How to Observe an Āsana Session – by Margaret Pierce

By Margaret Pierce Co-Founder of the Pierce Yoga Programme in Atlanta, Georgia
Download this article as a PDF

The dancer glides gracefully to her accustomed spot and sighs as she lies down. It is 5.50pm, ten minutes before class. One woman sits knitting intently. Another sits serenely in Ardha Padmāsana. Another, face alit, places a rose on my table, while the tense weight-lifter eagerly describes his latest injury.

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Online Monier Williams Saṃskṛta-English Dictionary

Prepared and Published by Cologne Digital Saṃskṛta Dictionaries. Choose the SLP1 Input option and use the downloadable PDF Saṃskṛta alphabet guide to help with choosing the appropriate Romanised Saṃskṛta letters.

T Krishnamacharya – Downloadable Film from 1938

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Tirumalai Krishnamacharya was 50 when the film was made in 1938. He is now seen as one of the the most influential teachers in establishing what Yoga is identified as in today’s society. His students included Pattabhi Jois, BKS Iyengar, Indra Devi, and his son TKV Desikachar.

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Prārthanā Ślokam – Śuklām Opening Verse with Translation

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This prayer is used most often as an opening verse or Prārthanā Ślokam – Request Verse.

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Āyurveda & Yoga – Prāṇa & The Five Aspects of Each of the Tridoṣa – Part 6 of 12

ĀYURVEDA & YOGA


This article introduces the concept of Prāṇa and its place in Āyurveda within the three principles or Tridoṣa.

YOGA AND INDIAN THOUGHT

Generally the purpose of Yoga is to bring about a change within the prominence of awareness and its subsequent impact on the attitude and function of the individual.

Whether this change is a yoking of opposites or an unyoking of two aspects, seemingly inseparable, time and a process are involved. Also this notion of change may be initiated within an individual’s physical body or emotional responses and mental attitude.

However, within Indian thought there is a concept that is common to the different philosophies and to the different aspects of the individual. This concept is the presence and action of Prāṇa.

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Prārthanā Ślokam – Vedic Chanting Full Opening Prayers with Svaraḥ

Download the Full Opening Prayers for Vedic Chanting
as taught to me by TKV Desikachar
with chanting notations (svaraḥ).

Yoga Sūtra – Full Opening Prayers with Svaraḥ

Download the Full Opening Prayers for Patañjali
as taught to me by TKV Desikachar
with chanting notations (svaraḥ).

Āyurveda & Yoga – The Tridoṣa The Human Constitution & The Ageing Process – Part 5 of 12

ĀYURVEDA & YOGA

This article explores the balance of the Three Principles in the individual and their effect on the processes of change and age.

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108 Teaching Path Pointers – 1 – Tradition is honouring the function……

Tradition is honouring the function.
Innovation is adapting the form.
Good not to get the two confused or even worse – the wrong way round.

Link to Series: 108 Teaching Path Pointers

There are two types of teachers……

‎”There are two types of teachers. Those who tell you what you want to hear and those who tell you what you don’t want to hear.” – TKV Desikachar

Interview with A.G. Mohan

An interview with AG Mohan from the site of Svastha Yoga Germany.
It is available online or as a downloadable PDF.

Yoga Makaranda – First Part

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Yoga Makaranda

– A Book on  Āsana Practice written by T Krishnamacharya in 1934.

Translated in 2006 from the 1938 Tamil Edition by Lakshmi and Nandini Ranganathan.
Offered as a freely distributable download.
Download the translation as an Open Source PDF

Āyurveda & Yoga – The Triguṇa The Tridoṣa & The Human System – Part 4 of 12

ĀYURVEDA & YOGA

This article explores the relationship between the three principles or Tridoṣa, with the three qualities or Guṇa, and how Āyurveda views their qualities and modes of expression in the functions of the body.

One of the threads that links Āyurveda and Yoga with the Vedic schools of thought and non-Vedic schools such as Buddhism, is that everything is subject to change.

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Āyurveda & Yoga – The Pañca Bhūta The Das Indriya & The Tridoṣa – Part 3 of 12

ĀYURVEDA & YOGA

“Now is Āyurveda explained:
the expression of the five elements,
and the three principles most fundamental to life.”

So far in this series we have presented some ideas on the place of Yoga within Indian thought, with comments on the problems in distinguishing the different threads in the tapestry that holds together the cultural, religious and philosophical ideals of India.

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Āyurveda & Yoga – A Common Philosophical Background in Sāṃkhya – Part 2 of 12

ĀYURVEDA & YOGA

A Series of articles exploring Yoga and Āyurveda. This one looks at the philosophical structure within Sāṃkhya upon which the principles supporting the ancient Indian system of medicine are based.

The previous article on Āyurveda and Yoga began with a brief introduction to Indian thought and its links with Yoga. It is sometimes difficult, living within our western culture, to recognise what is Yoga and what is not Yoga.

