point that is higher than ourselves,
there is a deep satisfaction.
It is not the emotional satisfaction that we get from looking at a beautiful object,
but a satisfaction deep within us that is without emotion or sentiment.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Three Page 32

In Yoga one of the first levels of Prajñā, wisdom, is the awareness and understanding that we are disturbed……

duhkha_5

“In Yoga one of the first levels of Prajñā, wisdom,
is the awareness and understanding that we are disturbed.
It is the first truth that we need to understand
because very often Duḥkha goes unrecognised.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Three Page 41

Very often people have this type of Duḥkha even when they are trying to improve their lives……

Duḥkha

“When we see something that we want and are able to get it, there is no Duḥkha.
If we are unable to to get it, this is the beginning of Duḥkha.
Very often people have this type of Duḥkha even when they are trying to improve their lives.
They become so thirsty for understanding that they are unable to get understanding as quickly as they desire.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Three Page 39

The greater the Śraddhā, the more meaning there is in the techniques such……

sraddha

“The greater the Śraddhā, the more meaning there is in the techniques such as Āsana, Prāṇāyāma, Dhyānam, Bhāvana and all the others. Without Śraddhā, these techniques have little effect on the state of the mind and the progress to Citta Vṛtti Nirodha.

However, sometimes some minor benefits that we get through Āsana or Prāṇāyāma practice, open up the Śraddhā within us. Śraddhā is within each of us but is covered. It could be any experience that uncovers it.”

– TKV Desikachar on Śraddhā in the Yoga Sūtra

When a person begins to do something with Śraddhā, with conviction, why does this very often dissipate?

sraddha

Question:
When a person begins to do something with Śraddhā, with conviction, why does this very often dissipate?

Response from TKV Desikachar:
Because Śraddhā influences the mind from within. But the mind has also to continually interact with the external. In the course of these interactions, the mind will often come in contact with situations that evoke other responses that are contrary to the original conviction. When the Śraddhā, conviction, is not strong enough, the mind will follow the contrary response. Over time the original conviction may even be forgotten.

A person may want to keep his voice in good shape and for this reason decide to stop having ice-cream. He may even faithfully follow this for a while. Then somebody brings home a carton of a new ice-cream recently introduced, of a quality never eaten in India before. His interest is aroused and he finds many reasons why the ice-cream can be had: ‘the friend has gone through so much difficulty to get it for rne’, ‘it is a special occasion and the whole atmosphere of the occasion will be spoilt if I refuse’, ‘I will just sample it once to know what its like’ and so on. The voice is forgotten, and the person eats the ice-cream thereby strengthening the contrary response and weakening the Śraddhā.

– TKV Desikachar on Śraddhā in the Yoga Sūtra

Failures on the path do not reduce their enthusiasm or their efforts…..

sraddha

“When there is Śraddhā, the person is not disappointed on failing to get immediate benefits.
They are sure that it is only a question of time and so the failures on the path do not reduce their enthusiasm or their efforts.”
– TKV Desikachar on Śraddhā in the Yoga Sūtra

Śraddhā is the source of motivation

sraddha

Śraddhā is the source of motivation.”
– TKV Desikachar on Śraddhā in the Yoga Sūtra

When there is Śraddhā, the person is not disappointed on failing to get immediate benefits.

sraddha

“When there is Śraddhā, the person is not disappointed on failing to get immediate benefits.”
– TKV Desikachar commenting on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 20

Religiousness in Yoga Study Guide: Chapter Two Practice

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.

Unlike the later redacted edition, re-published in 1995 as the ‘Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice’, it captures the evolution of the retreat with the days lectures and Q & A dialogues as they alternated between ‘lectures on the principles and purposes of Yoga and discussions related to the practice of Yoga with special reference to the postures and the breathing techniques’.

TKV Desikachar, in his forward to the original version wrote:

“These lectures and discussions, printed words put before persons I might never meet,
are but reflections of that deeper result that grew out of a living face-to-face encounter.
Coming to learn of Yoga only through reading leaves much to be desired.
Yet, something worthwhile about Yoga might be shared through the medium of the printed word.”

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

Chapter Two Practice: The Principles of Practice – Pages 13-30

read more

Learning Support for Chanting Mantra Puṣpam – Yopāṃ Puṣpaṃ Veda

Learning Support for Chanting the Mantra Puṣpam – Yopāṃ Puṣpaṃ Veda
– From the Taittirīya Āraṇyaka 1.22
From my personal library of recordings from my studies with my teacher TKV Desikachar recorded by one of his senior chant students Sujaya Sridhar.
To Download or Listen
To Download the Chant Sheet with Romanised Saṃskṛta and Chant Notations

The View of Rāja Yoga, Practice of Haṭha Yoga and Tool of viniyoga of Yoga

Rāja Yoga – Yoga and Samādhi

Yoga as a Process – The View, Path and Goal towards Samādhi as in Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtra

It is interesting these days that as a Yoga teacher the question I am more likely to be asked is ‘What kind of Yoga do you do?’ rather than ‘What is Yoga?’. It’s either that we think we already know what Yoga is or, more likely, that the view is becoming lost within the myriad of ways in which Yoga is offered.

These days there seems to be little apparent clarity around what Yoga is, or if there is a view, it is not very apparent.

This view may also be coloured by religious influences such as Hinduism, Sikhism or even bodywork paradigms such as physical culture, bodybuilding, gymnastics and even wrestling.

In the Yoga world of today in the West it seems as if many teachers are teaching without a clear ‘view’ of what Yoga is and how we might realize this view.

read more

The continuity of Dhyānam is compared to a flame which is free from wind.

svastikasana

“The continuity of Dhyānam is compared to a flame which is free from wind.”
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 43

108 Yoga Practice Pointers – 10 – Don’t get stuck on the sticky……

dhyanamDon’t get stuck on the sticky.
Learn Prāṇāyāma.
Learn Pratyāhāra.
Learn Nādānusandhāna.
Learn Adhyayanam.
Learn Dhyānam.

Link to Series: 108 Yoga Practice Pointers

If a teacher is unable to follow the unique conditions of each student……

“In a group class, if a teacher is unable to follow the unique conditions of each student, it would be unfortunate, since not only we would not understand Yoga, we might also be discouraged.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Two Page 15

What appears as Yoga to an outsider is mainly the physical aspects……

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House“What appears as Yoga to an outsider is mainly the physical aspects of our practice.
They will not be aware of how we breathe, how we feel the breath,
and how we co-ordinate breathing with physical movement.
They tend to be interested only in our flexibility and suppleness.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Two Page 13

read more

Just because one person can bend more than another does not prove……

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House“Just because one person can bend more than another
does not prove or disprove that the former is better in the practice of Yoga.
Such comparisons cannot be the basis of happiness based upon superiority,
or the opposite, unhappiness over inferiority.
Often this unhappiness is so severe that it makes us quit our pursuits.”

– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter One Page 7

read more