One hallmark within TKV Desikachar’s teaching on Āsana……

One hallmark within TKV Desikachar’s teaching on Āsana,
was not to confuse ‘appropriate’ alignment techniques,
with ‘proper’ alignment techniques.
The former implies a personalised starting point,
whilst the latter implies a developmental potential.
However both need to be related to 3 questions:
Where am I coming from?
Why am I practicing Āsana?
Where am I going to?

Vinyāsa Krama for Upaviṣṭa Koṇāsana from TKV Desikachar’s Notebooks

An example of a Vinyāsa Krama for an Āsana,
this one for Upaviṣṭa Koṇāsana,
from TKV Desikachar’s personal notebooks.
View or Download this example as a PDF

Amongst the Antarāya that relegate Prāṇāyāma to the wish list……

nadi_sodana
Amongst the Antarāya that
relegate Prāṇāyāma to the wish list
is the choice of a long relaxation as
a substitute ending to Āsana practice.

Āsana is the interface between the body……

Āsana is an interface between the body
and the systemic energy processes.
Prāṇāyāma is an interface between the
systemic energy processes and the psyche.
Dhyāna is an interface between the psyche and
the awareness that pervades our sense of being.

Cultivating a home Yoga practice is an odyssey through a relationship……

“Cultivating a home Yoga practice is an odyssey through a relationship. However, this odyssey not only requires patience and perseverance, but also enthusiasm and care. In this respect, as in any relationship, it is necessary to consider establishing priorities.

“Only through Yoga Yoga is known.
Only through Yoga Yoga arises.

One who is diligent with Yoga,
Enjoys Yoga for a long time.”
Vyāsa Commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter Three verse 6

To students interested in forming a relationship with a home practice with its attendant fruits, two initial suggestions are offered: First, think of a personal Yoga practice as if acquiring a new book. However before you try to fit this book into what is probably the already overcrowded bookshelf of life, take a decision to remove an existing book to make room for the new one.

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Ṣat Mukhi Mudrā – A means to ‘Listen’ to the Space within the Heart.

sam_mukha_mudra

Ṣat Mukhi Mudrā
A means to ‘Listen’ to the Space within the Heart.

In Āsana the Breath is an accessory to the Āsana……

In Āsana, the Breath is an accessory to the Āsana.
In Prāṇāyāma, the Āsana is an accessory to the Breath.

Cutivating a home Yoga practice……

Cultivating a home Yoga practice
presents a solution to an obstacle.
Maintaining a home Yoga practice
presents an obstacle to a solution.

It feels as if ‘Modern Postural Yoga’ is increasingly concerned with…….

It feels as if ‘Modern Postural Yoga’
is increasingly concerned with the
Movement of the Silhouette rather
than the Stillness of the Source.”

Yoga Cikitsā is about treating a person in a problem……

Yoga Cikitsā is about Respecting the Problem and Treating the Person

Yoga Cikitsā is about
treating a person in a problem.
Rather than
treating a problem in a person.

Sat viniyoga is about learning to do more with less……

Sat viniyoga
is about learning to do more with less.
Asat viniyoga
is about learning to do less with more.
Whether Āsana or Students!!

At times getting to the practice mat……

At times getting to the practice mat
is more about exercising Mind over Matter.
In other words getting there because of the Mind.
At other times getting to the practice mat
is more about exercising Matter over Mind.
In other words getting there in spite of the Mind.

When less Āsana time than you would like……

When less Āsana time than you would like,
better to reduce the number of Āsana,
or the number of repetitions,
or the length of the stays,
rather than, reducing the length of the breath.
Or….. even considering lengthening the breath,
thus even fewer Āsana, all with a longer breath than usual.
Here the Bhāvana could be to observe the effect
of a more spacious than usual Āsana breathing
on a more cramped than usual daily mindset.

The commercialised in-Corporation of Viniyoga……

The Commercialised in-Corporation of Viniyoga
is in danger of becoming a parody of
the Personalised incorporation of viniyoga.

In the novice phase of our relationship with a Yoga Class……..

In the novice phase of our relationship with a Yoga Class,
it’s not so much about what we bring to the Class,
it’s more about what we take away from the Class.

A sign of a maturing in our relationship with a Yoga Class,
is that we accept more responsibility for what we bring to the Class,
being a determining factor in what we take away from the Class.

Yoga is not so much about what we bring to the practice mat……

In the novice phase of our relationship with personal practice,
Yoga is not so much about what we bring to the practice mat,
it’s more about what we take away from the practice mat.

A sign of a maturing in our relationship with personal practice,
is that we accept more responsibility for what we bring to the practice mat
being a determining factor in what we take away from the practice mat.

As a Yoga Teacher we need to ensure that our personal Yoga Practice…..

As a Yoga Teacher we need to ensure that our personal Yoga Practice
doesn’t become a repetition of, or rehearsal for, our Yoga Teaching plans.

Our Yoga Teaching needs to be an appurtenance to our Yoga Practice.

Our Yoga Teaching needs to be an appurtenance to our Yoga Practice.
Rather than our Yoga Practice being an appurtenance to our Yoga Teaching.

In some moments the heart melds with the Mantra…..

mantra

In some moments the heart melds with the Mantra,
in others the mind grapples with the Mantra,
occasionally there is just the wonder of the Mantra.

Prāṇa is the élan vital……

seated_pranayama

Prāṇa is the élan vital.
It is the mover and the sustainer of the body in all living beings.
Because of this all pervasive movement and irrepressible vitality,
it is also hard to keep reined in through the ten sensory horses.
When the personalised field of Prāṇa becomes unreined,
it transforms into Vāta and the system becomes disturbed.
The primary practice in Yoga to minimise the conversion of Prāṇa into Vāta is Prāṇāyāma.”

Bhakti Dhyānam uses Japa to build a bridge….

japa

Bhakti Dhyānam uses Japa to build a bridge,
over the fear bringing streams of the mind.”
– Personal Commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 28

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Haṭha Yoga is about Nāḍī Śodhana…….

sodhana

Haṭha Yoga is about Nāḍī Śodhana.
Rāja Yoga is about Citta Śodhana.

The beauty of Krishnamacharya’s teaching is that it is about…..

asana_52a

The beauty of Krishnamacharya’s teaching is that it is about
learning Yoga for different types of people,
rather than todays increasingly studio driven group class modality of
learning different types of Yoga for people.

To experience Āsana is to meld the Mastery of outer Stillness to the……

To experience Āsana is
to meld the Mastery of outer Stillness to the world
into the Mystery of inner Openness to the beyond.
– Reflections on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 46

Some are satisfied with what Āsana brings them.

Some are satisfied with what Āsana brings them.
Others are curious as to where Āsana can take them.

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