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.

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Saturday, 15 October 2016

On Vinyasa: "Yogasanas must be only practiced with vinyasas and never without it". Krishnamacharya. Yogasanagalu (Mysore 1934).

from my book Krishnamacharya's Original Ashtanga, Print version available from Lulu HERE



from Krishnamacharya's Yogasanagalau (Mysore 1941


"Yogasanas must be only practiced with vinyasas and never without it. Vinyasas from 1 to 7 are equal in all asanas.

Vinyasas create movement in the kosha (sheath), nerve, arteries, muscles and spaces between bones and helps eliminate impurities in these areas. In addition, muscle tissue develops and becomes strong.

Practicing yogasanas without vinyasa will make the body lean and emaciated. Some people who did not learn yoga through a guru and practice without vinyasa have brought bad reputation to yoga which is very unfortunate.

Therefore, how many vinysas for asanas?
Asana position comes at which vinyasa count?
When do you perform rechanka and puraka?
When to do antah kumbhaka and bahya kumbhaka?
What are its benefits?

For yoga practitioners information, it is listed in the table below.
(see Appendix 2)

Yoga practitioners must perform pranayama on an individual basis.

However, yogasanas can be performed individually or as a group.

When teaching yoga in a group, it is advised to separate people with obese, lean, and short body types. Otherwise, they will not get their desired results.

People with obese body naturally want to get lean.

Drill and other exercises also follow this rule.

All can not perform all types of practices (sadhanas).

Can an obese person run like a lean man?
Can he raise and bend hands and legs (in the same fashion)?.
For instance, if he runs hard due to drill masters orders, he could be put in danger due to elevated heart rate.

In yoganga practice, asanas that are possible for a lean person are impossible for an obese person.

However, we don’t need to increase the number of yoga instructors.

Yoga practitioners may be divided approximately on the basis of body type and the same instructor can teach them.

In the same way, practitioners with common disease types may be divided and treated (with yoga).

Yoga sadhana is without risk compared to many of the body exercises that require equipment.

Yoganga sadhana must be done standing, sitting, sideways and upside down.

All these types of asanas are given in this edition.

Interested practitioners and instructors must study carefully, practice and teach.

Many asanas are also printed for ladies.

From this, we can get an idea of our ancestors behaviour.

Lazy people can not make progress in any work while energetic will not be left behind. India’s cultural and spiritual wealth was not only permeated by speech.

The courageous overcome obstacles and practiced.

In this edition, it is once again suggested that yoga sadhana is for people of all ages".

*

Here is a link to my Free Download page where there are links to downloads of Krishnamacharya's texts including the now complete English translation of Yogasanagalu.




*

Appendix 1.

The Seven Vinyasa

"Yogasanas must be only practiced with vinyasas and never without it. Vinyasas from 1 to 7 are equal in all asanas". 

NOTE: Krishnamacharya is referring to the seven vinyasa from standing (samastithi) to seated (dandasana). The asana instructions in Yogasanagalu are carried over from Yoga Makaranda (Mysore 1934), unfortunately he doesn't carry over all of the key asana that form the seven vinyasa E.G. caturanga dandasana, urdhvamukhasvanasana and adhomukhasvanasana. Below I've lifted the instruction for those vinyasa  as well as those form uttanasana and paschimottanasana to give an outline of the seven vinyasa krushnamacharya is refering to.



Following the rules for tadasana (yogasana samasthiti krama) stand erect. 

1st. Vinyasa.
Afterwards, while exhaling the breath out slowly, bend the upper part of the body (that is, the part above the hip) little by little and place the palms down by the legs. The knees must not be even slightly bent. 

2nd. Vinyasa.
Raise the head upwards and fix the gaze on the tip of the nose. While doing this, draw in clean air through the nostril, hold the breath firmly and maintain this position. This is called sahitha kumbhaka. 

3rd. Vinyasa (Uttanasana).
After remaining here for some time, exhale the breath (that was being held) out very slowly through the nostril, lower the head and place it on the knees. This sthiti is called uttanasana.  


4th vinyasa (caturanga dandasana).
Press both palms down firmly while doing the 4th vinyasa from the 3rd vinyasa of uttanasana. Do only recaka and firmly hold the breath out without doing puraka. Keeping the weight balanced equally on both legs, jump backwards (keeping both legs parallel to each other) and holding the body straight like a rod, lie down facing downwards. At this time, only the palms and toes touch the ground. No other parts of the body touch the ground. That is, there must be 4 angulas of space between the body and the ground. In this position, if you keep a stick or rod on top of the body, the rod must touch the body completely. We need to keep our body this straight. But make sure to check gaps formed by the muscles and mounds of flesh to determine if all the adjustments are correct.

5th Vinyasa (urdhvamukhasvanasana).
In caturanga dandasana, there are 4 angulas of space between the body and the floor everywhere. In this asana, the palms and toes are as in caturanga dandasana. However even while keeping the lower part of the body from the toes to the thighs just as in caturanga dandasana, raise the upper part of the body. Make sure that the navel rests between the hands and do puraka kumbhaka. Try to push the chest as far forward as possible, lift the face up and keep gazing at the tip of the nose.

6th Vinyasa ( adhomukhasvanasana.).
In the 4th vinyasa only, even while jumping back as for caturanga dandasana, the entire body should be pushed back into a curve. Study the pic- ture and learn this. In this sthiti, the head should be properly bent inwards and the chin should be pressed firmly against the chest. After pulling the abdomen in and pushing it out, exhale the breath out. Holding the breath out firmly, pull in the abdomen.

7th Vinyasa. 
from adhomukhasvanasana sthiti, doing puraka kumbhaka, jump and arrive at the 7th vinyasa. That is, jump forward and move both legs between the arms without allowing the legs to touch the floor. Extend the legs out forward and sit down. Practise sitting like this with the rear part of the body either between the two hands or 4 angulas in front of the hands. It is better to learn the abhyasa krama from a guru. In this sthiti, push the chest forward, do puraka kumbhaka and gaze steadily at the tip of the nose.