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Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali – The Raj Quartet Book Four of Four

CHAPTER 4 – THE DIVISION OF THE SPOILS

The focus for these four short articles has been the Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali. This is regarded as a primary text defining Yoga and its purpose especially with regard to the mind and the transformation of those things which block our understanding. Its four chapters are seen as a complete teaching on Royal Yoga, known as Rāja Yoga, hence the borrowing of the title from the author Paul Scott.

The first part of the quartet outlined chapter one, called Samādhi Pādaḥ. its 51 verses introduced the mind, its fluctuations, problems and possibilities. Entitled “The Jewel in the Crown”, it focused on the theme of mindfulness. Its teachings chart the transformation of the mind towards a flawless jewel in the crown of our being.

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Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali – The Raj Quartet Book Three of Four

CHAPTER III – THE TOWERS OF SILENCE

This article looks at chapter three. Titled Vibhūti Pādaḥ, its 55 verses explore the possibilities of a mind with more refined qualities of mindfulness and clarity. Here it is not the experiences which control the mind. The mind is able to focus in a particular direction and be freer from the effects of external and internal disturbances.

In this is the image of the mind being a support or structure which can maintain its containment and flow within the vagaries of inner and outer experience. A tower gives the impression of strength and consistency, it also indicates the possibility of being able to see beyond the normal view.

The student in the third chapter has experienced the nature of the meditative mind and has a strength and view which is beyond the range of normal perception. The mind can be a likened tower of silence.

The questions in this chapter are firstly, what are the possibilities for a mind with this potential and secondly:

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Sūrya Namaskāram Prayer Sequences with Traditional Vedic and Modern Bīja Mantra

Downloadable PDF Files with Different variations of Sūrya Namaskāram Prayer Sequences with choices for Traditional Vedic and Modern Bīja Mantra Options.

Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali – The Raj Quartet Book Two of Four

CHAPTER II – THE DAY OF THE SCORPION

This article looks at chapter two. Titled Sādhana Pādaḥ, its 55 verses reflect the theme of self responsibility in cultivating the preparatory means for accessing and maintaining mindfulness.

In astrology the sign of the scorpion has at its ruler the planet Pluto. The influence of Pluto in our chart and life is associated with the creative forces of the body, with enforced change, the unconscious and beginning and ends of phases of life. Committing ourselves to Sãdhana or practice in the direction of Yoga will bring us into contact with these issues.

The zodiac sign of Scorpio is itself associated with a sense of purpose, persistence and discrimination. In chapter two of the Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali  is also concerned with these aspects from the viewpoint of developing these qualities through doing something ourselves. So that what is not possible becomes possible.

This is Sādhana, providing the means to reach somewhere we haven’t reached before. How to proceed?

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Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali – The Raj Quartet Book One of Four

CHAPTER I – THE JEWEL IN THE CROWN

My apologies to Paul Scott for plagiarism. However the Pādaḥ (four parts) which comprise the Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali are often known as Rāja Yoga. Also one view of this text is that Patañjali had four students and that the chapters of the YogaSūtra are arranged as four sādhana, each one according to the level students personal development and thus offering a different role. In this context the title is apt, with its four chapters Patañjali has composed a complete teaching on royal or classical Yoga.

I will attempt through four articles to present an introduction to theses teachings through which the student can form their own understanding. As is the tradition I first offer my respects to Patañjali and the lineage of teachers who have helped to carry these insights to our age and culture. I acknowledge that we can only surmise as to exactly what Patañjali meant and thank my teacher TKV Desikachar  for guiding me towards this understanding.

This article looks at Chapter One, titled Samādhi Pādaḥ or the book on integration, its 51 verses reflecting the theme of mindfulness.

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Āyurveda & Yoga – Linking the Two Arts – Part 1 of 12

ĀYURVEDA & YOGA

There is an increasing interest in the field of traditional Indian medicine. Until recently little was available in the West on this subject, but now there are many more avenues though which one can explore and learn about the form of holistic medicine known as Āyurveda.

Traditionally Āyurveda and Yoga went hand in hand, so for students of Yoga an understanding of Āyurveda will complement and help their Yoga study and practice.

Furthermore in the application of Yoga as a therapy (cikitsa) an understanding of Āyurveda is essential in working with imbalances that can cause or aggravate the disease process.

In this article some ideas will be presented on the links between Yoga and India’s spiritual tradition before presenting the background to Āyurveda.

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Vinyāsa Sequences filmed in the KYM‘s original building

Vinyasa sequences published by the Viniyoga Healing Foundation of India

Advanced Vinyasa Demonstration by Lara Abiesheikh – 1

Advanced Vinyasa Demonstration by Lara Abiesheikh – 2

Indra Devi in Madras 1988 – Parts 1-4

INDRA DEVI WITH KRISHNAMACHARYA 1988 MADRAS Part 1

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Yoga’s First Family

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“TKV Desikachar took over from his legendary father, T Krishnamacharya. Now he, his wife Menaka and their children teach yoga in its purest form at their Mandiram in Chennai.”

An article featured in the Indian Publication Civil Society in March 2008.

Interview with TKV Desikachar

An NDTV HINDU excerpt with TKV Desikachar on ‘Memories of Madras’