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VOLUME 01-12 / 2012
Vinyasa Krama Yoga Newsletters 2012 from
Disclaimer: This document was compiled from Srivatsa Ramaswami’s Vinyasa Krama Yoga Newsletters and contains volume 1-12 from 2012 - http://www.vinyasakrama.com
January 2012 Newsletter — Yoga, Knowing the Unknown February 2012 Newsletter — Mantra Pranayama March 2012 Newsletter — Chanting with Sri Krishnamacharya Mid March 2012 — Message from Sri Krishnamacharya's Daughter Vinyasakrama Yoga Videos April 2012 Newsletter — Yoga Sutra Quartet--VK Yoga May 2012 Newsletter — My Facebook Phase June 2012 Newsletter — Asana and vinyasa July 2012 Newsletter - YOGAGATE VISWAMITRA August 2012 Newsletter — Divine Mother (Sakthi) Chants October 2012 — Use of Voluntary Breath Control in Asanas November 2012 Newsletter — Chittavritti,an Illusion Mid November 2012 Newsletter — An Interview December 2012 Newsletter — RISHIS 2 7 12 18 20 22 26 34 41 47 51 56 61 103
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VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS
VOLUME 01-12 / 2012
January 2012 Newsletter — Yoga, Knowing the Unknown
Wish you a very happy and prosperous New year, a New Decade. Warm New Year Greetings from Chennai, India. Wish you a very Happy and Prosperous New Year 2012! On a Sunday in early December I spoke at the Vishnumohan Foundation on Vishnu Sahasranama. I have a recording of the chanting of this popular work from the Mahabharata (in which the Bhagavat Gita also is found) made in the mid 80s by a recording company, Sangeetha. I chanted a few slokas from this work and also explained the meaning of the ﬁrst 14 of the 1000 mantras. These 14 are said to give the quintessence of Vedanta. For 2012, I plan to teach at the following places: Feb 25 to Mar 4 Mexico City, Mexico Apr 14 to 16 Ridgeﬁeld, CT Apr 20 to 22 Houston TX Apr 27 to 29 Dallas, TX May 6 to 11 Esalen, Big Sur,CA May28 to Jun 3 Vancouver, Canada Jul 6 to Aug 11 TT PROGRAM, LMU, CA Syllabus: http://vinyasakrama.com/Syllabus_Teacher_Training_200_Hr Impressions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8lhIKIfSk4 contact; amparo...@lmu.edu Sep 6 to 12 Chicago, IL Oct 5 to 14 Somerset, UK For more details please visit the Events Page of my website www.vinyasakrama.com/Events ***** YOGA, KNOWING THE UNKNOWN There is an interesting saying in Indian philosophy to indicate that there is a purpose in every activity one deliberately undertakes. Samkhyas and some schools of Buddhism also use this saying, “prayojanam anuddhisya mando pi na pravartate” meaning that even a dimwit will not do anything without an idea of what beneﬁt one would get out of the eﬀort. So what is the goal of all these systems like Yoga, Vedanta, Samkhya and others? Yes one may want to know the ultimate goal and also the intermediate goals before starting such endeavors. I heard the following story from my great aunt when I was young. Even as I read more authentic versions subsequently, I am sticking to my grandma's tale. The Lord created the Universe and decided to populate the Universe. He created four young “humen” beings and asked them to populate the Universe. He implied that the lives in the Universe would be happy provided one would stick to Dharma. The four mind-children of the Lord (manasa putras) did not move. They could not take their wide eyes oﬀ the bewitching form of the Lord They could not tear themselves away from the immensely
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VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS
VOLUME 01-12 / 2012
satisfying immediate presence of the Lord, the formless Brahman. Their countenance indicated that they were perfectly happy. Looking at the Lord, the ultimate reality, they were brimming with bliss. The Lord realized that neither the normal nocturnal pleasures nor the huge heavenly happiness would anymore interest these beings. They had Kaivalya or Moksha even before they could be in bondage. They came to be known as nitya suris or perennial enlightened ones. The Lord still wanted to go ahead with his pet project of creating a Universe with diﬀerent creatures and experiences. So he created the four-headed Brahma, one of the Indian Trinity, and bade him to create beings including human beings. But the Lord created Brahma this time with Brahma's back to Him so that Brahma would not see Him and attain instant nirvana like the earlier ones. Brahma duly chanted “OM', the pranava mantra, and created the universe and the creatures . All beings thereafter went about their life cycles feverishly looking for some crumbs of happiness here and there in the midst of widespread unhappiness. There was never a chance to escape this unending cycle of births and deaths. Since everyone from Brahma downwards had never experienced the ultimate reality, people were looking outward for happiness. Thus even though the Lord is said to have entered every being and resided as pure consciousness in everyone, nobody knew what was “behind the back” as it were. Someone had to say “Look Inward”. The Lord decided that there should be an escape route (nivritti marga) for some of those who were earnestly looking for liberation. He then asked one of the Nitya suris, Sanatkumara to help the deserving human beings to achieve moksha or liberation. Sanatkumara then was born to Siva, the third of the Trinity, as Kumara or Skanda. Because he had the direct experience of the Lord, the ultimate reality, he was astonished at the complete ignorance of all the beings about the ultimate reality. He even went up to Brahma, the creator aspect of the Trinity, and asked about how he started creation and if he knew the ultimate reality. Brahma said that he did it after chanting “OM” as mentioned in the vedas. Then Kumara promptly asked him for the meaning of “OM”, the pranava mantra and Brahma fumbled. “No, I do not know that” said Brahma sheepishly. Kumara became angry and said that Brahma was incompetent. Promptly Kumara imprisoned Brahma and took over creation himself. Soon enough all those he created were like him and quickly the original scheme of the Lord of sustainable creation was coming to naught. Siva, the third of the Trinity and father of Kumara, then went up to him and asked him to release Brahma and let him do his work. But Kumara refused and said that the person who does not know the meaning of OM, the name/ mantra of the Ultimate Reality, Brahman, is incompetent to do such an important task as creation. Siva said that he himself did not know the meaning of OM and casually asked the enlightened son for the meaning of Pranava. Kumara said that he would teach him, provided his father would study under him following strictly all the rules of a student. Siva agreed and became a disciple of his own son. Skanda taught him the meaning of OM and Siva became enlightened. Skanda then came to be known as 'tahappan swami” (Tamil) or “lord/preceptor/ guru of one's own father”. Brahma also learnt it and was then released by Kumara to continue his work. Siva then devised a method of understanding the ultimate reality, the Brahman or Purusha. It came to be known as Yoga, a very arduous procedure which only a few were able or willing to undertake and they came to be called as Yogis. Siva then bade Patanjali to formulate the yogia system which became the source book for all those who would like to take the 'spiritual' path and realize the ultimate reality which according to the Upanishad is Brahman. But the desire for liberation (mumukshatva) does not come about easily. It needs right information and a lot of persuasion and convincing. Even the most cultured intellectual
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One hundred times happier are the ajana devas and the ones who have mastered the scriptures (and OM) and are free from all desires. very rich and propertied. the one who we came across earlier in the story. the bliss of the enlightened one like the nitya suris we came across in the beginning is unsurpassed. Those who are well versed in the scriptures and absolutely desireless with respect to the entire creation are also as happy as Brahma. One hundred times happier will be the Gandharvas. We all experience limited happiness. a noble soul -a dharmic person. Gandharvas are considered to be the lowest in the hierarchy of gods and are basically excellent singers. So the old foundation texts like the Upanishads.. the limit of human happiness. All other human beings will have less than one unit of human happiness. says the upanishad. skillfully leads to the unsurpassed bliss of the Brahman awareness. try multiple methods to wean away the disgruntled from the mundane existence to the 'spiritual' path. So is the one who has mastered the scriptures (and the Pranava or OM) and is absolutely not tormented by desires.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 (vidusha) has a thick veil of avidya in so far as 'spiritual' goal is concerned.VINYASAKRAMA. etc. It emphatically states that the one who knows PAGE 4 OF 106 WWW. Let us mark it as one unit of human happiness. Take the case of a young person. Is there more than one unit or measure of happiness? Yes. and those who are well versed in the scriptures and free from all desires Indra. So also those human beings who have known the scriptures (and the Pranava) and who have given up all desires. One hundred times happier than the deva Gandharvas are the pitrus (manes). A hundred times happier is Brahma. so also those who have mastered the vedas and remain absolutely desireless. like the Nitya suris referred to earlier. a great leader with an excellent physique. several puranas like the Bhagavata Purana. who are propitiated by vedic sacriﬁces and who are a hundred times happier than the previous lot. eternal and inﬁnite. is said to be a hundred times happier than Brihaspati along with those who have mastered the vedas and are untouched by any kind of desire. like an emperor. the Samkhya philosophy. so also those who are proﬁcient in the vedas and pranava and are absolute Vairagis. the boss of the gods is said to be one hundred times happier than the gods. Such a person would be the happiest human being. the four faced creator aspect of the Trinity. the old texts aver as in the case of even the four headed Brahma. perfect and strong limbs and senses. Then there are the gods like the ﬁre. His/Her bliss. the unknown at the present. One method is to lead them from the known to the unknown. a deva gandharva. Who is the happiest human being? The upanishad talks of a perfect human being. Prajapati. say the upanishads. wind. We all know both happiness and unhappiness. the celestial singer is capable of one hundred times more happiness than the ordinary Manushya Gandharvas. But then the leader of this divine tribe. so also the ones who have mastered the scriptures (and OM) and are absolutely free of all desires. The Upanishad from the known facts about happiness. water. a son of Brahma. Brihaspati the preceptor of the devas is said to enjoy hundred times more happiness than Indra himself. an exceptional scholar.COM . the Bhagavat Gita. So the upanishads start from known happiness and compare it to the bliss of 'spiritual' knowledge/experience. Then the one who is able to see the in-dweller of all beings and the one in the sun yonder as one and the same Brahman-the ultimate reality.is happier than even four faced Brahma (catur mukha). the Yoga Sutra.
And ﬁnally by deep meditation. Then one contemplates and then possibly gets convinced about the correctness when it is known as anumana or inferential knowledge. How does Patanjali handle this. A lot of times the chitta imagines a number of things without any solid base called vikalpa vrittis. the vritti nirodha state. Some times the chitta is engaged in collecting information and sifting the facts from that. In that state of Kaivalya or chitta vritti Nirodha the mind is in a state of absolute objectless samadhi and the three gunas are in a state of equilibrium. according to Patanjali is one every chitta potentially has. We are familiar with these states of mind. women would not say the name of the husbands as it was considered disrespectful. depression (soka) and distraction (vikshepa). ﬁve states we are all familiar with. Pranava itself is a beautiful word. Again here the Sutras lead the yogi from known states to a state unknown but within everyone's reach through Yoga. as Patanjali says in the Yoga Sutras. the ultimate reality.. and Samadhi one is able to directly experience the state that was not there to start with which these works talk about. It is then known as pratyaksha or yougika pratyaksha or direct perception through Yoga. many of the potent mantras are not directly mentioned but only through the name of the mantra. the pure consciousness unaﬀected by space (akasa) and time (avakasa).VINYASAKRAMA. Patanjali refers to this state of the mind called nirodha state which is none of the ﬁve vrittis we are all familiar with. Thus the old texts lead us. The meditation or chanting of the mantra would be referred to as pranava dhyana or pranava japa. They are the desire to possess (prepsa). It is a state of absolute peace or irrevocable and complete satisfaction. Our dreams including day dreams will come under this category.especially in the South. These thought systems are called Agamas or traditional authentic systems indicating that they are given to human beings for the general good and the prima facie view is that they are valid. ****** In the olden days. One has to ask the other family members the name of one's husband. A census inspector will have a diﬃcult time getting the name of the spouse from the wife. But the Yogi's vritti nirodha is a state of the chitta which is none of the above. attains the highest state (brahmavit aapnoti param). desire to know (jignyasa). but has never experienced. Many stop at that and excel in that intellectual indirect experience. desire to rid (jihasa). which is known as pramana vritti. But how can we trust the upanishads or philosophies like Samkhya or Yoga? Yes that is the main problem for many. More often the chitta from the information received misses the facts and comes to wrong conclusions. The ﬁrst information is gotten from these works and that knowledge is known as paroksha or indirect. 'Prakarshena nauti sthouti iti pranavah'. from the known to the superior unknown . fear (bhaya). but the state of Kaivalya/nirodha is beyond these known states. Then there are occasions when we ruminate over the past. in India. desire for action (chikirsha). Our vrittis fall into one group or the other. slowly but surely. Likewise. Then a lot of time is spent in deep sleep when one forgets everything including oneself due to the dominance of Tamas. remember facts stored in the mind called smriti vrittis. leading the yogabhyasi from what is known to what is unknown and superior? He refers to ﬁve states or ﬁve activities of the mind or chitta. If one wants to say the “OM” mantra one would more likely say the pranava mantra than just “OM” mantra. known to yogis as viparyaya vrithis. usually highly academic.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 the Brahman. The sixth state of the mind. Patanjali again mentions this state as something beyond the seven motives/ stimuli that drive us to act variously. Scholars refer to it as a word derived from the root “Nam” or “nam” to bow (Nam prahvi bhave) as used in namah or namaste.COM . meaning pranava is the highest praise or obeisance to the highest PAGE 5 OF 106 WWW. one pointedness (ekeagrata chitta). All our lives we move through these ﬁve chitta vrittis.