*

Appendix 2

Yogasanagalu Asana table


"Therefore, how many vinysas for asanas? Asana position comes at which vinyasa count?  When do you perform rechanka and puraka?  When to do antah kumbhaka and bahya kumbhaka?  What are its benefits?  For yoga practitioners information, it is listed in the table below".

Yogasanagalu








----------------------------------------------

Notes

Kumbhaka
Antah kumbhaka (purakha kumbhaka) = retention of the breath after inhalation
Bahya kumbhaka (recaka kumbhaka= retention of the breath after exhalation
Ubhya kumbhaka = retention of the breath after both inhalation and exhalation

*In the Primary group above kumbhaka is indicated explicitly in only three postures, baddha padmasana, uttanasana and sethubandasana. In the earlier Yoga Makaranda (1934) however, kumbhaka is indicated other primary postures. This may be that while learning the Primary asana we may forgo kumbhaka in most of the primary postures until gaining familiarity and a degree of proficiency with those asana when we would then begin to work in the kumbhaka. this may be made clearer as the translation continues.

Kumbhaka (mentioned explicitly) in the Yoga Makaranda Primary asana
Tadasana (here implies samasthiti )- purakha kumbhaka
Uttanasana -purakha kumbhaka (we can perhaps presume that all the uttanasana variations would also include antha kumbhaka EG. padahastasana, parsvauttanasa
na, prasaritapadauttanasana.
Ardha baddha padma uttanasana - recaka kumbhaka
Urdhavamukhssvanasana - puraka kumbhaka
Adhomukhssvandasana - recaka kumbhaka
Paschimottanasana - purkha kumbhaka (recaka kumbhaka implied ?)
janusirsasana - purka kumbhaka & Rechaka kumbhaka
Upavistakonasana "recaka kumbhaka is the central principle for this posture"
badhakonasana - recaka kumbhaka
Suptapaddangusthasana- recaka kumbhaka
utthitahastapadangusthasana - recaka kumbhaka
Bhujapidasana - recaka kumbhaka
marichiyasana - recaka kumbhaka ?


Pictorial representation of the table (made up of my old file pictures ).





Note: the suptakandasana is actually David Williams - I never could do that asana

Krishnamacharya's Primary group (Incomplete ; made up of pictures from his Yoga Makaranada).
Original table


Thursday, 13 October 2016

Specifics of the breath in yoga asana - Notes from Krishnamacharya's Yogasanagalu (Mysore 1941)


Krishnamacharya gets quite specific with regard to the breath in Yogasanagalu (Mysore 1941).



"In pranayama practice (yogangabhyasis), inhalation and exhalation motion is performed using both nostrils, trachea, tip of the tongue, between two lips and in between two rows of teeth.


Normally during yogasana practice, inhalation and exhalation is performed via the trachea deeply, subtly and with sound. This is 
common practice with everyone. This type of breathing is called anuloma ujjayi” 
Yogasanagalu  ( Mysore 1941).


Note: Krishnamacharya's use of the term Anuloma Ujjayi here should not be confused with the pranayama of the same name which tends to involve throat inhalation with exhalation through alternate nostrils. Anuloma means 'with the grain' thus...

"All expansion movements are usually done while inhaling and all contraction while exhaling"
Yoga beneath the Surface by Srivatsa Ramaswami and David Hurwitz 
See full quote in Appendix 2 below


*

"When practicing asanas, we need to maintain deep inhalation and exhalation to normalise the uneven respiration through nasal passages.

In yoga positions where eyes, head and forehead are raised, inhalation must be performed slowly through the nostrils until the lungs are filled.


Then the chest is pushed forward and puffed up, abdomen tightly tucked in, focusing the eyes on the tip of the nose, and straighten the back bones tightly as much as possible. This type of inhalation which fills the lungs signifies Puraka.


In yoga positions where eyes, head, forehead, chest and the hip are lowered,we have to slowly exhale the filled air. Tucking in tightly the upper abdomen, the eyes must be closed. This type of exhalation is called Rechaka.



Holding the breath is called Kumbhaka". Yogasanagalu  ( Mysore 1941)


*

Note: A year or two I started to follow Simon Borg-Olivier's recommendation to breathe with a relaxed abdomen, a diaphragmatic focus rather than the chest- see this earlier post 'The breath: Simon Borg-Olivier made me fall in love with asana all over again..

In the past I assumed Krishnamacharya breathed thoracically ( into the chest with uddiyana engaged throughout) at this period of his teaching) and yet in the instruction above he inhales fully AND THEN pushes out the chest and finally drawing in the belly, does this suggest or allow for a diaphragm focus, relaxed abdominal breath? 



UPDATE from Simon''s intro to sharing this post on fb.

"There has been a great push over the last two decades for many 'modern yogis' to emphasise chest breathing and often disregard the diaphragm but it makes no anatomical or physiological sense. Most untrained adults can only breathe fully into their chest by inhibiting their diaphragm and putting themselves into a physiological state of 'flight or fight'.

The fact that the ability to expand the chest with air held out (exhalation retention) and the abdomen fully relaxed in the manner described to be Uddiyana bandha in Mr Iyengar's "Light on Yoga'' is not accessible for most people is reflective of the fact that most people can only expand the chest by engaging the muscles of forced abdominal exhalation (the abdominal obliques), which inhibit (reciprocally relax) the diaphragm, and thus cause chest breathing by default.

In addition, most people can not activate the lower abdominal muscles (the lower transverse abdominis) without activating the the muscles of forced abdominal exhalation (the abdominal obliques). You can easily test this by asking a group of average people to begin with a completely relaxed abdomen and then ask them to only draw in the lower abdomen without hardening or changing the upper abdomen. Most people simply can not do this and as a physiotherapist we routinely show this on people with real time ultrasound. If the upper abdomen hardens even a bit when the lower abdominal muscles engage, then the chest will expand by default because the diaphragm has been inhibited.

Once the diaphragm is inhibited then sickness or ill health is not far away. This is a big story and I believe many people are potentially damaging their health by attempting pranayama before they are adequately prepared for it.

