Our Yoga practice needs to evolve,
amongst other longer term unfoldings,
towards a live-in personalised relationship,
rather than just a go-out group class affair.
Postural Practice Pointer 12 – The Viniyoga of Daṇḍāsana
“The starting point determines the journey.”
- Legs are together unless some anatomical reason why this is not possible
- The sides of the feet are maintained together, stretch the back of the heels
- A key point here is having active hips, releasing the knees can activate the hips
- Someone who is stiff in spine and legs will certainly need to release the knees
- Release the knees as much as is required to extend the spine towards vertical
- Someone who is flexible may also need to release the knees so as to activate hips
- The mortar (hips/pelvis) must be strong for the pestle (spine) to work strongly
- Shoulder blades are back, feel the channel between the shoulder blades
- Back of the neck drawn up to help lift chest up
- Hands or fingers on the ground back by hips but not weight bearing
“The Sūtra does not require the Gem.
But the Gem requires the Sūtra.
Just like there is a hole in every Gem,
there is a place for God in Every Being
and that hole is the Heart.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Bhagavad Gītā Chapter Seven verse 7
ISRAELI YOGA TEACHERS’ ASSOCIATION
Tuesday January 9th 2018
Sound Health Workshop on
A Half Day of Yoga Chanting with Paul Harvey,
student of TKV Desikachar
A half day open to all Yoga students and teachers interested in Sound and Chanting,
irrespective of experience and ability.
We will explore Yoga Chanting focussed on the application of Sound
within Practice, with discussion and question time.
The emphasis will be the application of Yoga chanting in practice and
the role of sound as a tool for health, well being and awareness.
“Another important thing that he has understood is
that these Āsana should not be taken one by one,
they have to be taken as a group and as a composition.
This means you don’t do headstand on Monday,
shoulder stand on Tuesday,
you do your group of Āsana linked like words in a sentence.”
– TKV Desikachar from lectures on ‘The Yoga of T Krishnamacharya’,
given at Zinal, Switzerland 1981.
“Breathing techniques should support the Āsana whichever way it needs to be supported.
Sometimes you can de-emphasise the movement by the use of the breath.
This can be in a positive or a negative role.
In a negative role the breath is being abused and not supporting by overpowering the Āsana.
In a positive role the breath can shift the emphasis or attention away from the body.
This would be useful in the case of bodily tension or a particularly sensitive or painful area.”
– From personal lessons with TKV Desikachar
Also in the approach of Krishnamacharya and Desikachar to Yoga practice this idea is even more relevant as important information, that guides our initial and subsequent steps into Prāṇāyāma, is gleaned from certain factors only apparent from observation of how our respiratory system performs during Āsana practice.
BRITISH WHEEL OF YOGA – SOUTH WEST REGION
Sunday March 25th 2018 in Bristol
IST Day – Prāṇa, Patañjali and Practice
Through practice, presentation, study and discussion
we will explore the roles, purpose and relationship of Rāja and Haṭha Yoga.
The concepts of Energy, the influence of Mind and the emphasis on Practice have been the continuing focus for Yoga Teachings and Teachers since the time of Patañjali. What are these concepts, how can they be appreciated and utilised in times & cultures very different from their origins?
Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 47
When working with the Breath in Āsana its perhaps less appealing initially,
but ultimately more attractive, satisfactory and effective,
to integrate a focus of Samāpatti (Unity) of
Śaithilya (Relaxation) in Ananta (the Infinite),
through a developmental Sādhana (Means to Accomplish)
on the Siddhi (accomplishment) of Dīrgha or Length,
supported by Sūkṣma or Subtlety.
From Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 47 T Krishnamacharya taught that:
– the common denominator for successfully uniting (Samāpatti)
both (Bhyām) aspects of relaxation (Śaithilya) and the infinite (Ananta)
within the practice of Āsana is the Breath.
He saw it as Prayatna (continued effort)
and synonymous with Jīvana (giving life).
The continued effort of the Breath is that which gives life.
“The Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali deals with the mind.
It examines the different functions of the mind
and provides means to modify these functions
so that it serves the person in a very constructive way.
The means by which certain qualitative changes in the mind
are brought about is called Sādhanā.”
– TKV Desikachar on Śraddhā in the Yoga Sūtra
Postural Practice Pointer 11 – Vinyāsa for Jaṭhara Parivṛtti
This is a suggestion for a Vinyāsa for approaching and leaving Jaṭhara Parivṛtti.
When lowering from the upward raised legs position use one long exhale,
but through two distinct stages of movement.
