This post ( taken from three earlier posts) looks at examples of Krishnamacharya's own late period asana practice as presented by his son in the book Emergence of Yoga as well as Krishnamacharya's own pranayama practice. In the third section of the post I take a closer look at Krishnamacharya's 'life saving' practice.
Exploring for ourselves Krishnamacharya's own practice outlined below, those coming from Ashtanga might like to explore it as it stands as a lighter moonday practice or perhaps on a Saturday. In regular practice, we might like to play with the concentration points and breathing options outlined when we reach the individual asana in our regular morning practice.
Those coming from Vinyasa krama might like to use the asana presented as signposts and bring in other asana as preparation and extensions, see my approach to the life saving practice at the end of the post.
Adhomukhapadmasana (but on belly)
Concentration: Kanta (throat)
What for example would your own personal pranayama practice be like?
Last year I picked up the Original French version of Emergence of yoga, written by Krishnamacharyas 3rd son T. K. Sribhashyam.
Amazon link Emergence du Yoga by Krishnamacharya's Son T. K. Sribashyam
My Review here
I took the section on Krishnamacharya's own practice ( apercu (overview?) in French, translated as 'Insight' in the English edition) and turned them into practice sheets and have been practicing them off and on all year
One example - Krishnamacharya own practice?
Quick Review: The Breathing God : Der Atmende Gott. DVD cover translation
REVIEW: Breath of God, Documentary on T. Krishnamacharya
There's a section in Emergence of Yoga titled 'Insight into my Father's practice session', I can't decide if 'insight' here means actual practices of Krishnamacharya as observed by the son or notes written down by the father, or practice sessions that are pretty much the kind of approach and content Krishnamacharya was taking at the time, after a lifetime of study and practice.
Nestled in amongst the integrated asana and pranayama practices is this example of a pranayama session. The book actually has a small chapter containing eleven other pranayama practice sessions. I don't remember this particular Pranayama session being in the original French version, I gave my copy away when the English edition came out so can't check.
It's a pleasure to practice, a nice mixture of pranayama's and I particularly like the employment of mantra's.
Ramaswami taught us to mentally recite a pranayama mantra built on the Gayatri in the kumbhaka after the inhalation,
My pranayama page
....here they are employed at each stage of the pranayama, mentally recite the Gayatri once on the inhalation, four times on the kumbhaka and twice during the exhalation.
I had the Krishnamacharya practice sheets I'd made up last year with me in Crete and practiced them after leaving Rethymno for Agios pavlos, I was looking forward to getting my hands back on the book after I arrived in Japan (I'd shipped my books over). Since arriving I've started working through all the examples of General practice in the order they're presented in the book. Sri Sribhashyam mentions that they are presented pedagogically and it's interesting to see how he's introducing the different elements of practice, alternatives to certain asana (sirsasana for example) more challenging asana, the Kumbhaka's (breath retentions) length of stay, the focal points (fascinating) and here, with Krishnamacharya's own practice, employment of mantra. The same goes for the pranayama chapter, they build up. If you find Krishnamacharya's pranayama session below too challenging for now then you can start with the first couple of pranayama's presented in the book.
The pranayama session nestled in amongst the integrated asana and pranayama practice sessions.
|MY REVIEW HERE http://grimmly2007.blogspot.jp/2014/04/emergence-of-yoga-by-krishnamacharyas.html|
'Life saving yoga session'
from the movie Der Atmende Gott
|8mm vintage video app for iPhone|
I've been exploring Krishnamacharya's so called ' Life Saving" sequence from the Der Atmende Gott movie this week. At first I tried it pretty straight, just as it's outlined on the DVD box, makes a nice extra evening practice. That straight version is represented below
Even added a video, mainly an excuse to play around with the filters on the Vintage 8mm video app from itunes.
What I'm finding more interesting though is using it as a framework for my main morning practice. I've included a couple of ideas for how you might pimp it up at the end of this post.
....or you could just use it as an alternative finishing sequence to your Ashtanga practice
The sequence, which was not taught anymore after Krishnamacharya's death and which was taught by his son TK shribayam to director Jan Schmidt-Garre after years of acquaintance during the filming of 'Der atmende Gott', is here disclosed in its original form.
Characteristic of the later Krishnamacharya and of the 'Life saving Yoga session' is the connection of postures, breathing and concentration in the sense of the orientation of the gaze and awareness of a focal point. Only when these elements form an organic connection can Yoga happen, according to Krishnamacharya
1. sit for 30-60 seconds with crossed legs in Padmasana. Concentration on Nasagra (point of the nose)
2. 16-24 Kapalabhati breaths (breath of fire, energeti inhale and exhale)
3. 12 breaths of ujjayi anuloma. Inhale: ujjayi, with slightly constricted throat, to drwa air into the lungs. Exhale: the hand forms a claw with thumb, ring- and little-fingers with which one nostril is alternately kept closed. Exhale very slowly through the open nostril, without ujjayi, beginning with the left
4. 3 breaths in matsyasana. Legs are closed in the lotus position
5. 3 breaths in bhujangasana. Start with open eyes and during the progression of movement, which start with the forehead, close the eyes. Concentration on Bhrumhadya (between the eyebrows)
6. 12 breaths in sarvangasana. The chin is closed in front of the straightened body. Hands close to the shoulderblades, concentration on Kanta (throat)
7. 12 breaths in sirsasana. Concentration on Nasagra (tip of the nose)
8. 3 breaths in halasana. Arms on the floor, hands clasped, palms towards the outside
9. 3 breaths in bhujangasana. Again start with open eyes and close them during the movement. Cncentration on Bhrumadhya (between the eyebrows)
10. 12 breaths in Maha-mudra (one-sided forward bend) six times on the left, then six times on the right. With the first inhale bring the arms over the head, with hands clasped, palms up. With the exhale get into the posture. Concentration on navel
11. 12 breaths in paschimottanasana, preparation and in maha mudra. The hands clasp the big toes, the back stays straight, neck and back form a lune. Concentration on the navel.
12. 30-60 Bastri breaths (rapid alternate breathing) in padmasana. The right hand builds a clasp as for anuloma ujjayi. Inhale and exhale through the left nostril, then change the grip and rapidly inhale and exhale through the right nostril. No ujjayi. end with an exhale from the left nostril and without pause move ot a long inhale in nadi shodan. Concentration on Nasagra
13. 12 breaths in nadi shodan (alternate breathing). Inhale very slowly from the half-closed left nostril, exchange grip ad after a short pause exhale very slowly through the half-closed right nostril. After a short pause inhale very slowly through the half-closed right nostril, change grip and after a short pause exhale through the half-clodes left nostril. No ujjayi. The left hand counts the breaths, with the thumb gliding over the twelve parts of the four fingers, from the third falanx of the little fingers in the direction towards outside to the point of the index finger. Concentration on Hrudaya (heart)
14. Prayer. Concentration on Hrudaya (heart)
In the coming book fom Shribashyam "How Yoga really was" this and similar sequences are explained in detail
*Thank you again to Chiara fro the translation from the German.
Here are some print out practice sheets.
I tend to follow this with a couple of Sun Salutations A and B, the full ten, five of each or 2x A and 3x B or just one of each taken nice and slow, or perhaps with the surynamaskara mantra, depends how much warm up you feel you need that morning.
|from my Kindle Vinyasa Yoga Practice book|