In Saptanga (seven stage) Yoga, also known as hatha yoga, the first stage is kriya, then asana, then mudra, then pranayama, then dharana, dhyana and samadhi. This implies that kriya has to be learned before pranayama and an important kriya is basti kriya, which involves expanding the chest with the anal sphincter expanded and the diaphragm contracted. This is almost impossible for most people to do. This suggests that complete breathing, where the diaphragm functions without inhibition, before the chest expands, is almost impossible for most people, and that most people breathing into their chest in most exercise classes and 'yoga' classes are simply forcing the air into their chest by inhibiting the diaphragm and entering a physiological state of 'flight or fight' (over-stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system), in which the digestive system, immune system and reproductive system are inhibited and the dominant emotions become fear, anger, aggression and lack of safety; and that doesn't sound like yoga to me!


My point is that for effective pranayama both diaphragmatic and chest breathing are necessary as indicated by Sri Krishnamacharya and all his senior students, but the neuro-muscular control needed for this is simply not available for most people without causing damaging stress. Superficially, many people seem to breathing into their chest, but often they are simply increasing stress levels by trying it and there very few practitioners that can do like like Krishnamacharya and the other maha gurus demonstrated. I love pranayama including all the work with diaphragm, chest as well as the transversus abdominis but i still find that when i teach other people (especially in groups) it is more effective to teach natural invisible inaudible diaphragmatic breathing to most people most of the time in the same way that my teacher Mr BKS Iyengar taught 95% of the time to his students practicing asana".

Below Krishnamacharya in the 1938 Mysore footage, again, back when Pattabhi Jois was his student.




*

It is perhaps important to point out once again that Pattabhi Jois seems to have been presenting a simplification of Krishnamacharya's Mysore teaching, perhaps just the approach to asana that Krishnamacharya taught to the boys of the palace in group classes (see the previous post).

Krishnamacharya suggest in Yogasanagalu that it is possible to split a class into physical condition and ability and teach asana as a group. The simplification then is perhaps Krishnamacharya's own rather than Pattabhi Jois', a necessity of teaching group classes.

"Yoga practitioners must perform pranayama on an individual basis. However, yogasanas can be performed individually or as a group. When teaching yoga in a group, it is advised to separate people with obese, lean, and short body types. Otherwise, they will not get their desired results. People with obese body naturally want to get lean. Drill and other exercises also follow this rule. All can not perform all types of practices (sadhanas)".

"In yoganga practice, asanas that are possible for a lean person are impossible for an obese person. However, we don’t need to increase the number of yoga instructors. Yoga practitioners may be divided approximately on the basis of body type and the same instructor can teach them. In the same way, practitioners with common disease types may be divided and treated (with yoga)". 


Given that the class Pattabhi Jois ( as one of Krishnamacharya's shala assistants) would present was only an hour in duration it's likely that the stays in asana were short and the breath less subtle than Krishnamacharya would present in his Mysore texts of the same period.

This simplified approach to practice, carried forward by Pattabhi Jois as Ashtanga Vinyasa, clearly works well as an introduction to asana practice. In the system Pattabhi Jois presented, you can come into the shala, jump on the mat run through your kata of asana, shower and head off to work. The whole system can fit on a double sided A4 card. It wasn't necessary to think about yoga philosophy, or concern yourself with the yama and niyama, all that would come.... or not, depending on your interest.

Unfortunately, the love and respect of his first students turned almost to worship for the person of Pattabhi Jois by those who followed, he became credited with the methodology he presented ( when I started it was hard to find much more than a line or two about Krishnamacharya) and thus the system became closed, ever more codified, defended, preserved in the shellac of lineage.

Parampara I would argue can be a hinderance.

Sharath preserves intact the presentation of the Ashtanga Vinyasa of Pattabhi Jois' later years for new generations of students and this is all to the good. Manju too, preserves the Ashtanga Vinyasa perhaps of Pattabhi Jois' middle period, a slightly more flexible, free approach, the asana followed by pranayama and chanting as a meditative activity.


But also preserved are Krishnamacharya own Mysore texts,  his Yoga Makaranda and Yogasanagalu, written at the time Pattabhi Jois was his student and in Pattabhi Jois' own Kanada language. Here we can find a practice not confined to the necessities of an hour long group class, a fuller presentation of the mature Krishnamacharya's understanding of yoga at that time than that of the twenty year old student.

The asana are not locked into series, more input is required on our part in choosing which asana to practice. Long stays are indicated/suggested/recommended for certain asana, the breath is more subtle than that required of a rushed group class. The breath is slowed, lengthened, kumbhaka (retaining the breath in or out) suggested in most asana presented, bandhas fully engaged, the mind focussed....., asana become mudra like, gestures.

Krishnamacharya insists the yama and niyama are prerequisite to asana practice, they go hand in hand with our asana practice as does the practice of pranayama, after some proficiency is attained in a few primary asana.The later limbs follow, asana for Krishnamacharya is part of a fully integrated practice.

"12. Caution
Especially those who want to start practicing the two yoganga’s “Asana” and “Pranayama” without following the aforementioned niyamas (and yamas?), following drawing charts and practicing on their own freewill will not receive benefits but may also be responsible for tarnishing the name and bringing disrepute".

We don't have to wait until given the  illusion of authorisation, another's permission, until we have begun third series....second. If we have been practicing for a time, our health and fitness under control, out breath steady in a few Primary asana, our practice grounded and some degree of discipline obtained then we can begin to explore the asana we have, the practice we have, in other ways than though ever more asana.

"Most important asanas shirshasana, sarvangasana, mayurasana, paschimatanasana and baddha padmasana must be practiced daily without failure.

Other asanas are practiced according to their convenience as people become proficient.

By practicing shirshasana, sarvangasana and their variations at very early morning, great benefits are obtained.

Those who want to expand intelligence, heart energy and Jnanendriayas (sense organs) must practice these asanas ( shirshasana and sarvangasana) for long periods.


After practicing this, practice 15 minutes of one of the pranayama routines followed by 5 minutes of shavasana, without failure". Yogasanagalu  ( Mysore 1941)



I would argue that often, for all the sweat and labour,  it's laziness on our part than makes us rather work on the next asana and series than focus on pranayama, on exploring the later limbs.


