Yoga Practice is about a re-turning towards our inner life……

Yoga Practice is about a re-turning towards our inner life.

However, even without outer obstacles,
we can encounter inner feelings that arise
and manifest as if obstacles to that re-turning.

Here it might be helpful to reflect
on how to cultivate the four pillars of
Maitrī, Karuṇā, Muditā and Upekṣā and
the role they can have in helping to transform
the unhelpful aspects of these inner feelings.

“Bhāvana is a beneficial attitude
that is consciously cultivated
despite tendencies to the contrary”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on
Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 33

With the spirit of Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 33 in mind,
the cultivation of the four pillars is an inner practice
that can support a stepping, rather than stymieing,
onto our practice mat or seat through:

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Postscript to yesterdays post around the three Niyama within Kriyā Yoga…… 

A postscript to yesterdays post around the three Niyama
within Kriyā Yoga on the uses of the terms ‘self’ or ‘Self’ within
the legs in the tripod supporting our efforts at nurturing a state of Yoga.

The first leg supporting the tripod refers to Citta
as the self in terms of nurturing self-Discipline.

Tapas is to discipline our eating habits.”
– T Krishnamacharya

The second leg supporting the tripod refers to both Citta and Cit
as the self in terms of nurturing Self-Inquiry.

Svādhyāya is an inquiry into one’s true nature.”
– T Krishnamacharya

The final leg supporting the tripod refers to Cit
as the Self in terms of nurturing Self-Awareness.

“Yoga is awareness, a type of knowing.”
– T Krishnamacharya

The Sāṃkhya Kārikā of Īśvara Kṛṣṇa – Personal Study Workbooks

samkhya

The Sāṃkhya Kārikā of Īśvara Kṛṣṇa

The first of my thirty plus journeys to India to study Yoga with Desikachar was in 1979, to what was then known as Madras. As it was to be a two year stay and my first visit, we talked about how my studies could be shaped during this time and towards the future. In this discussion it became apparent for me that there were a number of threads to be woven together into a rope that became known as the viniyoga of Yoga.

These were broadly grouped into personal practice development, personal practice theory and textual study. Regarding the latter I asked him where do I start within this vast array of textual options. Without hesitation he said textual study must start with Sāṃkhya as it is a foundation for much of what follows in terms of other texts ranging from the Yoga Sūtra, even to root Āyurveda texts.

Although I had spent a week in Switzerland in 1978 studying Sāṃkhya and Prāṇāyāma with Desikachar and his brother, Sribhashyam, I really had little idea what it meant to study a Yoga related text within the intensity and focus a one to one situation offers. Nor did I have any real grasp of even basic Saṃskṛta. Thus my three decade odyssey into textual studies within the school of Krishnamacharya began with a word by word, verse by verse study of the Sāṃkhya Kārikā.

Now here I am nearly four decades later, within memories of handwriting many, many textual verses, offering workbooks as a support for students interested in textual studies. I have already offered Yoga Sūtra PDF Workbooks and Gītā Chapters PDF Workbooks and now offer a support for those students interested in a study in the foundational philosophy known as Sāṃkhya. Here a Romanised Saṃskṛta Āryā by Āryā personal study support workbook for the Sāṃkhya Kārikā of Īśvara Kṛṣṇa is offered via the links below.

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Reflect the essence of each of the first eleven Sūtra in Chapter One…

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Yoga Sūtra Study Question:

Identify and list one key word that reflects the essence of each
of the first eleven Sūtra in Chapter One of the Yoga Sūtra.

To Download or View this Question as a PDF Study Sheet

List five of the key concepts for Chapter One of the Yoga Sūtra in order of appearance

Patanjali_3

Yoga Sūtra Study Question:

List five of the key concepts for Chapter One of the Yoga Sūtra in order of appearance.

To Download or View this Question as a PDF Study Sheet

Pratyāhāra is not feeding the minds identification with the senses……

pratyahara

Pratyāhāra is not feeding the tendency of the Citta to automatically form a positive, negative, or neutral identification with whatever stimuli the senses present to it. From that we can begin to understand how their external gathering activities stimulate our conscious and especially, unconscious choices.

From this we can begin to understand how the impact of this sensory process can lead us to travel in different directions and trigger different levels of response, often without us being really conscious of how deeply their input stimulates our psychic activities.

From these responses there will be the inevitable re-actions, again quite possibly unconscious and multilevelled, according to our psychic history in terms of our memory, habit patternings and deeper memory processes.

