What is Yoga? – An interview with Paul Harvey on BBC Radio Bristol 1986.

What is Yoga?

– An interview with Paul Harvey on BBC Radio Bristol Feb 1986.

I. Yoga is often portrayed as sitting still perhaps in rather bizarre positions communicating with the depths of human relaxation and comprehension. How accurate a picture is that?

I am delighted to welcome to the Programme this afternoon Paul Harvey who among other things teaches Yoga at the Centre for Yoga Studies in Bath and at the Whiteladies Natural Health Clinic. You also, I think, have a couple of diplomas haven’t you?

PH. Yes I have though I feel that my main training has come not from diploma work but from the closer experience of studying and practising Yoga in India.

Download a copy of the interview as a PDF

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Patañjali has proposed 3 approaches to verify the indications……

Patañjali has proposed 3 approaches to verify the indications.
Tapas – Process of action
FoodĀsanaPrāṇāyāma.
You will be doing something that you will not be habitually doing.
For example one day no salt, cigarettes, Prāṇāyāma.
Tapas is from the root to create thirst.
It means to deprive.
It will tell us about ourselves.
It will reveal our Saṃskāra and Pariṇāma or changes in ourselves.
From this Tapas we will start to get an indication of our individual nature.
For example active or lazy.
Tapas indicates the the beginning of the Bheda, through the Bhāva.”
– TKV Desikachar France 1983

The viniyoga of Planning Principles – 1 – According to the viniyoga of Yoga

eka_padma_sarvangasana

The viniyoga of Planning Principles 1 – According to the viniyoga of Yoga

Yoga Sūtra Chapter Three verse 6
tasya bhūmiṣu viniyogaḥ
“Its application is in stages.”

“The spirit of viniyoga is starting from where one finds oneself.
As everybody is different and changes from time to time,
there can be no common starting point and ready-made answers are useless.
The present situation must be examined and the habitually established status must be re-examined.”
– TKV Desikachar

Link to Post Series: The viniyoga of Planning Principles

Yet, whatever the advances in the medium of the manual, I feel as……

I am here deeply immersed these past few weeks with finalising and sorting out printing for 750 pages of Course, Yoga Sūtra and Chanting manuals for the next 3 year Practitioner Programme and 250 pages Course and Yoga Sūtra manuals for the next 2 year Postgraduate Programme, both starting over the next two weeks.
Within this I find myself reflecting back to my first Practitioner Training Programme in 1985.
This was a different story with introducing the use of handouts with typewriters, lots of Snopake (typing correction fluid) and photocopiers.
Now, nearly 3 decades later, I send a file to the printers at the push of a button and they produce a finished manual, good to go in 24 hours.
Yet, whatever the advances in the medium of the manual, I feel as inspired as ever with the message offered to me all those decades ago.
View or Download the Full syllabus for the cYs 3 year Practitioner Training Programme.

Yoga Practice offers the Soil……

samkhya
Yoga Practice offers the Soil.
Yoga Study offers the Seeds.

There are Yoga teachers who speak to your dreams……

There are Yoga teachers who speak to your dreams,
and Yoga teachers who speak to your truths.

A Yoga teacher needs good students rather than good numbers.

yoga_sutra_cover

A Yoga teacher needs good students rather than good numbers.

Teach for the moment with seeds that can flower.

Teach for the moment with seeds that can flower.

As an esoteric art Yoga is a minority pursuit……

As an esoteric art Yoga is a minority pursuit.
As an acrobatic art Yoga is a majority pursuit.

I was practicing yoga last week, still using the pin figures on……

I received this yesterday and thought it a quirky 25 year later feedback follow-on to my post yesterday on 121 teaching:

“Dear Paul,
I was practicing yoga last week, still using the pin figures on graph paper (once white that is now yellow) that you drew for me back in 1987 when I lived in Bath.
I thought that I would search for you and say thank you!
I still run and my body feels good and free – I am glad I met you when I did when I was starting to wreck my body with the running rather than open it.
I hope all is well with you.
Best wishes”

I also feel that 121 priorities must take precedence over workshops and……

Extract from an email sent today that I felt I would like to offer as a post:
‘I also feel that 121 teaching priorities must take precedence over workshops and trainings.
This is part of my Dharma to my teacher and to the essence of viniyoga.
I feel that once we cease to be chronologically or financially available as a 121 teacher,
in favour of being a group class, workshop or trainer teacher,
in terms of such as group size or financial benefits,
we lose our heart contact with the Paramparā,
as we have received it,
or as it was intended to be transmitted by T Krishnamacharya.’