"Indeed, anyone—men and women of all ages, sick or weak—can practice yoga, except those who are lazy". Pattabhi Jois Yoga Mala (Mysore 1950s)


"Lazy people can not make progress in any work while energetic will not be left behind. India’s cultural and spiritual wealth was not only permeated by speech. The courageous overcome obstacles and practiced. In this edition, it is once again suggested that yoga sadhana is for people of all ages". Krishnamacharya. Yogasanagalu (Mysore 1941)


Krishnamacharya strongly recommends that in the beginning and for a time, we practice under the guidance of a guru, an appropriate teacher.... but where are we to find such a teacher when so many are inhibited by an imagined tradition, constrained by lineage, hindered by a parampara that seeks to protect, preserve and propagate an incomplete, simplification of the teaching of the very teacher who is the most complete source we have of that traditions, lineage and parampara.

Learn key Primary asana from an experienced teacher and practitioner 'authorised' or not who can teach their safe practice, look then to Pattabhi Jois' Yoga Mala and then to the texts of his teacher T. Krishnamacharya.

Manju Jois stresses freedom in practice, that yoga is indeed ALL about freedom, I tend to think of yoga as radical enquiry, enquiry into that which we most firmly believe to be the case. Krishnamacharya's texts contain suggestions, recommendations for enquiry through our own practice.

Here is a link to my Free Download page where there are links to downloads of Krishnamacharya's texts including the now complete English translation of Yogasanagalu.


http://grimmly2007.blogspot.jp/p/free-downloads.html



see also perhaps

In defence of Ashtanga 1.

In defence of Ashtanga 2




APPENDIX 1.

Comparison, ofPaschimottanasana in Krishnamacharya and Pattabhi Jois


Example of the asana description from Krishnamacharya's
Yoga Makaranda ( Mysore 1934) and reproduced in Yogasanagalu (Mysore 1941)

Pascimattanasana or Pascimottanasana



This asana has many kramas. Of these the first form has 16 vinyasas. Just doing the asana sthiti by sitting in the same spot without doing these vinyasas will not yield the complete benefits mentioned in the yoga sastras. This rule applies to all asanas.

The first three vinyasas are exactly as for uttanasana. The 4th vinyasa is caturanga dandasana, the 5th vinyasa is urdhvamukhasvanasana, the 6th vinyasa is adhomukhasvanasana. Practise these following the earlier instructions. In the 6th vinyasa, doing puraka kumbhaka, jump and arrive at the 7th vinyasa. That is, from adhomukhasvanasana sthiti, jump forward and move both legs between the arms without allowing the legs to touch the floor. Extend the legs out forward and sit down. Practise sitting like this with the rear part of the body either between the two hands or 4 angulas in front of the hands. It is better to learn the abhyasa krama from a guru.

In this sthiti, push the chest forward, do puraka kumbhaka and gaze steadily at the tip of the nose. After this extend both arms out towards the feet (the legs are already extended in front). Clasp the big toes of the feet tightly with the first three fingers (thumb, index, middle) of the hands such that the left hand holds the left big toe and the right hand holds the right big toe. Do not raise the knees even slightly. Then, pull in the stomach while doing recaka, lower the head and press the face down onto the knee. The knees should not rise from the ground in this sthiti either. This is the 9th vinyasa. This is called pascimottanasana.

In the beginning, everybody will find it very difficult. The nerves in the back, the thighs and the backs of the knees will feel as though they are being fiercely pulled and this will be extremely painful. The pain will remain for 8 days. After this, the pulling on the nerves will release and it will be possible to do the asana without any problem.

This pascimottanasana has many forms. After first practising this asana with the face pressed onto the knee, practise it with the chin placed on the knee and then eventually with it placed 3 angulas below the knee on the calf. In the 10th vinyasa raise the head. In the 11th vinyasa, keeping the hands firmly pressed on the ground, raise the entire body o the ground and balance it in the air without touching the ground. The 11th vinyasa is called uthpluthi. The 12th vinyasa is caturanga dandasana. The 13th is urdhvamukhasvanasana. The 14th is adhomukhasvanasana. The 15th is the first vinyasa of uttanasana. The 16th vinyasa is the 2nd vinyasa of uttanasana.

Afterwards, return to samasthiti. You should learn the intricacies of this vinyasa only from a guru.

Benefit: This will cure all diseases related to the stomach.

This asana can be done on the floor or on a mat according to the capabilities of one’s body. Learn some of the other forms of pascimottanasana krama by studying the pictures carefully. Pregnant women should not do this asana. But this can be done up to the third month of pregnancy. For men, there are no restrictions to practising this asana. If this is practised every day without fail for 15 minutes, all the bad diseases of the stomach will be removed.

*

from pattabhi Jois' Yoga mala (1950s)


PASCHIMATTANASANA
There are sixteen vinyasas to this asana. The 9th is its state (see figures).
METHOD
To begin, follow the first Surya Namaskara through the 6th vinyasa. Then, doing puraka and with only the strength of the arms, jump the legs between the hands without allowing them to touch the floor, and stretch out the legs. Then press the hands to the floor on either side of the hips, straighten the chest and waist, lower the head a little, draw the anus up tightly, lift the lower abdomen and hold firmly, and sit erect, slowly doing rechaka and puraka as much as possible; this constitutes the 7th vinyasa. Next, doing rechaka, grasp and hold the upper parts of the feet; this is the 8th vinyasa (as your practice becomes firm, you should be able to lock your hands behind your feet). Then, doing puraka slowly, then rechaka, straighten both legs, and place the head between the knees; this is the 9th vinyasa and the state of the asana. While in the state, do puraka and rechaka slowly and deeply, as much as possible. Then, slowly doing puraka, lift only the head; this is the 10th vinyasa. Next, doing rechaka and then puraka, let go of the feet, press the hands to the floor, bend the legs, and lift the entire body up off the floor merely with the strength of the arms; this is the 11th vinyasa. The remaining vinyasas are the same as those for the Surya Namaskara.

