We start our practice where we are and look toward a certain goal….

Desikachar_France_1999

“We start our practice where we are and look toward a certain goal.
Then we choose the steps that will lead us toward realising that goal
and will gradually bring us back into our everyday life,
but our daily practice does not return us to the exact place we started.
The practice has changed us.”
– TKV Desikachar

Exhalation is the most important part of the breath……


Exhalation is the most important part of the breath,
it encourages the inhalation.
By increasing the exhalation we bring attention to the lower abdomen.”
– From study notes with TKV Desikachar England 1992

The breath makes Āsana part of Yoga.

“The breath makes Āsana part of Yoga.”
– From study notes with TKV Desikachar England 1992

The focus during Āsana should be on…….

“The focus should be on
the contraction of the abdomen or
the expansion of the chest during Āsana.”
– From study notes with TKV Desikachar England 1992

Often people have little distinction between Exercise and Yoga….

siksana

“Continuing the idea of Śikṣaṇa,
it is possible to put further categories into Sādhana.
It is important,
as often people have little distinction between exercise and Yoga.
According to texts and great masters Sādhana is not just at the body level,
but at the Indriya level, the mind level and possibly even further.”
– TKV Desikachar France 1983

The mind is agitated because of certain things inherent…..

klesa

“The mind is agitated,
because of certain things inherent,
not from the outside,
these are already inside.”
– TKV Desikachar 1997

Rāga is attraction to an object before you are aware of it….

raga

Rāga is attraction to an object before you are aware of it.
An attraction whether you need it or not.
In its absence you crave for it.”
– TKV Desikachar France 1983

The world exists to set us free.

TKV_5

“The world exists to set us free.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 18

Perception is said to be right when something happens….

pramana

Perception is said to be right when something happens,
where we can see the design of the mind as well as the object.”
– TKV Desikachar commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 4

You cannot change the past, only our understanding of the past.

samkirna

“You cannot change the past,
only our understanding of the past.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 42

There are two categories of practice……

“There are two categories of practice, the Śikṣaṇa Krama way, according to the rules,
or the Cikitsā Krama way, the application or adaptation of a posture
to suit a particular person or a particular situation.
Where postures need to be adapted to suit particular bodies and their limitations.
The authority for the postures comes from the teacher,
although some rules are indicated in the texts.”
– From study notes with TKV Desikachar England 1992

For something to work you must participate positively….

sraddha

‎”For something to work you must participate positively.
In other words Śraddhā.”
– TKV Desikachar Madras 2000

Yama – How we relate, how we face the society we are part of……

yama

Yama – How we relate, how we face the society we are part of.
How we link ourselves to others in speech, action, confidence.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 30

Always raise and lower the arms in the plane of the movement…….

Āsana_25b

“Always raise and lower the arms in the plane of the movement.
This helps the forward movement by causing you
to arch the back slightly before you bend forward.
Traditionally arms are straight and placed behind the ears.”
– TKV Desikachar 1980

Only the Citta is the cause for Bandhana or Mokṣa.

bandhana

“Only the Citta is the cause for Bandhana or Mokṣa.”
– TKV Desikachar commentary on Bhagavad Gītā Chapter Six verse 6

Know the Breath from the feelings in the Āsana……

seated_pranayama_2

1. Know the Breath from the feelings in the Āsana.
2. Choose a ratio close to that used in Āsana.
3. Choose a technique to suit the day.
4. Choose a proper posture for the spine.
TKV Desikachar Switzerland 1978

For standing Āsana it is not necessary to close the eyes…..

Āsana_64

“For standing Āsana it is not necessary to close the eyes.
As standing Āsana are usually at the beginning of a practice,
it can sometimes be distracting to close the eyes,
because of all the visual activity proceeding the practice.
Having the eyes open can also stop you becoming unbalanced as you move.
The eyes can be useful for checking alignment within dynamic movements.
You may not observe this with the eyes closed.
However, the attention with the eyes open should be passive and aware.”
– TKV Desikachar 1980

Knowledge from the past prevails and influences me…..

asmita

“Knowledge from the past prevails and influences me to either judge or inquire.
Assuming my knowledge and my memory and I proceed is Asmitā Kleśa.
Assuming that I may be wrong and wishing to find out more is Asmitā Jñāna.
However to hesitate completely or question everything is Asmitā Kleśa.”
– TKV Desikachar commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 6

How I react or choose not to react is Asmitā…….

asmita

“I know something and I am presented with something different.
How I react or choose not to react is Asmitā.
The wrong response brings Duḥkha.
The right response Viveka.
One is a hasty assessment and one is wanting to find out more.
One is ‘assuming I know I proceed’,
the other is ‘wishing to know I proceed’.”
– TKV Desikachar commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 6

Where are we starting from?……

asana_56

“We must consider the direction of one’s Āsana Practice.
Where are we starting from?
Where are we going to?
Is this journey of Pariṇāma working with immediate needs in mind?
Is this journey of Pariṇāma working with long term needs in mind?
Is this journey of Pariṇāma trying to integrate both immediate needs and long term needs?”
– TKV Desikachar 1980

You put your mind in one place during an Āsana……

Āsana_14a

“You put your mind in one place during an Āsana,
the body compensates and places the escape elsewhere.”
– TKV Desikachar 1980

The action of a posture may be delayed……

Āsana_12a

“The action of a posture may be delayed
because the student has tried to force the body into a posture.
Never measure something by its immediate effects.”
– From study notes with TKV Desikachar England 1992

The problems we have in life come because of Saṃskāra…..

samskara

“The problems we have in life come because of Saṃskāra.
We are not able to distinguish the coloured image of the mind from the real object.”
– TKV Desikachar ‘The Antaraṅga Sādhana, Saṃyama and Kaivalya’
Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Thirteen Page 188

These problems in our observation are related to the mixing of…..

tkv_6a

“These problems in our observation are related to the mixing of:

Vikalpa:
Imagination is already there operating when we begin to observe.
All the more that we are better and better informed about what we should see, etc.

Viparyaya:
Because of the past Saṃskāra, there is a sort of perversion in observation.

Smṛti:
Memory is, unfortunately, never factual.

Finally, we should never forget that all conclusions are wrong, because things change.
Hence the importance of private lessons, which allow for more flexibility.”
– TKV Desikachar 1981

Observation must have a direction and be complete….

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House

“Observation must have a direction and be complete.
We always have a tendency to tell more than what we see, which is a mistake.
If we tell somebody that he has a problem, yet we know that we will not be able to give him a solution because of a lack of time or any other reason, maybe we are going to hurt him.
Therefore, we should first make sure that we have a solution to offer.”
– TKV Desikachar 1981