Thursday, 27 November 2014

from Chapter 1 YOGA RAHASYA OF NATHAMUNI - SRI T KRISHNAMACHARYA

Eddie Stern wrote at some length on Krishnamacharya's YogaRahasya of Nathamuni in this months Namarupa. I thought it might be a good opportunity to take a closer look at this fascinating text. Below are selected verses from the "hurried" translation by Ramaswami who wanted to teach the text on his LMU teacher training but at the time the KYM version was not readily available.

My friend Claudia gives a nice intro to the story of the text over on her blog
http://earthyogi.blogspot.ru/2011/05/yoga-rahasya-krishnamacharya-walks-over.html

T. Krishnamacharya

from Chapter 1 YOGA RAHASYA OF NATHAMUNI

Introduction

The learned person (dvija) can follow the yoga of devotion (Bhakti) or Prapatti (surrender). But the ignorant person should follow only the prapatti yoga,( as he has not the training and knowledge of Bhakti Yoga ). Bhakti Yoga is hat which is contained in Patanjala Yoga. Nyasa Vidya is suitable to those who are not well versed in shastras and Patanjala Yoga. (11)

More than men, women have the right and obligation to practice yoga, as they hold the key to healthy progeny. Women need to maintain good health to bring forth healthy offsprings and need to be free from afflictions and diseases due to microbes, and women shoul not allow themselves to become ill and diseased. (14,15)

Ashtanga yoga

In Ashtanga Yoga Yama along with Niyama come first. After having practiced these, one should practice asanas properly and regularly. (19)

Thereafter one should practice Pranayama and thence Pratyahara or sense control. Then one should practice dharana and dhyana to complete Samyama with Samadhi in the end. (20)

Without following this sequence (krama) or methodology, if one practices yoga as per the dictates of likes and dislikes, such an approach will not give any benefits os Ashtanga Yoga.(21)

Patanjali says in clear terms that one can get (Bhukti) material benefits (through Siddhis) and liberation from suffering (Mukti or Kaivalya). Those who practice different Samyamas to get material benefits (Siddhi) get material but impermanent benefits. One who desires liberation (Mokshaarti) through the path of Bhakti Yoga obtain it by the two tiers of Vairagya or dispassion, (I -22)

Let the lazy, non believers, ignorant, say whatever they want. What do we lose by their disparaging remarks? So thinking the Muni (yogi) goes about his pursuit with a determined mind.

The Yoga Teacher , who is well informed, quiet, self controlled should ponder over the time, place, age, avocation and energy of the student and instruct appropriately.

All asanas are not suitable for everyone, as the body structures are different being obese, lean, weak, crooked or disabled.

The yogic sages have averred that the teacher should first determine what is appropriate after finding their capabilities and the causes for their incapability.

Breathing

During daily (asana) practice, the practitioner should do inhalation, exhalation and breath holding following the Ujjayi method, within one’s capabilities.

Breath control is a necessary practice as everyone knows that life lasts only until the breathing lasts.

In Yoga practice, the exhalations and inhalations should be long and smooth. When prana is outside (exhaled) then it is called Recaka.

The yogic scholars proclaim that the breath enters the body correctly it is called puraka. !
If one is free from diseases and healthy, the breathing and worship of the Lord become easy to perform.

The Body/Senses

Even if one is a king, rich or a great scholar, if one is ill, one can never have mental peace in this world.
If one keeps one’s body under control, the senses also will be under control . With the senses under control, one enjoys peace of mind always.

The senses of perception are five in number, so are instruments of action (karmendriys). The eleventh Indriya is the mind. And the pranas are said to be ten in number.
Due to the agitation of Prana, all the indriyas also are disturbed and with the mind go towards external objects of the senses which are said to be poisonous. Therefore, one should control the Prana or vital force though recaka, puraka and kumbhaka.

The body is said to have six kosas (sacs or bag like organs) say the sages. They are the breathing bag (svasa kosa), anna kosa (food bag or stomch), mutra (of urine or bladder), mala (of feces or large intestines), rajo (blood or uterus) and virya (vitality or prostrate). (In some notes it has been mentioned virya or Rajor kosa and the other kosa would be hrudaya kosa or the heart).
By pranayama the kosas are purified. With that the whole body gets purified. And even the indriyas get purified with satwic food.