There are three types of Paschimattanasana: 1) holding the big toes and touching the nose to the knees; 2) holding on to either side of the feet and touching the nose to the knees; and 3) locking the hand and wrist beyond the feet, and touching the chin to the knee. All three types should be practiced, as each is useful.

BENEFITS
The practice of this asana helps the stomach to become slender by dissolving its fat. It also increases jathara agni [the fire of hunger], helps food to digest well, and strengthens the organs of the digestive systems ( jir-nanga kosha). In addition, it cures weakness in the hands and legs resulting from a loss of appetite and low digestive fire, as well as indolence and giddiness stemming from an aberration in the liver, and gas problems in the stomach.


***

Appendix 2
Anuloma (with the grain)
explained by Krishnamacharya's student of 30+ years Srivatsa Ramaswami

from Yoga beneath the Surface by Srivatsa Ramaswami and David Hurwitz

DAVID: In asana, when we do a vinyasa sequence that requires jumping, do we jump on hold after exhale or inhale? Far instance, in the sun salutation, we jump on hold after inhale from utatasana to chatarunga, and again from downward-facing dog to utkatasana, on hold after inhale. But, I've also done sun salutations where we jump  on uttanasana to chatarunga on hold after exhale. And, in trikonasana, we jump the legs apart on hold after exhale. Or, are these just guidelines and really we can do either?

RAMASWAMI: This can be answered better by understanding the reasoning behind the synchronization of breath and move­ment in vinyasa krama. All expansion movements are usually done while inhaling and all contraction while exhaling. When you raise the arms, you do it with inhalation. When you stretch the legs or bend back, it usually is done during inhalation. Likewise when you bend the knees and draw the legs toward your body, as in utkatasana or apanasana, it has to be during exhalation. Dropping your arms down or twisting the body or bending the body will be done with exhalation. When you do an expansive movement, such as raising the arms, if you also inhale, not only the muscles of the limbs stretch but also the muscles inside the chest expand with the inhalation. Thus, there is both an internal and external stretching taking place. This is anuloma (with the grain move­ment). On the other hand, if you do it without proper breathing, the full advantage of coordinated stretching is not obtained. Sim­ilarly, when you contract the body, as in bending forward, if you exhale it becomes easier to contract the internal muscles as you contract the external muscles.

Now, jumping is not a common occurrence in yoga practice. Since jumping is a swift movement, you cannot synchronize it with the breath as we do in slow vinyasa movements. So we hold the breath while jumping. Here, also, the reasoning will be to keep the internal muscles stretched as you stretch the external muscles. So when you jump from utkatasana to chaturanga-dandasana ( four-legged staff  pose), since there is an extension of the body and also the chest, it is logical to do it with internal breath holding. The same will be the case if you jump  from uttanasana to chaturanga­ dandasana. In the case of trikonasana, since only the legs are involved and not the chest, it is okay to jump after exhalation.
There is one more point to note. As discussed, people who are older or who are obese  find it dfficult to inhale and do some of the extension and backbending movements simultaneously. Applying the same logic, some may be advised to do the jumping from utkatasana to chaturanga-dandasana while holding the breath out after exhalation. But it is better not to ask older or obese people to jump as kids do.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Origins of Ashtanga Vinyasa: Yogasanagalu and Yoga Korunta (yogakuranti) Also, Was Ashtanga designed for Young Boys?

Perhaps some quick posts with some lines that have caught my eye in rereading Krishnamacharya's Yogasanagalu (Mysore  1941), finally translated into English.

First up, a tantalising Bibliography, Yogakurunti mentioned four books down.



An enjoyable speculative write up on the Yoga Korunta by James Russell HERE

....which includes this in the comments from Eddie Stern


"...In regards to your synopsis in the beginning about the discovery of the Yoga Korunta, this is not at all how I heard it from Guruji. I think Gregor might have that version in his first book, and a 1986 Yoga Journal published that as well. The way Guruji related to Sharath and I, on several occasions, in Kannada and English, was that Rama Mohana Brahmachari taught Krishnamacharya the Yoga Korunta during his 7+ years of study within him in the forests outside of Banaras (not Tibet), and that Rama Mohana told Krishnamacharya that he could find the text at the Calcutta University library. Guruji never laid eyes on the text, and he said that Krishnamacharya said the text, like thousands of others in India, was badly damaged. So, it's really not such an apocryphal story, though much has been made of it.

As well, the teachings in the Korunta, as you have surmised, would definitely not reflect Ashtanga Yoga as it is taught today. Guruji made many adaptations beginning in the late 1930's."


Not so many adaptations perhaps as we can now see from the Yogasanagalu Table of Asana .
See HERE for just the table as well as the Yogasanagalu translation ( link above).


Pattabhi Jois told several versions of of the Yoga Korunta story, I like the interview with David Williams from an earlier Bali conference (2013) where David relates that Pattabhi Jois was just about to launch on some great Yoga Korunta narrative only to be stopped by his wife Amma who says, "Now, now Pattabhi, the truth". Crestfallen, Pattabhi relates a less... grand tale.

Note: My understanding is that the 2017 Bali Conference has been cancelled, download this series of videos instead perhaps http://www.ashtangayogabali.com/resources/videos/

See also this comment from Pranhidi regarding our teacher Manju (Pattabhi Jois' son) on James Russel's article 

"...Manju Jois, recalls his father, Pattabhi Jois, and Krishnamcharya refining the sequences together- grouping asanas, transitions, etc. I thought I'd pass that along since not many people alive today knew KPJ at that time. Manju is a treasure that many ashtanga vinyasa practitioners could benefit from spending time with. It's clear to me from emerging research and from the stories of senior ashtanga teachers that the method certainly has a lineage but that it has evolved with time, and been adapted to suit the needs of each student..."

I had an enjoyable discussion myself with Manju on this very topic, he was pointing out the differences between the table and the practice he had just led us through in Rethymno, while I was pointing out all the similarities.  

