“What causes Duḥkha?
In the school of Sāṃkhya it arises from within, or from external influences,
or from extraordinary phenomena such as drought, storm, earthquake.
However, the experience of Duḥkha is not the same for everyone.
The same circumstance may not bring Duḥkha in everyone.
Hence the cause of Duḥkha is association. Association implies “two”,
that which is “associated to” and that which is the “cause of association.”
In Yoga they are known as Draṣṭṛ and Dṛśya;
that which perceives and that which is perceived.
The next three Sūtra describe them.
How these two get associated is a subject matter of great debate.
Suffice it to say that this mystery is the Lord’s will.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 17
The nine-night long Navaratri, an important occasion in India, is celebrated as a time to honour the Divine Feminine, especially the Goddess Durgā within the Indian tradition. It will commence today Saturday 17th October 2020, the first day of the month of Aśvin, according to the Hindu calendar. During this time the primary focus is Durgā manifesting through three primary aspects of the Divine Feminine.
Thus for the first three nights the focus is around the Divine Feminine in her power-bestowing aspect known as Durgā. For the second three nights the focus is around the Divine Feminine in her prosperity-bestowing aspect known as Lakṣmī. For the third three nights the focus is around the Divine Feminine in her wisdom-bestowing aspect known as Sarasvatī.
I feel Krishnamacharya’s accomplishments should not be defined just by his more well known characterisations, such as his remarkable philosophical background being applied to contextualising traditional Indian texts from within a Yoga viewpoint, or his unique access to Haṭha teachings and texts and innovating from these resources when choreographing modern postural Āsana synthesises for children and young adults.
“All of Krishnamacharya’s and Desikachar’s
life work focused on the training of students,
some of whom then went on to become teachers.”
However, what he is less well known for is his work with individual students, probably because it happened behind closed doors and students rarely had cause to speak about it to others. Nor would they have reason to want to teach it to others as it had been taught to them, as it was given at a particular moment in time, within a unique situation, with a specific purpose and within a private, rather than a public group setting.
7. Different Types of Postural Activity in Āsana Practice
Generally in terms of Āsana practice we can consider two types of physical activity:
– Dynamic or Movement and Stay or Static.
1. Dynamic is the movement aspect of an Āsana or posture.
– Though some Āsana are more suited to Movement or Dynamic Work
2. Stay is the Static aspect of an Āsana or posture.
– Though some Āsana are more suited to Stay or Static Work
Postural Practice Pointer 29 – Bhāvana on the rear leg when moving in and out of Parśva Uttānāsana
In keeping with the Bhāvana in Parśva Uttānāsana
around the intelligent leg being the rear leg.
Consider when entering and leaving the pose dynamically
paying attention to the rear leg remaining a working leg;
within the tendency for the front leg to increasingly
become the supporting leg as the body lowers and
the bracing leg as the trunk is raised upwards.
Over the past seven years I have been posting quotes and commentaries from T Krishnamacharya related to his teachings on the Yoga Sūtra. In doing so the website has accumulated well over 100 verse related posts. So to improve access and navigation around this aspect of his teaching I thought it helpful to curate them all onto a single page, within which the reader can access them through a chapter and verse collation.
The focus so far is mainly on chapter’s one and two. However as I continue to transcribe my Yoga Sūtra study notes online, this will extend across all four chapters. Future relevant quotations will still be posted individually, but will be added to this new page and this will be indicated by a change in the last updated date at the end of each chapter.
This also expands the presentation of aspects of the textual side of Desikachar’s and Krishnamacharya’s teaching already developing as an online access through:
This new resource can be found at:
Postural Practice Pointer 28 – Bhāvana when staying in Ardha Matsyendrāsana
In terms of weight bearing pressure on the front foot and rear hand.
Keep all the toes on the front foot as if nailed to the ground, and the
ground contact weight in the rear fingers, as if as light as a feather.
cYs Practitioner Training Programme 2004 Retreat Extract 3
Session 4 – Self Planning & Self Practice
This was a five day mid-afternoon Prāṇāyāma only planning and practice project for year Four students within a four year Practitioner Training Programme.
The format was:
- 5′ Pulse taking
- 15′ Prāṇāyāma Planning
- 10’ Group Chanting
- 15′ Prāṇāyāma Practice
- 5’ Sitting
- 5′ Pulse taking
- 5’ For recording your pulse, personal notes or reflections from the practice
One important facet I experienced within the teaching process of Krishnamacharya and Desikachar was an intensive apprenticeship into the skills of being able to design individual practices for a range of possibilities, as well as for a variety of situations and stages within a student’s learning interests, needs and practice potentials.
Within this was the key premise of designing an individualised developmental practice for all aspects of practice, rather than just the more well-known notions of therapeutic adaptations, or the homogenous sequencings, that are more commonly seen as representative of Krishnamacharya’s teaching within modern Yoga approaches.
Accordingly, this meant that I spent a lot of time over the years in my lessons with Desikachar learning how to plan practices that incorporated a wide variety of Āsana, Mudrā and Prāṇāyāma techniques, initially as goal in themselves, ere to how these schematics could be applied within a students developmental Yoga journey.
For example in terms of Āsana