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.

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.”

We can make a profession out of the myriad of ways we use Āsana….

Āsana_11

“We can make a profession out of the myriad of ways we find
to use Āsana to stay too busy to make time for Prāṇāyāma.”

We can make a career out of finding a myriad of ways……

Āsana_15

“We can make a profession out of the myriad of ways we find
to stay too busy to make time for home practice.”

Then there are those Āsana that you learn solely for practices other than Āsana.

Āsana_68

Then there are those Āsana that you learn solely for practices other than Āsana.

Are we confusing the maturation of our Āsana practice with the maturation of our Yoga practice?

Āsana_5_web

Are we confusing the maturation of our Āsana practice
with the maturation of our Yoga practice?

Just because a person can achieve the form of the Āsana….

“Just because a person can achieve the form of the Āsana,
we can’t presume they will also achieve the experience of the Āsana.”

One of the primary roles for Āsana is to make the spine a fit vehicle for Prāṇāyāma.

seated_pranayama_2

“One of the primary roles for Āsana
is to make the spine a fit vehicle for Prāṇāyāma.”

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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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