There are other important mantras who have separate names. The mantras especially pranava were chanted. 'Om namo narayanaya' my Guru's favorite mantra is known as ashtakshari as it has eight syllables. always 'nava' and hence pranava. here Iswara or Brahman. Another interesting interpretation of this word comes from deriving the word from another root 'nav' (or nava) to begin or new like 'novo'. But what is the meaning of the mantra “OM”? It is grist for another article. This namassivaya mantra is more often referred to as 'panchakshari' or ﬁve syllable mantra even as there are scores of other mantras which have ﬁve syllables. a happy new year!! Best Wishes Sincerely Srivatsa Ramaswami PAGE 6 OF 106 WWW. 'Om namo bhagavate vasudevaya' is a very popular Krishna mantra and is known as 'dwadasakshari' as there are 12 syllables in it.VINYASAKRAMA.com and clicking on the Newsletter tab. the brain child of Viswamitra is referred to as gayatri.' and even though there are many other mantras in the Gayatri meter.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 principle. meditated upon and referred to with considerable devotion and respect in the olden days. Contemporary use of 'OM' on tea shirts. ****** The entire Universe Even as it is awesome Is but a grand illusion (maya kalpita) Like the space and objects in a mirror Like the space and objects in a dream Like those created by a magician Or like the creation of a (siddha) yogi* From Dakshinamurti Ashtaka of Adi Sankara *Like Sage Viswamitr a who is said to have used his yogic powers to create an illusory heaven for his disciple King Trisanku. only this particular mantra. vests and other casual wares is sometimes diﬃcult to put up with. Then we have another famous mantra “namassivaya”. The Gayatri mantra which is of the gayatri meter refers to the mantra starting with 'tat savitur. ***** My old news letters with several articles can be accessed by visiting my website www. Thank you for reading up to here And again.. Since Brahman is said to be pure consciousness and never changes it is always new.COM .vinyasakrama.
has been in vogue since the vedic times. Sri Krishnamacharya in his yoga work “Nathamuni's Yoga Rahasya” gives a number of instructions for doing pranayama towards the end of the ﬁrst chapter. an important anga of Yoga. parts of yoga pranayama has been used to prepare oneself for meditation.VINYASAKRAMA. In fact Manu in his famous Manusmriti says that the pranayama mantra which consists of prnava. Los Angeles. the gayatri and the head or siras portion should be recited while holding the breath in Kumbhaka three times to be called as pranayama. then the siris are (silently) recited. Sri Krishnamacharya in his “Nathamini's Yoga Rahasya” says that sagarbha pranayama is several times more beneﬁcial.) each preceded by pranava (OM) then the gayatri. I will be teaching three programs in Mexico City during the last week of February. India I am planning to come to USA by middle of February. If in pranayama you can introduce some noble thoughts for meditation like an uplifting mantra. which also includes the potent gayatri as a part of it.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 February 2012 Newsletter — Mantra Pranayama After a four month stay in Chennai. However since it is also the anga prior to the antaranga or meditation. He commends the use of Pranava and the pranayama mantra with gayatri while doing pranayama practice..COM . bhava thought or an image such pranayamas are called sagarbha pranayama or pranayama pregnant with lofty ideas. Sri Krishnamacharya also emphasizes the need to meditate on the meaning of the mantras like the suggestion of Patanjali in YS. Manusmiti says as follows “sa vyahritim sa pranavaam gayatriim sirasa saha trifpateth ayataf pranah pranayamassa uchyate” Here is the transla tion“Pranayama is that in which the seven vyahritis (bhuh bhuvaha. even though a smaller and smaller number of Hatha yogis do a smaller and smaller number of pranayamas. Hathayoga pradeepika and several other hatha yohga texts talk about a variety of pranayamas with diﬀerent ratios in considerable detail and as I said enough literature is available on pranayama. as a stand alone mantra is used by renunciates like consummate yogis and advaitins.” PAGE 7 OF 106 WWW. MANTRA PRANAYAMA Considerable amount of literature is now available on Pranayama (from ancient and contemporary yogis). the most potent mantra and the mother of all mantras. In fact according to Brahmananda who wrote an important commentary of Hathayogapradeepika. And the gayatri impregnated vedic pranayama mantra is used by householders and others in all pranayama. Hatha yoga is indeed Pranayama. Sagarbha pranayama done with pranayama mantra from the vedas. Thanks to the good eﬀorts of Roxana Letechipia who attended my last Teacher Training Program at LMU. Usually pranava (OM).. There will be two weekend workshops and a week long certiﬁcate program. My next newsletter may have a few Spanish words. “Core Vinyasa Krama Yoga”. Most people who do ritualistic pranayama in India use the pranayama mantra referred to earlier. Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras succinctly gives the parameters of pranayama along with the beneﬁts. more than the mechanical pranayama done generally by hatha yogis. the seven vyahritis.
I got the whole chapter (about 45 minutes of continuous chanting) recorded some 25 years back by “Sangeetha” and I believe it is available in some stores in Chennai. “Om Bhuh. Usually in course of time they would learn to do long inhalation and exhalation say in nadishodhana. My Guru also said that when doing any mantra in japa. If you try to do the chant thrice in one go it would taken a minute and holding the breath for one minute could be a real challenge to most and so most people stick to the earlier option. So we have one set of people who do pranayama without mantras as most hatha yogis do and another group especially in India who chant the mantra faithfully but do not do the prnayama at all and thus both lose out. Since children sometimes as young as 5 were initiated into vedic studies.vinyasakrama. PAGE 8 OF 106 WWW. om tapah. then the gayatri and then the siras which runs like this. The quickie pranayama is three times but it is recommended that on should do 10 times the samantra pranayama. So many go by the 1:4:2 ratio. What does this mantra signify. om janah. One may inhale for 5 seconds then chant the mantra during internal holding for 20 seconds and then exhale for 10 seconds. But most people just chant the mantra without the pranayama--they may merely touch the nose but not do the pranayama. more or less. ”om apah jyoti rasah amrtam brahma bhurbhuvassuvarom” is the pranayama mantra. the last chapter of Yajur veda. This mantra appears in Mahanarayana Upanishad. om bhuvah. But then because they are young they may not be taught to do calibrated pranayama. but generally it is chanted once and three such pranayamas will make one bundle of pranayama. The pranayama mantra is 64 syllables and takes about 20 seconds to chant. You may learn the pranayama mantra—visit my website www. It even led the much revered previous Sankaracharya of Kanchi to remark that if only Indians would hold the breath (kumbhaka) rather than just touch/hold the nose they would all become great yogis and spiritual persons. What about the duration for inhalation and exhalation? Sri Krishnamacharya says in Yoga Rahasya that it should be vishamavritti indicating that the time duration for inhalation exhalation and breath holding would vary. om satyam. meditating within the heart etc. many times we get initiated into a mantra routine without knowing what it means. it becomes obligatory for them to do sandhya and hence mantra pranayama and silent gayatri chant.VINYASAKRAMA.com/chants and click on the “Learn Pranayama Mantra chant” tab. The verse quoted above says three times and some interpret it as chanting the mantra three times while holding the breath. Later they will be taught the whole vishamavritti pranayama as explained earlier. So the mantra is chanted silently in pranayama. India. om mahah. in pranayama or meditation. This upanishad also contains several beautif ul mantras used on a daily basis like the oﬀering to the ﬁve pranas (before taking food). om suvah. That makes it lot more powerful and meaningful. All yogis know that Patanjali insists on contemplating on the meaning of pranava when doing pranava japa to get the grace of Iswara. When it is done three times it is called panayama.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 It should be chanted (silently) while holding the breath (kumbhaka).COM . The breath holding after exhalation is considered a hathayoga practice and many orthodox people who do pranayama as part of the Puja or Japa ritual dispense with bahya kumbhaka and the bandhas. one should think of the meaning or import of the mantra. (Contrast this with the hathayoga approach of going up to 80 times mantraless pranayama).
After this creation the Brahman entered and permeated the entire Universe (tat eva anupravisat) and every being as the individual Self. the sixth “Om tapah” would represent the Brahman as one deeply contemplating and ﬁnally the pristine state of consciousness “Om satyam” the one and only Brahaman. But the word loka is interpreted in a more esoteric sense by a few scholars. This meaning of the pranayama mantra is vividly brought to the mind as the pranayama mantra is recited silently during antah kumbhaka. Just as the sun with its lustrous orb lights the entire world. The Brahman once thought that it should become many (bahusyam praja yeyeti). dream and deep sleep. They say that the words loka and look are derived from the same root . contemplate on the consciousness. and is known to the individual as the inner Self during the three states of waking. It refers to It as OM. the universal light. So when doing pranayama during breath holding internally.COM . Then the second part of the pranayama mantra is the gayatri mantra. the fourth vyahriti is the consciousness beyond the three earlier mentioned known amongst the vedantins as the fourth state of the mind (turiya) or the yogi's kaivalya state. Om mahah. And the seven lokas are the seven perceptions of the ultimate reality which is Brahman the pure non changing consciousness. the essence of the entire Universe. one would think of the same consciousness being aware of the individual dream state. Then the next mantra. Then in the next stage It deeply contemplated as to how it should create the universe and make many microcosmic individual consciousness. represented by pranava or 'om during the waking state. Brahman in its pristine state is alone and there was no time or space (aksha and avakasha) in contention. one would say 'om bhuh'. the source of the universe. The same consciousness now is identiﬁed with the Brahmana that created the Universe (Om Janah). so that the chitta vrittis are experienced or 'seen' in the mind's eye . The last portion known as the siras or the head.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 So what is the meaning of this wonderful pranayama mantra? Again there are diﬀerent interpretations. Then it is known as samantraka or PAGE 9 OF 106 WWW. Then after deep contemplation and planning It created the entire Universe (idam sarvam asrujata).. is an encomium to the ultimate Brahman.VINYASAKRAMA. 'om suvah” would refer to the same consciousness witnessing the deep sleep stage. With this the abhyasi is able to identify and meditate up on the same one Brahaman as seen in diﬀerent states. So an advaitin while doing pranayama is able to reinforce the advaitic conviction. This state was known as the stage of tapas of the Brahman (sa tapo tapyata). The theory that there is only one consciousness that exists both at the cosmic and at the microcosmic level is the bedrock of the advaita (No two conciousnesses) viewpoint. It again refers to the ultimate reality as the inner light. So this approach which gels with the advaita philosophy would be as follows: According to the Upanishads. The seven vyahrutis are considered as representing the seven states of the same consciousness four at the microcosmic level and three at the cosmic level. pure consciousness. Then as the second vyahriti 'om bhuvah ' is recited. the Brahman/Self lights the entire chitta or the internal world of the meditator. immortal (unchanging). The conventional meaning for the seven vyahritis is seven diﬀerent worlds starting with the world we live in to six other higher worlds.
The mantra “sivasiva” of four syllables is chanted 16 times during one breath hold corresponding to 64 syllables as in the pranayama mantra referred to earlier. And in bahya kumbhaka one would contemplate that pure Brahman alone is real. Vishnu and Siva).VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 sagarbha pranayama. Those who believe in the reality of world and the trinity (Brahma. It is said that those who are well versed in the chakras are able to identify the seven vyahritis with the seven chakras in the body using the respective bijakshara or seed mantras. not signiﬁcant. There are other types of mantras used. the protector/sustainer chanting pranava 64 times. If it goes below 5 seconds one would stop the practice and rest to regain the vinyasa krama acceptable breath. According to Manu this samantra pranayama is the greatest Tapas/ meditation. Almost all the puranas have a section on yoga which describe diﬀerent asanas and pranayamas. In Vinyasakrama asana practice. breath synchronization with slow movements is an essential element. My Guru. (I think with all this evidence one may say with some conviction that Yoga is more than 100 years old). would use pranayama to reinforce their faith. Diﬀerent smritis and very old yoga texts refer to a variety of pranayamas with and without mantras. Then while exhaling through the right nostril one should meditate on Siva of dark color (tamo guna) chanting pranava 32 times. refer to ananta samapatti in YS) or 'with a mild rubbing sensation in the throat'. It alone exists. And while doing pranayam introduction of mantras and bhavas helps to bring the mind to a focus which will be of considerable help when one starts the meditation process. with long deep inhalation and exhalation. Then closing both the nostrils and holding the breath in kumbhaka one should think of the white colored (satva guna) Hari. not real. For more information on pranayama you may consider referring to my book “Yoga for the Three Stages of Life” pages 189 to 211. Then while exhaling the ego “I' with the entire Universe is discarded as nothing but an illusion. The time taken in actual practice may be between 5 to 10 or 12 seconds depending on one's capacity and control. Then one should start inhaling through the right nostril for 16 matras chanting pranava 16 times and continue the pranayama for a predetermined number of times with both mantra and bhava. Here is a pranayama for renunciates: While doing puraka or inhalation the thought would be that the entire universe is ultimately drawn into the Brahman.VINYASAKRAMA. In this way. One would start the movement with the beginning of inhalation or exhalation and complete the movement with the completion of that breathing phase.COM . Inhaling through the left nostril one should think of the four faced Brahma the creator aspect of the trinity and of blood red hue (rajas guna) while chanting Om 16 times. Thus Sri Krishnamacharya following the tradition of yoga described in old yoga texts like the PAGE 10 OF 106 WWW. the intercostal muscles are stretched and toned up and by the time pranayama is started the accessory muscles of breathing are well exercised so that one has a well oiled breathing apparatus for a very productive pranayama practice. For instance saivaites tend to chant the siva mantras as they hold the breath as mentioned in the Tamil Saiva classic “Tirumandiram”. Sri Krsishnamacharya's Yoga teachings were unique and very rich. Sri T Krishnamacharya would say 'breathe with hissing sound' (a la cobra. Then while in antahkumbhaka the contemplation would be that the outside Universe and I are no diﬀerent from the Brahman. Some make an eﬀort to visualize the cosmic Brahman in the seven chakras in the microcosm itself.
com and clicking on the Newsletter tab..vinyasakrama.@vinyasakrama.VINYASAKRAMA. smritis and other ancient texts helped to understand and achieve the best of an outstanding ancient system called Yoga. You may access the earlier Newsletter by visiting my website www.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 yoga sutras.COM . Any comments or suggestions please e mail to in.. the puranas.com Best wishes Sincerely Srivatsa Ramaswami PAGE 11 OF 106 WWW.
Since the program was in Tamil I thought I should have the commentary to the asana portion in English. I took the video to Konica Laboratories in Chennai and they managed to make a DVD with occasional jumpy and bumpy pictures.COM . Badri had then managed to record all the programs. The programs were done over a period of about ten weeks. I taught a well attended two day workshop at Gabriela Tavera's Inspira Yoga and am now doing a 25 hour certiﬁcation course in Core Vinyasakrama Yoga at Jorge Espionaz's Centro Kiai Yoga with a good turnout and lively participation. Thank you Roxana for all your kind eﬀorts. the best ﬁlm studio in the country and I thought the audio recording came out well. my Supreme Lord. After a four month sojourn in Chennai. Roxana completed my 200 hr Teacher training program at LMU last July. I was still studying with my Guru at that time and teaching simultaneously in Kalakshetra. India I returned to USA middle of February. Next weekend I will be teaching at Mukta Yoga in Mexico City before returning to New Jersey. You are the Relative and the Friend. You are Wisdom so are You Wealth. I am here in M exico City and am enjoying my stay and teaching. You are indeed all. Nice prayer from the Mahabharata. They said that they would 'stitch' the audio and video and I am expecting to receive the product soon.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 March 2012 Newsletter — Chanting with Sri Krishnamacharya On Feb 24t h I participated in the inauguration of the yoga studio of my friend Roxana Letechipia here in Mexico City. During my stay I managed to lay my hands on an old video cassette of a series of TV programs on Yoga I had done in Chennai in early 1980s. and others parameters I thought the programs had come out well with the cooperation of excellent students from Kalakshetra. interest and support. PAGE 12 OF 106 WWW. They consisted of asanas and short interviews in Tamil my mother tongue. called tvameva yoga. I was tickled seeing the programs after so many years and how I was teaching at that time.VINYASAKRAMA. On the wall of the studio was inscribed this old famous Sanskrit sloka tvameva mata cha pita tvameva tvameva bandhuscha sakha tvameva tvameva vidya dravinam tvameva tvameva sarvam mamadevadeva You are the Mother. I was not fully exposed to all the vinyasas that Sri Krishnamacharya would eventually teach. I think I may have to add English captions to the interviews so that it can be useful. It was nice function and scores of her friends were there. and the Father. And considering the limitations of TV programs. My 10 year old son. the time constraints. The quality of the video cassette had deteriorated over time and disuse. My friends Srimathy and Ravi in Chennai arranged for the audio recording at Prasad Studios. The program runs for about an hour or so.
