108 Yoga Practice Pointers – 53 – It is possible to achieve the form of an Āsana without accessing the function……

It is possible to achieve the form of an Āsana
without accessing the function of an Āsana.
In other words accessing the form of an Āsana
does not guarantee accessing its function.

Link to Series: 108 Yoga Practice Pointers

The Art of Sāṃkhya Philosophy Module One Workshop February 22/23rd 2020

samkhya

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.

Upcoming Dates

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108 Sūtra Study Pointers – 45 – One of the aims in Yoga is to yoke to…..

One of the aims in Yoga is to yoke to
the more discerning aspects of the psyche,
rather than to the more distracting aspects of the psyche.
– Commentary around Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 14

Link to Series: 108 Sutra Study Pointers

108 Teaching Path Pointers – 37 – Consider Āsana as vehicles to transmit the fundamental principles of practice……

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.

Link to Series: 108 Teaching Path Pointers

108 Yoga Practice Pointers – 52 – Āsana is the primary choice to work the breath.

Āsana is the primary choice to work the breath.
Prāṇāyāma is the primary choice to refine the breath.

Link to Series: 108 Yoga Practice Pointers

The idea is to bridge the gap that is between what exists and what is desired….

“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

108 Yoga Practice Pointers – 51 – Is it a misdirection within Āsana from talking about effects on the body…..

maha_mudraIs it a misdirection within Āsana from talking
about effects on the body as if on the spine?
Thus too much focus on talking about effects on the body
and not enough on looking at the actual effects on the spine?

Link to Series: 108 Yoga Practice Pointers

Online Art of Sūtra Psychology – 121 eStudy Module One

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.

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108 Teaching Path Pointers – 36 – I feel we need to ensure that we use our practice……

I feel we need to ensure that
we use our practice to support our teaching,
rather than using our teaching to support our practice.

Link to Series: 108 Teaching Path Pointers

Abhyāsa means constant effort and attention in order to continue in one direction……

Abhyāsa means constant effort and attention
in order to continue in one direction.
We must never break this process because we
never really know in advance how things might change”
TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga
‘A Session for Questions’
Chapter Sixteen Page 223

108 Study Path Pointers – 22 – It’s not until I understand how to cultivate a space in My self……

It’s not until I understand how to
cultivate a space within My self
can I begin to experience that
which is the essence of the Self.

Link to Series: 108 Study Path Pointers

108 Teaching Path Pointers – 35 – There are those Yoga teachers who speak to your fantasies…….

There are those Yoga teachers who speak to your fantasies
and those Yoga teachers who speak to your realities.

Link to Series: 108 Teaching Path Pointers

108 Yoga Practice Pointers – 50 – Candra is that which can direct Prāṇa and Apāna in order to influence……

ajna

Within the energetic processes in Haṭha Yoga
the concept of Candra is that which can direct
Prāṇa and Apāna in order to influence the activities of Sūrya.

Link to Series: 108 Yoga Practice Pointers

108 Sūtra Study Pointers – 44 – Yoga is about recognising change and……

Yoga is about recognising change and
recognising that which recognises change.
– Commentary around Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 16

Link to Series: 108 Sutra Study Pointers

In terms of Yoga, if we have Duḥkha, something is behind it……

“If we have a problem which persists,
It might be because we don’t know
what is the real basis or cause of the problem.
In terms of Yoga, if we have Duḥkha,
something is behind it.”
TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga
‘A Session for Questions’
Chapter Sixteen Page 221

It is not possible to give examples of illnesses or ailments that can be improved……

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.

“We cannot say that this Āsana or this Prāṇāyāma
can be given for this disease.”
– T Krishnamacharya 1984

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I am going to explain you something else about the aphorisms…….

“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.

Why?
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 Study Guide: Chapter Fifteen Theory

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House

‘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.

Chapter 15 Theory: The Antarāyāḥ, Obstacles to Progress, Techniques to Overcome them Pages 207-219

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108 Postural Practice Pointers – 20 – Bhāvana for moving within Forward Bends

Postural Practice Pointer 20 – Bhāvana for moving within Forward Bends

Keep the arms up as you go down
Thus moving from from Apāna Sthāna to Prāṇa Sthāna.
Lift the arms first as you come up.
Thus moving from from Prāṇa Sthāna to Apāna Sthāna.

Link to Series: 108 Postural Practice Pointers

Propose a Prāṇāyāma practice to influence Prāṇa Sthāna……

Propose a Prāṇāyāma practice to influence Prāṇa Sthāna,
choosing either Samavṛtti or Viṣamavṛtti ratios.

To Download or View this question as a PDF Study Sheet