From those initial insights we can begin to understand and interact in how we can resist unconsciously slipping into the trance states that can so often culminate with the Kleśa manifesting fully in the entrancing dance of Udārā Rāga, or Udārā Dveṣa, or Udārā Abhiniveśa, the profligate children of Avidyā.

– Commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 54

View or Download as a PDF

Sūtra Mālā – A Thread of Pearls on Yoga Chapter One verses 1-4

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Chapter One Samādhi Pādaḥ

First Theme Nirodha or Containment verses 1-4

verse 1
Now,
Follow the Teachings of Yoga.

verse 2
Yoga arises from the containment of,
Our propensity to fluctuate.

verse 3
From this state,
Clarity of being,
As vision is from the source of perception.

verse 4
At all other times,
We identify with the fluctuations.

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Yoga Sūtra Chapters One to Four Study PDF Workbooks

Patanjali Yoga Sutra

The Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali Chapters One to Four

Samādhi Sādhana Vibhūti Kaivalya Pādaḥ

Romanised Saṃskṛta verse by verse word by word personal study support workbooks are listed below for all four chapters of the Yoga Sūtra. They are available for each individual chapter as well as a combined version.

For those wishing to use these workbooks as a personal study guide then exploring the online Yoga Sūtra verse by verse translation with its added individual word by word translation and cross verse reference index links may be helpful. These translations are also accumulating online verse by verse commentaries from T Krishnamacharya and TKV Desikachar.

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Yoga Sūtra Chapter Four Study Workbook

Patanjali Yoga Sutra

The Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali Chapter Four Kaivalya Pādaḥ

A Romanised Saṃskṛta verse by verse word by word personal study support workbook for chapter four of the Yoga Sūtra. Further workbooks will be available for the remaining chapter as well as a combined version.

For those wishing to use this workbook as a self study guide exploring the online chapter four verse by verse translation with its added individual word by word translation and cross verse reference index links may be helpful. These translations are also accumulating online verse by verse commentaries from T Krishnamacharya and TKV Desikachar.

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Yoga Sūtra Chapter Three Study Workbook

Patanjali Yoga Sutra

The Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali Chapter Three Vibhūti Pādaḥ

A Romanised Saṃskṛta verse by verse word by word personal study support workbook for chapter three of the Yoga Sūtra. Further workbooks will be available for the remaining chapter as well as a combined version.

For those wishing to use this workbook as a self study guide exploring the online chapter three verse by verse translation with its added individual word by word translation and cross verse reference index links may be helpful. These translations are also accumulating online verse by verse commentaries from T Krishnamacharya and TKV Desikachar.

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Yoga Mālā – Introducing a Thread of Pearls on Yoga from Patañjali

Patanjali Yoga Sutra

 This post introduces a verse by verse interpretation of Chapter One of the Yoga Sūtra.

I see this presentation as a Yoga Mālā or a thread of pearls on Yoga from Patañjali’s Sūtra eventually arranged over four chapters. I am endeavouring to stay close to my studies, but allow a little more freedom of expression in terms of choice of rendering to facilitate a more cohesive teachings thread for the reader.

For a fuller word by word Saṃskṛta study of the Yoga Sūtra readers are advised to follow the full online edition of the Yoga Sūtra wherein every word is translated and cross-linked along with a verse translation. This online Yoga Sūtra resource is also gradually accumulating commentaries from Krishnamacharya, Desikachar, Ramaswami from my own study notes along with personal reflections.

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Bhagavad Gītā and Gītārtha Saṃgraha join online searchable Yoga Texts Database

The Bhagavad Gītā is now going online and linking to the Yoga Sūtra

Another important text allied to my inquiry into and around Yoga that I was privileged to be able to study word by word, Śloka by Śloka along with the commentaries of Krishnamacharya and Desikachar, within the intimacy and vitality of private lessons over 4 years of visits to Chennai, was the Bhagavad Gītā.

The first stage of the Bhagavad Gītā online resource project is complete with the entire text transcribed into a document with ‘proper’ Saṃskṛta notations. Now the second stage is under way with the setting up of the text as a live online and searchable chapter by chapter, word by word online resource in the same way as with the online Yoga Sūtra project with commentaries around each verse from study with my teacher on and around this particular text.

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Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two Study Workbook

Patanjali Yoga Sutra

The Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali Chapter Two Sādhana Pādaḥ

A Romanised Saṃskṛta verse by verse word by word personal study support workbook for chapter two of the Yoga Sūtra. Further workbooks will be available for the remaining chapters as well as a combined version.

For those wishing to use this workbook as a self study guide exploring the online chapter two verse by verse translation with its added individual word by word translation and cross verse reference index links may be helpful. These translations are also accumulating online verse by verse commentaries from T Krishnamacharya and TKV Desikachar.