The next parameter is maatra or the time duration for each letter. indicating that I should be ready to start the class. ****** CHANTING WITH SRI KRISHNAMACHARYA Betw een 1980 and 1995 I recorded for a recording company.COM . Thanks again to the help of my friends Srimathy and Ravi.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 I have also been wanting to start working on “A Complete DVD on Vinyasa krama Yoga”. Bala is strength of the chanting. I hope they will be able to organize the on line downloading soon. Now I am more conﬁdent of shooting the rest of the sequences without much fuss. During my recent visit to Chennai I talked to H M SriKrishna. many chants I learnt from Sri Krishnamacharya and more. “Sangeetha”. I had. Two of the main works Sundara Kanda (10hrs) and Aswamedha (3hrs) appear missing though) One of the highlights of the time I spent studying with Sri Krishnamacharya was learning vedic chanting. The total chant time of all the program may be about 30 hrs. You may click on individual titles for more information on each program and some have a LISTEN button to listen to a clip. I took it home and saw it contained a few of my Guru's asana pictures. The ﬁrst one is varna or the letters. when I was about ten.VINYASAKRAMA. (I just got a message saying that 18 of my programs are now available on line and are downloadable. I have not tested the sites and I hope they work.com Open th e site and type Srivatsa Ramaswami in the search window for the complete list. In fact each character has a distinct place of origin in the body and many experts have deﬁned them. The Vajrasana sequence was done by my friend Ranjit Babu. So when the opportunity arose to learn more chants I took it with considerable enthusiasm. www. As I was leaﬁng through them my Guru came into the room and said “Take it home if you want”. Sama is modulation. A list of my programs is available. One of their students Sundar did the Tadasana sequence. His chanting encompassed all the parameters of vedic chanting. I managed to shoot two sequences. Sri Krishnamacharya's chanting was very similar to the way others chanted in South India but had a superior quality. the short and long syllables and a few having more than 2 matras like the pranava.sangeethamusic. the core vinyasas of Tadasana and Vajrasana in their new Yogashala. Santana is the observance of all rules of conjunction. in the following site. a partner of the ﬁrm. I think it can be salvaged if I can redo the audio track. and he said that they were about to make available online about 18 of my titles—hope it works out. During the eighties one day when I came to the class my Guru was not in his room. PAGE 13 OF 106 WWW. In Sanskrit the consonants and vowels have a deﬁnite character and they can not be changed and there are no silent letters in Sanskrit words. I thought the asanas were good but the audio suﬀered badly due to the environmental noise as some construction work was going on in the vicinity. While waiting for him in his room I saw a couple of old small photo albums on his table. my former Kalakshetra student who was a model for several asanas in my Complete Book of Vinyasa Yoga. I found the album in my Chennai home and brought it to USA. started having private training in Vedic chanting at home (for about 3 to 4 years I guess) and so was familiar with Vedic Chanting. usually the chanting should be in the middle tone not high pitched nor low.
It may not be too strenuous as one rests for two minutes listening to the chants and does one Namaskara for let us say 1 ½ to 2 mts. I have also chanted the third chapter of Taittiriya Aranyaka along with a laukika work called Indrakshi and Siva Kavacha. So those who fast on these days chant this. his willingness to teach vedic chanting or svadhyaya as he would call it to those interested. There are three chapters in Aswameda volume along with achidra and all of them take about three hours. Sun is the deity for health. I also recorded the last four chapters of the Yajur veda. is not that well known. Fasting on ekadasi and doing chanting for 3 hours in the afternoon could have a deep cleansing eﬀect on the mindbody system There were a few other beautiful chants that I learnt from Krishnmacharya that I PAGE 14 OF 106 WWW. the puranas and other later day works. even breaking the conventional restrictions of vedic chanting. This is said to be the highest religious rite of the vedas and only emperors could do the actual ritual. The second chapter is called swadhyaya chapter and is also known as Kushmanda Homa. It is a good work to help understand the thought process involved in the enquiry into the ultimate reality. The 11th day is said to be the day of fasting and cleansing the body and mind. Mahabharata.COM . But everyone can chant or listen to this three hour chant.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 I studied chanting with Sri Krishnamacharya for several years. It is normally chanted in the afternoon of the Ekadasi or the 11th day after New moon or Full moon days. This is the ﬁrst chapter in Taittiriya Aranyaka. Aditya hridaym takes hardly 8 mts to chant and it is recommended that one should do it everyday before undertaking the day's work. These two chants are very absorbing if we know the general import and follow the trend while we chant or hear them I also recorded another vedic masterpiece called Aswamedha. Lord Rama in Ramayana is said to have chanted before the ﬁnal assault on Ravana. The otherwise drab chanting appeared to have life and buoyancy coming from him.VINYASAKRAMA. Both these upanishads are currently in vogue and many chant them. Taitiriya upanishad is one of the masterpieces on Vedanta and several acharyas have written detailed commentaries on them. Suryanamaskara (Arunam) or Sun Salutation was one of his favorites and one of the most popular chants in South India. It is said to remove the blemishes of the mind. This chant is said to bestow good health to all those who chant or listen. The vedic portion is very nice to hear. On the strength of my learning chanting from Sri Krishnamacharya I was able to record almost all the vedic chants I had learnt from him. Indrakshi and sivakavacha are prayers to Siva and Sakthi and is very popular in the state of Kerala. Then on the following morning they have early lunch and prior to that they chant or listen to the three chapters of Taittiriya Upanishad. there are other chants like in the Ramayana. While Sri Krishnamacharya is known for his contribution to Hatayoga especially asanas. a loukika chant which can be chanted by everyone without any restrictions. The orthodox view is that vedic chanting should be done only by those who are initiated by a vedic rite called upanayana but. Kushmanda Homa or the swadhyaya chapter oﬀers an encomium to the famous Gayatri mantra and its eﬃcacy. It is contained in my program called “Aditya Hridaya and Vedic chanting”. I have included Varuna Puja along with this in my cd. One may consider listening to the chant on Sundays and doing suryanamaskara at the end of each of the 32 stanzas. (1) the Taittiriya Upanishad (3 chapters) and also (2) Mahanarayana upanishad (the last chapter). It takes about two hours for the entire exercise. I think I must have spent over 1500 hrs learning and then chanting with him. Aditya hridaya is a very famous chant. chanting of Suryanamaskara. It runs for an hour and in every Teacher Training program I chant this text consisting of 32 sections and the participants do one Suryanamaskara at the end of the chanting of each section. It was a great experience listening to his chants and also chanting with him long passages like Suryanamaskara or Mahanarayana Upanishad or Pravargya sometimes running for an hour or more at a stretch.
Subramanya. in a great hurry. which again is a popular chant PAGE 15 OF 106 WWW. I have also recorded the Saharanamavali of Anjaneya. This is chanted by many every day. One was the three chapters of Taittiriya Kataka running for about two hours and another the Pravargya portion which has two chapters and take about two hours. He said inter alia that his father used to listen to this cassette and chant along with it as part of his daily worship of Mother Sakti. Sakti. The other Sahasranama which is also quite popular is Lalita Sahasranama. I also recorded a number of other works on sakthi. He said that his father had since died and the family wanted to continue the practice of chanting the work and wanted to get a cassette because the one his father had used had become defective with overuse. I think it is a very charming work in praise of Lord Ganesa. Siva. One is Vishnu Sahasranama or the thousand names of Vishnu from the Mahabharata. I had spent hundreds of hours chanting these vedic chants with my Guru Sri Krishnamacharya. It is an outpouring of Bhakti by a mute dumb devotee who became a poet due to the grace of Kamakshi the presiding deity in the famous temple in Kancheepuram about 40 miles from Chennai.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 did not record.However the Spanish edition of my book contains the cd Ganesa Sahasranama is the work from Ganesa Purana. from a Purana. My recording company asked me to do a series of such chants. virtually mutilating the beautiful names of the Lord. Then Indakshi Siva kavacha in which Sivakavacha is said to be a mantra to protect oneself from external dangers. Thereafter I used to chant with my Guru. It takes about half an hour to chant this but it is sad that many people because of pressure of time try to do it in 15 or 20 minutes.COM . One is Gayatri Sahasranama and the other is Durga Sahasranama. I also did the Sahasranama in the form of namavali for Subramania. Even though I learnt vedic chanting from my Guru and was able to record them there were a number of other chants. The last class I had with my Guru was one afternoon when we chanted Suryanamaskara together. I had also recited two other works on Sakthi for another company and I ﬁnd these are available still in some musical stores in Chennai. There are innumerable works in Sanskrit and also in regional languages. I think I had recorded it in 1981 or 1982. It is written in some diﬃcult meters and has 100 slokas for each of the ﬁve chapters.. They are Ganapati. According to Sankara there are 6 forms of orthodox worship in India. It is chanted during the Navaratri or Dasara celebrations. Another work on Mother is the work called Mooka Pancha Sati (The ﬁve hundred slokas from Mooka). Hariharaputra (ayyappa) and Sage Raghavendra. the same text that contains the Bhagavat Gita. I had also chanted the famous vedic chant on Siva Rudrama and chamakam which contains the famous mrityunjaya mantra and it was part of the cd (now discontinued) that we added to the Complete Book of Vinyasa Yoga. It is very beautiful to chant and hear. I received a mail from someone in India inquiring where he could ﬁnd a cassette of my chanting of Lalita Sahasranama. On Siva. This was a very satisfying time of my life. A few years back when I was in Los Angeles teaching at LMU. My grandmother used to chant a Tamil versions of this during every Navaratri. One is called Devi Mahatmya which runs for about three hours and has about 700 verses. It takes about 3 hrs to chant the entire work. a very popular deity in the South.VINYASAKRAMA. I had Vedasara Sivasahasranama or 1000 names of Lord consistent with vedic tradition. which any one can chant and which are very popular in India. One can see the slokas inscribed in the walls of this famous Kamakshi temple. Vishnu and Surya. I wanted to record them and also the Bhagavat Gita but could not get the opportunity. I was able to record a number of such works. There are two works which are very popular among devotees. For several years Sri Desikachar and myself would chant with him in chorus. the six headed son of Siva. the laukika chants.
It is a ten hour program. The earlier newsletters with the artic les can be accessed by visiting my website www. Those who are aﬄicted by the adverse eﬀects of Saturn or Sani try to get solace from Sundara Kanda.amazon. was “Sandhyavandana” or the prayer ritual done at dawn. dusk. that perhaps sold the maximum number of cassettes.vinyasakrama. Another work. Chanting is helpful.com and opening the Newsletter tab.Color) (Spanish Edition) are available from Amazon. Listening to those vedic and old chants is very uplifting. LA (Libro+CD .COM .. Yoga is a subject which whatever be the entry point reveals its richness slowly (yogena yoga jnatavyah) Sri Krishnamacharya was a Guru who always had something more to give something diﬀerent something higher uplifting always. as given below http://www. and midday by thousands of people in India. I named it Balaramayana or Ramayana for children because in the olden days this text used to be taught to school children to learn Sanskrit and also familiarize them with Ramayana. I loved chanting with him. The last program I did for Sangeetha was the recitation of Sundara Kanda of the epic Valmiki Ramayana.amazon. Lalita Sahasranam mentioned earlier is often chanted on Friday evenings and also on Full moon days.com/Yoga-etapas-Three-Stages-Spanish/dp/9707751932/ref=sr_1_12? s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1330527098&sr=1-12 http://www.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 during Navaratri. I wrote an article with many pictures about this subject in Namarupa magazine a few years back.com/OBRA-COMPLETA-SOBRE-VINYASA-Libro/dp/ 8480199709/ref=sr_1_10?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1330527098&sr=1-10 Sincerely Srivatsa Ramaswami PAGE 16 OF 106 WWW.VINYASAKRAMA. it cleanses the mind.. When I was young my mother used to arrange for the Saharanama archana of Lalita in our house every Friday for a number of years. Many households arrange for the recitation of the same in one go or over a week. Other works I had recorded included Ramodantam or the story of Rama from birth to end.com The Spanish Editions of my books “Yoga for the Three Stages of Life” ( Yoga para las tres etapas de la vida/ Yoga for the Three Stages of Life (Spanish Edition) and “Complete Book of Vinyasa Yoga with an audio cd”( OBRA COMPLETA SOBRE EL VINYASA YOGA.@vinyasakrama. Any comments or suggestions please write to in. It is said to revive a person from the jaws of death or desperate situation as Sita was.
not unsettling.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 What is the purpose of Life? The purpose of life is to realize that There is no purpose to Life.. Have to ﬁnd another teacherComforting.COM . That's weird. but what after this 'realization'? One would work to avoid another birth Supposing I don't believe in rebirth? Supposing rebirth does not depend on your belief? That is even more crazy Guruji.VINYASAKRAMA. PAGE 17 OF 106 WWW.
Thank you and with best wishes Sincerely Srivatsa Ramaswami ********** On 3/11/12 . Srishubha ******* March 2.VINYASAKRAMA. we can meet on my next visit to my son. I did not want to delay it and club with the regular Newsletter due by April 1st and hence this out of turn letter.com> wrote: Respected Ramaswami. we had a couple of families with us over the last few days and we were extremely busy. Also. I sincerely request you to publish this slightly modiﬁed version below.@gmail. my son would be more than happy to brieﬂy visit you.COM . I would really appreciate it if you would also send me a copy of the newsletter. Since there is a general interest in Sri Krishnamacharya's life and his family I requested SriShubha for permission to circulate her letter among friends and she kindly agreed. Feel free to publish my email address as well. I am delighted to see your mail and to see that everything is going well with you.. Srishubha Mohankumar <srishu. my Guru and his last child.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 Mid March 2012 — Message from Sri Krishnamacharya's Daughter Last week when I was in Me xico. Hopefully. Sorry for the del ay in responding. I just wanted to highlight the impact that my parents teachings has had on me and my special needs child. 2012 Respected Ramaswami. If you decide to publish my letter. PAGE 18 OF 106 WWW. she had just then got married. When I ﬁrst met her she was about 5 or 6 years old and the last time I met her was more than 30 years back at my Guru's residence. daughter of Sri Krishnamacharya. I received a message on my Facebook account from Ms Srishubha.. Thank you once again for your response. However. Best wishes. Here is the correspondence. I am more than happy to answer any questions about by father that people may have. it is going to be for public consumption. if you have the time. it looks like I might not be in town when you are in Dallas. Since.
keeping an eye out for any mistakes that I might make. Her physical and cognitive skills have signiﬁcantly improved over the years. I feel a special connection with Appa when I think of how he too lived in the Himalayas and also managed a coﬀee estate in Chikmagalur district in his youth. Mami. dau ghter of T. Every day. I am also touched by your mention of the names of my siblings in your article.VINYASAKRAMA. I very fondly remember your mother. I am amazed by the impact he has even after so many years of his death. Kind regards to you and your family. I imagine Appa sitting in his chair and teaching me. I am now in Dallas. Harsha. Thanks once again for taking me back to those very precious days. Those were some of the very precious moments with father. I have lived in Shimla district. Texas with my son Deepak. born on 26th of January this year. The way you described Appa's inhalation and exhalation technique in your article brought a smile to my face because that's the way he used to teach me. It was a very nice gesture on your part. my son and his family would like it very much. who was always smiling like my own mother did. when I practice or teach. I feel that his blessings made all this possible for me. as we called her. I happened to read one of your articles and was deeply touched by it. Me. We have a small coﬀee plantation there. Srishubha PAGE 19 OF 106 WWW.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 I am Srishubha. I never realized how great Appa was. * If you happen to be in Dallas during this time we can surely meet. who needs special attention. Your article took me back to good old days in the Gopalapuram house and to the time when Appa used to take me along with him to teach a few of his students.Krishnamacharya (Appa for me). We used to refer to your house as Chitra Subramaniyam Mama's house. thanks to teachings of my father and also my mother (her own depth of knowledge in yoga and philosophy is vastly unknown to the world). and now shuttling between Bangalore and Karnataka's Hassan district.COM .* Like Appa would recite his very favourite prayerOm Namo Narayanaya Namaha Sri Gurbhyo Namaha. I don't know if you remember. After coming back from Indonesia. I told my son that this is the exact way Appa used to take my class. due to my husband's job we traveled a lot. Kullu district. This shows the respect you have for Appa. I will be here till 6th April and then head back to India. I came to Dallas to be with my newly born granddaughter. I am also learning more and more about him from articles such as yours. I also have a daughter.
