If one takes care of the breath much more happens…

Criteria for the quality of Āsana

“If one takes care of the breath much more happens.
Perhaps some bad effects can be reduced.
But, because of its importance we can force it on people
and they find it difficult to understand the
mechanics and application, such as counting.”
TKV Desikachar Switzerland 1978

One must be present in the action…

Criteria for the quality of Āsana

1. One must be present in the action.
2. Even with the eyes closed one must recognise the Āsana.
3. One should not suffer and want to be away from the Āsana.
4. It is the breath which defines the quality of the Āsana.
TKV Desikachar Switzerland 1978

In the beginning the breath must be good…

Criteria for the quality of Āsana

1. In the beginning the breath must be good.
2. As one progresses the breath must still be good,
but the Āsana is better than it was.
TKV Desikachar Switzerland 1978

In other words, begin your practice from where you are…

Principles behind the Practice of Āsana

In other words:
Begin your practice from where you are.
Finish your practice where you are going.
TKV Desikachar Switzerland 1978

Do not fight yourself…

Principles behind the Practice of Āsana

1. Do not fight yourself.
2. Do not take your body for granted.
3. We must consider and relate age and interest.
4. Start with something normal or neutral.
5. Let the first part of the practice be an investigation into how you feel.
6. Have some aim in your practice.
7. Let the goal also be that you have enough time to come back to a normal body posture.
TKV Desikachar Switzerland 1978

The test for intelligent effort is the response of the breath…

Principles behind the Practice of Āsana

“The test for intelligent effort
is the response of the breath.
Therefore, the technique is
proper and intelligent effort
and the response of the
breath to that effort.”
TKV Desikachar Switzerland 1978

We investigate the reaction of the effort on the breath…

Principles behind the Practice of Āsana

“We investigate the reaction
of the effort on the breath.
The sound and speed of the
breath expresses the effort.
Therefore, in Āsana, there
is a relationship between
the effort and the breath.”
TKV Desikachar Switzerland 1978

With step by step intelligent application…

Principles behind the Practice of Āsana

“With step by step
intelligent application,
less effort is required.
In other words, effort
that will reduce effort.”
TKV Desikachar Switzerland 1978

In technique, as stated by Patañjali, we must apply effort…

Principles behind the Practice of Āsana

“In technique, as stated by Patañjali,
we must apply effort, but not force.
That effort must be intelligent.
The difference in effort and
force can cause a reaction.
Perhaps more reaction than action?”
TKV Desikachar Switzerland 1978

People come to study Yoga for many reasons……

Of the Four Aspects of the Breath which is more important

“People come to study Yoga for many reasons,
however they fall into two groups.
They come to learn or study, or they come
to us for support rather than to study.
So the Yoga we offer to the person
who is inquiring is not the Yoga we
offer to the person seeking protection.
Therefore one can give the wrong advice
to the right person and vice versa.
This can do more harm than if the
person had not come. The intention
must be right, as must be the execution.”
TKV Desikachar Switzerland 1978

Meditation must elevate the mind…

dhyana

Meditation must elevate the mind.
That is its basic purpose, to be where I was not.
This involves an ascent of the individual’s mind.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Three verse 5

TKV Desikachar Yoga Sūtra Study Quotes Collected and Collated
T Krishnamacharya Yoga Sūtra Study Quotes Collected and Collated

The breath should be slow, smooth and powerful…

“The breath should be slow, smooth and powerful.
It should be held for 1”-2” after the inhale to prevent contraction.
Retention is also the extension of the hold after the exhale
and it is carried out to retain the state of contraction.
It is necessary to complete an exhale otherwise the inhale will get shorter.
Contraction of the stomach after the exhale will make it more effective.”
– TKV Desikachar England 1992

Using the breath in Āsana makes the Āsana adaptable…

“Using the breath in Āsana
makes the Āsana adaptable.
For example, by varying the
breath we can vary the effect.”
– TKV Desikachar England 1992

The breath presents different possibilities in Āsana…

“The breath presents different possibilities in Āsana.
For example, there can be a refinement of the
posture through developing the breath.”
– TKV Desikachar England 1992

The breath involves the spine…

“The breath involves the spine,
and it brings out changes in
the most vital part of the body.”
– TKV Desikachar England 1992

Compendium of Quotes from TKV Desikachar on the Yoga of T Krishnamacharya……

“These are, in brief, some things about Krishnamacharya and his Yoga.
You must judge for yourself where he actually stands.”

“Let us look at his usual day.
Whether you believe it or not,
this old man gets up at one o’clock in the morning.
Anybody is welcome to wait on the verandah and
see that he gets up at one o’clock in the morning.
And one o’clock in the morning is something for us,
I mean it is like a terror to get up at one o’clock, and he is 93.
He prepares his own tea and then he practices.
I did not believe that, until I saw, because he is staying with me,
that he practices Yoga Āsana and Prāṇāyāma every day.
In fact more than once every day, including headstand and Padmāsana,
I am mentioning Padmāsana you see, because we are all sitting on chairs.
HeadstandPadmāsana, everything he does, and at 5 o’clock the bell rings
and we know that he has started his Pūjā.
And the bell is not one of those small bells like they have on dining room tables.
I am sure that bell must weigh 1½-2 kilos, because it is made of bronze.
It must meet certain specifications, and the bell must produce the tone of OM, so it is quite heavy.
I often wonder whether I could ever do this for five minutes, like he does.
He goes on waking God-come on, get up, get up, get up- also with some recitation,
and all the family at that time curses him because he is waking all of us.
At 6.30, when he has done all the chantings,
it is very interesting to watch him doing these, he makes his own breakfast.
Then I go to see him at 7 o’clock in the morning and we chant for one hour.
And then sometimes he has somebody at eight o’clock for chanting; somebody else at nine.
So he will be teaching this Vedic chanting for 3 hours, after one hour of Pūjā.
You must try to chant for fifteen minutes, it is so tiring, but he manages.
He has a great will.”

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Śavāsana is the road between cities…

Śavāsana is the road between cities‎”Śavāsana
is the road between cities.”
TKV Desikachar England 1976

Question: What is the greatest obstacle to meditation?

Question: What is the greatest obstacle to meditation?
“The biggest obstacle to obstacle is Vikalpa,
the ability of the mind to fabricate in spite of reality.
Through Vikalpa, the mind fabricates thoughts of no essence,
no substance; and since meditation is, for most of us,
the play of the mind, Vikalpa is the greatest obstacle.”
TKV Desikachar Madras December 1988

We never know when we are going to die……

“We never know when we are going to die.
So we must prepare for death.
Because at the moment of death
you become what you think.”
– TKV Desikachar France 1983