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Yoga Sūtra Chapter One Study Workbook

Patanjali Yoga Sutra

The Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali Chapter One Samādhi Pādaḥ

A Romanised Saṃskṛta verse by verse word by word personal study support workbook for chapter one of the Yoga Sūtra. Further workbooks will be available for the remaining chapters as well as a combined version.

For those wishing to use this workbook as a self study guide exploring the online chapter one verse by verse translation with its added individual word by word translation and cross verse reference index links may be helpful. These translations are also accumulating online verse by verse commentaries from T Krishnamacharya and TKV Desikachar.

With appreciation for many years of personal teaching in India with my root Yoga teacher TKV Desikachar, along with further word by word studies of the Yoga Sūtra through personal lessons with S Ramaswami.

This Sūtra study Workbook is offered in the spirit of Paramparā. It is not © and is available online, as a PDF in both A4 and US Letter versions, in the spirit of open source community commons.

May it support those who use it in their journey towards Viveka and Svatantra.

View or Download Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali Chapter Two Workbook A4 version

View or Download Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali Chapter Two Workbook US Letter version

View or Download Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali Chapter One Workbook A4 version

View or Download Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali Chapter One Workbook US letter version

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The Krishnamacharya methodology of melding the Application of Āyurveda with that of Yoga

nadi_pariksa

One other study area that I was privileged to be able to experience alongside my many visits to study Yoga Practice Techniques and Associated texts in Chennai with my teacher TKV Desikachar, within the intimacy and vitality of private lessons, was that of Āyurveda and its application within Yoga.

“In Āyurveda, it gives certain behaviour by which we can stay well.
If a person follows the following he will freer of sickness.
Regularly, systematically he eats, rests and exercises adequately.
Both in amount and quality. Food or Ahāra,
along with Vihāra – recreation, rest, exercise, other activities.”
– TKV Desikachar 

Thus during my many visits to India, between 1979 and 2002, my work in Yoga was complemented by the study of Āyurveda constitutional diagnosis and prognosis, along with Nādī Parīkṣā or pulse diagnosis and the application skills of Āyurveda, into Yoga practice and lifestyle, according to the teachings of T Krishnmacharya within Yoga Rakṣaṇa (lifestyle support) or Yoga Cikitsā (therapeutic recovery) situations.

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The Ten Senses or Das Indriya are the gateway between…….

samkhya

The ten senses or Das Indriya are the gateway between the inner and the outer,
in the twin roads of this phenomena we call experience or action.

The five senses that transport experience from the outer to the inner
are called the Jñāna Indriya, or the senses through which we receive the world.

The five senses that transport actions from the the inner to the outer
are called the Karma Indriya, or the senses through which we put out into the world.

The co-ordinator of this remarkable interface is known as Manas.
The identifier in this remarkable process is known as Ahaṃkāra.
The discerner in this remarkable trinity is known as Buddhi.
The observer in this remarkable play of experience and action is known as Cit or Puruṣa.

Letting go of the desire to hold onto a moment of awareness allows……

cit devanagari

Trying to hold onto the fleeting presence of awareness can be likened to a bird choosing to land in the open palm of your hand. We desire to hold onto it because of our attraction towards continuing to enjoy the experience of its delicacy, beauty and gift of presence.

Thus when the bird of awareness alights in your palm the temptation is to close the fingers around the experience, however gently, in order to hold on to it, albeit to protect it or to continue to experience this unique moment of relationship with something that is usually elusive, or out of sight or reach.

However I feel, as with a bird, so with awareness, you need to keep your hand open as in the desire to cling onto the experience. The bird of awareness might be happy to rest awhile, that is fine and then it flies off, that is also fine.

I feel we are confused, maybe more so in the West, around becoming frenetic over the desire to cling onto awareness. This process, a mixture of a feeling that ‘I must not let go of being aware’ with an ever imminent desire to repeat the experience once the bird of awareness has ‘escaped’, ironically because of our wish to ‘hold onto’ the experience.

Letting go of the desire to hold onto a moment of awareness allows another moment to emerge, and with it a realisation that we have the power of choice in relationship to our desire to cling to mental experiences, whatever their content.

By learning not to cling onto moments of awareness, as in letting go of our desire to hold onto experiences of ‘light’, we can better learn how not to cling onto moments of non-awareness, as in letting go of our desire to hold onto experiences of ‘darkness’.

Chapters Four to Six added to Bhagavad Gītā study resources

srimad_bhagavad_gita

Three further Chapters have been added in the setting up of the text as a chapter by chapter online resource.