The ﬁrst ﬁve clips pertain to Vajrasana (performed by Ranjit Babu) and the rest to Tadasana (Sunder) following the Vinyasakrama methodology.VINYASAKRAMA. VINYASAKRAMA YOGA VIDEOS In my March ne wsletter I had mentioned about the DVD I had made in India. Vajrasana Sequence Introduction to VK Yoga Srivatsa Ramaswami http://youtu. Here are the links to them. Pardon me for the poor quality of the audio.be/An4JcW7Sxp4 Malasana http://youtu.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 Vinyasakrama Yoga Videos Dear Friends: I am sending separately the newsletter for April 2012.be/w0iOkAI6nBw Utkatasana/Khagasana http://youtu.be/WvyYDmUkFGs Tadasana-On the Toes http://youtu.be/XnTYJf4nPmY Virasana http://youtu.be/7qxHQUo3L7o Vajrasana Return Sequence http://youtu. For some strange reason I could not combine the two.be/QZvRk16QHD8 Vajrasana/Ushtra/Kapotasana http://youtu.be/aw1UYXk3NFE Tadasana Sequence Hasta vinyasas http://youtu.be/g7fgpuGkgCA Vajrasana Lead Seqence http://youtu.be/e_0R__5po60 PAGE 20 OF 106 WWW.COM . It contains sequence adaptation of main vinyasas and asanas.be/ZgwThU9Z4Fs Uttanasana http://youtu. Then we have seven subsequences in Tadasana main sequence.The next contains the lead sequences the third one Vajrasana/ Ushtrasana/Kapotasana. as an extension of the sequence and the last one the return sequence.be/StZHtQVn5Ys Pasasana http://youtu. In all the total viewing time is close to an hour. the fourth one contains Virasana. Th frist is my introduction to VK. I hope to redo the audio and upload it later.be/JebfDyw0JV8 Parsva Bhangi http://youtu.
breathing etc it requires actual study in a class or some video introduction. I have been requesting those who have participated in Vinyasakrama programs to post short videos on some subroutines. My friend Debbie Mills has also posted a few sequences. to appreciate the slow and deliberate movements.com Thank you and with best wishes Sincerely Srivatsa Ramaswami P.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 Many are not fa miliar with Vinyasakrama and I hope this may give an opportunity for some to have a glimpse of Vinyasakrama yoga I learnt from my Guru Sri Krishnamacharya..@vinyasakrama.VINYASAKRAMA. suggestions to in.vinyasakrama. I am beholden to Anthony Hall for the massive work he has done to write about videogrpah and post so many sequences of Vinyasakrama.S My old newsletters may be accessed by visiting my website www.. I would still request friends to post videos of Vinyasakrama. I hope these videos I have posted will be helpful. It has a very logical structure and yet immensely adaptable so that almost anyone and everyone can do yoga.@vinyasakrama. There may be a few more. I hope to be able to come out with complete vinyasakrama in DVD faithfully following the sequencing from my book.com and clicking on the newsletter tab. Please have a look and send your suggestions to in. Please send your comments..COM .com. Even though my book “Complete Book of Vinyasa Yoga” contains most of the vinyasas and asanas.. PAGE 21 OF 106 WWW.
the Bhagavat Gita. English translations of both the books are available. It was a very satisfying experience in Mexico City. During April I will be teaching a weekend workshop at Ridgeﬁeld CT. In fact Vachaspati Misra. It is held in high regard by followers of Advaita Vedanta and is considered only next in importance to Sankara's Brahmasutra commentary.html Later in April I will be teaching extended weekend workshop s in Houston at Heights School of Yoga of Pam Johnson Here is the link http://www. Anusasana therefore means something which scrupulously follows the authoritative text. The preposition anu indicates ‘that which is consistent with’. The Sutras for the sake of brevity are bereft of verbs. four out of the ﬁve hundred odd Brahma sutras. So atha yoganusasanam means “Yoga as per scriptures”. at Valerie Schneiderman's Yogashala. Atha means now.html YOGA SUTRA QUARTET There are three important texts for Vedanta philosophy.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 April 2012 Newsletter — Yoga Sutra Quartet--VK Yoga Dear Friend: During the ﬁrst w eek of March I stayed in Mexico City and completed teaching the certiﬁcate program in Vinyasa Krama Yoga at Centro Kiai Yoga.COM . a document that cannot be changed (amended easily that is). Then there is the phrase yogaanusaasanam. The ﬁrst four sutras of Patanjali's work likewise are considered important and contain the quintessence of Raja Yoga. ”Atha yoga anusasanam”.com/3/post/2012/02/registration-is-now-open. My Guru used to say that Yoga Sutra is the most authentic yoga PAGE 22 OF 106 WWW. In India the Constitution is called Sasana. a disciple of Sankaracharya. the scriptures or vedas here. the ﬁnal word. called catussutri.kramayogacenter. wrote an exhaustive full length work called Brahmasutra catussutri or Bhamati just for the four sutras.com/eventsworkshops/753-2/ and then at Ricky Trans Kramayoga Center in Dallas http://www. This is the title of the book and we may make it “Authentic Yoga” or “Orthodox Yoga” or one may say “Yoga written in Stone” and perhaps that is why the text is still very fresh--(a)live and kicking. The ﬁrst sutra can be considered to be the title of the book.theyogashalact. The word sasana indicates something that is authentic. I also taught at Mukti Yoga for a weekend.com/The_Yoga_Shala/workshops. There are two words in it. In the olden days Kings when they denoted landed property or secede territory to someone would have the gift deed or agreement written in stone and it was called sasana. the Upanishads and the very special text. or what is in the text . In fact sasana is used to indicate something 'written in stone'. Here is the link http://www. Yoga and then Sasana with preﬁx 'anu' This is a samasa or a compound phrase.VINYASAKRAMA. are considered very important.heightsschoolofyoga. authoritative. The ﬁrst four sutras of Brahma Sutra. Brahma Sutra.
Nirodha would be to always prevent the chitta from getting into the vrittis. Moreover vritti here refers to a group of mental activities and these are listed by Patanjali in the sixth sutra. The third sutra talks about the beneﬁt of cittavrittinirodha. This word is a very common one and in olden days was used to indicate one's avocation or main activity. Jivana means one's occupation or the means by which one makes a living. the seer (drashta is singular nominative case). Norodha transcends all vrittis including ekeagrata or one pointedness. but the life functions like breathing continue. It is especially true of the Yogi who is highly evolved. The word itself is deﬁned as the one that masquerades as consciousness(“cit iva bhavayiti it cittam”) even though it is just matter. but in this sutra only cittavritti is dealt with and no union with another principle is suggested. like prana and apana in Hatayoga. That is why it is diﬃcult to imagine the state of nirodha samadhi of the Yogis. Many times vritti nirodha is explained as stopping the ﬂuctuations of the mind. Sankara in his exposition of Yogasutras refers to yoga as samadhana or unalloyed peace. deep sleep(nidra) or mulling over or remembering the past(smriti) . Citta is the mind. So vritti may be considered as the totality of mental activity at any given moment. we could infer. Vyasa in his commentary says Yoga is samadhi. etc. Yoga according to Patanjali is cittavrittinirodha. Tada means then or consequently. He does not refer to the life maintaining activity of the brain or chitta. the mindstuﬀ -. It can be seen that Patanjali's deﬁnition of Yoga does not suggest the usual connotation of Yoga as union. In a state of nirodha the mind will not be engaged in any conscious activity (chitta vritti) be it knowing something correctly(pramana) or wrongly (viparyaya). What about the physiological functions like breathing. until death takes place in natural course. So drashtuh will mean 'of the seer'. It consists of three words.ﬁnd the most appropriate word or term to explain it.COM . This phrase is perhaps the best known in Yogasutras. Now let us take the whole bunch of vrittis and relate them to the next word which means stoppage. He says that Patanjali has used the word not in the meaning of yoga as union (yukti) but as samadhana or peace of mind.? Here Patanjali refers to the ﬁve chitta vrittis referred to earlier. this word is rupa meaning form/nature PAGE 23 OF 106 WWW. By remaining in a state of nirodha for longer and longer periods of time the chitta undergoes a complete transformation known as nirodha parinama. But by knowing what that state is not. or a state of mind and not union.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 text and if one wants to follow traditional yoga one should observe Patanjali's system wholly and should eschew any yoga practice that is inconsistent with the tenets of Patanjali's Yoga. citta. etc. They are called samanya or samanya karana vritti by Sankhyas . The word Yoga can be derived from two diﬀerent roots yujir meaning yoga as in union and yuja as in samadhi meaning absolute peace of mind and the sutras use Yoga in the (second) sense. It is said that not even a dimwit would undertake a project without considering the beneﬁt of such an endeavor. Thus the Yogi in a state of Chitta vritti nirodha becomes completely oblivious to outside objects and also herself/himself. one will be able to have an indirect understanding of it. vritti and nirodha.VINYASAKRAMA. Ni (nitaram) indicates permanence. Is there a state of mind which will not fall into any of the above categories? None. dreaming (day or night). The second sutra deﬁnes Yoga. that of absolute peace. The next word is vritti which is variously translated as movement. “tada drashtuh svrupe avastanam” is the sutra. will be in a state of one pointedness or focused which of course is included in Yoga but it is not Nirodha the ultimate goal. What is of it? The next word we have to contend with is svarupa. When the ﬂuctuations of the mind are prevented the mind. What happens then? The next word is drastuh. It means the result of the cittvrittinirodha. Nirodha is rodha with a preﬁx ni. like it is said “vritti jivane” meaning vritti has the meaning as in the word jivana. It is possessive case. ﬂuctuation. singular of the word drashtr. Yoga meaning union requires at least two separate principles to come together and ultimately unite. a state of ekagrata is without any ﬂuctuations in the mind. Rodha is to prevent.
Let us now supply a verb and make it “At other times(itaratra) a copy of the purusha (sarupya) is projected(vritti) by chitta”. “In the stage of Yoga or chittavrittinirodha. Now here again there is no verb. 'vritti saarupyam itaratra”. This tendency of the mind to create wrong impressions about anything is known as viparyaya vritti or avidya. Svarupe means 'one's own innate nature or form'. 'Saarupya' is something which is having the nature of a copy and tends to pose as the original. Sankara. Vritti we all know is chittavritti. The main purpose of this word 'sarupa' here is not to ﬁnd out the similarity between what is presumed to be the self and the real self but to point out that the sarupa idea of the self is not the nature of the real self. PAGE 24 OF 106 WWW.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 with the preﬁx sva.' atadrupa prathishta (not established in the exact form)'. Hence the sutra would indicate that only in the state of Yoga is the real nature of oneself. and several others. The next word is avasthanam. but if that be the case Patanjali would have used the term 'taadrupya” instead of “sarupya” to mean an exact replica like the mirror image. So the mind is capable of creating wrong impressions (viparyaya) and here it creates a wrong impression about oneself.” To say that the seer gets established in its own form may be ok. Patanjali takes pains to explain viparyaya further in the 8th sutra by saying “mithyajnana (an understanding which is a myth). How can the chitta produce an exact copy without ever knowing the purusha? The lazy mind creates such a copy almost every night during dream. Now let us bring in the other word itaratra which means ‘at other (non yogic) times’. Sthana could mean position or stand. adadrupapratishtha. The preﬁx sa is samana or ‘something similar to’. just a copy.. but not the original. Avidya. But the Purusha according to yoga and samkhya is immutable.VINYASAKRAMA. say. the purusha/drashtr remains in the state of nirodha samadhi. Many times sarupya is translated as an image or a replica. again this word is sthanam with the preﬁx ava. the fourth of the quartet reemphasizes this conclusion by pointing out what happens to the understanding of Purusha in the non yogic state of mind. When the chitta does not know the true nature of the Self or Purusha it creates a poor model known variously as asmita etc. Saarupya. The next sutra. Rupa we have come across in the previous sutra as form or nature.. One's own what? One’s own form or nature. At other times saarupya vritti or the mind's imperfect copy of the Purusha exists. the purusha known to every being. This is emphasized by commentators like Vyasa. The lazy mind misleads not only about ordinary things in day to day life but makes a fundamental mistake about the nature of oneself and only the Yogi in that state of Yoga realizes the true nature of herself/himself. Ava would mean 'in it'.COM . meaning own or one's own.life after life. immutable (aparinamitva) consciousness. mythyajnana. The meaning of the sutra so far would be “Then the seer in its own nature. and hence avasthana would mean 'in oneself' or 'in one's own innate nature'. is derived from the sarupa (rhymes with svarupa?). a particular vritti in this context. day after day. In this non yogic state the chitta not only is ignorant of the true nature of the Self but posits a wrong image of it and attempts to satisfy the insatiable imposter endlessly. Sarupa is rupa with a preﬁx sa. Even the dream self is a sarupa of the waking stage 'self' which it knows. viparyaya are all words/ terms which are synonyms. So we have to interpret the sutra slightly diﬀerently. Sarupa means another which has the similar form as the other. so we have to ﬁnd the most appropriate verb to complete the sentence. it has got only one nature or svarupa and it is pure. but it gives the impression that it had moved out or somehow altered and is now back in its own nature. the Purusha's own form becomes known to the peaceful chitta”—the mind understands the real nature of purusha and thereafter having been satisﬁed about the real nature of oneself.
Brieﬂy the sutra quartet can be summariz ed as follows 1. bliss and depression. Please have a look when you have the time ****** PAGE 25 OF 106 WWW. open throat. pleasure and pain. Oh Lord Iswara. many an agony and ecstasy.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 So these four sutras are important and contain the quintessence of Yoga. With focused mind. praise and ridicule. hope and despair. As I pull myself through my present journey. Then the mind realizes the true nature of the Self 4. success and failure. acceptance and rejection. I have incessantly been trying to get the favorable one (anukula) of the pairs and get rid of the other unfavorable (pratikula) all my life and perhaps the lives before and am really tired.COM . warmth and cold. Yoga is the complete cessation of all projections of the mind 3. whole heart and full. courage and fear. clarity and confusion and many more pairs of opposites (dvanda). I chant Your name 'AUM'!! Thank Yo and with best Wishes Sincerely Srivatsa Ramaswami PS I have separately sent to you one e mail letter with the details of about a dozen Vinyasakrama Yoga videos I have uploaded on YouTube. Some say a thorough understanding of the ﬁrst four sutras is necessary and suﬃcient to understand Patanjali's entire Raja Yoga. Here is Authentic Yoga 2. Else the mind creates a pseudo self (and works for it slav ishly) *********** I have experienced innumerable ups and downs.VINYASAKRAMA. give me the uninterrupted and unalloyed peace (prasanta vahita) as promised in Yoga.
Ricky and the host of nice yogis who attended the programs and supported the eﬀort. Vinyasakrama Yoga Practice. Yoga for Internal Organs. Pranayama and Mantra Meditation Practice. taking the legs up together in inversions like headstand instead of kicking one leg up and then the other.esalen.aspx?PageID=34949&PageMode=View.edu/pagefactory. MY FACEBOOK PHASE Since Aug 2009 I have been us ing or rather overusing Facebook to make some observations on Yoga and related topics. 1. Of course the next involved program scheduled will be the 200 hour Teacher Training Program at LMU in July/ August and the registration has opened http://www. many privates and some chanting—it was comprehensive. all very purposeful and satisfying. And here are some. (I hope to post more selectively in facebook henceforth) .VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 May 2012 Newsletter — My Facebook Phase Warm Greetings!! During April I did three extended weekend workshops. Canada about the end of the month to teach a certiﬁcate program on Core Vinyasakrama yoga. 2012 to teach a 26 hour program titled “Practicum on Hatayoga and Raja Yoga” http://webapp. I thought that I may share some of the postings already made with friends in the Google Group. Pam. I was teaching at Valerie Schneiderman's Yoga Shala in Ridgeﬁeld Connecticut. Dhanurasna. I am going to Esalen Institute at Big Sur in California during May 6 to 11. Many thanks to Valerie. a 25 hour program http://oneyogaforthepeople.COM .ca/events/srivatsa-ramaswami-vinyasa-krama. Ushtrasana and others.. The participation in all the three places was very heart warming.. jumping through and back with legs together in lead sequences and suryanamaskara (rather than crossing the legs or moving the legs one after the other).lmu.jumping gently to PAGE 26 OF 106 WWW. I am also contemp lating doing the 25 hour “Core Vinyasakrama Asana Certiﬁcate program” in diﬀerent places so that more yoga teachers may get exposed to Vinyasakrama asana as I learnt from my Guru Sri Krishnamacharya and incorporate the beautiful but laggard Vinyasakrama Yoga into their teaching and practice.Keeping the legs t ogether in Tadasana. The Yoga Sutras. Krishnamacharya's Teachings.org/workshops/11111/ I am scheduled to go to One Y oga in Vancouver.VINYASAKRAMA. Introductory talk on Upanishad. Pam Johnson's Heights School of Yoga in Houston and the ebullient Ricky Tran's Krama Yoga Center near Dallas in Texas.
