How you bring about the length of the breath affects Āsana…..

“The difference in chest to stomach and stomach to chest
breathing is minimal in the length of the breath.
How you bring about the length of the breath affects Āsana differently.
Apart from medical restrictions,
to give respect to the chest, the spine and gravity
we need to breathe chest to stomach on the inhale.”
– From personal lessons with TKV Desikachar

To understand and refine the mind Patañjali offers some specific tools….

Patanjali_B_and_W

“To understand and refine the mind Patañjali offers some specific tools.
These tools are based on the understanding that the human system is not
a set of distinct unrelated compartments but a very closely connected structure.
What happens in one part profoundly affects every area.
Therefore if we can bring some positive changes in one area,
positive changes ensue in other parts.”
– TKV Desikachar Madras 1996

The purpose of Āsana and Prāṇāyāma are twofold….

Āsana_4

“The purpose of Āsana and Prāṇāyāma are twofold,
to reduce symptoms of ill-health or,
to prepare the mind towards fulfilling the main emphasis of Patañjali,
which is Meditation.
However according to the teaching I have received,
both of these roles can be fulfilled with
relatively few Āsana postures and Prāṇāyāma techniques.”
– TKV Desikachar Madras 1996

Some people say they practice Āsana, Prāṇāyāma, Meditation….

“Some people say they practice Āsana, Prāṇāyāma, Meditation.
Among these things which is close to Sādhana and which is not close to Sādhana?”
– TKV Desikachar France 1983

The Siddhi depends on the Bhāvanam.

siddhi

“The Siddhi depends on the Bhāvanam.”
– TKV Desikachar

One must be clear when one speaks about Yoga…..

Patanjali Yoga Sutra

“Therefore one must be clear when one speaks about Yoga:
as far as we are concerned, we refer mainly to Patañjali’s Yoga.
Otherwise, quoting various texts,
one can justify almost anything in the name of Yoga.
Patañjali’s Yoga is obviously the most open, universal
and the most clearly distinct from Vedānta, which is a school in itself.”
– Extract from an interview with TKV Desikachar on Vedic Chanting

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The Yoga of Patañjali as a complete process of learning……

Patanjali_3

“The Yoga of Patañjali as a complete process of learning
provides the best instrument for helping the individual
know that he is more than a money making machine.”
– TKV Desikachar 1983
– Introduction to Learning through Yoga by TV Ananthanarayanan

For Yoga Teachers it is important to understand the movement of the mind……

citta

“For Yoga Teachers it is important to understand
the movement of the mind
as well as the body.”
– TKV Desikachar 1979 on Sāṃkhya and Yoga

Krishnamacharya’s teaching is a Nimitta Kāraṇa….

nimitta

“Krishnamacharya’s teaching is a Nimitta Kāraṇa
– Where you discover your own way.”
– TKV Desikachar Yoga Sūtra Chapter Four verse 3

Nirodha is a restraining of OTHER things, not a cessation of activity.

nirodha

Nirodha is a restraining of OTHER things,
not a cessation of activity.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2

There are certain things we do in Yoga which seem to aid Dhyāna

dhyana

“There are certain things we do in Yoga which seem to aid Dhyāna
because they remove something which is blocking it.”
– TKV Desikachar ‘The Antaraṅga Sādhana, Saṃyama and Kaivalya’
Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Thirteen Page 186

When we say our name we relate to our mind and not Cit……

cit devanagari

“When we say our name we relate to our mind and not Cit.
However we are not able to separate mind from Cit.
They are so close – mind and not mind.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2

In the language of Yoga, the seat of all impurities is the abdomen.

mala

“In the language of Yoga,
the seat of all impurities is the abdomen.”
– TKV Desikachar 1984

It is not the number of hours in Meditation…..

dhyanam

“It is not the number of hours in Meditation,
the type of Ratio in Prāṇāyāma,
the number of times you turn the Mālā,
it is the intensity of the attempt.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 22

Looking beyond the superficial to the source, this is Abhyāsa.

