If we appreciate the role of breathing in Āsana how can we make it longer?


Question by Desikachar during my 121 lessons 1980:
“If we appreciate the role of breathing in Āsana how can we make it longer?”

From my notes from his response:

1. By using a valve, such as the throat (Ujjāyī) we can:

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108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers -3 – Pratiloma Ujjāyī is a gracious Prāṇāyāma technique.

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Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers -3 – Pratiloma Ujjāyī

Pratiloma Ujjāyī is a gracious Prāṇāyāma technique.

Link to Posts Series: 108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers

Action is best performed when it is for the good of the society….

srimad_bhagavad_gita

“Action is best performed when it is for the good of the society,
with the spirit of dedication to the lord and
with freedom from the attitude of being the doer and the beneficiary.”
– TKV Desikachar Commentary on Gītārtha Saṃgraha of Śrī Yāmunācārya Śloka Seven

It is honouring ones Dharma that will reveal the true nature of oneself.

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“It is honouring ones Dharma that will reveal the true nature of oneself.”
– TKV Desikachar Commentary on Gītārtha Saṃgraha of Śrī Yāmunācārya Śloka Two

One should consider and understand the relevance of the breath……

“The breath is related to the intellect, chest, respiratory system, digestive system, etc.
So one should consider and understand the relevance of the breath to these areas.
Also how these areas are in students before we start applying specific principles of breathing,
otherwise it could aggravate the area and any inherent problem.”
– From personal lessons with TKV Desikachar

Plan an Āsana practice to include Ardha Uttānāsana……


Plan an Āsana practice to include:

1. Ardha Uttānāsana – Stay 8 Breaths

2. Śīrṣāsana – Stay 20 Breaths

3. Navāsana – Stay 8 Breaths

A  question given it me by TKV Desikachar during our 121 lessons in 1980 when learning Āsana practice planning skills.

Mudrā practice is important since it assists the 10 Prāṇa to move freely in the Nāḍī.

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Mudrā practice is important since it assists the ten Prāṇa to move freely in the Nāḍī.”
– T Krishnamacharya introducing Chapter Three in the Gheraṇḍa Saṃhitā

Asmitā – To confuse memory and wisdom……

asmita

Asmitā – To confuse memory and wisdom.”
– TKV Desikachar Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 6

The Heart of Yoga is Developing a Personal Practice.

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“The Heart of Yoga:
Developing a Personal Practice.”
– TKV Desikachar

Yoga is a search into the self……

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“Yoga is a search into the self.
It is the means and the goal.
It approaches the question by saying what is not self.”
– TKV Desikachar

Eight steps in the process of learning the teachings……

eight_processes_of_learning

Desikachar taught me that there were eight steps in the process of learning the teachings.

  • Upadeśa – To come near to the teachings and remain
  • Śravaṇa – To listen to the teachings with an open ear
  • Grahaṇa – To seize hold of or grasp onto the teachings
  • Dhāraṇā – To concentrate on memorising the teachings
  • Manana – To carefully reflect on the teachings
  • Anuṣṭhāna – To live with and put the teachings into practice
  • Anubhāvana – To have some experiences from following the teachings
  • Pracāra – To share and apply the teachings with others

Namely the process of coming near to, listening to, grasping, memorizing, reflecting, applying, experiencing and sharing the teachings.

However the body is only part of the problem……

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House

“However the body is only part of the problem,
you have to do something at a deeper level.
This comes back to the mind.”
– TKV Desikachar

When I do something is it because I want to do it or……

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

“When I do something is it because I want to do it,
or am I being led to do it by the mind?”
– TKV Desikachar

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108 Teaching Path Pointers – 9 – Throughout Krishnamacharya’s teaching life he remained focused on……

Throughout Krishnamacharya’s teaching life he remained focused on
the priorities of seeing the who as the starting point
before considering the what.

Link to Series: 108 Teaching Path Pointers

Plan an Āsana practice to include Jaṭhara Parivṛtti……

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Plan an Āsana practice to include:

1. Jaṭhara Parivṛtti – Stay 8 breaths each side

2. Uttāna Pādāsana – Stay 8 breaths

3. Viparīta Daṇḍāsana – Stay 8 breaths

A  question given it me by TKV Desikachar during our 121 lessons in 1980 when learning Āsana practice planning skills.

It is not the request but where it is coming from.

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House

“It is not the request but where it is coming from.”
– TKV Desikachar

Plan an Āsana practice to include Śalabhāsana……

Plan an Āsana practice to include:

1. Śalabhāsana – Repeat 12 times

2. Tiryaṅgmukha Ekapāda Paścimatānāsana – Stay 6 breaths each side

3. Paryaṅkāsana – Stay 12 breaths

A  question given it me by TKV Desikachar during our 121 lessons in 1980 when learning Āsana practice planning skills.

Pratikriyāsana or opposite action postures have counterpostural, compensational and transitional roles

PKA_2015

Pratikriyāsana or opposite action postures have counterpostural, compensational and transitional roles and are applied at specific points in the practice in order to maintain a sound physiological and psychological base.

This principle has an important role in how we link the different aspects of the Āsana practice, how we close the practice or how we integrate the Āsana element of the practice into other aspects of our Yoga practice.

There are specific guidelines around how they can be integrated into the practice, the first of which is that the counter posture needs to be mastered before a particular Āsana is attempted.

This principle is especially important when attempting to integrate more complex Āsana such as Bhujaṅgāsana or Sarvāṅgāsana into our practice.

On this point you may wish to refer back to a previous post around the question, how do we know that a student is ready to attempt a more progressive posture such as Sarvāṅgāsana?

Links to Related Posts:

The counter posture needs to be mastered before a particular Āsana is attempted

TKV Desikachar on Dhyānam in the Bhagavad Gītā……

srimad_bhagavad_gita

“In the Indian tradition, a Śāstra is always studied under a teacher.
It is the teacher who gives the text life and meaning
by presenting it in a manner that the student can relate to and apply in his life.
The Bhagavad Gītā offers help to those in trouble.
How its teachings can be related to our lives and taken advantage of,
is explained by TKV Desikachar in his introduction and answers to his students.”
Originally published by the KYM Darśanam May 1995

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Prāṇāyāma must be properly instructed……

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“Prāṇāyāma must be properly instructed.
The posture used, seated erect for example, is also important.
The duration and regularity in terms of time is also as important as proper instructions.”
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 34