Mind

Without proper asana practice there can be no proper pranayama practice. Without Prana control, the mind cannot attain steadiness.

If the mind is steady one gets happiness (sukha) and mental peace. With a serene mind, all accomplishments take place easily. Those whose minds are in pain due to involvement pranayama is the best recourse


Bandhas

For everyone, the rate of breathing is about the same (about 15 per minute). But that number is greatly reduced by yogi by Pranayama practice. ( I-56)

It is therefore necessary to know the correct movement of the vital force (prana) The three activities (vritti) of Prana are racaka, puraka and kumbhaka.

There are three Bandhas that are important, the Mula, Uddiyana and Jalandharas. They are very helpful in controlling the prana (Pranayama).

Those who do not know the intricacies in detail, even if they practice pranayama, it will not fruitful.
The portions above below the navel should be drawn inward with effort, by contracting the mula, after complete exhalation. ..

The eyes must be kept closed and the eyeballs should be steady moving neither to the sides nor up and down. The head should be kept steady and the moth closed. (I63)

Uddiyana Bandha should be done only before eating. It can be done in different asanas, standing, sitting or even lying down.

This Bandha (Uddiyana) has the capacity to eradicate ailments of the spleen, liver and other diseases of stomach. It helps to move the shakti (kundalini). This should be practised after learning from a teacher and properly practising it.
Incorrect practice of this Bandha could lead to the disturbances of the Prana. Therefore one should approach a teacher who has learnt the Uddiyana Bandha correctly and practice it.

Uddiyana Bandha is an essential prerequisite of Jalandhara Bandha. So if one would practice Uddiyana Bandha firmly, all the nadi cakras become purified and also strong.

All the impurities that have accumulated in the spleen and liver are regularly cleaned up. Further the digestive fire increases and urinary ailments are also eradicated.
All the groups of diseases that arise out of the improper functioning of Apana Vayu are rooted out and the blood circulation also improves.

Uddiyana Bandha also removes completely tardiness and fatigue. By moderate diet one gets to do Uddina Bandha properly.
Now is explained the method of doing Bandha known as Jalandhara. It is so known as it always arrests the essence (jala) of raktha flowing through the fine vessels (capillaries) called sira

In yogic parlance, this Bandha is appropriately called Jalandhara. The essence of rakta (also known as amrita or necter) flows throg the capillary and spreads and maintains life. Since it arrests wasteful flow of the necter it is called Jalandhara Bandha.

(One may practice this Bandha) in padmasana, Brahmasana, Siddhasana, svastikasana, vajrasana, Baddhakona Bhadrasana and Mulabandhasana.

Further some yogis say that Dandasana, Kraunchasana, virasana, also are suitable to master Jalandhara Bandha.
Specifically, by contracting the throat, one should place the chin against (the region) of the heart. Then keeping the focus between the eyebrows, the eyes should remain closed. !
The wise yogi would keep the body straight and keep the backbone like a staff without any crookedness in the body and the seat firmly placed.

Placing the hands on the knees, keep the body straight and steady and keeping the throat contracted and placed firmly (against the chest)

Beginners may experience some pain in the neck in the head. But it goes away quickly with daily practice.(I-78)

Pranayama, japa, home  (fire worship), meditation, and teaching a student should be done seated for the sake only of stability of the mind.

This Bandha should not be done while standing, lyind down or walking, except in asanas where it is specially considered to be useful. It should not be done after a meal or drinkinga lot of water.

Mantra

One should use the appropriate mantra in Pranayama practice. In the treatment of all diseases Pranayama gives results.

In the world people with absolute faith in God or with full of detachment are very few. So the Shastras mention about the fruits of our action in the beginning itself.

In the world people make any efforts only after knowing the benefits of such actions. The main benefits (of pranayama with Mantras) are mental stability, relief from sorrow/ mental pain, long life and development of devotion to the Lord.

It is ordained that one should do all aspects yoga as an offering to the Lord, Sriman Narayana, the Supreme Bing.

Pranayama

As in Asana practice, in Pranayama also one should follow the correct procedures.
One should practice exhalation at the beginning to one’s capacity and then inhalation, and then breath holding. Thereafter one should increase duration of exhalation, inhalation and breath holding. (I 90)

The wise say that the breath should be smooth via the throat nadi , with a slight sound but without any break. It should be done with the mouth closed and uniformly.

