This blog is essentially 'sleeping'.

I've deleted or returned to draft 80% of the blog, gone are most, if not all, of the videos I posted of Pattabhi Jois, gone are most of the posts regarding my own practice as well as most of my practice videos in YouTube, other than those linked to my Vinyasa Yoga Practice Book).

Mostly I've just retained the 'Research' posts, those relating to Krishnamacharya in particular.

Blog Comments are turned off, there are no "members" of this blog .

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

More Krishnamacharya's Yogasangalu translation : Pranayama Special benefits

Pages 30-31 regarding "special benefits" is done.  Next section is Mudras which he skips by referring to yogamakaranda" and then kriyas.  

Summary: In the practitioner who performs the above described bandha according to the instructions of his guru, brain essence can not be destroyed by the jataragni.  In addition, relief from gas related abdominal bloating is also achieved.

In Pranayama, all three bandhas must be practiced.  After rechaka, one must do jalandharabandha, moolabandha and uddiyanabandha while after puraka, moolabandha and jalandarabandha must be followed without fail during pranayama.

In yogashastra, one must do 320 pranayamas everyday.  This means that it was classfied as 80 in the morning, 80 in the afternoon, 80 in the evening and 80 in mid-night.  Since this is impossible, one can do 80 pranayama in one sitting.  The reason is that now a days, you need to spend more time working to support your life.  Benefits are delayed too.

Rechaka, puraka and kumbhaka when practiced with equal time and equal numbers are called “Samavrutti pranayama.”  

When practiced with variations (increase and/or decrease) in time and numbers it is called “Vishamavrutti pranayama”.

Those who learn it from a Guru will learn to practice properly.

Those who are not proficient in yogasana  will not be able to get expertise in pranayama.

Women who are not pregnant have equal rights as men.  Even in pregnancy they have the right to practice samasankya samavrutti pranayama.  However, after the 6-month of pregnancy,  they can not practice that (samavrutti pranayama) also.  Yoganga applies equally to both men and women except during pregnancy - please remember this.

Some are saying that Nauli, Neti, Vasti, Vajroli, Dhauti, Khechari etc., kriyas are also part of yoganga and propagating such information through various texts is very unfortunate.

Any text that shows a list of yogangas does not say so.  “Hatayogapradipika” lists them under a separate heading “Shatkriyas” and in the same text clearly states that everyone should not practice it.

मेदःश्लेश्माधिकः पूर्वं षटकर्माणि समाचरेत्।
अन्यस्तु नाचरेत्तानि दोषाणां समभावतः॥

Medha shleshmadhikah poorvam shatkarmani samacharet|
Anystu nacharettani doshanam samabhavatah||

Therefore, we should pay attention to this rule and use it only as treatment for certain diseases such as those caused by excess fat.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Another 'lost' text/work by Krishnamacharya?

So we have the translation to krishnamacharya's Yogasangagalu coming along nicely HERE but now I come across this....
Salutations to the Teacher and the Eternal one

"During this time, I also had the good fortune to receive some of the early writings of Sti t. Krishnamacharya of madras (present day Chenni). Among these, one short work has influenced me profoundly: Salutations to the Teacher and the Eternal one. It has been the book more than any other that has helped me to decipher and understand the ancient hatha yogic texts in their fullness "
Shandor Remete, Shadow Yoga Chaya Yoga

Anyone know of, seen or has access to a copy of this work?

Here's another reference to to from Peter Sterios writing in Yoga Journal

"In "Salutation to the Teacher and the Eternal One," a paper written by T. Krishnamacharya and distributed to students at the Yoga Mandiram in Madras, he says: "One important thing to be constantly kept in mind when doing asanas is the regulation of the breath. It should be slow, thin, long, and steady: breathing through both nostrils with a rubbing sensation at the throat and through the esophagus, inhaling when coming to the straight posture, and exhaling when bending the body."

Text released by AG Mohan see this post

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Krishnamacharya's Yoga Makaranda, some extended stay options.

"(caturanga Dandasana) ...Remain in this stithi for at least ten minutes..."

"(Urdhvamukhasvanasana)...make the effort to practice until it becomes possible to stay in this asana for fifteen minutes."

"(Ardhomukhasvanasana)... As a result of the strength of practice, one learns to hold this posture for fifteen minutes."

"(Trikonasana)... This asana must be practiced for a minimum of ten minutes. However slowly and patiently we practice this this, there is that much corresponding benefit."

"(Mayurasana)...This asana stithi should be held from 1 minute to 3 hours according to the practitioner's capability..... If this asana is practiced every day for at least fifteen minutes, a lot of benefits are achieved."

" (Tadasana)... Stand with arms raised above the head, for fifteen minutes daily. Make this a routine."

Quotes from Krishnamacharya's Yoga Makaranda pages 65-69, 97, 142 146. See HERE for free download.


For more on extended stays, my Ashtanga Rishi Series page

'Originally there were five series: Primary, Intermediate, Advanced A, Advanced B, and the fifth was the “rishi” series'.