Given what we know about Krishnamacharya's terrifying demeanour from Pattabhi Jois himself and also from BKS Iyengar, it seems unlikely to me that young Pattabhi Jois said much more to his teacher than than "Yes Sir, No sir". When Pattabhi Jois supposedly asked his teacher if the four year asana syllabus (clearly based on Krishnamacharya's own table of asana and the program Pattabhi Jois assisted in teaching at the yogashala) met with Krishnamacharya's approval, it may well have been the first formal question he actually addressed to his guru.

*

The legend of the Yoga Koruntu (yogakuranti) is great fun of course but ultimately it's a distraction as are all methodologies which are of course ultimately means of control, ideally their job is to keep us distracted long enough to develop discipline whereupon we might freely discard them. No doubt all that would be taken from Yoga Korunta were it to be found is only that which confirms our current view of practice, it would then quickly be forgotten once more. It's presence is in it's absence.

As awareness rose within us so too did the potential to turn that awareness in upon itself. It requires opportunity, discipline, attention and time. 

Slowing the breath before battle is universal.

Sit, breathe, attend...... it's our birthright, no text or teacher required.


*


First edit of the full text can be downloaded for personal study from here.
(future edits to come perhaps with some of my own notes on the text)

Krishnamacharya's yogasanagalu : Published Mysore 1941

Below. Photos from Krishnamacharya's Yoga Makaranda ( Mysore 1934)
Note: the Yogashala opened in 1933



Below. Krishnamacharya standing like Superman on the right
Pattabhi jois in Sarvangasana (shoulderstand) on the right side of the table?



The post below has been sitting in draft for some time, I may as well include it here


I was asked this old chestnut (yet) again recently.

Was Ashtanga designed/intended for young boys?


This question can be answered in a number of ways but the honest answer is.....

 YES

Sorry folks, but it kinda was.

The question is, in most cases, asking about the Ashtanga Vinyasa approach to asana taught by Pattabhi Jois.

Pattabhi Jois was one of Krishnamacharya's assistants when Krishnamacharya was teaching the BOYS of the Mysore palace.

The asana class Pattabhi Jois appears to have taken on Krishnamacharya's behalf at the Mysore palace seems to have been a led group class and supposedly of an hour duration. We can see from the asana table in Krishnamacharya's Yogasanagalu table of asana  ( Full English translation of the text finally completed and now availabe for download from my Free Download page) that Pattabhi Jois' Ashtanga Primary series and intermediate series closely follows how Krishnamacharya laid out his table of asana.

In the late 1930s/early 40s Pattabhi Jois was supposedly asked to teach a four year syllabus which he clearly based on his experience assisting on Krishnamacharya's behalf, as well no doubt as Krishnamacharya's table of asana which we must assume, given the close relation, that he saw ( it was also written in Kannada as was Yoga Makaranda, Pattabhi Jois' language). The Sanskrit college course was again for young boys although a few years older perhaps than those of the place school (late teen/early twenties?).

However, if we look to Krishnamacharya's own texts from the same period we see that Krishnamacharya taught in groups of asana rather than fixed series that needed to be completed. We see long slow breathing stressed in almost every asana, Kumbhaka (meditatively/pranayamaically restraining the breath), we see longer stays.

Pattabhi Jois may have talked of long slow breathing but in practice his students move quickly through their series. Pattabhi Jois could be flexible in his approach, to those with injury or illness perhaps, but essentially Ashtanga has kept close to the series.

It has been suggested that Pattabhi Jois and Krishnamacharya worked together at forming the sequences, this seems unlikely, given Pattabhi Jois' accounts of his teacher as well as that of BKS Iyengar it is surely unlikely that Pattabhi Jois said much more to Krishnamacharya than "Yes Sir, No Sir". When Pattabhi Jois asked his teacher to approve the four year syllabus based closely on Krishnamacharya's own table of asana it may well have been the first question Pattabhi jois had got up the nerve to ask his teacher.

Pattabhi Jois assisted Krishnamacharya by leading the boys of the palace through their paces because Krishnamacharya himself was often in a side room teaching private lessons, to patients, members of the court or in the palace proper perhaps giving lessons to the Maharaja himself. Perhaps these lessons more clearly followed the guidelines for practice we find in Krishnamacharya's Mysore texts of the period. The lessons are likely to have been more flexible, bespoke, less asana with longer stays and slower breathing, no doubt integrated with other limbs.

This approach to practice, unlike that Pattabhi Jois oversaw with the boys of the palace, was designed not just for boys but for whoever came to him for lessons. 

In this case then... 

NO, Ashtanga Vinyasa as krishnamacharya clearly conceived it was NOT designed for young boys...

It was an approach to asana practice that could be adapted for exuberant boys with the attention span of  guppy's ( not unlike us in the West perhaps with our push button society) as well as to practitioners of different ages and physical conditions. We will see in Yogasanagalu that Krishnamacharya considered practicing a great deal of asana to be beneficial in reducing weight and improving the physical condition of practitioners. Once in a healthier, fitter condition they would approach their asana practice with more subtlety.

Pattabhi Jois didn't invent Ashtanga Vinyasa and it's highly unlikely he worked out groups or series of asana with Krishnamacharya, it seems rather that he took Krishnamacharya approach to asana, the one Krishnamacharya had simplified for the boys of the palace, tweaked it a little and presented it in his four years course at the Sanskrit college and later to the Westerners who came knocking on his door,

This is not to take anything away from Pattabhi Jois, he was by all accounts a generous, tireless teacher of this aspect of Krishnamacharya's teaching as are so many of those teachers who studied with him.

Ashtanga vinyasa is how we often refer to the approach to asana Pattabhi Jois taught, this is to distinguish it from the Ashtanga of Patanjali's yoga sutras of which it forms a part.

Patanjali's yoga sutras and the eight limb (ashtanga) methodology it presents is of course intended for everybody.

This when somebody asks..

Was Ashtanga designed for young boys?

It's possible to answer NO, this is of course a category mistake. the Questioner asking about one category Ashtanga vinyasa, the responder replying from the perspective of another category, Patanjali's Ashtanga. It's an ingenuous response. It can also be a harmful response, believing the approach to be asana to be intended for everybody, practitioners as well as teachers might be tempted to teach and attempt asana that are not suitable for them at that time if ever.