One should do breathholding after both inhalation and exhalation, consistent with one’s capability. It should be done in a proper seated posture with a straight body and eyes closed.
It should be done before taking food or six hours after taking food so that the inhalations and exhalations will be be long and smooth and not rapid.

One should unequal vrittis of inhalation and exhalation only after practicing the equal duration (samavritti) pranayama.
Pranayama done without the three bandhas are not useful. Further it could lead to some ailments.

Pranayama is of two types, one done without mantras and the other with mantras. One should choose the appropriate manta for individual requirements.
Sagarbha is with mantra and vigarbha is without mantra. The smritis (texts) say that Pranayama done with mantra is commendable while the other is considered inferior.

Sagarbha pranayama destroys fluctuations/ unsteadiness of the mindl quickly. Further it it brings in longer life, clarity of the mind and removes several ailments.
By the practice of pranayama, one becomes fit to practice dharana and dhyana (meditation) . So Pranayama is very useful practice indeed.

Ujjayi, Nadishuddhi, Suryabheda, Bhastrika, Sitkaari, Sitali, lahari, Bhraamari, Kapalabhati, aandoli, are the ten pranayamas texts refer to.
But for Bhastrika and Kapalabhati, all other pranayamas should be practiced with the three bandhas, whereas the two should be done with Jalandharabandha.

All pranayamas can be done either in samavritti or vishamavritti modes. With Kapalabhati and Bhastrika, vishamavritti is not permitted.
As Headstand and Lotus are considered the best among asanas, Nadishodhana is considered the best of pranayamas.

Other pranayamas give specific benefits whereas Nadishodana gives all the benefits.
As you have faith so will the benefits be with pranayama. With devotion to the Lord Narayana always one should always partaking limited satwic food . (105)

For measuring the length of the breath ‘Om’ is agreeable to the scriptures. Whether the pranayama is equal and variable duration, mantras should be used.
All mantras merge (emanate from) Pranava, the head of all Vedas. As all rivers merge in the oceon, all mantras merge into the Pranava.

In Patanjala Yoga Sutra, Paramatma is identified with Pranava. It should be repeated (japa) with the mind meditating on its meaning.

Some experts proclaim using Gayatri with the he seven Vyahrutis and Siras in Pranayama, reflecting on the meaning as well.

This mantra pranayama referred to should be used in only vishama vritti pranayama.
Doing this with mantra pranayama while holding the breath three times, is referred to as pranayama, by the great sage Manu.

Selections from chapter 1

Selections from chapter 2

Selections from chapter 3

Selections from chapter 4 
http://grimmly2007.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/from-chapter-4-yoga-rahasya-of.html



Appendix


Relates to comments from Charlie
Bhadrapitham translated as Bhadrasana.

Sloka 1-73 from Yoga Rahasya
Translated by TKV Desikachar




from Chapter 2 YOGA RAHASYA OF NATHAMUNI - SRI T KRISHNAMACHARYA

Eddie Stern wrote at some length on Krishnamacharya's YogaRahasya of Nathamuni in this months Namarupa. I thought it might be a good opportunity to take a closer look at this fascinating text. Below is the "hurried" translation by Ramaswami who wanted to teach the text on his LMU teacher training but at the time the KYM version was not readily available.

My friend Claudia gives a nice intro to the story of the text over on her blog
http://earthyogi.blogspot.ru/2011/05/yoga-rahasya-krishnamacharya-walks-over.html

Below - Krishnamacharya with Srivatsa Ramaswami



Chapter II Viniyoga

To make available to all the different parts of Yoga, the proper method of using them this chapter called viniyoga is presented by Nathamuni.

The methods of the eight parts of yoga practice are of three types; early stage of life, steady part of life and end of life.
Srishtikrama is for Brahmacharis (bachelors(, sthiti is for family people and the laya krama is for sanyasis or renouncee Yogis. Yoga should be learnt according to the stage of life.

Srishtikrama is that method which helps to strengthen the muscles, the senses and strength to the body.

Up to the age of 25, one is called a Brahmachari. This is applicable to those who engage in the orthodox study of the Vedas. For the rest such classifications are unclear.

Brahmacharis are those who at the proper age get initiated into the studies of the scriptures and learn the branch of Vedas to which they traditionally belong to.