There are also other practices such as such as during certain……

sadhana

“There are also other practices such as during certain moon phases.
These help prepare us for the eventuality.
Still more variations according to a persons background.
How do we adapt these ideas in our Yoga Sādhana?”
– TKV Desikachar France 1983

According to Manu’s authority of behaviour, in Kālī Yuga Saṃyāsa……

TKV_5

“According to Manu’s authority on behaviour,
in Kālī Yuga Saṃnyāsa is not possible!
Sthiti Krama is a transition to the next stage
where you begin to accept the inevitable.
There is a great Saṃskāra of youth.
We then accept that there will be a setting of the Sun.
You eat less, reflect more, you think of God.
This is Saṃhāra Krama.”
TKV Desikachar France 1983

Sthiti Krama – Having grown, not to become old too soon

TKV_5

Sthiti Krama
Having grown, not to become old too soon,
let us maintain a status quo.
Sthiti Krama is for a person who has responsibilities, marriage, work.
No longer a full time student.
Still time for Svādhyāya.
Preservation of what you have received as a student.
So Sthiti Krama very critical in one’s life.
The difference is that you have your own responsibilities.
You cannot forsake them to study this or that.
Considered important because it is a challenge from 25-60 to sustain this position.
Because it is very difficult, there is a great excuse for escaping Svādhyāya.
We must do it to handle or approach problems around us – children, students, etc.”
– TKV Desikachar France August 1983

Adapting the form of Yoga is one thing……

Adapting the form of Yoga is one thing.
Adapting the roots of Yoga another.
Better not to confuse the two when choosing.

So as such it should be Sṛṣṭi Krama for a certain level of people……

TKV_5

“In the indian tradition we have the idea of VarṇaĀśramaDharma
and DharmaArthaKāmaMokṣa.
According to a persons environment, development
or stage of activity in life, the choice must vary.
Which will help a person grow at the body and mental level?
So as such it should be Sṛṣṭi Krama for a certain level of people.
In old times. up to the age of 24 years should be in the direction of Sṛṣṭi Krama.
In other words more risk taken with the body, more ability to grasp ideas.
i.e. Vinyāsa almost like gymnastics.
Not suitable for older person starting Yoga.
We need to be open to this beautiful idea of adaptation.”
– TKV Desikachar France August 1983

Śikṣaṇa has different Krama which can be looked into……

TKV_5

Śikṣaṇa has different Krama which can be looked into.
For example Sṛṣṭi Krama to grow, create, develop – physically or mentally.
In some situations Sṛṣṭi Krama is more important.
For example in Āsana, ideas of relaxation not valid.
So more work, more strength, more activity.”
– TKV Desikachar France 1983

A Prāṇāyāma Practice that was passed onto me many decades ago as……

A Prāṇāyāma Practice passed onto me many decades ago as a Pakkā (Pukka) teaching from Pattabhi Jois:
1. Inhale-Exhale Deeply – 5 Breaths
2. Inhale-Exhale Stop 20″ – 3 Breaths
3. Inhale Hold 30″ Exhale – 3 Breaths
4. Inhale-Exhale Deeply – 5 Breaths
5. Inhale Hold 20″ Exhale Stop 20″ – 2 Rounds N.S.
6. Inhale R Hold 20″ Exhale R Stop 20″ – 3 Breaths
7. Inhale L Hold 20″ Exhale L Stop 20″ – 3 Breaths
8. Inhale-Exhale Deeply – 5 Breaths
9. Bhastrika 50 breaths + 15″ Hold
10. Inhale-Exhale Deeply – 5 Breaths
11. Inhale R Hold 60″ Exhale L – 3 Breaths
12. Inhale L Hold 60″ Exhale R – 3 Breaths
13. Inhale Hold 60″ Exhale – 1 Round N.S.
14. Inhale-Exhale Deeply – 5 Breaths
15. Śītalī + 15″ Hold
16.  Inhale-Exhale Deeply 5 Breaths
Certainly a practice that fulfils the meaning of Pakkā (cooked, ripe, fully formed) in terms of intensity and length.

Yoga and the 21st Century – Interview with TKV Desikachar May 1999

Desikachar_France_1999

YOGA AND THE 21st CENTURY

TKV Desikachar was in Narbonne, in the South of France, for a symposium on “Yoga and the XXIst Century” during May 1999. The purpose of the symposium was to consider the role of yoga for the coming century in the three fields of Health, Psychology and Spirituality.

The following interview is an introductory presentation.

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Relationships 
are
 going 
to
 be 
very 
important……

Desikachar_France_1999

“Relationships 
are
 going 
to
 be 
very 
important.
This
 means 
that
 a 
teacher 
has 
to 
be 
very
 careful,
because 
the 
moment 
a 
student 
likes 
a teacher,
there
 is 
a 
risk 
that 
the 
teacher 
will
 be 
considered 
as
their 
husband, 
or 
wife, 
or
 father, 
or 
guru, 
or
 whatever.
”
TKV Desikachar France May 1999

Download PDF of Interview with TKV Desikachar on Yoga in 
the
 
fields 
of 
Health,
 Psychology 
and
 Spirituality.

The Press tells us that over 20 million Americans ‘practice’ Yoga……

The Press tells us that over 20 million Americans ‘practice’ Yoga (and in the process spend 10.3 billion $ annually!). I wonder what that statistic, oft promoted as a success statement for Yoga, really means?

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Is Āsana (aka Yoga) now the ‘de rigueur’ modern makeup or……

Is Āsana (aka Yoga) now the ‘de rigueur’ modern makeup or even ‘prerequisite’ modern makeover for body, mind and soul?
So we can look, sound and be beautiful both outside and inside, to all and sundry?

Prāṇāyāma is the interface between Āsana and Dhyāna and an important……

Prāṇāyāma is the interface between Āsana and Dhyāna and an important (missing?) link in the evolution of one towards the other.

Yoga is a process to train a student, not a training to process a teacher.

Yoga is a process to train a student,
not a training to process a teacher.

The more students you have the less of a teacher you are.

The more students you have the less of a teacher you are.