Abhyāsa

“Looking beyond the superficial to the source,
this is Abhyāsa.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 14

The starting point for Abhyāsa is not the mind….

abhyasa

“The starting point for Abhyāsa is not the mind,
it is other than the mind.
The moment the mind takes over you are in difficulty.”
– From 121 Sūtra lessons with Desikachar

The phenomenon called Yoga allows the mind……

abhyasa

“The phenomenon called Yoga
allows the mind and its functions to orientate in one direction
and receive something from that direction.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 12

How does Vedānta differ from Yoga?

vedanta

“How does Vedānta differ from Yoga?
In brief, we can say that the purpose of Yoga is to change the state of mind,
so that it is less muddy.
In this effort, God may help.

The purpose of Vedānta is to become God…..
At an ideological level, Vedānta rejects Yoga’s idea of God as something potentially helpful,
beside that point it likewise rejects whatever is said in Yoga that does not take one toward God.

However, the Vedānta Sūtra does emphasise the importance of sitting properly for meditation
and the Bhagavad Gītā speaks of the need for proper breathing.
All the Śāstra, in fact, accept the physical discipline of Yoga.”
– TKV Desikachar Chennai July 1981

The ultimate goal of Yoga is to always observe things accurately……

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House

“The ultimate goal of Yoga is to always observe things accurately,
and therefore never act in a way that will make us regret our actions later.”
– TKV Desikachar

The first Sūtra also acts as a key for the memory to link all the Yoga……

atha

अथ योगानुशासनम् ॥१॥

atha yoga-anu-śāsanam

“Now follow the teachings of Yoga.”

Atha – Now in the sense of nowness.
By convention let there be something auspicious.
The Sūtra are different in the sense of not having a prayer dedication in the first Sūtra.
Thus Atha fills this role.
Particularly the letter ‘A’ which is a dedication.

“Of sounds I am the first letter A.”
Bhagavad Gītā Chapter Ten verse 33

Now I am going to tell you something about Yoga.
A serious discussion as you, the students, are ready.
This also refers to the student’s previous attempts at learning, which will now be clarified.

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Question to TKV Desikachar on Yama and Niyama:

TKV_France_1999

Question to TKV Desikachar on Yama and Niyama:

“The idea behind Yama and Niyama is the attitude we have to the inside and outside.
If I don’t know what is true there is no question of telling the truth.
However there is the intention, because one day it may become a reality.
Even though some of these things are not there in the beginning, if the intention is sincere then one day it will become an action if conditions and our psychological state change.
Yama as telling the truth also means discretion.”
TKV Desikachar France 1983

The force called Śakti or Kuṇḍalinī is indeed Prāṇa……

prana

“Then he has certain ideas also about Kuṇḍalinī.
The force is Prāṇa,
the force called Śakti or Kuṇḍalinī is indeed Prāṇa.
The only means that can have any effect is the use of Prāṇāyāma,
with emphasis on exhalation and the Bandha,
aided by devotional chantings.
And the evolution of Kuṇḍalinī is very much linked to the person’s state of mind and Vairāgya.”
TKV Desikachar from lectures on ‘The Yoga of T Krishnamacharya’,
given at Zinal, Switzerland 1981.

In each one of us there is something that experiences.

purusa

“In each one of us there is something that experiences.”
– TKV Desikachar introducing the Taittirīya Upaniṣad 2001

Conscious breathing is one of the greatest tools to influence the effect of the postures…..

Āsana_24b

“Conscious breathing is one of the greatest tools to influence the effect of the postures
without changing the posture.”
– TKV Desikachar

In the Yoga Sūtra the purpose of the different Sādhana is to clear the mind…..

Āsana_6

“In the Yoga Sūtra,
the purpose of the different Sādhana is to clear the mind,
so the light can come out.”
– TKV Desikachar 1984