There are categories of Sādhana relating to Body, Breath, Senses and Mind.

There are categories of Sādhana

“There are categories of Sādhana relating to Body, Breath, Senses and mind.”
– TKV Desikachar France August 1983

Krishnamacharya also decided that you could be in one posture and do a number of variations.

Krishnamacharya also decided that you could be in one posture and do a number of variations

“Krishnamacharya also decided that you could be in one posture
and do a number of variations.”
– TKV Desikachar England 1992

The traditional model, Śikṣaṇa, for Yoga was to stay in a posture……

The traditional model, Śikṣaṇa, for Yoga was to stay in a posture

“The traditional model, Śikṣaṇa, for Yoga was to stay in a posture,
Krishnamacharya introduced movement in the postures.”
From study notes with TKV Desikachar England 1992

In Āyurveda, it gives certain behaviour by which we can stay well……

TKV_5

“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 Āhāra, along with Vihāra – recreation, rest, exercise, other activities.”
– TKV Desikachar France 1983

Dhāraṇā is the contact, Dhyāna is the communication, further….

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House

Dhāraṇā is the contact.
Dhyāna is the communication.
Further, when we become so involved in
an object that our mind completely merges with it,
that is called Samādhi.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Eleven Page 155

In Dhyāna, when we become involved with a particular thing….

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House

“In Dhyāna, when we become involved with a particular thing and we begin to investigate it,
there is a link between myself and this thing; that is,
there is a perception and continuous communication between my mind and the object.
If there is this communication it is called Dhyāna
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Eleven Page 155

Dhāraṇā is when we create a condition so that the mind is directed to one point

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House

Dhāraṇā is when we create a condition so that the mind,
going in a hundred different directions,
is directed to one point.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Eleven Page 154

Pratyāhāra does not mean we look at an object and say….

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House

Pratyāhāra does not mean we look at an object and say.
‘We are not going to look at that object’.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Eleven Page 153

Yoga has been adapted to life in the modern day.

  • Yoga has been adapted to life in the modern day.
  • Any posture far removed from the normal posture is a problem and therefore risky if there is any problem with the body.
  • Inverted postures present problems because of the tension that people carry in their necks.
  • Postures that create tension should be avoided.
  • Moving into the posture after the exhale is an adaptation.
  • Krishnamacharya designed aids to help people achieve postures.
  • Slow movement has a different action on the muscles, it is harder work.
  • The role of Āsana, its purpose and goal must be respected.
  • Opposite postures are a handicap but can help us to appreciate something different in a posture.
  • We must feel ourselves and what is happening in a posture.

From study notes with TKV Desikachar England 1992

Śikṣaṇa Krama – do something perfectly or correctly……

asana_12

Śikṣaṇa Krama – do something perfectly or correctly.
Anything is taught to achieve perfection in the practice of Āsana and Prāṇāyāma.
In other words teaching children and healthy people where you can take risks with no problems.
Not a valid approach for groups.
We need to use intelligence and Viveka,
not follow the idea of no pain, no gain to become painless,
or to get to a point without suffering.”
– TKV Desikachar France 1983

Even in the case of Śikṣaṇa Krama the ancient teachers had steps…….

parampara

“Even in the case of Śikṣaṇa Krama the ancient teachers had steps in the teaching:

  • Yukti Śikṣaṇa
    The teaching must be appropriate to the intelligence of the individual.
  • Grahaṇa Śikṣaṇa
    Also able to absorb correctly what you have understood.
    You must test them, confuse them to see if they have.
  • Yukta Smaraṇa
    The teacher should find out how much the person remembers
    what they have understood.
  • Yukta Abhyāsa
    Is how much a person practices what he is given.
    To see if he has learnt, understood and practiced.
  • Yukta Anu Bhāva
    Even practice can be mechanical, even if it is regular.
    So how much you have learnt from the practice.
    What it has taught you.
  • Yukta Pracāram
    Finally, you ask the person to transmit what they have received.

The transmission shows the Siddhi of the Sādhana.
This is Viniyoga.
These outlines are valid whether Śikṣaṇa or Rakṣaṇa Krama.
If what is given is mechanical it is not Viniyoga.
That is why the Viniyoga spirit is very important these days.”
– TKV Desikachar France 1983

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Āsana and Prāṇāyāma can create a condition where the mind is fit for Dhāraṇā.

Āsana and Prāṇāyāma can, according to the Yoga Sūtra,
create a condition where the mind is fit for Dhāraṇā.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Eleven Page 156

Being absorbed in the breath in Prāṇāyāma is Pratyāhāra.

seated_pranayama_2

“If we are completely absorbed in the breath in Prāṇāyāma,
automatically there is Pratyāhāra.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Eleven Page 153

Pratyāhāra means withdrawing from that on which we are feeding.

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House

Pratyāhāra means withdrawing from that on which we are feeding.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Eleven Page 152

Religiousness in Yoga Study Guide: Chapter Ten Theory

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House

‘Religiousness in Yoga: Lectures on Theory and Practice’ by the University Press of America,
a transcript of recordings of a one month Yoga Programme in Colgate University in 1976, published in 1980.

Unlike the later redacted edition, re-published in 1995 as the ‘Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice’, it captures the evolution of the retreat with the days lectures and Q & A dialogues as they alternated between ‘lectures on the principles and purposes of Yoga and discussions related to the practice of Yoga with special reference to the postures and the breathing techniques’.

TKV Desikachar, in his forward to the original version wrote:

“These lectures and discussions, printed words put before persons I might never meet,
are but reflections of that deeper result that grew out of a living face-to-face encounter.
Coming to learn of Yoga only through reading leaves much to be desired.
Yet, something worthwhile about Yoga might be shared through the medium of the printed word.”

A chapter by chapter Study guide is offered below with added verse and word cross-references where possible to support a a deeper linking with the teachings within these lectures and Q & A sessions.

Chapter 10 Theory: Prāṇāyāma – Pages 133-144

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It is beyond our conscious effort to move the Prāṇa.

“It is beyond our conscious effort to move the Prāṇa.
What is within our conscious effort is the breath,
so we use the breath to make this movement possible.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Ten Page 142

Nobody can control the Prāṇa…..

“Nobody can control the Prāṇa,
it has its own movement.
We create a condition in which the Prāṇa returns.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Ten Page 141

It is a mistaken concept that certain Āsana are only postures for meditation.

“It is a mistaken concept that certain Āsana are only postures for meditation.
If we look at the commentary of Vyāsa, we see that the postures
he elucidates are so complicated that we can’t be in Dhyāna.
We can feel these different postures and we can’t stay in them.
Two of these are Uṣṭrāsana and Krauñcāsana,
These are very difficult postures in which to remain.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Ten Page 133