Such Brahmacharis must pactise the different angas of Yoga daily for the strengthening of memory of the Vedas studied and for the nourishment of the body and the senses.

The student,living in the ashram of the Guru should practice the angas of Yoga to be free of diseases, and other impediments for studies.

The student under the guidance of the teacher should practice yoga regularly in an orderly manner, for the proper development of the body, senses and the kosas/ internal vital organs.

He should focus on such practices that strengthen the brain, generative organs and the senses of sight,smell,taste,touch and hearing.


One whose inhalation and exhalation rae of equl duration and long and even, has no fear of death.

One who can exhibit this quality of inhalation in lying sitting asanas and also in pranayama practice need not fear death.

It is the excess of medhas (fat) and mamsa(flesh) inside and outside the body which block the movement of prana in the nadis, kosas, granthis and joints.

All those that help to increase the length, evenness and ease of the breath should be practiced regularly.

The scriptures aver that the position of prana, mind, the soul and the Supreme Lord are one and the same—the heart. ( II-31)


After meditating on the Lord, the Compassionate One, and surrendering everything to Him, one should start Chikitsa routine.
One should practice sthitikrama until one is 75 years old whether single or married.
For a householder practicing Yoga is difficult not possible to get it properly as the family one’s life is full of obstacles.

The whole world knows that the housewife is the protector of the world undoubtedly. She gives education, food, wealth and place to live.
The housewives so fully occupied in taking care of children, grandchildren, relatives, others in want, dependents, household animals and others. But they have little time to take care of themselves.

Under such circumstances, how can women who are always occupied practice yoga? But then without them,life in this world is like flowers in the sky. (Impossile)

It is therefore necessary for women to practice a few angas of yoga with discipline, for the protection of the entire family.
They may also follow the proper dharma constantly and consistent with their asrama and varna to please the Lord.

They must cleanse the body consistent with their own family tradition, even at the risk of being criticized by others.
For householders, who should practice the sthiti krama, Pranayamais most important. This is my view.

By practice of Pranayama the dross of the nadisare eliminated from the body through the many channels.
It can be concluded that the toxins in the body are removed if one’s inhalation exhalation and retention are long even and effortless.

Due to proper regulation of the breath, the impurities are removed> then the householder attains clarity of the mind. II 48)
In Pranayama, are well known anuloma, pratiloma and viloma methods. Then it includes internal and external holding of breath.

Pranayama if done with Mula, uddiyana and Jalandhara bandhas is capable of completely uprooting all ailments.
The three bandhas are to be practiced only before taking food. One should lift the mula after exhalation and hold it firmly.

Then one should do Uddiyana bandha and thereafter Jalandharabandha. Then one can do inhalation.
Pranayama is also classified in two ways, Samavritti and vishamavritti depending on the duration of inhalation, exhalation and breathholding.

For starters, sama vritti pranayama is comfortable. The length of exhalation, inhalation and breathholding depends on one’s capacity.

Forceful breath work is detrimental to Prana, the life force. Therefore before teaching pranayama one should assess the capacity/ limitations of the learner.

Whether sama vritti or vishama vritti is practiced, the practitioner should oneself carefully follow, test and verify with clarity.
One who follows the path of yoga should practice the part of yoga called pranayama before dawn, at noon, by sunset and even midnight.

The directions of the teacher should be carefully followed by the learner, never inconsistent with tradition, whether one does samantraka or amantraka pranayama. !
It is known as vishama vritii when the duration of each aspect of pranayama is varied. The ratio of 1 to 4 to 2 for inhalation, breathholding and exhalation is the best.

This method of cleansing the nadis is acceptable for all yogis for long. With cleared nadis the prana moves freely and can do its work properly.
Ujjayi, Nadisodhana, Suryabhedha and sitali have been approved by many.
Pranayama practice done in a disciplined way will help remove ailments o bladder, liver, spleen, diaphragm and heart.

Also they will have a long life, have a steady mind provided they surrender to the lotus feet of the Lord.

The central teaching of Upanishad is the integrated approach of wisdom and action. This is possible if one has firm and healthy body (with the Lord) in the heart.

Selections from chapter 1

Selections from chapter 2

Selections from chapter 3

Selections from chapter 4 

from Chapter 3 YOGA RAHASYA OF NATHAMUNI - SRI T KRISHNAMACHARYA

Eddie Stern wrote at some length on Krishnamacharya's YogaRahasya of Nathamuni in this months Namarupa. I thought it might be a good opportunity to take a closer look at this fascinating text. Below are selected verses from the "hurried" translation by Ramaswami who wanted to teach the text on his LMU teacher training but at the time the KYM version was not readily available.