I have incessantly been trying to get the favorable one (anukula)of the pairs and get rid of the other unfavorable (pratikula) all my life and perhaps the lives before and am really tired. the whole heart and full.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 Trikonasana from Samastiti rather than side-stepping are all aimed at maintaining body symmetry during the transition. vinyasakrama) from my Guru Sri Krishnamacharya.VINYASAKRAMA.pdf 6. pleasure and pain. 2. As I pull myself through the last lap of my present journey. With a focused mind. According to them in the one atomic consciousness everything-. then one may attempt to increase the length of stay in the posture bit by bit and also simultaneously attempt to reduce the number of breaths taken per unit time. Oh Lord Iswara. success and failure. Sri Krishnamacharya exhibited an exceptional control over the breathing apparatus. The second space is the chittaakasa or the mind-space which the Yogis deal with extensively. Thorough (complete) exhalation aided by the deep drawing of muscles of the rectum. keep the back straighter and stretch the spine more freely for getting more inter-vertebral space and also maintain good balance (sthira).COM . Deep thoracic puraka (inhalation) and antahkumbhaka ( breath holding) help to draw increased venous blood to the heart. 4. acceptance and rejection. According to them all our experiences take place in the chitta akasa as diﬀerent kinds of chitta vrittis and by controlling them in the mental space or chitta akasa one can have a control over one's experiences or chittavrittis (good and mostly painful according to them) and even stop them. so much so consciousness appears to be inside us in our hearts where we may by meditation ﬁnd It. See his asana pictures in his book “Yoga Makaranda” http://yogash alapdx. courage and fear. bliss and depression. The olden day Indian philosophers recognized three kinds of space or 'akasa'. abdomen and the diaphragm in tandem helps to squeeze upward venous blood to the heart. I chant Your name ' AUM'!! PAGE 27 OF 106 WWW. hope and despair. I have experienced innumerable ups and downs.. Pranayama is central to the health of both the respiratory and the circulatory systems. Of course the third Bhuta akasa or the physical space is known to all of us and we spend our lifetime dealing with it and of which the scientists are extremely knowledgeable. open throat. the Cit. 3. warmth and cold. It helps maintain good control over breathing in asana practice ( an essential ingredient of Krishnmacharya's Yoga). 5.exists but appear to be outside of it. A few rounds of involved pranayama everyday helps the heart by improving the venous return of the blood through a very eﬃcient respiratory pump eﬀect and hence raktasanchara (blood circulation) to the whole body.. many an agony and ecstasy. praise and ridicule. pelvis. the default position of the head in asana practice is 'head-down'.including the universe and all of us-. give me the uninterrupted and unalloyed peace (prasanta vahita) as promised in Yoga. Firstly is Citakasa or the space of consciousness the Vedantins (esp advaita) discuss about extensively. clarity and confusion and many more pairs of opposites (dvanda).com/teachertraining/yogamakg. When a Yogabhyasi 'attains' a diﬃcult posture with ease and steadiness. As per the way I learnt asanas (esp..
'mindfully' with the breath. Exercises regimen which tend to abuse.at any age can ﬁnd some safe yoga procedures appropriate to them for practice from Vinyasa Krama Yoga. if I make others unhappy.. It implies that as a system it helps maintain the health all aspects of the human being. because it is versatile and adaptable. The way I teach Sarvangasana or any major sequence is similar to how I taught it in the last years TT programs but not identical.VINYASAKRAMA. It is a bit odd that contemporary yoga has to defend itself against its health hazard whispers.Yoga Heals the body Frees the mind 11. Even simple pranayama would be helpful and there is no reason to postpone pranayama to a unplanned future date. making others happy. The Vinyasa system (krama) of asana I learnt from Sri Krishnamacharya has hundreds of vinyasas. the brain.. Blessed is the Yogi who is able to undertake the arduous lifelong journey in the complicated outside world and the uncharted inward journey with consummate ease and equal grace. 8. .VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 7.semi skilled and unskilled. very conscious of one's range/limitations. 13. 10. I am Rajasic Because others are happy. the vital internal organs. I am Tamasic 14. Yoga is meant to heal the body and mind and not hurt. scores of asanas arranged into a few major sequences. As we get older the respiratory sytem muscles weaken like other muscles and hence one's vital capacity comes down. If I am happy. Sukha is a beautiful sanskrit word. usually singly in an uncompetitive environment thus reducing the unnecessary risks of voluntary/ self-inﬂicted injuries. It has a solid core but highly adaptable to the requirements of diﬀerent individuals and diﬀerent groups. Su=agreeable and kha=space sukha means agreeable (internal) space and in contrast dukkha would mean intolerable (internal) space. In Vinyasakrama the asanas and vinyasas are practised slowly. Yoga leads to satwa and it leads to sustainable sukha PAGE 28 OF 106 WWW. 12. All yogis should consider strengthening the respiratory system even as they practice asanas. 9.disuse or lopsided use of various parts and thus harm the individual are called angabhanga sadhana ( injury prone procedures) according to him (pl refer to his Yoga Makaranda) . It is therefore necessary to maintain the tone of these muscles by practicing yogic breathing exercises like pranayama and one can not learn them and practice eﬀectively if started late in life. I am Satwic To make myself happy. if I am unhappy.COM . Anybody and everybody--skilled. Sri Krishnamacharya used to mention that orthodox yoga was a Sarvanga sadhana. the skeletal system.
One is to taste (and eat) excess stimulating food.COM . May noble thoughts from all over the world come to us (Aa no Bhadra ritavo yantu --A vedic prayer 22.http://books.yajur veda 18.. I hope you can ﬁnd these pages. Rishis meditate upon and speak of what is Absolutely Real. It helps maintain good control over breathing in asana practice ( an essential ingredient of Krishnmacharya's Yoga).( rishayah satya vachasah-. Rishis are those who speak the Truth. The other is to talk in excess and without purpose. keep the back straighter and stretch the spine more freely for getting more inter-vertebral PAGE 29 OF 106 WWW. The wind carries the sweet fragrance of a tree full of ﬂowers and it is smelt even at a distance.— Mahabharata. a yogic niyama is to keep the twin functions of the tongue under a leash by moderation is speech (mita bhaashana) and moderation in diet (mita aahaara)--From my class notes on YS with Sri Krishnamacharya 24.. As per the way I learnt asanas (esp. Yoga leads to satwa and it leads to sustainable sukha 21.google. a sanskrit thesaurus). In Google books I was able to access it (free) pages 20 to 29.amarakosha. the default position of the head in asana practice is 'head-down'. 20. vinyasakrama) from my Guru Sri Krishnamacharya.likewise the positive eﬀects of good actions (punya karma) travel far and wide..On Santosha (contentm ent) a yogic trait (niyama).VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 15. The to ngue (jihwa) has two tendencies/weaknesses (chapalya). It contains many sketches .A well balanced yogic diet of asana. Su=agreeable and kha=space sukha means agreeable (internal) space and in contrast dukkha would mean intolerable (internal) space.. pranayama and dhyana (meditation) would help touch base regularly with the peace zone of one's brain. 16. a Sanskrit epic (itihasa) 17. The happiness one gets by the fulﬁllment of worldly desires and the joy one may get by reaching the heavenly abodes mentioned in the scriptures are not comparable to even a sixteenth part of the great internal space( sukha) one gets by the eradication of the very desires.VINYASAKRAMA. Sukha is a beautiful sanskrit word. Tapas. “Story of Patanjali” in my book “Yoga for the Three Stages of Life”.com/books?id=sUzBl2k7Z98C&printsec=frontcover&dq= %22Yoga+for+the+Three+Stages+of+Life %22&hl=en&ei=tEbLTNWBLIqr8Abyz_2zBQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resn um=1&ved=0CDMQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false 23. Blessed are the Yogis who have found their yoga 19..
The state of Kaivlaya of Purusha or the indwelling Self and PAGE 30 OF 106 WWW. 28. My Novemeber 2009 Newsletter contains an article on Meditation.Aerobics and some fast paced yoga systems like the multiple suryanamaskara are an antithesis of yoga exercises (vinyasa krama).fast paced and increases the heart rate and breath rate whereas yoga exercises (vinyasa krama) are deliberate.slow. One set of beautifully executed intricate asanas by kid/s is for growing years (vridhi krama) and the other set performed majestically by Krishnamacharya himself is more appropriate to midlife (sthti krama). Knowing it logically and experientially is the main thrust of Vedanta Darsana. My world is not perfect My body is not perfect My thoughts are not perfect My reasoning is not perfect I as an individual am not perfect But I. Yoga's big brother. the Self.pdf 25.VINYASAKRAMA.subject/object. Our day to day experience is replete with duality. that experiences all these imperfections Is (am) perfect 29.COM . heart rate and distraction rate of the mind. 30.com/group/vinyasa-krama-announce/browse_thread/thread/ 2d48460831fc8d39?hl=en More articles can be found in the other newsletters in this same site 27.google.com/teachertraining/yogamakg. 26. See his asana pictures in his book “yoga Makaranda” http://yogash alapdx. Yoga procedures adopte d during growing years (vriddhi krama) need to be signiﬁcantly modi ﬁed during midlife (sthiti krama) which again will have to be drastically altered during the last lap of one's life journey to avoid instantaneous and cumulative injuries. you and I.Srivatsa Ramaswami http://groups.The Purusha (indwelling Self) is amrita (immortal)says a mantra from Suryanamaskara (Sun Salutation) in Yajur Veda. seer and the seen. even as both confer their own unique beneﬁts. Underneath this duality there is only one principle that exists and can qualify to have 'existence' (Satya).VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 space and also maintain good balance (sthira). Usually aerobics is strenuous. comprehensive and tend to reduce breath rate. The Yoga Makaranda of Sri Krishnamacharya has two sets of asana pictures. breath centered.
34. Supposing I don't believe in rebirth? Supposing rebirth does not depend on your belief? That is even more crazy Guruji. Who am I? Would the Yoga's Kaivalya state of Freedom and the fourth state of consciousness or the Turiya state of Vedanta be my real state? 35.COM .What is the purpose of Life? The purpose of life is to realize that There is no purpose to Life. My sleep “experiences” negate both the waking and dream state impressions of myself as they negate my very existence. It is said to be a state of uninterrupted ﬂow (vahita) of unadulterated peace (prashanta). not unsettling. the sympathetic nervous system is stimulated and one feels the pitta dosha's eﬀects. one tends to be Satwic. My norma l day to day impressions of myself( a 73 year 'old' man) are negated by my experiences during my dreams.When Prana circulates in surya (sun) Nadi. 32. When Prana is in Agni nadi. 31.VINYASAKRAMA. So it is beneﬁcial to do pranayama. like”Who am I 33. Prana in Chandra(moon) Nadi makes one tamasic . vata dominated and the central nervous system is in control. restful mind -Based on HYP Learn and observe Yogic Breathing Procedures To Charm the Mind and calm the mind PAGE 31 OF 106 WWW. My impressions of who I am during dreams (a 16 year old struggling student for instance) are negated by my normal day to day experiences. Have to ﬁnd another teacherComforting..VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 the concomitant cittavrittinirodha of the mind is neither a state of excitement nor passive dullness/depression. but what after this 'realization'? One would work to avoid another birth . That's weird. But I exist. Kapha increases and the parasympathetic nervous system is stimulated. Rajas comes to the forefront. restless mind Smooth ﬂowing breath..Faulty Breath..Yoga sutras and the Upanishads answer questions that one does not even ask.
One would start the movement with the beginning of inhalation or exhalation and complete the movement with the completion of that breathing phase. the habitually distracted mind is made into one that is habitually focused (ekagrata) . 37.cfm?schID=1430 38. and the most frequent visitor was myself.: Bhastrika is voluntary coughing--these simple yogic procedure help to overcome the underlying breathing problem PAGE 32 OF 106 WWW. 39. In the ﬁrst place. Raja is derived from the Sanskrit root 'raajr' meaning illuminating (raajr diptau). unhurried breathing during asana practice (saithilya) and total mindfulness (samapatti) are the ingredients of (safe) yogasana practice—based on Yogasutras 42. breath synchronization with slow movements is an essential element.COM . Sri T Krishnamacharya would say 'breathe with hissing sound '(a la cobra.com received the 100. In the ﬁnal transformation. My Guru.. the citta. If it goes . So Raja Yoga is 'Yoga of Enlightenment'. http://registration. 40.com/l muextension/courseDisplay. The time taken in actual practice may be between 5 to 10 or 12 seconds depending on one's capacity and control. Some hints about breathing in asanas as per vinyasa krama which will be discussed in my Teacher Training program in July/Aug 2012 at LMU.The Yogi's mind (chitta) is said to undergo three major transformations (parinama). maybe a lifetime or even more. Kapalabhati is voluntary sneezing. My friend Ross Smith created for me this useful website a few years ago and gave it to me as a gift.Kaivalya can take place in and instant as per Kaivalya Navaneetham— like the time taken to swallow a sweet bit of butter.Steadiness with proper anchoring (stira).below 5 seconds one would stop the practice and rest to regain the vinyasa krama acceptable breath. Thank you Ross for your generosity and kindness 41. RAJA YOGA: Brahmananda refers to Patanjali's Yog a as Raja Yoga in his commentary on Hata Yoga Pradipika-so do several others. While teaching seated postures especially while doing pranayama my Guru Sri T Krishnamacharya would urge one to "Iduppai thookki pidiyungo" meaning Lift (thookki) and hold up(pidiyungo) your waist/ hips (iduppai) 43.VINYASAKRAMA.vinyasakrama. Ujjayi is voluntary wheezing. refer to ananta samapatti in YS) or 'with a mild rubbing sensation in the throat'--. Then in the next transformation the one pointed mind becomes totally absorbed in an object of contemplation even forgetting oneself (samadhi)..A short while ago my website www. totally satisﬁed due to the direct perception of the Self. But the instant may take long time to come.xenegrade.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 36. eﬀortlessly eschews all thoughts or vrittis including about the Self and is resolved into its pristine condition in which all the gunas are in a state of samyavasta or equilibrium (nirodha)--From YS. practising within one's comfort zone (sukha).000th 'hit'. VINYASAKRAMA ASANA BREATHING: In Vinyasakrama asana practice.
VINYASAKRAMA.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 Thank You and with best Wishes Sincerely Srivatsa Ramaswami PAGE 33 OF 106 WWW.COM .