Krishnamacharya mentions in Yogasanagalu that there is a need for demonstrators but for most the more significant task of exploring and seeking to understand the nature of self through patanjali is of higher importance, for that we only perhaps need one comfortable asana and three pranayama's.

Too often our perception of what is or is not correct is a hinderance, dictating and defending correct method is a hinderance to practice and development. Krishnamacharya approach to asana was flexible, it embraced all the limbs, it's approach to asana subtle, there is a lifetime of exploration to be found between the covers of Krishnamacharya's texts. But even this is a hinderance clinging to one teacher, one approach to teaching however broad and flexible. Our teacher('s) should be our guides only, leading us to explore for ourselves our practice and what is appropriate for us this, goes for teachers that are alive  and still teaching as well as for dead texts.

*

This particular form of Ashtanga vinyasa may have been originally designed with young boys in mind however.......


See this post In defence of Ashtanga 2: Notice how....

http://grimmly2007.blogspot.jp/2016/09/notice-how-for-ashtangis.html


and....

In defence of Ashtanga 1.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Final chapter from Krishnamacharya's Yogasanagalu Part II Pranayam. Plus the 1941 section on pranayama

NOTE: With the translation of Krishnamacharya's second book Yogasanagalu ( Mysore 1941 - 3rd edition with additional chapter 1972) now complete, I'm just putting the finishing touches on a free to download edition of the full text that will be available for personal study on the Free Download page at the top of the blog.

UPDATE
First edit of the full text can be downloaded for personal study from here.
http://tinyurl.com/z9jy7cp
(future edits to come perhaps with some of my own notes on the text)



Below is the final section on Pranayama from the additional 1972 chapter in the third edition of the text.

I've included the earlier sections on pranayama from the original text in the appendix.


Final chapter from Krishnamacharya's Yogasanagalu (3rd edition 1972) Part II Pranayam

Many of my old students from Kannada land are requesting me to write about pranayama practice for propagation.  Therefore, I’m writing about it.  Since the current generation are developing a keen sense of intellect:

अनन्तं पारं बहुवेदितव्यं अल्पस्च कालः बहवस्च विघ्नाः।
यत् सारभूतं तत् उपाददीतहंसो यथा क्षीरमिवांबु मिश्रं॥


As per this saying from a great man, since it is impossible to write about innumerable varieties of “pranayama”, I’m only going to write about three important one according to my Guru’s teachings.

1 ) Nadishodhana, 2) Ujjayi and 3) Sheetali are the most important ones.  These can be practiced by both men and women.  The first one purifies the blood and blood vessels.  The second one purifies the gut and the lungs, eliminates phlegm and provides good sleep. The third one eliminates poisons from nadis (channels), nodules, internal receptacles and joints and helps keep the body temperature in equilibrium.  Cures indigestion, improves life-span, energy and memory. These benefits are obtained from all three types of pranayama.

However, those who want to practice pranayama must be proficient mainly in shirshasana, sarvangasana, mahamudra and baddha padmasana.  They must also be be practicing brahmacharya, pativratya (faithful in relations), consuming satvic food, and practice japa and meditation with faith. From time immemorial, vedas, sutras, puranas and prose and poetry have been advertised in different times.  In Kruta yuga (time period) the dharma of mental psychology and yoga dharma was propagated through the vedas, in Dwapara yuga through vedas and sutras, in Treta yuga via the medium of vedas, sutras and puranas.  In Kali yuga (current period), vedas, sutras, puranas, prose and poetic medium is being utilized for the propagation of yoga dharma.  These prose and poetry are called smrutis, bhashyas  and suktis by people according to their custom.

If any dharma and custom is to be beneficial to society, it has to be written down as root manuscripts according to any civilization.  This is generally called law and justice.  Shouldn’t the yoga dharma be propagated by Indian’s in this period of Kali yuga by way of sutra, purana, prose and poetry?

After contemplating on all this, in order to bring out the essence, the great saint Sri Bhagat Patanjali created yogasutras, Vyasa rishi generated bhashya in prose style in order to demonstrate the correct way for mankind.  In doing so, they deserved glory.  Similarly many great rishis have written yoga manuscripts.  Yoga related upanishads are also well known.  These are eternal, immemorial and momentous.

Many Kannada writers have also published yoga dharma manuscripts in Kannada language. The three types of pranayama practices mentioned before are also discussed in these kannada manuscripts. Those teachers who study these manuscripts and teach the public will protect the people.  Those who don’t will cause much harm.

Nadi shodana pranayama



Before learning to practice pranayama it is very important to know the meaning of classical terminology:

Pranayama: duration of breath
Rechaka:Exhalation of breath
Puraka: Inhalation of breath
Antahkumbhaka: Holding of breath after inhalation
Bahyahkumbhaka: Holding of breath after exhalation ( do not inhale immediately after exhalation)
Kumbhaka: Holding of breath

These four states of pranavayu must be long.  Then only it is called pranayama. In order to learn the limit of these duration, we have to know the differences. There are two types of pranayama called samavrutti and vishamavrutti.  Householders must use baddhapadma and siddhasana for others.

If the duration of rechaka, puraka and antahkumbhaka are the same, it is called samavrutti pranayama.  If there are differences, then it is called vishamavrutti pranayama.

Example:

Rechaka 5 seconds,  puraka 5 seconds,  antahkumbhaka 5 seconds, is called samavrutti pranayama. Start with 5 seconds and gradually increase to 20 seconds.  Maximum should be not more than 30 seconds.  All rechaka and puraka practice  (not for kumbhaka), must be subtle, slow, long and must be accompanied by remembrance of house holder deity and mantra.  One must not indulge in surprise or fear of 30 second duration.  By gradual increase it is possible to reach it in 3 months.  Power of prana is the basis of long lifespan.

In vishamavrutti pranayama, puraka 5 seconds, kumbhaka 20 seconds and rechaka 10 seconds.  Rechaka must be twice the length of puraka and kumbhaka 4 times.  Here know that kumbhaka is antahkumbhaka.  First start with samavrutti and only after we are adept in it, we should start vishamavrutti.  Otherwise, you may get chest pain.  Those who are unable to do vishamavrutti can only practice samavrutti.  The basic tenet of Patanjali, Upavarsha and Varshaganya rishis is that one must practice yoga with deep inhalations and exhalations.  Sit facing east or north direction.