My friend Claudia gives a nice intro to the story of the text over on her blog
http://earthyogi.blogspot.ru/2011/05/yoga-rahasya-krishnamacharya-walks-over.html


CH III Vimarsanadhyaya

Without chanting and study of the scriptures (anadhyayana), the practice of yoga , without sense control or meditation (samyama), the body breath and the mind get restless. !

Regular practice of yogangas and study and chanting of the scriptures will help remove disturbances during meditation and worship of the Lord.

In the viniyoga chapter the practices for one’s benefits were explained. Now, some practices that will help one in the spiritual goal (atmarti)

If God does not exist, He does not, even so there is no loss for the believer in God. But for the non -believer, if God exists the loss is immense indeed. The nature of God is self revealing, beyond the scope of senses and mind.

Agitation of the mind, trembling of the body all happen in an intensified form always due to eating without any niyama or control.

If one wants to experience the Highest, one should practice Pranayama. It also prevents illness of intestines, spleen, liver and bladder.
The disturbances of breath lead to the diseases of the kosas. And by the practice of Pranayama alone, can the kosas be purified.

By adopting proper disciplined procedures of Yoga, which consistent with one’s capabilities, the breath comes under one’s control. There is no other method.

Selections from chapter 1

Selections from chapter 2

Selections from chapter 3

Selections from chapter 4 

from Chapter 4 YOGA RAHASYA OF NATHAMUNI - SRI T KRISHNAMACHARYA

Eddie Stern wrote at some length on Krishnamacharya's YogaRahasya of Nathamuni in this months Namarupa. I thought it might be a good opportunity to take a closer look at this fascinating text. Below are selected verses from the "hurried" translation by Ramaswami who wanted to teach the text on his LMU teacher training but at the time the KYM version was not readily available.

My friend Claudia gives a nice intro to the story of the text over on her blog
http://earthyogi.blogspot.ru/2011/05/yoga-rahasya-krishnamacharya-walks-over.html

from Ch IV KALA ADHYAAYA (final chapter).

Further one should know how favourable and unfavourable things happen to Yogis.
How and whence things that ar favorable and unfavorable emanate. Is it true or just and illusion?

Knowing this well, one should start the practice of Kriya yoga. Else the desired results may not be achieved.

As a matter of fact, everything in this world is neither favorable nor unfavorable.
Because of the constant changes of the gunas, and also due to the actions, objects change every moment, resulting in objects being favorable or unfavorable.

Whether or not a particular object is favorable or not, it is all in the mind. Due to the changes in the mind this can be viewed in two ways.
Changes take place in the mind because of past karmas, present activities and also the changes taking place in the mind itself.

Perception of the changes takes place due to the activities of the bhutas every moment and the Jivatma’s attachment to material objects. (IV-9)

The mind takes the form of the object through the senses and the objects are known as sthula and sukshma.

Man who has 16 kalas (like the moon with 16 kalas changes constantly) serves the objects, which are like poison has a dstracted mind.
!
Objects undergo unexpected changes moment after moment,thereby producing anukula or pratikula.
Why are those people who believe God provides everything, be concerned with finding what are favorable and what are not avorable. Which arguments are wasteful.
!
By the practice of Yoga one would understand what is and what is not favorable to the body.
When the body gets back its strength, the practitioner can continue with the practice to have continuous happiness’
!
When the body and senses become weak due to yoga practice, the yogi should enquire into the cause and with a steady mind set it right.
The debility could have arisen out of not following the yamaniyamas, attachment to outside objects, mindless practice and disregard for the breath.

All objects contain pure and impure aspects in equal measure. To refine objects, the virtuous qualities, the defects, the good and the bad must be known.

The body should be used to destroy the diseases of the body (by Yoga). And the disturbances of the mind can be reduced by Pranayama.

For those whose minds are always engulfed by women (or sex), what is the use of studies, tapas, religious sacrifices, study of the Vedas or observing silence. (IV 36)

One cannot conceptualize what can not be seen or hear. One can not calm the mind without Pranayama.