The first part of the exhale is to lower the knees over the chest.
The second part of the exhale is used to rotate the trunk into the twist.
The exit is the exact counterpart with one inhale and two stages of movement.
The first part of the inhale brings the knees over the chest.
The second part of the inhale extends the legs upwards.
A suggestion for Bhāvana is to gradually increase the stay.
For example stay one breath each side the first time
and then increase the stay next time to two breaths each side
and finally stay three breaths each side.
As to breathing a suggested ratio of 188.8.131.52. during both movement and stay.
“Through Śraddhā we get the Vīrya to pursue to the end
and if we hold firm to this Śraddhā we always have the Smṛti,
the memory of our original goal.
This is very important as with progress on the path to the goal,
we get distracted by or satisfied with some of the gains made
that were previously not within our capacity.
It is through Śraddhā that we have the Smṛti,
the memory of the original goal, that prevents us from being satisfied
with anything less than what we started out for.”
– TKV Desikachar on Śraddhā in the Yoga Sūtra
When considering what to practice, it can be helpful to consider our starting point. For example are we looking for the role of an Āsana practice to help in recovering from a situation where we are as if personally overdrawn. Also what is the nature of our ‘overdraft’?
Is its impact or origin physical, energetic, psychological or emotional, or even a combination of more than one. Here the concepts of too little, too much or wrong can also be helpful as a reference in that, as well as considering the nature of the ‘overdraft’ we need to consider the means we undertake to remedy this aspect of the situation. In other words our first priority is to reduce the negative aspect at least.
However sometimes we can try something that is as if a short term loan and at a high rate of interest in terms of time, effort, energy and committment. Thus whilst finding our situation temporarily improving a further depletion can possibly arise as we find ourselves unable to as if ‘keep up with the extra payments’ given the nature of the original depletion and its current impact on our potentials.
So having a clear reference point in terms of identifying the nature of the starting point and the short term or longer term potentials of our choice of an appropriate remedy is as important as the personal determination to clear the deficit we have created within us. Here a personal teacher can be helpful.
ISRAELI YOGA TEACHERS’ ASSOCIATION
Two Day Yoga Intensive January 5/6th 2018
Āsana, Prāṇāyāma, Mantra and Sūtra
The Art of the Application of Yoga Practice & Study
Body Postures or Āsana
Yoga as a Physiological Practice
Seated Breathing or Prāṇāyāma
Yoga as an Energetic Practice
Chanting Sacred Sounds or Mantra
Yoga as a Devotional Practice
Personal Sādhana as Āsana, Prāṇāyāma & Mantra
Yoga as a Physiological-Energetic-Devotional Practice
Textual Study or Yoga Sūtra
Yoga as a Spiritual Inquiry
We will look at Yoga Practice through the Physiological and Energetic aims underpinning Āsana and Prāṇāyāma and Devotional aims underpinning Mantra. Plus how these tools are vital aids to the Spiritual Inquiry within the Yoga Sūtra.
We will explore their potential as tools to recover, support or transform within short term or long term situations, given the students starting point, potentials and personal goals.
This two day intensive reflects the teachings of TKV Desikachar and his teacher T Krishnamacharya as taught to Paul Harvey. It is offered with respect for the vital source from which these Yoga teachings originated and their place in our age and culture.
January 10th-13th 2018 with Paul Harvey
Three Tools in the Application of Yoga
Āsana – Sūtra – Cikitsā
Practice – Inquiry – Therapy
Theme 1. Teaching Intermediate Āsana
Theme 2. Exploring Yoga Sūtra as a Spiritual Inquiry
Theme 3. Applying Yoga within Cikitsā Situations
Our time together will explore the above three themes from an Application perspective and their relevance to Yoga teaching within a variety of situations for a variety of students.
We will spend our mornings focused around the Study of the Yoga Sūtra as a Spiritual Inquiry and Teaching Intermediate Āsana within a range of situations. Our afternoons will again focus on Teaching Āsana Practice within 121 situations and Exploring Yoga as Cikitsā. We will immerse ourselves in the teachings of T Krishnamacharya on the Application of Yoga within 121 situations, as well as his understanding of Haṭha, Rāja and Āyurveda from my 23 years of study with TKV Desikachar.
“My understanding of Prāṇāyāma is that the Kumbhaka should be an aid.
The aim is to get a feeling difficult to put into words, but different from normal states.
The question is how much does Kumbhaka play a part in this?
So Investigate the use of Kumbhaka and only use it when it helps you be with the breath.”
– TKV Desikachar Switzerland 1978