Chapters Four to Six have been added along with a PDF Workbook for each chapter and, now that the first hexad is online, a single PDF Workbook combining Chapters One to Six.

Follow the link for a Śloka by Śloka listing or Study Notebook for each chapter:

Online Bhagavad Gītā Chapters One to Six with PDF Workbooks

A series of linked questions on the first two chapters of the Yoga Sūtra

IWYS_M1

Its that time of the year where many Yoga Teachers have a brief summer window during August during which they can turn their attention away from the needs of their students towards themselves.

Thus I am receiving requests from students as to how they may develop a directed study amidst the other demands that the summer break brings.

One suggestion is to offer a series of linked questions focused around the first two chapters of the Yoga Sūtra. These questions were part of a broader Yoga study project offered last year. However as the Yoga Sūtra section offers an opportunity for guided self study, it could be helpful to offer it again to support a reflective review on Yoga Psychology.

Further study and practice guides will be offered within other areas of Yoga Study and Practice.

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The Nature of the three Guṇa are Gratifying, Painful and Depressing….

samkhya

“The Nature of the three Guṇa are Gratifying, Painful and Depressing,
(they serve) Brightness, Endeavour and Restraint,
and are mutually Supressing, Supporting, Producing, Co-existing, Mobile.”
– Sāṃkhya Kārikā of Īśvara Kṛṣṇa Āryā Twelve

Non-perception is because of subtlety…….

samkhya_small

Non-perception (of Nature) is because of subtlety,
not because of non-existence,
since it (Nature) is perceived through its effects.
These effects are intelligence and the rest.
Some are similar to Nature and some dissimilar.
– Sāṃkhya Kārikā of Īśvara Kṛṣṇa Āryā Eight

Comment from Gaudapādācarya Bhāṣya:
Even in the world, a son is similar as well as dissimilar to his father.
The causes of similarity and dissimilarity we shall explain later.

Śraddhā – A sense of confidence arising from the source……

sraddha

A recent surge of questions from Yoga teachers around the notion of Śraddhā.
Collating and ordering the range of questions being asked we arrive at:
– What is Śraddhā?
– How do we offer a relevant meaning for Śraddhā to a group class?
– How do we teach Śraddhā to a group of students?
– How do we plan a practice with Śraddhā as the focus for a group class?
Before responding more in a future post I wanted to let the questions sit as reflections for all interested in this topic.
Meanwhile helpful reference points could be:
The Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 20
The Bhagavad Gītā Chapter Six verse 37
The Bhagavad Gītā Chapter Seventeen verse 2

Extract from Module One Yoga Sūtra Study Workshop

Yoga Teachings on Emotions, Mind, Body and Energy

Chapter One has 51 Sūtra and is called SAMĀDHI PĀDAḤ or the Path to Integrating the Psyche.

This first chapter introduces the psyche, its activities, practices required for change and the possibilities for practice according to the inherent abilities of the practitioner. This chapter is for a student who already has a quality of a Samāhīta Citta or a stable psyche.

– Primary concepts in the Yoga Sūtra Chapter One

Theme One verses 1-11 – Cit and Citta

  • v1-4 – Definition and Purpose of Yoga
  • v5 – 11 – Activities of the Citta or Psyche

Theme Two verses 12-22 – Jñāna and Śraddhā

  • v12 – 19 – Meditation or Dhyānam as Jñāna Yoga
  • v20 – 22 – The role of Śraddhā

Theme Three verses 23-39 – Bhakti and Eka Tattva

  • v23 – 31 – Meditation or Dhyānam as Bhakti Yoga
  • v32 – 39 – Short Term Meditational Strategies

Theme Four verses 40-51 – Sabīja and Nirbīja Samādhi

  • v40 – 46 – Refinement of Dhyānam
  • v47 – 51 – Final Steps

We may not perceive what is within the range of the senses……

samkhya

We may not perceive what is within the range of the senses because we are:
“Disinterested or too far from.
Overly interested or too close to.
Blind or deaf to what is in front of us.
Distracted.
Not relating with what is there.
Seeing something between.
Letting something else dominate.
Confusing with something similar.”
– Sāṃkhya Kārikā of Īśvara Kṛṣṇa Āryā Seven

knowledge of what is beyond the range of the senses is from inference….

samkhya

What about the supersensible?
“But, knowledge of what is beyond the range of the senses is from inference based on generalised correlation;
and knowledge not attainable even by that is attained though the eyes of another or authentic texts.”
– Sāṃkhya Kārikā of Īśvara Kṛṣṇa Āryā Six