Vinyāsa Krama for the Catur Bandha in Mahā Mudrā for an advanced Āsana student……

This is an example of a Vinyāsa Krama for the Catur or four Bandha when staying in Mahāmudrā as a Haṭha Yoga technique for working with the important Haṭha trilogy of Prāṇa, Apāṇa and Agni.

Here I am choosing not to focus on the Pūrva Aṅga, the ascending or preparatory phase, nor on the Uttara Aṅga, the descending or compensatory phase of the Āsana used in the Vinyāsa Krama for the whole practice.

It also does not include the building in of additional techniques such as Prāṇāyāma, nor exploring the different roles Prāṇāyāma may have in relation to the whole practice, especially one that has incorporated additional techniques such as the Catur Bandha.

Instead this extract is an example of the Pradhāna Aṅga or crown of this particular practice. It is centered around a stay in Mahāmudrā of around 10 minutes each side progressively incorporating and building in intensity, within the Vinyāsa Krama for Mahāmudrā, with the additional techniques of the Catur Bandha.

Each step of the Vinyāsa will intensify with the building in of an additional Bandha and also in one of the steps, the intensifying of the breath length and ratio. This example is as taught to me by Desikachar within my 121 lessons, at this particular juncture around the application or Viniyoga of the Catur Bandha, all from the teachings of Krishnamacharya.

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One primary prerequisite to initiation into a Tri Bandha Sādhana was a……

nadi_sodana

One primary prerequisite to initiation into a Tri Bandha Sādhana
was an ability in Prāṇāyāma within a Vinyāsa Krama around
Nāḍī Śodhana where the crown was 12 breaths at 12.12.12.12.

Thus before being taught Uḍḍīyāna Bandha,
an essential precursor to Mūla Bandha,
there needed to be competence in sustaining Prāṇāyāma,
within a Vinyāsa Krama leading to a crown ratio of 1.1.1.1.
with the PūrakaAntar KumbhakaRecaka and Bāhya Kumbhaka
each set at 12 seconds in a crown of 12.12.12.12. for 12 breaths.

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Prāṇāyāma is common to both Haṭha and Rāja Yoga Sādhana……

nadi_sodanaPrāṇāyāma is common to both Haṭha and Rāja Sādhana,
whether working with the Prāṇa Śodhana of Haṭha Yoga,
where you were taught to practice it at each
of four transitional points through the day,
or with the Citta Śodhana of Patañjali,
where it is the pivotal Bahya Aṅga,
Prāṇāyāma is seen as the primary means to engage
the Élan Vital, the vital force or creative principle.

One of the major tools in bringing or refining the level of observation……

nadi_sodana
One of the major tools in bringing or refining
the level of observation to the subtler aspects
of our physical, energetic, mental and emotional
patterns is Prāṇāyāma.

Yoga teaching as an extension of Yoga practice rather than……

Reflecting on Desikachar’s comment, quoted below from yesterday, I am reminded of its depth in terms of its observation around its message exorting us to consider the relationship between the need to practice more, the more we teach.

“The more you teach,
the more you must practice.”

Within this message is also the need to take steps to ensure our Yoga practice avoids being an extension of our Yoga teaching. In other words ensuring our Yoga teaching is an extension of our Yoga practice.

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

Hence the need to hold our personal practice on a separate trajectory to our teaching practice. Within this there are further considerations that may be helpful such as the need to ensure that our personal Yoga Practice doesn’t become a repetition of, or rehearsal for, our Yoga Teaching plans. Or not using teaching time as  a way to ‘clock up’ practice hours through demonstrating, or leading the class through ‘follow me’ choreographies.

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The journey into the breath in Āsana is one……

The journey into the breath in Āsana is one where we
evolve from firstly, finding the breath within ourself,
towards ultimately, finding ourself within the breath.

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?

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.

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.

Two primary roles in the adaptation of Āsana……

“Two primary roles in the adaptation of Āsana
to the needs and potential of the student are
Facilitating a decrease of tension within the body
whilst
Facilitating an increase of attention within the breath.”
– Commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 47

I wonder if Modern Postural Yoga is confusing……

“I wonder if Modern Postural Yoga is confusing,
experiencing a supple body,
with experiencing a subtle body?”

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.

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.

Our Yoga practice needs to evolve….

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.

Contemplate the Source of the Breath.

“Contemplate the Source of the Breath.”

Once you lose the breath in Āsana……

Once you lose the breath in Āsana,
effort becomes force.

Because I am too wired to practice I don’t practice……

Because I am too wired to practice I don’t practice.
Because I don’t practice I am too wired to practice.
Because I am too wired to practice I don’t practice.
Because…….

Because I am too tired to practice I don’t practice…..

Because I am too tired to practice I don’t practice.
Because I don’t practice I am too tired to practice.
Because I am too tired to practice I don’t practice.
Because…….

Life is often divided into agendas, two of which are headed “chore” and “reward”……

Āsana_70

“Life is often divided into agendas,
two of which are headed “chore” and “reward”.
Try to keep some room on the latter list for your practice
in the same way that you would greet an old friend.
Take time in their company and return to your everyday life rejuvenated
and better able to embrace your surroundings.”

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