The study of Yoga is a vast undertaking that requires sustained effort……

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Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

अथ योगानुशासनम् ॥१॥
atha yogānuśāsanam
Now follow the teachings of Yoga.
– Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 1

“The study of Yoga is a vast undertaking that requires sustained effort and guidance. The term Atha signifies auspicious beginning, uninterrupted continuity, and an appropriate end.

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The Yoga Sūtra is divided into four chapters……

The Yoga Sūtra is divided into four chapters

“The Yoga Sūtra is divided into four chapters.
The first chapter called Samādhi Pādaḥ assumes the aspirant
has progressed adequately to be in a state called Samāhita.
Such a person is not easily agitated.
They have a clearer perception to comprehend concepts such as Īśvara and Vairāgya.”
– T Krishnamacharya introduction to Yoga Sūtra Chapter One

All these Kleśa are variable in their potency……

“All these Kleśa are variable in their potency.
They can be so weak, that they hardly matter.
Sometime they take a feeble form, when they can be easily contained.
If not they rise to dominance.  When in domination, only one takes over.
For example in the most evolved stage when Rāga is dominant,
other Kleśa such as Dveṣa are not apparent.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 4

If anybody can breathe, they can do Yoga.

If anybody can breathe

“If anybody can breathe,
they can do Yoga.”
– T Krishnamacharya

The Saṃskāra of Yoga prepares one for Ātma Vidyā and is open to everyone.

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

“The Saṃskāra of Yoga prepares one for Ātma Vidyā and is open to everyone.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 1

The students learned and experienced the teachings in their own lives

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“The students in turn, learned and experienced the teachings in their own lives,
and thus became competent to teach.
In this way the lineage of teachers is established.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 1

Kriyā Yoga emphasises that the Kleśa cannot be reduced instantly……

Kriyā Yoga emphasises that the Kleśa cannot be reduced instantly.
It is a gradual process.
Further Kleśa can only be reduced to the limit they become ineffective.
They cannot be destroyed.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 2

These five Kleśa surround the heart of every individual……

“These five Kleśa surround the heart of every individual.
They are related to the three Guṇa known as Sattva, Rajas and Tamas.
As long as one chooses not to inquire into the true nature of one’s self and acts mechanically,
they will unknowingly contribute to the dominance of the Kleśa.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 3

Use Samavṛtti in Prāṇāyāma to reduce the power of Rajas & Tamas.

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‎”Use Samavṛtti in Prāṇāyāma to reduce the power of Rajas and Tamas.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Bhagavad Gītā Chapter Five verse 27

The taste in the water cannot be seen……

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“The taste in the water cannot be seen.
Only when we put the water in our mouths.
So it is with Bhakti.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Bhagavad Gītā Chapter Seven verse 8

Q: How necessary is Yoga in these modern times?

akarna_dhanurasana
Question to T Krishnamacharya:
How necessary is Yoga in these modern times?
Krishnamacharya’s Response:
For the strengthening of the Aṅga,
Yoga Āsana practiced with long inhalation and exhalation is important.
To reduce the disturbances of the mind, to gain mental strength and to increase longevity,
Prāṇāyāma is necessary.

The teacher follows the student and will use many methods……

srimad_bhagavad_gita

“The teacher follows the student and will use many methods
to see the student grasps the teachings.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Bhagavad Gītā Chapter Eleven verse 1

Breath is indispensable for life and its absence is death……

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“Breath is indispensable for life and its absence is death.
Hence the necessity to make it longer and accumulate the Prāṇa Śakti.
Just as a rich man accumulates money slowly to get wealthy,
so also one should practice every day
through the proper use of the breath in Āsana to maintain good health.”
T Krishnamacharya‘s response to a question on breathing.

True liberty is what relationship you have with your habits.

TK6

“True liberty is what relationship you have with your habits.”
– T Krishnamacharya

Saṃśaya (Doubt) is the Fire that consumes Wisdom.

srimad_bhagavad_gita

Saṃśaya (Doubt) is the Fire that consumes Wisdom.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Bhagavad Gītā Chapter Four verse 40

When dominated by Kleśa, Citta is not a friend.

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“When dominated by Kleśa,
Citta is not a friend.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Bhagavad Gītā Chapter Six verse 6

Fasting is not eating between meals.

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“Fasting is not eating between meals.”
– T Krishnamacharya

Tapas is Proper Diet, Mantra Chanting and Self-Inquiry.

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Tapas is Proper Diet, Mantra Chanting and Self-Inquiry.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Bhagavad Gītā Chapter Six verse 46

(Refer also to Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 1 with its Kriyā Yoga and additional commentaries from Krishnamacharya and Desikachar)

The practice of Āsana without breathing and without remembering Ananta has no value.

bhujangasana

“The practice of Āsana without breathing and without remembering Ananta has no value.”
– Śrī T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 47

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If we recognise a person as they are now……

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“If we recognise a person as they are now,
not as they were yesterday,
we realise that what we see is not eternal.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Bhagavad Gītā Chapter Thirteen verse 28

Yoga is a Saṃskāra in that it equips us to realise our greatest potential.

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‎”Yoga is a Saṃskāra in that it equips us to realise our greatest potential.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 1

How long should a person stay in an Āsana?

maha_mudra

Question to T Krishnamacharya –

Q: How long should a person stay in an Āsana every day?
A: A person must stay in any one Āsana for at least fifteen minutes.
From the book ‘Śrī Krishnamacharya – The Pūrnācārya’, published by the KYM in 1997

Impurities in the heart cause mental agitation……

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

Impurities in the heart cause mental agitation
– anxiety, lack of direction, anger.
This agitation, in turn, affects the body,
sometimes making it impossible to sit still even for a few minutes.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 31

Sukha and Duḥkha cannot be there at the same time.

srimad_bhagavad_gita

Sukha and Duḥkha cannot be there at the same time.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Bhagavad Gītā Chapter Thirteen verse 21

(Refer also to Yoga Sūtra Chapter Three verse 9 for similar idea regarding the oscillation between being either in a state of being present or one of being distracted.)

Āsana for problems of the body and Prāṇāyāma for problems of the mind.

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‎”Use Āsana for problems of the body and
Prāṇāyāma for problems of the mind.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Practice Priorities

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