Improper practice of yoga leads to diseases. A disciplined practice of yoga leads to removal of diseases.
Some ailments can be eradicated by means of meditation, some are eradicated by asanas, and some others through tapas, mantras and herbal medicines.

There are different approaches resorted to to obtain good healthy body, and thereafter such learned people attempt to get different results.
These means or systems may produce ill health or other undesirable effects with an end. This is similar to cultivating plants that produce inedible fruits.

In this Kali Yuga, people to get some money, give up friends, this precious life itself, and even destroys one’s own relatives.

There are evil people who only for the sake of their stomach and sex, do not protect their own parents, children, wife and other well wishers.
Oil,wick and fire work in unison to produce a lamp, so is the life withing the body. Let it be properly nourished.

Selections from chapter 1

Selections from chapter 2

Selections from chapter 3

Selections from chapter 4 

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Moscow : Krishnamacharya's Ashtanga, a stripped back practice

I'm in Russia all week having just taught a Krishnamacharya workshop at Yoga108 Moscow ( see pictures below) and am heading over to offer the same workshop at Yoga108 Saint Petersburg, this coming weekend. See this link. http://yoga108.ru/seminars/y2014/m11/n228


One thing that has struck me while being in a Russia is how stripped back Krishnamacharya's teaching is. We have the practice and we have the text, whatever that text may be. In the case of the text, Krishnamacharya would supposedly go through it, whether, Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, the Gita, different Upanishad, word by word, then phrase by phrase before bringing in discussion of the important commentaries and only then perhaps bring in his own commentary, this is the way Ramaswami taught us Yoga sutras also actually and I imagine how he will be teaching the Gita in the UK in May.

It's the same with the practice except that Krishnamacharya goes through each asana and vinyasa breath by breath, kumbhaka by kumbhaka, Banda by bandha.....and that's pretty much it, that's the practice right there. There's no industry to be built here, even the teacher gets to step back and remove himselfherself so as not to become a distraction.

Perhaps it's because Krishnamacharya seems to have stressed the Yoga Sutras rather than say the Hatha Yoga Pradipka, YS is the text, for Krishnamacharya, to throw yourself into if you feel so inclined, explore the yamas and niyamas, all you need to know about them is right there, the same goes for the meditative limbs, all the methodology is laid out step by step. That's your rabbit hole if you care to dive into it.

It's very different from stressing Hatha Yoga Pradipka say, Krishnamacharya seems to have a complicated relationship with that text, he employs it, refers to it occasionally but often critically, outlining but then dismissing many of the practices. HYP strikes me as a 'rabbit hole' that's very easy to get lost down, did Krishnamacharya to see it as a distraction or is it perhaps that he wasn't initiated into it, Yogayajnavalkya seems to have played more of a role or at least a text he turns to more than HYP. I have a post in draft form I must finish where Krishnamacharya refers to certain asana as belonging to Hatha or to Raja. Hatha seems to be an approach he is prepared to turn to occasionally rather than immerse oneself in.

Could Krishnamacharya keep it more simple, work at your yamaniyams, practice your chosen asana introducing breath, kumbhaka and bandha, keep your pranayama straightforward but consistent, don't miss out on Pratyahara. And once the room has been swept/cleaned in this way.... live/sit in it and practice Dharana/Dhyana as outlined in Yajnavalkya and Patanjali.

He doesn't seem to allow us to get distracted ( I had to resort to his biography ) there's nothing to fall into. The only rabbit hole to get lost in is the/your practice itself, he seems to have intentionally avoided all tendencies for distraction that we so often fall into.

THE RABBIT HOLE CHECK : Is this a distraction or a support for my practice?

Is this where Pattabhi Jois gets his 5% theory, 95% practice from.

But we might also ask. 

Does the practice ( have a tendency to) become a distraction from the practice?

A distraction from the Yamaniyams, from the Pranayama ( if it's as gentle as Krishnmacharya seems to have taught it then we don't need to be supermen to practice it).... from the other limbs. 

Why do we keep putting off all the good stuff, the important stuff because if we're going to throw ourselves into the asana then we might as well have thrown ourselves into HYP. The practice seems to have been kept simple for a reason.

