Module One Art of Sāṃkhya Philosophy
– Exploring the Primary Principles of Sāṃkhya and its relationship to Yoga
The Art of Sāṃkhya Philosophy Module One Workshop offers a weekend opportunity for a student from any Yoga background or style to have an in-depth introduction to the primary principles and teachings from the Sāṃkhya Kārikā and how they can inspire and guide our personal Yoga practice and study Sādhana, either for personal development or, if relevant, professional skills.
“Sāṃkhya has been fundamental in its influence on the philosophical foundations
underpinning such as Yoga, Buddhism and Āyurveda.”
Based in the Cotswolds, it is open to all except complete beginners and is limited to around five students to allow for a personalised approach and in-depth transmission between teacher and student.
- The Art of Sāṃkhya Philosophy – Module One Personal Sādhana Workshop 5February 22, 2020
An in-depth overview of Sāṃkhya Philosophy – Module One
Two Day Workshop February 22/23rd 2020 – Places Waitlisted
- The Art of Sāṃkhya Philosophy – Module One Personal Sādhana Workshop 6March 12, 2022
An in-depth overview of Sāṃkhya Philosophy – Module One
Two Day Workshop March 12/13th 2022 – Five Places Available
As a teacher it can be helpful to consider Āsana as
vehicles to transmit the fundamental principles of practice.
For example a cardinal principle of practice is that Āsana
have a primary and a secondary aspect within their Lakṣana.
Thus we must inquire into what is the primary aspect in this Āsana,
and what is the secondary aspect in this particular Āsana?
The idea is to maintain the integrity of the primary characteristics.
Thus we may need to compromise the secondary characteristics.
For example in Uttānāsana to sustain the primary work in the spine
we can consider a secondary compromise by releasing the knees.
“The idea is to bridge the gap that is between what exists and what is desired.
This is what Abhyāsa refers to. This is not exactly practice.
1. We first require an appreciation of what we want to do or learn.
2. We then find out how to travel or go in that direction.
3. We then learn the techniques by which we travel.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 12
The Online Art of Sūtra Psychology – 121 eStudy Module One
Clear your Flow Exploring Awareness within Mind and Emotions
This particular eStudy Module One consists of nine 121 live video meetings to facilitate a personalised approach and in-depth transmission between teacher and student. It introduces the student, through an online teaching dialogue, to the primary principles and essential teachings from T Krishnamacharya and TKV Desikachar within the Yoga Sūtra.
It is open to all except complete beginners and offers an opportunity for any Yoga Student, teacher or trainee teacher from any Yoga background to develop and deepen their personal Yoga Sādhana.
I feel we need to ensure that
we use our practice to support our teaching,
rather than using our teaching to support our practice.
I was asked in 2011 to provide ‘expert quotes’ in response to three questions for a media article by a freelance journalist on a Yoga related topic. These were my reflections that I am reposting unedited, especially given the surge in these past 7 years in what has become labelled as ‘Yoga Therapy’:
Q1. What are some examples of illnesses or ailments that can improve or be cured with the use of Yoga?
“It is not possible to give examples of illnesses or ailments that can be improved as it all depends on the matrix of the person who may also have certain combinations of problems. A student with cancer may improve or a student with a history of colds may experience little change.
The viewpoint of Yoga is to look at people as individuals and work from there rather than the more usual view of making lists of problems with flash card like answers to a specific problem. e.g. Sciatica, High Blood Pressure, Insomnia, Osteo-arthrosis, Chrohn’s Disease, etc.
“I am going to explain you something else about the aphorisms, about their translation.
Many books or courses have been written about the treatise of Patañjali.
Some of them analyse the words one by one, trying to translate them separately,
dissecting the text. This way of proceeding may be interesting,
but unfortunately it can also confuse instead of helping understanding of the text.
Because literally translating the aphorisms is nothing but a series of words glued together,
in sentences that very often lack in consistency.
The ancient way of exposing was not translating them into a new language;
it was mainly making the student grasp the sense of the aphorism.
In this case, the Sanskrit text is just a reminder,
a mnemonic that the teacher is not going to translate textually.
They are going to use it to develop the idea or the sense of the aphorism.
They will explain these notions, sometimes even without referring to any word of the aphorism.
What is important is to give a teaching that is adapted to the level of understanding of the student.”
– TKV Desikachar on Learning from the Yoga Sūtra
– Extract from Viniyoga Europe No 1
‘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 verse and word cross-references where possible to support a a deeper linking with the teachings within these lectures and Q & A sessions.