Ashtanga Rishi Approach
'...Doing a practice of 10 postures for up to 50 breaths is a method of preparing for "advanced series" after one has learned 1st and 2nd. It can be done once or twice a week. One does the "salutations" and then starts going thru the series, holding each posture for as long as comfortably possible. Notice which postures could be held for 50 breaths. The next time you practice this way, the postures which you could hold for 50 are omitted and new ones are added at the end. One gradually works thru the series, dropping and adding asanas, still doing 10 asanas per session. I have gone all the way thru 1st and 2nd this way several times over the years and have found it beneficiall'.

Ashtanga Rishi Series
'Then, once one has mastered all of the asanas, one can practice "the rishi series", the most advanced practice. One does the 10 postures that one intuits will be the most beneficial and appropriate for that day, holding each posture for up to 50 comfortable breaths'.



In practice

To explore these longer stays, I decided on a 'Rishi series' practice this morning.

Started off with my regular Vinyasa Krama ten minute tadasana routine followed by....

Tadasana : 5 mins rather than fifteen (could have stayed probably for another five but decided not to overdo it first go)

Five regular Surya namaskara's 2 A's , 3 B's

Ardhomukhasvanasana : 10 minutes (have been working on longer stays here for a while, good for waking up the bandhas).

Urdhvamukhasvanasana 5 minutes (amazing how the hips drop on their own as it goes on)

Caturanga Dandasana : 2 minutes only, half a minute rest after the first minute but managed twenty-five breaths).

Trikonasana : 5minutes (two and a half each side then repeated)

Mayurasana: 1 1/2 minutes only ( Kept falling out of it after five to ten seconds, sweaty. Took four goes to reach twenty five breaths - Fiffteen minutes daily…really?)

For the rest of the practice I included some of the longer stays Krishnamacharya recommended to Ramaswami

Maha mudra : 5 minutes each side

Paschimottanasana : 5 minutes

Savangasana : 5 minutes

Sirsasana : 5 minutes

Badha konasana : 5 minutes

…..then on into pranayama, pratyahara and Japa (mantra) meditation.

Good to be reminded that the postures within the Surya Namaskar are postures in their own right and to treat them as such. I may not stay for twenty-five breaths or ten to fifteen minutes each morning but will stay in Ardhomukhasvanasana, Urdhvamukhasvanasana, and Caturanga Dandasana for a good five to ten breaths more often. Trikonasana I've been staying in for longer recently anyway and I've been practicing mayurasana again recently, for the last couple of weeks.

I was wondering, could Krishnamacharya really stay in chaturanga dandasana for TEN MINUTES, and then I remembered the other version pictured in his Yoga Makaranda, where the hands are placed much lower, almost at the hips.

I tried it, really really hard. If Krishnamacharya could hold this posture long enough to have a photo taken in the 1930's then he probably could hold chatauranga for ten minutes.

Monday, 4 June 2012

More krishnamacharya's Yogasanagalu ; Bandhas.

In the section below Krishnamacharya is quoting Svatmarama's Hathayogaprapdika, Chapter III On the bandhas

Three Bandhas

1. Moolabandha 2. Uddiyanabandha and 3. Jaladarabandha.  Bandha means - binding, tying or confining.  When you are practicing the yoganga called pranayama, the central part of the body from the base of the reproductive parts to the neck region must be tied up on our own volition.  Without these three bandhas, full benefits of pranayama can not be achieved for sure.  Therefore, practitioners must do this carefully.

1. Moolabhanda characteristics (in Hatahyogapradipika)

Procedure for binding

पार्श्णिभागेन संपीड्य योनिमाकुंचयद्गुदं
अपानमूर्ध्वमत्क्रुश्य मूलबंधोऽ भिधीयते॥

Parshnibhagena sampidya yonimakunchayeddgudam|
Apanamoordhwamatkrushya moolabhandho bhidhiyate|| HYP III-61

Summary: Sit while pressing the perineum with the heel, contract the rectum firmly, withdraw and hold the lower abdomen.

Reason for the name

अधोगतिमपानं वै ऊर्ध्वगं कुरुते बलात्।
आकुंचेन तं प्राहुर्मूलभंदं हि योगिनः॥

Adhogatimapanam vai oordhwagam kurute balat|
Aakunchena tam prahurmoolabhandam hi yoginah|| HYP III-62

Summary: This forces the apanavayu to flow upwards rather than down the rectum which can cause weakness. Therefore, this is called Moolabhanda.  According to yogi’s common usage, moola means, the bad vayu (prana)  that can cause the musculature of the lower abdomen to become weak.

Special procedure

गुदं पार्श्ण्या तु संपीड्य पायुमाकुंचयेत् बलात्।
वारं वारं यथा चोर्ध्वं समायति स्मीर​णः॥

Gudam parshrnya tu sampeedya paayumakuchayetat balat|
varam varam yatha chordhwam samayati sameeranah|| HYP III-63

Summary: Firmly press the perineum from the heels of both feet, contract the inner rectum tightly, move the lower abdomen back and forth.