And yet Krishnmacharya was a scholar, quite remarkable that he managed to keep his teaching so stripped back despite all that knowledge that he had accumulated. Saving it up for classes on particular texts perhaps, if a student, like Ramaswami, Mohan  was interested in the philosophical aspect, the Vedic chanting then Krishnamacharya was more than happy to offer it but he seems have managed to keep it related but essentially seperate. There is practice and then there support for the practice.

He doesn't even seem to allow us to get lost in Parampara, he barely mentions it ( if at all in his texts actually), perhaps the practice itself is all the light shining guru we need.

This is clearly a gross simplification of course but is there any truth to it and I what sense. How did Krishnamacharya himself manage to keep his practice and his academic and scholarly interests seemingly seperate or at least compartmentalised.

Impossible to post properly from the iPad and it's blogging apps, let alone edit but the above is what's been going around and around my head all week, over the next few weeks//months I'm going to be going back through his texts, reflecting on how much, if at all, that is actually the case.




















My own practice too has become 'stripped back' these last few weeks of traveling. Here in Russia I'm down to just a couple of asana and long stay mudras preferring to spend more time on Pranayama and a longer sit. It will be interesting to see if I go back to more asana whn I get back to Japan or settle on this more Shribhashyam ( Emergence of Yoga) approach to practice.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

My Moscow Workshop

Yoga 108, Moscow, RUSSIA 
Sat/Sun 22/23 November 2014

Still can't believe I made it to Russia this lifetime, that you to Iyla and Yoga108 for inviting me.

Only just made it. Arrived in London from Japan and had a week to exchange my Japanese Certificate of Eligibility into a full Japanese Spouse Visa which I could then take over to the Russian passport office in the hope they could get me an emergency Russian Visa before the weekend. All work out fine with a whole day to spare.

Moscow was magnificent, the grand old dame of Europe, honestly it took my breath away again and again, it's difficult to think of a city that competes with it for sheer scale and grandeur, do visit but take the widest angle lens you can find. 




Thank you to Ivan and Valariya for looking after me, sharing gallons of their families honey and introducing me to buckwheat

I had hoped to attend David Robson's workshop during the rest of the week but ended up being a little out of the way to make it in to Mysore each morning, pleasure t meet David though at the airport as well as Dmitry.


I'd promised my dear friend Satori a postcard from Russia, finally found a postcard on the last day  but not a post office that was open, this 1957 Sputnik stamp is to make some amends. Saw one of the original sputniks in the Russian aeronautical museum in Moscow.


A pleasure to meet up with Ilya Zhuralev, one of the founders of of Yoga108 (along with Mikhail Baranov) and the excellent Wild Yogi magazine, knowledgable guy.






Also a pleasure to work again with Maria Voroboyeva, one of the teachers at yoga108 who had been translating my classes on the Yoga Rainbow festival earlier in the year.












No, not The Lion King, shirt from my friend Ryan the lion at One Yoga

Screenshot of the cover of Ramaswami's Complete Book of Vinyasa Yoga

And Petri Räisänen's new book ( Ashtanga second series) is out in Russian already (still waiting of the English translation), a gift from the translator who attended the workshop, Thank you, so much for this.


Tuesday, 18 November 2014

My Follow up/Part II Workshop: Stone Monkey

Stone Monkey, 
Leamington Spa, UK
Sunday 16th November
http://www.stonemonkey-yoga.co.uk/?page_id=202

On Sunday it was a great pleasure to be back in Leamington Spa at Digby's Stonemonkey studio and cafe, something to do perhaps with going back to a place, meeting up with some who had attended my workshop there earlier in the year, seeing Digby, Maddy and Michelle again and just the general atmosphere of the shala, where so many knew each other and any ice easily broken in the cafe upstairs. Digby makes a mean espresso too which always helps.

Being a follow up workshop we were able to review what we'd looked at earlier in the year as well as cover a little more ground. We looked more closely at the second half of Krishnamacharya's primary group asana as well as at another Vinyasa Krama sequence.























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A Reminder

from Kalama sutra, translation from the Pali by Bhikkhu Bodhi This blog included.

"So, as I said, Kalamas: 'Don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, "This contemplative is our teacher." When you know for yourselves that, "These qualities are unskillful; these qualities are blameworthy; these qualities are criticized by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to harm & to suffering" — then you should abandon them.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.

"Now, Kalamas, don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, 'This contemplative is our teacher.' When you know for yourselves that, 'These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness' — then you should enter & remain in them. Buddha - Kalama Sutta
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