“Is Yoga relevant to the West?
Question which is relevant to India as well. Because of the changes there.
The word Yoga is integrated into its language, religion rituals etc., so it is accepted in India. But in the West there are certain problems. The word is associated with physical gymnastics or mental gymnastics. This has complicated the job of the Yoga teacher. Even in India, if you know nothing else you can always teach Yoga
One is also asked to show your Yoga. A Yogi for some people means Svāmī, for others Siddhi, for others exercise teacher. Even the image of the Yogi is seen as important. However nowhere do the texts insist on dress or beard as part of the Yogi.
So let us look at ideas behind Yoga……”
– TKV Desikachar 1987
“Abhyāsa, when performed with reverence,
without interruption, over a long period of time, will result
in a healthy body, acute senses and extraordinary alertness.
This kind of Abhyāsa is a solid foundation that nothing can disturb.”
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 14
“In this Sūtra Patañjali states that there are two ways
to discipline the five types of mental activity.
They are Abhyāsa and Vairāgya.
Abhyāsa is practice.
Vairāgya is to disconnect or sever the link
between the Citta and external objects.
These two, Abhyāsa and Vairāgya,
always go together as a pair.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on
Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 12
“Similarly, because of the proximity of Citta and Puruṣa,
what is the quality of one is taken to be of the other.
In our convention they are often taken as one
and not two distinct entities with different natures.
This state is Asmitā.”
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to
Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 6
Another Niyama that should be followed is Āhāra Niyama.
That is, how much to eat and what to eat,
according to age, profession, etc.
You see, the ancient people believed that
a young boy could eat as much as he liked.
But a Saṃnyāsi should only eat eight handfuls of rice,
no more, per day.”
“When something is understood differently from what it truly is, it is called Avidyā.
What is changing is taken to be non-changing. For example the mind.
What is subjected to decay is assumed to be pure. For example the body.
What is leading to suffering is taken to be the source of pleasure.
What is not conscious is assumed to be conscious.
All these errors in perceptions have many possibilities.
But the ultimate stage of Avidyā is to assume that we are the Masters, not Īśvara.”
T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 5
“Mystery is always present;
it need not be limited to symbols or God.
It can be found in anything, provided we seek it.
It is in the hands of the seeker, not in the object.
Mystery is always there, everywhere,
provided the seeker is serious.”
– TKV Desikachar ‘A Session for Questions’
Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Sixteen Page 230
“The idea is to bridge the gap that is between what exists and what is desired.
This is what Abhyāsa refers to. This is not exactly practice.
1. We first require an appreciation of what we want to do or learn.
2. We then find out how to travel or go in that direction.
3. We then learn the techniques by which we travel.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 12