Benefits of moolabhanda

प्रानापानौ नादबिंदू मूलभंदेन चैकताम्।
गत्वा योगस्य संसिद्धिं यच्चतो नात्र संशयः॥

praanapanou nadabindu moolabhandena chaikatam|
gatva yogasya samsiddhim yachhato natra samshayah|| HYP III-64

Summary: By practicing moolabhanda, pranavayu, apanavayu, hrudayadhwani and veeryabindu are united resulting in yogic benefits.

Special benefits

अपानप्राणयोरैक्यं  क्शयो मूत्रपुरीषयोः।
युवा भवति व्रुद्धोऽपि सततं मूलभंधनात्॥

Apanapranayoraikyam kshayo mootrapurishayoh|
yuva bhavati vruddhopi statam moolabandhanat|| HYP III-65

Summary: The union of pranavayu and apanavayu reduces the frequency of urination and defecation.  Those who practice regularly feel youthfulness even in old age.

2. Uddiyanabandha

The basis for its name from Hathayogapradipika-

बद्धो येन सुषुम्नायां प्रानस्तूड्डीयते यतः।
तस्मादुड्डीयनाख्योऽयं योगिभिस्समुदाह्रुतः॥

Baddho yena sushumnayam praanastuddiyate yatah|
Tasmaduddiyanachoyam yogibhissamudahrutah|| HYP III-55

Summary: The part of the body when tightly bound makes pranavayu which is the basis of life move in the form of a fine thread along the spinal cord all the way to Brahma randhra (center of brain) within the Sushumna  nadi (channel) is called uddiyanabandha.

Characteristics of Uddiyanabandha

उदरे पश्चिमं तानं नाभेरूर्ध्वं समाचरेत्।
उड्डियाणो ह्यसो बन्धो म्रुत्युमातंगकेसरि॥

Udare paschimam tanam nabheroordhwam samacharet|
Uddiyano hyaso bandho mrutyumatangakesari|| HYP III-57

Summary:  Along with the navel, draw in the lower and upper abdomen to press against the
back bones (spine) tightly.  When practicing this, perform a deep rechaka (exhalation) in the utkatasana state, draw in the abdomen tightly holding breath for a little while.  This is like a lion for the intoxicated elephant, meaning the man who performs this has no fear of death. Those who have a big tummy must try to reduce the abdominal fat by performing many asanas and then can practice this. Such (obese) people must develop a solid paschimotanasana practice.  In addition, strong rechaka (exhalation) must also be developed.

Its benefits

उड्डियाणं तु सहजं गुरुणा कथितं सदा।
अभ्यसेत्सततं यस्तु व्रुद्धोऽपि तरुणायते॥

Uddiyanam tu sahajam kathitam sada|
Abhyasetsatatam yastu vruddhopi tarunayate|| HYP III-58

Summary: Those who practice this bandha daily according to the teachings of the guru, they will retain youthful vigor even in old age.

नाभेरूर्ध्वमदस्चापि तानं कुर्यात् प्रयत्नतः।
षण्मासमभ्यसेन्म्रुत्युं जयत्येव न संशयः॥

Naabheroordhwamadaschapi tanam kuryat prayatnatah|
Shanmasamabhyasenmrutyum jayatyeva na samshayah|| HYP III-59

Summary: Those who practice uddiyanabandha systematically by drawing in the upper and lower abdominal regions tightly so as to touch the back bone will achieve immortality.

3. Jalandharabandha

कंठमाकुंच्य ह्रुदये स्थापयेच्चिबुकं द्रुढं।
बंधो जालंधराख्योऽयं जराम्रुत्युविनाशकः॥

Kantamakucha hrudaye sthapayochhibukam drudam|
Bandho jaalandharachyoyam jaramrutyuvinashakah|| HYP III-70

Summary: Bend the neck down, press the chin against the chest and hold tightly - this is called Jalandharabandha. This overcomes old age and death.

Reason for this name

बद्नाति हि सिराजालमधोगामि नभोजलं।
ततो जालंधरोबन्धः कंठदुखौघनाशनः॥

badnati hi sirajalamadhogami nabhojalam|
tato jaalandharobnadah kantaduchoghanashanah|| HYP III-71

Summary: The essence of brain is blocked from going down, this is called jalandarabandha.  “Jala” means essense of the brain, a flood of this is called “Jaala” and to hold or bear this is called “jaalandhara”.  The more concentrated this brain essence, greater will be the memory power.

Special benefits

जालंधरे क्रुते बन्धे कंठसंकोचलक्शणे।
न पियूषं पतत्यग्नौ न च वायुः प्रकुप्यति॥

Jaalandhare krute bandhe kantasankochalakshane|
Na piyusham patatyagnou na cha vayuh prakupyati|| HYP III-72

Summary: In the practitioner who performs the above described bandha according to the instructions of his guru, brain essence can not be destroyed by the jataragni.  In addition, relief from gas related abdominal bloating is also achieved.

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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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