If we examine the Rishi traditions, rechaka puraka and kumbhaka is performed while holding both sides of the nose just below the bony part using right fingers.

Starting from the right thumb fold the second and third fingers on the inside and extend and join the pinky fingers and the ring finger next to it and press the left nostril while holding the right nostril pressed with the right thumb.

Mrugee mudra

This position is called the “Mrugee mudra”.  While holding in this position, our palm is in the form of a deer face.  Therefore, the name.  By employing this hold, prana flows only in the targeted nadis (channels).  Nitya and Kamya are two types of pranayama.  Mrugee mudra is used for nitya pranayama while Hamsa mudra and Sookari mudra are used for Kamya pranayama.  No need to discuss these details.  Patanjala yoga sutra bhashya only mentions “pranayama” and does not discuss details or different types.  Please see “Yogamakaranda” and “Yoganjali” texts for more details.

While doing rechaka and puraka on the right side, left nostril must be pressed tightly and while doing rechaka, puraka on the left side, right nostril is pressed tightly.  During kumbhaka, both nostrils are held tightly using “Mrugee mudra”


Om Shantih Shantih Shantih


APPENDIX 

Notes on Pranayama in the 1941 first edition of Yogasanagalu

A curious photo of Krishnamacharya seemingly practicing nadi sodhana while standing ( or is he merely demonstrating the mdura). in the text he mentions that pranayama should only be practiced whil in a suitable seated posture ( which might include the kneeling vajrasana)


Essential

First series requires many yogasanas and some pranayama
Second series needs some easy asanas and three pranayamas
Third series requires pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi
Later a table is shown that includes these.

*

Yoga practitioners must perform pranayama on an individual basis. However, yogasanas can be performed individually or as a group.


Most important asanas shirshasana, sarvangasana, mayurasana, paschimatanasana and baddha padmasana must be practiced daily without failure.



Other asanas are practiced according to their convenience as people become proficient.

By practicing shirshasana, sarvangasana and thier variations at very early morning, great benefits are obtained.

Those who want to expand intelligence, heart energy and Jnanendriayas (sense organs) must practice these asanas ( shirshasana and sarvangasana) for long periods.

After practicing this, practice 15 minutes of one of the pranayama routines followed by 5 minutes of shavasana, without failure.

*

Pranayama

There are many types of pranayama.  The special pranavayu kriya sadhana that improves life expectancy, brightens prana, corrects inhalation and exhalation from lungs is called “pranayama.”

The radiance that shines on the face and other organs is called prana shakti.  Some people call it as atma shakti.

This radiance seems to disappear from the face and different organs in a person with disease.

We see that the radiance is totally lost in all parts of a dead body.

We need to try to improve this radiance day by day.

The only way to improve this is by the 4th step of yoganga called “pranayama.”

The basis of pranic energy is prana vayu(air).  This is not like the air around us. It is very subtle, with amazing lighting speed like a warm flood of radiance.

This is hidden in the chest cavity.  The cavity is between the two lungs.

The same place is the location of the atma and the antaryami (inner controller). The bright radiance exists because of them.

When its movement is normal, the pulse from the heart is regular and our life is full of hope and joy.

If this is poisoned, our movements become slow and ultimately  becomes stop and go.  Finally the heart and the organs stop working and the body’s radiant brightness disappears. This stage is called death in common language.

To summarize this,

“यावत्प्रानः स्थितो देहे तावज्जीवनमुच्यते”

“Yavatpranah sthito dehe tavajjivanamuchyate”

meaning, our bodies are only alive until the pranavayu and pranashakti takes residence and keep it radiant, once they are lost, there is no life according to people who have experience in yoga shastra.

In order to make this pranavayu and prana shakti always permeate our body, there are three important types of pranayama - 1. Suryabhedana 2. Ujjayi 3. Sheetali

Procedure -

Suryabhedana

Exhale slowly and deeply through the right nostril (keeping the left nostril closed with the right pinky and ring fingers). After a brief interval, inhale in the same way with the same nostril.  After, hold your breath as per capacity (5 seconds initially) exhale through the left nostril the the same way as described before (close the right nostril tightly with the right thumb and loosen the two fingers on the left side).  Inhalation and retention are same as before.  During retention, both nostrils must be closed by the respective fingers. 

Exhalation is “rechaka”, inhalation is “puraka” and retention is “kumbhaka” according to Yoga shastra.  How many rechaka we perform, the same number of puraka and kumbhaka must be performed.  This is Suryabhedana.  Right side puraka, left side rechaka, and no puraka on left side according to some.

This improves pranavayu, pranashakti, knowledge and life expectancy.
Ujjayi

Slowly and deeply Inhaling through both nostrils (puraka) while creating a sound in the back of the throat, hold (as per one’s ability) and then exhale (rechaka) through the right nostril.  After this, as before, puraka and kumbhaka and then exhale through the left nostril. Afterwards Puraka.  This increases appetite, improves digestive fire and cleanses the bile ducts.

Sheetali

Folding the tip of the tongue  like a boat and pushing it out about half an inch in front of the puckered lips, keeping it tight as per ability, perform puraka and kumbhaka through the boat shaped tounge.  During kumbhaka, the tongue must be withdrwan inside the mouth. Rechaka procedure is similar to that of Ujjayi pranayama.  

During exhalation (rechaka) phase of the second and third pranayama, hand and finger positions must be held as described in suryabhedana pranayama.

This reduces thirst, heat in the head, chest pain and vertigo. 


*

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|| 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|| 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|| 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|| 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|| 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|| 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|| 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|| 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|| 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|| 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|| 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|| 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.


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NOTE: With the translation of Krishnamacharya's second book Yogasanagalu ( Mysore 1941 - 3rd edition with additional chapter 1972) now complete, I'm just putting the finishing touches on a free to download edition of the full text that will be available on the Free Download page at the top of the blog.

There should be a blogpost launching the full text by next week.

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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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