“Fasting is not eating between meals.”
– T Krishnamacharya
“If we recognise a person as they are now,
not as they were yesterday,
we realise that what we see is not eternal.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Bhagavad Gītā Chapter Thirteen verse 28
As Desikachar actually had very few long term students, many peoples views around such as his Āsana teaching, or views on Yoga in general are formed from experiencing him teaching within a group situation, either at a seminar, lecture or retreat.
Actually he really was not very comfortable teaching mixed public groups in these situations, and in relation to teaching practices, what practices he could present had to be very generalised and therefore contrary to the principles he taught according to what he learnt from his father.
On the other hand as a private student the Āsana practices I was exposed to had a precision and intensity offering a breadth and depth impossible to emulate within a group class environment.
As an example I am offering an extract from the seated section of a practice he taught me. The Āsana in this section are Daṇḍāsana, Ardha Matsyendrāsana, Mahā Mudrā, Baddha Koṇāsana, Paścimatānāsana and as a Pratikriyāsana, Dvipāda Pīṭham.
There were two options for practice, a lighter application or a more intense one. In the lighter version the balance of repeat or stay was as follows:
- Yukta Śikṣaṇa
The teaching must be appropriate to the intelligence of the individual.
- Grahaṇa Śikṣaṇa
Also able to absorb correctly what you have understood.
You must test them, confuse them to see if they have.
- Yukta Smaraṇa
The teacher should find out how much the person remembers
what they have understood.
- Yukta Abhyāsa
Is how much a person practices what he is given.
To see if he has learnt, understood and practiced.
- Yukta Anu Bhāva
Even practice can be mechanical, even if it is regular.
So how much you have learnt from the practice.
What it has taught you.
- Yukta Pracāram
Finally, you ask the person to transmit what they have received.
The transmission shows the Siddhi of the Sādhana.
This is Viniyoga.
These outlines are valid whether Śikṣaṇa or Rakṣaṇa Krama.
If what is given is mechanical it is not Viniyoga.
That is why the Viniyoga spirit is very important these days.”
– TKV Desikachar France 1983
Prāṇāyāma – Where to Start? Part Three
In the previous two articles we discussed Krishnamacharya’s teachings around his understanding of and approach to the viniyoga or application of Prāṇāyāma.
Firstly in terms of Āsana being the starting point for exploring the breath in order to set a starting point and as a guideline for the direction of our Prāṇāyāma.
Secondly the importance of considerations around Prāṇāyāma as a process in terms of being in it for the long haul rather than only looking at practices which offer immediate fruits after a single practice or class.
The second post also commented on the need to leave more than enough time during our Yoga practice for Prāṇāyāma, rather than it being the token twiddle at the end of the practice.
I would like to use this post to consider how we need to add a structure within which we can build content. Without a structure our practice in this area can easily become random in terms of length or haphazard in terms of consistency.
Learning Support for Chanting the Taittirīya Saṃhitā 2.3.14
– Gaṇapati Prārthanā Saṃhitā Pāṭhaḥ.
From my personal library of recordings from my studies
with my teacher TKV Desikachar.
To Download or Listen
To Download the Chant Sheet in Romanised Saṃskṛta with Notations
A Mantra is that which shapes space through vibration of sacred syllables.
In the art of Mantra Saṃskṛta is a sacred tool for shaping sacred form out of space.
Sounding the Saṃskṛta according to the precisions of pronunciation and vibration
manifests the sacred form inherent in each Mantra out of universal space.
The ancient seers understood this process and left us sacred phonemes
to guide our journey into and beyond the self.