The other parameter which deﬁnes asana is sthira or steadiness. California and taught a practicum on Raja Yoga and Hata Yoga to a very compact group of Yoga practitioners. dhyana and samadhi. In what way was his yogabhyasa diﬀerent and distinct? I have written about it on diﬀerent occasions but I thought it would be good to put up the ideas clearly. ***** ASANA AND VINYASA About ﬁve years ago when I started oﬀering a 200 Hr Teacher Training Program. I was at Esalen Institute. warm yogis. I thought the program went well. inversions like Sarvangasana. the hero pose. some standing like the famous Virabhadrasana. prone ones like dhanurasana. Asana is a position of the body in which one can be comfortable(Sukha). It required that the Yogis had to discover seated postures that would give comfort and stability and a few classical poses came in to prominence.lmu. We have a compact enthusiastic group--very nice. I mainly wanted to cover a broad range of subjects Sri Krishnamacharya taught me.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 June 2012 Newsletter — Asana and vinyasa I am now in Vancouver. It was 26 hr program spread over 6 days. refers to a seated posture basically.edu/pagefactory. Early May. The weekend I will be teaching a workshop here on “Asana Pranayama. It had diﬀerent asanas. as a good seated position was considered essential for yogis to meditate for long hours and be in Samadhi for a long time. a beautiful facility. Virasana. which are practiced avidly by yogabhyasis by the thousands all over the world. Pratyahara.aspx?PageID=34949&PageMode=View.VINYASAKRAMA. lying down like apanasana. Brahma sutras also mandates a seated yogic posture for meditation. It may be safe to infer that the asana word mentioned in the Yoga Sutras as part of the Ashtanga Yoga system of Yoga indicates a seated pose.COM . What to do in an asana? One would engage in the practice of other angas from then on. An asana is a seated pose in which one can remain comfortable for a long time. Here is the link. I thought that to have an appreciation of the depth and breadth of Krishnamacharya's teachings Asanas alone will not do. One should ﬁrmly sit in a posture and have moderate nourishing/easily digestible food and practice pranayama as instructed by the Guru. then Viloma Ujjayi Pranayama and Meditation and brief discussions on the theory of Hata Yoga and Raja Yoga. Padmasana. Canada teaching at Suzanne and Ryan's One Yoga Studio. Mantras and meditation” for a comprehensive daily practice involving the major angas of Ashtanga Yoga. http://www. like Pranayama. Presently I am teaching a ﬁve day 25 hour Certiﬁcate Program on Core Viyasakrama Asanas.lotus pose. and then the three phased internal practices or antaranga sadhana of dharana.swastikasana are some such poses that have been practiced for a very long time and reference to them can be found in itihasas and puranas. But then even the asanabhyasa of Krishnamacharya was distinctly diﬀerent from the general contemporary Yoga as his was based on traditional concepts of Yoga again based on teachings of such great works as Patanjali's Yoga Sutras and his unique interpretation of the Sutras and tradition and accepted authority. Ultimately the yogi is able to transcend even that state of ordinary object-based samadhi and reach a state of PAGE 34 OF 106 WWW. However the word asana. It also indicates a considerable duration. There are hundreds of asanas in vogue. The registration for my 200 hour Vinyasakrama Yoga Program at Loyola Marymount University starting July 8th 2012 is as usual slow but steady. coming from the sanskrit root aas 'to sit'. Svatmarama in Hatayogapradipika implies use of a seated yoga posture for pranayama. and have been for generations. Asana means to be seated or be in a seated position.
He would aver both during his teaching and in his books. initially at least to be able to do a round of uninterrupted Pranayama. Likewise every contraction movement like a forward bend or a twist will start with an exhalation which exhalation would continue with the movement until completion of the movement. and exhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaale he would thunder as he would ask you to lower your arms in the same postures. These two instructions in the vinyasa asana practice continued throughout all my 1 on 1 classes with him. the ability to not just get into a posture somehow but. This word is used in several arts. “follow the breath” he would say repeatedly. According to Sri Krishnamacharya the way to attain such perfection in postures is to approach asana abhyasa following the vinyasakrama. another important ingredient of Krishnamacharya’s Vinyása Krama? What about mental focus on the breath while doing ásana practice.namarupa. Here is what I wrote in Namarupa a few years back on this as part of an article on “My studies with Sri T Krishnamacharya. asanas like Padmasana. stay in it comfortably and for the required length of time. Vajrasana and Virasana are perfectly balanced poses. Invariably he taught asanas with vinyasas and with the accompanying breathing..org/ magazine/nr06/ downloads/05_NR6-Srivatsa.. Hence if you approach yoga ásana practice as an art. Parvatasana or Vajrasana. especially in South Indian Carnatic music. How to get into the posture in the ﬁrst place and then be able to remain in it comfortably and steadily for a long time? Someone deﬁned asana as a procedure to forget the body. Sri Krishnamacharya taught me yogasanas for several years following the vinyasakrama. Inhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaale he wold say as he would ask you to raise the arms in a posture. What about breath synchronization.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 Nirodha which is termed a state beyond the internal practice or athyangaranga. that methodology is Vinyása Krama. So the purpose of learning asana anga is to be able sit for a long time in a yogic posture. I started studying with him when I was 15 and studied with him until I was approaching 50. Where can one ﬁnd references to these? PAGE 35 OF 106 WWW. that asana practice should be done with vinyasas to be able to achieve the asanas siddhi. central to vinyása yoga? None of the yoga schools teaches yoga in this manner and no classic HathaYoga texts mention breath synchronization in ásana practice speciﬁcally. a fully evolved classical music system.COM . Somewhere along. One of the main ingredients of his teaching was the use of breath in asana vinyasas. Padmasana and Sidhhasana are resorted to by yogis in large numbers as per tradition. Vinyása Krama indicates doing ásana with multiple aesthetic variations within the prescribed parameters. Basically all are said to take place while the Yogi is in a seated position called Asana. The beauty and eﬃcacy of yoga is eloquently brought out by Vinyása Krama. Every expansive movement will start with an inhalation which would continue smoothly until the completion of the movement 5 to say 10 seconds long..pdf read the whole article] Vinyása Krama was the mainstay of Krishnamacharya’s teaching of Hata Yoga. [http://www. say Tadasana. The two parameters referred to in this sutra are prayatna saitilya and ananta samapatti.VINYASAKRAMA. one day I asked my Guru if there are any texts that mention the use of breath in asana practice. The word vinyása is used to indicate an art form of practice.. an overstretch there. What postures are good for that? Traditionally. Siddhasana. some numbness somewhere. a silent injury in some other place. Patanjali in the II chapter 47 sutra gives the parameters for attaining asanasiddi characterized by stability/endurance and comfort. not to be disturbed by bodily distractions-like an ache here. He would ask you to keep attention on the breath. Yoga was considered one of sixty-four ancient arts.Swastikasana Vajrasana/ Virasana or Gomukhasana will meet the requirement.
Ananta also refers to the serpent. It may be possible. “ana”— to breathe (ana sváse). So we have to investigate the meaning of the word prayatna as used by the darsanakáras in those days. for example. But where is the reference? There are hardly two Sutras explaining ásana. translated as “endless” or “limitless. and space) represented symbolically in Siva. breath. one should focus the attention on inﬁnity.” This is easier said than done.” In fact Ananta. But the third type of eﬀort relevant here is the eﬀort of life (jàvana-prayatna). I found a very interesting interpretation of the sutra. there is a common mythological belief that cobras live on air. In mythology the cobra is associated with air. or mental focus. basically means “eﬀort. a sibling philosophy to yoga. which is inappropriate—and impossible. Two of them are the eﬀort put in for happiness (pravätti) and the eﬀort to remove unhappiness (nivätti). There are hundreds of practitioners who cannot relax enough to be able to easily get into a posture like the Lotus. the air element is said to be represented by the snake around the Lord’s neck.COM . and there is no reference to breath in them—or is there? Going back to my notes on Yoga Sutra classes with my guru. the water element. Thus this sutra means that while practicing ásana.samápatti would mean focusing the attention on the breath or prána.” saithilya indicates “softness. By such practice. very commonly used in India. is associated with air. apána. ﬁre. etc. hence you ﬁnd that many writers on the Yoga Sutras declare that the way to achieve perfection in a yoga posture is to “ease into the posture eﬀortlessly.” So in the sutra. ananta could mean “breath”. So ananta. vyána. So some schools tend to say that while practicing ásanas. the breath should be smooth and by implication long (dàrgha). One set of our eﬀorts is always directed toward achieving happiness and the other toward eradicating unhappiness. the Gangá in his tresses. Where or on what should the mental focus be? It is to be on ananta (ananta-samápatti). but it is uncomfortable to think that Patañjali would write that one should focus on his form for the success of ásana practice. Now we can say that prayatna-saithilya is to make the breath smooth. ananta-samápatti is then translated as “focusing the mind on the breath. What is eﬀort of life? It is the breath or breathing. Every being does this all the time. one should synchronize the breath with the movement with the help of the focused mind. Since Vinyása Krama involves several aesthetic movements into and within yoga postures.” which many writers equate with inﬁnity. slowly but surely. and mind. at least for the vast majority of yogàs. But why don’t other texts talk about it? There is a saying. Ädisesa.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 This was one of the few questions I asked my guru: Is Vinyása Krama an old. “Anuktam anyato gráhyam. The matted red hair represents ﬁre. So what might ananta symbolically signify? The word ananta can be considered to be derived from the root.” So Prayatna. If you look at the icon of Natarája (the dancing Siva). The word prayatna. you will ﬁnd all ﬁve elements of the universe (earth.. the union of mind and body takes place. So some schools suggest that one should focus on a mental image of Ädisesa or Patañjali. Prayatna-saithilya anantasamápattibhyám. air. Now we have to investigate the contextual meaning of the word ananta.saithilya could mean “mild eﬀort”. Nyáya explains prayatna of three kinds (prayatnaê trividhaê proktam). to achieve the coordination of movement. There was no point in looking for an obscure text like Väddha Sátápata. Thus in ásana practice according to Vinyása Krama. is a bit involved. they PAGE 36 OF 106 WWW. or the serpent king.VINYASAKRAMA. one should do smooth inhalations and exhalations and focus the attention on the breath. with the breath acting as the harness. names of the ﬁve pránas derived from the root “ana. Prayatna according to (Navya)Nyáya. We are all familiar with the group of words--prána. traditional practice? Sri Krishnamacharya quoted a verse indicating that reference to this practice can be found in a text called Vrddha Sátápata and also in the Yoga Sutras of Patañjali. The other part of the sutra refers to samápatti. water.” If some details are missing from one text. whose incarnation Patañjali is believed to be. but Yoga Sutra was at hand.
Tasya cha yadruchhikasanahetutayaa sananiyamopahamtyatvat.” ******** Why do I do a ﬂurry of Vinyasas? So that I could sit in a Yogic posture Firm. should resort to an eﬀort(prayatna) which consists in the relaxation (saitilya) of the natural/innate(swabhavika) eﬀort (breath). but never read it as it is in Kannada.(in every being) is to sustain the body (which is prana. Vachaspathi Misra in that commentary “Saamsiddhiko hi prayatnah shariradharako na yogangasyopadeshtavyasanasya kaaranam. a copy of which I have had for a long time. inhalation or exhalation? What about when you raise your head? To know this mystery and practice in order is called Vinayasa. I agree. Thus we can conclude that Patañjali gives the basic parameters of ásana practice (and also of the other angas like Pránáyáma). for long . But it (the normal innate breathing) is not helpful in achieving the task on hand (achieving the yoga pose). how many breathings for which asana? When is inhalation? When is exhalation? In what way? When body is stretched forward. S 47) Both type of people (practitioners). But Hatha-yoga-pradàpiká proclaims that its instructions are like a prerequisite for the Rája Yoga practice of Patañjali. “prayatnashithilyanantasamapattibhyam” (Yoga Sutra II 47) Please see Patanjala yogasutra and Vyasabhashya (P 2. These two texts are therefore compatible. but for details we have to refer to compatible texts like Haôha-yogapradàpiká. be happy . “Therefore.Yoga-Yájñavalkya and others. Hatha-yoga.comfortable Why sit in a Yogic posture? So I can do Pranayama.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 should be gathered from other complementary texts. practicing the speciﬁc posture as taught. My Guru had written a book called “Yogasanangalu” in Kannada. do dhyana (meditate) PAGE 37 OF 106 WWW. Of course I have gone through the wonderful asana pictures of my Guru in it many many times. Consequently a man. Some others want to know its basis. These along with the signiﬁcance of each asana will be discussed in 1 to 32.pradàpiká explains a number of ásanas but does not mention breath synchronization and other basic parameters. Therefore the natural/involuntary eﬀort/breathing (swabhavika prayatnah) is counterproductive in achieving the intended goal. Recently I found a few pages of the translation in the blog pages of my friend Antony Hall and I am reproducing the relevant portion from it hereunder (Thank You Tony) Sri Krishnamacharya wrote: “Vinayasas” many people are curious about its secret. Tasmat upadeshtavyasanasyayamashadhakah virodhi cha swabhavikah prayatnah. Otherwise the posture taught cannot be accomplished Krishnamacharya continues to talk about using breath in asanas. Prana and sariradharaka are considered synonyms).COM .VINYASAKRAMA.” Here is my translation: Surely the innate eﬀort--prayatna-. Pratyahara Do Parayana (chant).
Sri Krishnamacharya would ask us to breathe with a slight rubbing sensation in the throat and producing a 'hissing sound' a la cobra— another aspect of ananta samapatti. further up the hips and also the spinal column. Asana in Raja Yoga (Patanjala Yoga) refers to a seated posture in which the Yogi stays put comfortably and steadily for a long time 2.for the seated asana siddhi. When a Yogi sits down to start the Pranayama. “Tape measure these and keep them under control.. A deliberate eﬀort to link the breath with the movement mindfully (mind/breath unity) will help the asana siddhi as per Patanjali's instructions PAGE 38 OF 106 WWW. very essential to achieve seated posture siddhis.VINYASAKRAMA.? So what have I been trying to say? 1. “Never allow the thighs and waist to spread and get out of control”..” and then “Srimate Anantaya Nagarajaya Namo Namah” at the beginning of a session while teaching me.” and “aabahu purusha. the knees.. which I follow faithfully. To know and learn more about the myriad vinyasas.COM . 3. In practice. Further as many varied vinyasas in scores of other asanas as possible should be practiced to cover/ exercise the whole body comprehensively and with the bandhas at the end of exhalation and wherever appropriate. systematically.. As mentioned earlier some commentators refer to meditating on Ananta (ananta samapatti) and normally it is done by Sri Krishnamacharya by saying a prayer in praise of Patanjali at the beginning of a yoga practice session. There are a few prayers on Patanjali. All these to make it possible for the Yogi to sit comfortably for a long time and concentrate on the job on hand like Pranayama or meditation and completely be oblivious of the body . (Here is a commercial. inversions along with the multitude of vinyasas in them are very helpful to relax and exercise the lower extremities. To meet the requirements of diﬀerent individuals one chooses the appropriate ones from these.immensely delightfully peaceful I really am So why do I do all this Flurry/Flow of Vinyasas .… Why do I want to get into Samadhi? To realize ﬁrst hand How intrinsically. According to Patanjali and interpreted by Krishnamacharya it is achieved by Vinyasas done with coordinated /synchronous smooth breathing and focusing the mind on breath. There are hundreds of vinyasas Sri Krishnamacharya taught. Sri Krishnamacharya invariably chanted the prayers starting with “yastyaktva rupam. Since the legs play an important role in seated poses these are very beneﬁcial to attain the sthiratva and sukhatva in seated poses. The individual package will depend upon the condition of the individual and the posture/s one would look to attain siddhi in. 5. so also the joints of the lower extremities like the ankles. with appropriate breathing and the bandhas. Yoga is considered a sarvanga sadhana or a system that reaches and beneﬁts all parts of the body including the internal organs.” then “yogena chittasya.. It is achieved by diﬀerent vinyasas in diﬀerent yoga poses.” And the inversions with the vinyasas help keep the waistline and thigh size under control. My Guru would ask us to be careful about thighs and waist. please refer to my book “Complete Book of Vinyasa Yoga”) 4.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 May be then I can get into Samadhi. While doing the vinyasas. the Yogi's whole body should be perfectly prepared with the Vinyasas in diﬀerent asanas with smooth mindful breathing.
VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 6. I even represented my college in three games. I remember that once there was a talk/demonstration on Yoga by Sri Krishnamacharya . Then Sri Krishnamacharya. Table Tennis and Tennis (Captain). in Adyar. While one--aerobics-. sat up and did some pranayama and bandhas a few times and asked his pulse rate to be checked.. at least the Yoga I learnt from Sri Krishnamacharya encourages. breath rate all of which of course help to strengthen the heart muscles and develop collateral blood vessels. even as he had no objection to walking as an exercise.. It was about 60 or so. increased metabolism.kayaklesa vidhim. by increasing the heart rate(sometimes even pounding). tend to ﬂog the heart.. He also would say that a serious yogi should be krisa or lean.. Cricket.COM . Sri Krishnamacharya spoke for a short while and asked someone in the audience to come and check his pulse rate. Yoga. Yoga should be helpful for the heart by the judicious use of breath (respiratory pump eﬀect) and varied use of vinyasas (muscle pump eﬀect). and achieve lower heart rate. at T S.. Svatmarama says “varjayet. It was around 30. But soon I realized the distinct diﬀerence in the philosophy of both.” It indicates that the yogi should avoid procedures that put strain/pain (klesa) on the system. gently massages and directly aids the heart in its function.heaviness caused by fat or lean (muscle) is not helpful. if I remember correct. Sri Krishnamacharya taught asanas with a proviso that it should not be strenuous.. PAGE 39 OF 106 WWW. 10. 8. Madras. bahubhara udvahana or carrying heavy weights and bahusuryanamaskara or performing multiple sun salutations. Sri Krishnamacharya taught me Sun Salutation with appropriate breathing with the movements but it was an optional small part of the routine . Within a short duration with Pranayama ( and bandhas) he was able to amazingly reduce the rate substantially. 7.com/group/vinyasakrama-announce/browse_thread/t. substantially increased heart rate during the physical activity.google. supports. Suryanamaskara chanting however was an important aspect of the vedic chantings he taught me. long. Yoga may not be practised as a workout with heavy breathing.. especially the strenuous ones. 9. But then Yoga virtually accesses. The nicety about hatayoga is the smooth. in Vinyasakrama the breath rate is brought down to about 6 or less per minute during vinyasa practice for most of the time. may I say. in my May 2009 Newsletter http://groups. more complete breathing even while doing those beautifully ﬂowing vinyasas and asanas and unique Mudras.. nay mandates.When I was young I actively participated in outdoor activities. So. ) 11. Sri Krishnamacharya had a clear preference for slowed breathing and advised his serious students not to participate in activities that tend to increase the heart rate/ breath rate substantially like running etc. Yoga is to reduce pain or klesa. As against the normal breath rate of about 15 per minute. Without controlled breathing. the breath rate in many physical exercises. deliberate slower breathing. It is corroborated by a verse in Hatayogapradeepika. (For more on this please read my article “Yoga For the Heart”. Brahmananda in his commentary explains kayaklesa that should be avoided will include.VINYASAKRAMA. profuse sweating and accelerated heart rate . caresses. I think both systems have their own idiosyncrasies and distinct advantages.. both physical(kaya klesa) and psychological(the pancha klesas). no strain on the heart. The asanabhyasa I learnt from my Guru was not merely slowing down the pace of the asana practice but a deliberate practice to slow down the breathing rate itself. This advice was of course for serious yogabhyasis. For a few years I was learning Yoga and also playing outdoor games and I enjoyed both. Aerobic kind of exercises. For a yogi. Quoting Gorakshnatha. outdoor games and gym workouts could be much higher than the normal rate and is the antithesis of vinyasakrama I learnt from my Guru consistently for many many years.encouraged free breathing.
. Please write to i. If I practice asanas alone all my life and expect everything mentioned in Yoga texts to come to me. meditation . Sincerely Srivatsa Ramaswami P S.. texts and others in addition to those exquisite yoga postures? Am I missing something very vital in my lifelong Yoga practice? PAGE 40 OF 106 WWW.VINYASAKRAMA. He lived for a hundred years a healthy man and also.vinyasakrama.COM . practised and taught other yogangas like Pranayama.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 else there is physiologically no diﬀerence between Yoga and aerobics/ workouts. chanting.@vinyasakrama. And one must admit Sri Krishnamacharya knew a thing or two about the heart and health. as documented.com and clicking on the Newsletter tab. had shown tremendous control over the heart and its beat.com for comments and suggestions. My earlier Newsletters can be accessed by visiting my website www. then how come Yogis of yesteryears like Sri Krishnamacharya studied.
then Pratyahara and ﬁnally Vairagya. This yama gate helps the yogi to take the next steps without any let or hindrance. would take special eﬀorts to slowly overcome this habit. the one and only source of all our experiences.a great vow or mahavrata. “You are no better than an animal which eats its own vomit” he thunders. If I have a tendency to philander and still want to be a yogi. For businessman acquisition of wealth is perhaps a legitimate goal.YOGAGATE VISWAMITRA As I have been writing. Registration for the program is still open. but not for the Yogi. The program is registered with Yoga Alliance.VINYASAKRAMA.lmu.aspx?PageID=34949&PageMode=View ****** YOGAGATE VISWAMITRA Yoga is a shastra for Apavarga or the rollback of chittavrittis. But a pious academic understanding and acceptance of the yamas and niyamas is not suﬃcient for the yogabhyasi. You may also consider registering for individual courses. Patanjali insists on a ﬁrm commitment to the yamaniyamas-. Adi Sankara in his Bhajagovindam says one should feel happy with the returns one gets with honest legitimate work (nijakarma). contentment. Patanjali erects three gates that could be closed in tandem so that one goes through the homeward journey safely and without regurgitation. deed and thought should be slowly and with eﬀort overcome as one would overcome a bad habit like smoking. Like Asana one should practice or observe these do's and don’ts so that one develops these samskaras or yogic traits and becomes yogic.COM . To be satisﬁed with whatever one makes with honest eﬀort is aparigraha.edu/pagefactory. in line with sastras. They are ﬁrstly Yamas . Yamas along with niyamas are not just desirable attitudes but a necessary preparation for a committed yogi. The Yogi will also have to keep in mind the niyamas like cleanliness. But Sri Krishnamacharya. study and surrender to the Supreme. Thus it is possible and necessary to practice yamaniyamas as we practice asanas. A habitual liar. I should take special eﬀorts to overcome this obsession. Then he/she would train in asana and pranayama (bahiranga sadhanas) to reduce rajas and tamas and become more satwic and be ready to take up the next stage of Yoga called antaranga yoga or internal practice. by constant reminders. to drive home the importance of strict observance of yamaniyamas. Hence he would say the next best approach would be that one should not transgress the institution of marriage. Vyasa even says rather sternly that a Yogi should be ashamed of himself if he/she would transgress the rules of yama niyamas. Here is the link http://www. To covet anything that does not belong to oneself is steya or thievery which again is not a yogic trait. Patanjali suggests that the yogi always should think of the adverse consequences of any transgression (vitarka bhadane pratipaksha bhavanam). The ﬁrst threshold is determining the Yogi's relationship with all the beings and objects around and using the gate behind called Yama. The Yamas are like a wicket gate regulating the interaction with and distractions from the outside world. Brahmacharya is celibacy in the strictest sense of the term. Contemporary Yogis have started paying more attention to these aspects of Yoga. Many suggest reviewing the day PAGE 41 OF 106 WWW. my 200 hr Vinyasakrama Yoga Teacher Training Program at Loyola Marymount University starts on July 9th and runs for 5 weeks. To be angry and violent with others as a matter of habit by words.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 July 2012 Newsletter . lingual restraint (in eating and speaking). they should become part of the psyche of a serious yogi. would say that it is not possible in this Kaliyuga with the rare exceptions of naishtika brahmacharis.. if one wants to follow the path of Yoga. Yoga may be portrayed as an inward journey arriving at the the root or core of oneself.
This way the Yogi will become completely free from the body and the indriyas and can with the pure satwic mind engage in antaranga sadhana. So Pratyahara is a well thought out procedure which is not just symbolic but a solid pro-yogic procedure to shut out ahamkara from interfering with the internal practice or antaranga sadhana.VINYASAKRAMA. Likewise the sabda paramanu or sound particles in the form of sound waves reach our ears and reach the brain after some modiﬁcations. Usually Ahara refers to the food we eat. Diﬀerent texts refer to diﬀerent Pratyahara procedures. twin angas of external yoga practice. the yogi is said to become completely oblivious to his/her body. The rupa paramanus/tanmatras or light particles that reach our eyes reach the mind through some transformations. are completely sealed as it were. Then a habitual oﬀender of yogadharmas becomes a habitual yami. but here it is used in a wider sense –all that we absorb from the outside world. Remaining in Savasana. When the indriyas which are the unique doorways for the external stimulii to reach the brain. In this savasana pratyahara. Savasana when correctly done is another Pratyahara. albeit temporarily. it is called Pratyahara. The details of this pratyahara procedure are mentioned in several old texts especially Yoga Yoagnyavalkya.COM . These two are said to reduce the dominance of rajas and tamas and make the yogi's personality more and more satvic and one becomes ﬁt for Anataranga Sadhana. the second stage. then by Paratyahara preceded by asana and pranayama completely shuts down and prevents any interruptions by the pseudo self. Regular stint of Shanmukhimudra towards the end of Yoga practice (and before starting chanting or meditation) helps to calm the senses and bring them under the voluntary control of the mind. the yogi will with concentration draw the prana/awareness from the 18 marma sthanas or vital centers in the body in tandem and deposit the collected prana in the heart or a chosen center. Sri Krishnamacharya would invariably ask us to practice a charming procedure called “shanmukhi mudra” as an eﬀective method of Pratyahara. Lord Krishna indicates to Arjuna to withdraw the senses as a tortoise (turtle) would. In the daily prayer to Sun. through the Pratyahara door.erroneously thought of as oneself. the limbs. Thus with Yamaniyamas the Yogi shuts out the outside world. With the feet ﬁrmly grounded on yamaniyamas. the yogi trains the body and breath with asanas and pranayama. These stimuli are the aahara to the brain through the senses. The daily ritual 'sandhya vandana ' contains mantras that help the yogi to do prayaschitta (regret/repentance) for such transgressions. speech. the other organs. And it is the innocuous looking Pratyahara door. he/she completely shuts down the body/mind/senses complex which is commonly but --according to Yogis-. For the actual procedure you may refer to my book “Yoga for the Three Stages of Life”. This constant reminder and a wholehearted commitment to follow the rules of yamaniyamas will slowly seep into the samskaras of the yogi.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 to day activities vis-a-vis the yamaniyamas at about bedtime or more frequently and this alone would help bring the yogi back on the yoga track. In the simple savasana one lies on the back and in an orderly manner relaxes all the major muscles and joints and remains focused on natural breathing. Prati+ aahaara is pratyahaara. Here again the yogi has to close one more gate or door. The body is like a PAGE 42 OF 106 WWW. One may follow one or a combination of them. Normally it is done immediately after the pranayama practice following asanaabhyasa. When the Yogi also shuts down the Indriyas after gaining control over the body and mind with asana and pranayama. one beseeches the Sun god to pardon and remove the ill eﬀects of papa or despicable acts done by the misuse or abuse of the mind. Then there is a more involved Pratayahara procedure. Patanjali gives the same importance to Pratyahara as he gives to Asana and Pranayama. The Yogi now has only his mind which is very satwic to deal with. Ahara is what one takes into one's system.
VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS
VOLUME 01-12 / 2012
sava (savavath as HYP mentions) and when a limb is lifted it becomes limp without the normal muscle tone and when dropped falls without any resistance. A serious Yogi even during normal times engages very rarely with the outside objects of the senses maintaining a high level of pratyahara. My Guru while walking used to keep his back straight but the head down engaging minimally with the environment. A sage called Akshapada is said to keep his attention on his feet while walking. The name Akshapada means “one whose eyes are on the feet.” Akshapada also well known as Goutama is credited with a monumental work called Nyaya Sutras. Whether one is a born Yogi who can slip into a Samadhi state at the drop of a hat or a yogi who has muddled through the seven angas leading to Samadhi, an entirely new Yogic vista opens up. The enormous power of the understanding of all the subtleties of the Universe or prakriti becomes accessible to them due to their unique yogic perception (yougika pratyaksha) from samadhi which the mere yogabhyasis have yet to acquire. Such unique understanding of the subtleties of the prakriti produces concomitant yogic powers. From the abilities to control and even stop the heart, or to remain without food or water or minimal air for a long time-- a long list of empowerment opens up due to yogic knowledge. Ability to travel in space and time, knowing the past or the future, entering into someone else's body and mind, well the possibilities are numerous and many yogis get hooked to these siddhis. Knowledge is power and yogic knowledge is yogic power! Whole mankind worships such a Yogi and holds him/her in awe. These Siddhis are spectacularly supernatural. But yogis like Patanjali consider them to be impediments for the Yogi who is after getting into the core of himself/herself the Purusha, that immortal principle which is pure awareness/consciousness never changing, always aware of the chittavrittis. All other siddhis are but deviations, impediments to reaching the goal. Patanjali succinctly puts it: “While for the others it may be siddhis but for the nirodha yogi they are just impediments and byproducts.“ He also says that the Yogi who is after the knowledge of the Self will guard against temptations. “Invitations from high personalities like even Devendra (the boss of the heavens), should be dismissed nor should the Yogi feel proud of such achievements.” So there must be in place in Yoga a procedure to overcome the temptations of the grandeur of the Sidhhis, to reach the ultimate goal of Kaivalya or absolute freedom, which is spiritual. The old schools have the next and ﬁnal door that has to be closed to consider and that is VAIRAGYA or dispassion. Samkhya, Vedanta and Yoga all proclaim the need of the sword of Vairagya to cut asunder the never ending cycle of reincarnation. Understanding all the tatwas of prakriti as the non self and developing vairagya towards them is the means. The Samkhyas talk about the 24 tatwas that belong to prakriti as the non self but which also form the human system of body, ego and breath. Contemplating on them, going into Samadhi to understand them thoroughly and rejecting them as the non self and developing Vairagya is what they say is the means. Vedantins, on the other hand, look at the human system as made up of ﬁve kosas or sheaths, contemplate on them in Samadhi and develop Vairagya towards them. Then the yogi would reject them all, the physical, physiological, the mind, the intellectual and the ego sheaths as non self. Mandukya Upanishad considers the three stages of waking, dreaming and deep sleep as the awareness about the non self and leads the abhyasi to the pure state of Purusha in the fourth state, the pure state of consciousness as the self. The yogis consider developing Vairagya toward the human system consisting of the three gunas, the gross aspects made up of the ﬁve bhutas, the subtle body, the intellect and ﬁnally the prakriti itself as yoga. Is there a system of developing Vairagya. Yes Vairagya is a systematic procedure leading to spiritual freedom. Vyasa in his commentary on the sutra “Abhyasa Vairagyabhyam tannorodhah” details the four stages of
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VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS
VOLUME 01-12 / 2012
Vairagya and a systematic method of practicing it and also para vairagya. Here is quote from Mahabharata on Vairagya "The happiness one would get by the fulﬁllment of all the worldly and all the other worldly desires is not comparable to even a sixteenth part of the mental peace one gets by the renunciation (trishna kshaya) of the very desires". So the last door the Yogi closes behind to reach a stage of Kaivalya is Vairagya. Yamas, Pratyahara and Vairagya are the three doors that the Yogi needs to close during the spiritual homecoming, the ﬁnal happy journey. In this connection here is the STORY OF VISWAMITRA, (my version). Kausika was a great powerful King, perhaps an emperor. All his subjects adored him, he was well known in the entire universe including the heavens. Once he was met by many subjects and at that time a sage called Vasishta came that way. Vasishta was a great Yogi. As soon as the people saw the sage they ran to him and started paying their respect in right earnest completely ignoring Kausika. Kausika was ﬂabbergasted, he could not understand what this simple fakir could oﬀer to his subjects. To know more about the Rishi, Kausika later went to Vasishta's unpretentious ashram in a forest. He went there with his large army to impress upon the sage his vast wealth and power. Soon enough the sage oﬀered to give the King and his army food as they had traveled a long distance and were his honored guests(athiti). Kausika was again bewildered, “How can this pauper feed an army of soldiers like his?” Mockingly he told the sage that he would be happy to have lunch with him. Vasishta had an innocuous looking cow, a milch cow, called Nandini believed to be an oﬀspring of the famous Kamadhenu the divine cow that could give anything that one wanted. Nandini had been given as a gift to the sage by Indra himself as a mark of respect to the sage. The sage Vasishta then beseeched Nandini to provide food for the guests. Nandini promptly provided a delicious divine lunch for all of the king's army. Soon after taking food, the King told the sage, “ You are a renunciate and you really do not need a great gift like Nandini who can provide anything one wishes. I am a King ruling a large kingdom and if you could please gift it to me it will greatly beneﬁt me and my people and I can compensate you greatly.” Vasishta explained to him that Nandini was a gift from the gods and was supposed to feed Vasishta and be with him and he was not supposed to part with her. “You are not supposed to gift away what you yourself received as a gift,” he added. Enraged, Kausika immediately ordered his men to forcibly take Nandini away from the ashram and take it to his kingdom. When the men attempted to take hold of the divine sacred cow, the docile Nandini suddenly became furious and ﬁrmly dug her front hooves into the earth. Lo and behold! From out of the dust particles from the hooves hundreds of soldiers sprang up and destroyed all the King's men. Defeated and humiliated Kausika returned to his kingdom. Soon he resolved that he would also become like Vasishta a great sage. But at that time kings or rajas would not become sages which was usually the vrittis of Brahmins. However he decided to do tapas or penance and follow the yogic path and become a sage like Vasishta. He then wanted to be praised by Vasishta himself as Brahmarishi. He renounced his kingdom and went to the forest to undertake the arduous tapas or yogic practice. As he was making great strides, Indra the lord of the devas, got worried and sent his most beautiful apsara and divine dancer to entice the king turned yogi and destroy his tapas and yogic powers. Menaka came to earth and was very quickly able to entice Kausika. She just came in through the yama gate left ajar by Kausika. When she appeared before him with all her beauty and charm the dormant rajas in Kausika came forth aggressively. He soon left his tapas, his sadhana and spent time with her. Menaka who was only supposed to distract
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VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS
VOLUME 01-12 / 2012
the King herself fell in love with the powerful King Yogi and in course of time they had an oﬀspring-- a very charming divine girl who came to be known as Sakuntala. But soon thereafter, Menaka told Kausika that she came at the bidding of Indra to destroy his tapas. Having accomplished her mission she should report back to Indra in heaven.Her permanent place was the heaven and not the earth, she reasoned. She gave the girl child to Kausika to take care of, but he refused as he felt depressed and angry with himself and wanted to go back to start his tapas once again. A mural by a famous painter depicting Kausika refusing to accept the child is still popular in India. Here is the link to view the mural. http://sushantskoltey.ﬁles.wordpress.com/2010/02/vishwamitra_menaka.jpg Kausika realized his folly of falling into the trap set by Indra. He had failed to close the Yama gate behind him before starting on his Yoga Tapas. He then decided to continue with his yogic tapas with redoubled vigor.. His baby girl Shakuntala was raised by a compassionate sage Kanva. Shakuntala grew up to become a beautiful lass. Her son Bharata who is said to have had lions(cubs) as his playmates as a child later became an emperor to rule ancient India. India in olden times (even now) came to be known a Bharata Desa or the country of Bharat. Kausika closed the Yama gate ﬁrmly behind him and did yogic tapas. Soon he went into Samadhi and many Siddhis came to him. Another test he had to face came to pass suddenly. Trisanku was another young king. While reading the puranas, he came across various religious rites that would propel one to go to heaven. He stopped all the works and went to Sage Vasishta and requested him to perform a yagnya, a religious procedure for Trisanku's sake so that he could go to heaven, But Trisanku also insisted on entering heaven with his mortal body. But Vasishta said it was against natural and cosmic law to go to heaven with this mortal body. “Why don't you do good karmas and when you die you will reach heaven with your subtle body? That is the law of karma, natural law, cosmic law”. Trisanku was disappointed. He was stubborn. He approached Vasishta's sons who were also well versed in vedic riruals. He said that their father Vasishta would not fulﬁll his wish and requested them to do the yagnya so that he would go to heaven. They tried to convince him that what their father said was right and that was the course he should follow. The stubborn Trishanku was persistent. The young sons of Vasishta lost their temper and cursed him to become an old man. Progeria set in and instantly Trisanku looked an old man. He then rushed to Kausika who was intently doing his yogic tapas. When Kausika opened his eyes, he saw his former friend in tears and unusually looking aged. Trisanku put the whole blame on Vasishta and his clan and requested Kausika to help him go to heaven with his mortal body. Would Kausika use his magical yogic power to propel him to heaven? Kausika's ego was tickled and his natural animosity towards Vasishta came to the fore, his Siddhis blinded his eyes his vivks or discrimination.. He assured Trisanku that he would do it for him, and using his yogic powers made Trisanku levitate and quickly ascend to the heaven. The Devas, the divine beings in heaven were aghast at this unnatural phenomenal and with all their might pushed down Trishanku. But Kausika's power was incredible and soon there was a state of equilibrium, a stalemate—the downward push of the divine powers of the devas was matched by the enormous yogi power of Kausika. Finally Kausika realized his limit but still wanted to placate Trisanku. So he created an intermediate heaven—some texts say it was an illusory heaven-- in the southern skies, with its own stars around and was about to create even an Indra “god of heavens”. The devas immediately pointed out the folly of his actions and warned him that the very attempt would be considered a sin. Kausika cooled down and abandoned any further work on his heaven creating mission. Some believe Kausika's Trisanku Swarga is in the southern skies, here is a quote:
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The Yogi closes the yamaniyama gate to regulate interaction with one's own outside world (mamakara) ﬁrst.@vinyasakrama. a person closes the front gate of the yard then the front door of the house and ﬁnally the door of the bedroom before retiring to bed. The other star in this triplet is the Proxima-Centauri.. This time he closed the third door Vairagya. the mother of all vedic mantras. Sincerely Srivatsa Ramaswami PS. a triple star system in this constellation. He became absolutely dispassionate. Because of his great humanitarian work he came to be known as “Viswaamitra' or the great friend of the Universe. To get a few moments of peace in sleep. just as Pranava is the source of all Vedas and vedic mantras.Finally he was shining as a yogi.com Earlier Newsletters may be accessed by visiting my website www. If you have any comments or suggestions please write to i. He was back to square one. a Bairagi (one with vairagya).3 light years close” Trisanku believed he was in heaven it is believed.Ccentauri or Rigel Kent. Pratyahara and Vairagya are there in Yoga for a reason. then pratyahara to take out of contention one's false identity with the body/mind/senses complex (ahamkara) and ﬁnally the para vairagya door to slip permanently and irrevocably into the peaceful Purusha/ Self.VINYASAKRAMA.. etc. He went on to to do a lot of good for mankind as a Rishi.com and opening the Newsletter tab You may share this newsletters with your friends if you wish PAGE 46 OF 106 WWW. siddhis. He discovered the most potent mantra from the Veda.Yamas. and Trisanku is probably Alpha. For a third time he started his Yoga journey. By then Kausika had used up all his yogic powers that he had accumulated. Sage Vasishta visited him and declared him to be a Brahma Rishi the highest position of a renunciate.COM .vinyasakrama. the Gayatri Mantra..VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 “Trisanku Svarga in the sky is identiﬁed by Indian Astronomers with the constellation Centaurus. He developed a deep dispassion towards everything prakritic including powers. Closest as in about 4. the closest star to Earth next to our Sun. Gayatri is still a mantra chanted by millions even today and every time one chants the mantra the name of Viswamitra as the Rishi of that mantra is fondly mentioned routinely and thus he became immortal.
UK. Maxine Mills and several others. which are as follows 1. He also includes Swadhyaya or study and chants in both Kriya Yoga and Ashtanga Yoga for both spiritual knowledge and communion with one's favorite deity or Ishtadevata. Mexico. It also aﬀords me a chance to meet many friends in LA -David Hurwitz. This is a great help to many Yogis who have no problem with God and religion. In August I will be teaching a two day workshop on Pranayama and Vinyasa Krama .August 16 . With the end of summer. Ganapathya or worship of Ganapathi/Ganesa 2. Saura or worship of Sun 4. Hence while there is considerable scope for individual eﬀort in Yoga.com/ DIVINE MOTHER (SAKTHI)CHANTS.VINYASAKRAMA. Lisa Leeman. Sarah Mata.5:30 pm at Ananda Ashram in Munroe New York. Adi Sankara who wrote several outstanding works in Sanskrit on the six deities is hailed as "Shanmata sthapanacharya" or the one who formalized the six matas or religious denominations.Brazil. Patanjali recognizes the importance of devotion to the Divine in his Yogasutras. He would interpret "Iswarapranidhanat va" as "Iswarapranidhanat eva" indicating that devotion was a superior path. Saakta or worship of Sakti or Divine Mother. Whether one is a born yogi as in the Samadhi pada or the entry level yogi attempting Kriya Yoga or the lifelong Ashtanga Yogi in Sadhana Pada all can beneﬁt from this aspect of Yoga immensely. Iswarapranidhana also is the term used by Patanjali on three diﬀerent occasions giving considerable importance to Bhakti or devotion. Kaumara or worship of Subrahmanya or Muruga as more popularly known in South India 3. Krishna Janmashtami. regions and countries. Iswarapranidhana in three diﬀerent contexts emphasizes this aspect. Patanjali includes meditation as per one's own religious disposition as a powerful practice even for the Samadhi yogi in the sutra "yetabhimata dhyanad va" Some of the commentators like Sadasiva Brahmendra following the traditional line.12:30 pm & 2. Lithuania. the festive season starts in India. Again I am fortunate to have a compact but very yoga dedicated and talented group of participants coming from diﬀerent places. The program is scheduled to conclude on Aug 11th 2012.ananda-ashram-yoga-teacher-training. and the beneﬁt according to Patanjali is communion with one's own deity (ishtadevata). Amparo Denney. the ten day Dasara and then Deepavali all happening during the rest of the calender year. Arun Deva. Saiva or worship of Siva and 6. The worship of Divine Mother as sakthi is a very popular devotional practice. Ross Smith.. There are several works on Sakthi that are very popular. interpret yetabhimata as following one of the six traditional methods of worship in India.17th . http://www. Festivity is always associated with devotional fervor. While considerable emphasis is placed on individual eﬀort for all levels of yogis. teaching a 200 hr Vinyasakrama Yoga Program at Loyola Marymount University. Australia. one with Bhakti appears to command considerable advantage in the path of Yoga. Ganesa Chaturti. One of them is Lalita Sahasranama PAGE 47 OF 106 WWW.9:30 am .VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 August 2012 Newsletter — Divine Mother (Sakthi) Chants Dear Yoga Friend: I am in Los Angeles. Another expression used in Yoga and elsewhere in the vedas is Svadhyaya and the conventional interpretation is that of chanting vedas. the importance of taking divine help and guidance is emphasized with equal vigor.COM . We are into the fourth week. Sri Krishnamacharya was foremost an exceptional Bhakti Yogi. Vaishnava or worship of Vishnu and His many avataras such as Rama and Krishna 5. Dr Chris Chapple.
and hi.Hayagriva is the god of learning and knowledge and the great sage Agastya. among all the sahasranamas. Lalita Sahasranama is held as a sacred text for the worship of the Divine Mother It is one of the principal texts of Shakti worshippers. just ﬁllers.COM . in the form of her power. the word "Lalita" means "spontaneous" from which the meaning "easy" is derived and from there the word implicitly extends to "play". Vishnu and Siva. Many chant the Sahasranama every day in the morning and or more frequently at dusk.near Kumbakonam is said to be the place where sage Agastya was initiated into this sahasranama.homa or ﬁre oﬀering. of not repeating even a single name. As I have mentioned many times. I recited this and had this work recorded in 1982 by Sangeetha which can be got on line from the following link http://www. in a sahasranamam. In the root form (vyutpatti). i. poetical and mystic requirements of a sahasranama solely by their order throughout the text. archana or individual oﬀering for each name.sangeethamusic. It is supposedly one of the most complete stotras which can be recited for complete salvation The names are organised as in a hymn or stotra.com/track/sri-lalitha-sahasranama-stotram-4 Another important Sakthi work is Devi Mahatmayam from a purana called Markandeya Purana. an epithet for Shiva's wife Goddess Parvati.com/album-details. Popular days for the Lalita Sahasranama chants are Fridays. Universal Mother. Usually. The Lalita Sahasranama however does not make any use of such auxiliary conjunctions and is therefore unique in being a pure enumeration of holy names that meet the metrical. It is a dialogue between Hayagriva.muzigle. the commentators use their scholarship and inspiration to give diﬀerent meanings to diﬀerent occurrences of the same name (this practise occurs also in Jewish Talmudic commentary). Etymologically. This Sahasranama is used in various modes for the worship of the Divine Mother. one of the early Sanskrit Puranas. which is a set of stories being related by the sage Markandeya to PAGE 48 OF 106 WWW. Lalita sahasranama has the unique distinction. it is recited regularly especially during the Dasra/Navaratri festivals in early Fall.php?album_id=1552 I ﬁnd one can also play/listen to it from the following link http://www. Some of the modes of worship are parayana or recitation. api. The temple atThirumeyachur. an (avatar) of Mahavishnu.e. This Sanskrit work has been translated into many languages including Tamil. "Lalita" means "She Who Plays". The Divine Mother. etc. Tuesdays and especially the Full Moon. The Devī Māhātmya slokas are from chapters 81-93 of the Mārkandeya Purana. The slokas are organised in such a way that Devi is described from "Head to Feet" also popularly known as kesadi-padanta-varnana. Further. Lalita Sahasranama names the various attributes of the Divine Mother. Lalita Sahasranama is a very popular chant.VINYASAKRAMA. ca.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 Lalita Sahasranama (1000 names of Lalita) is a sacred Hindu text for the worshippers of the Goddess Lalita Devi. This work occurs in the Brahmanda Purana. in order to maintain the metre. Brahma.Shakti. Lalita is the Goddess of bliss. and all these names are organised in the form of a hymn. Her Majesty above all other devatas including the Trinity of devas. sahasranamas use the artiﬁce of adding words like tu. This kind of worship is said to enormously help in meditation. Popularly known as Chandi and also Durga Sapta Sati as it contains 700 Slokas. Many people worship Sakthi as the Supreme Creatrix. if the same name repeats.
some time king of Kashmir. You can listen to it . the supreme Mother and various demonic adversaries (the three tales being governed by.sangeethamusic. himself a great devotee of Sakti. one can play/listen from the following link http://www. PAGE 49 OF 106 WWW. It takes about three hours to chant it in its entirity. The thirteen chapters of Devi Māhātmyam are divided into three charitas or episodes.COM . and a sage whose teachings lead them both beyond existential suﬀering.raag. The acharya was the son of one Vidyavati. It is from Skandamahapurana and again is chanted during the Navaratrri/ Dasara time. I chanted this beautiful work in the mid-eighties and played a few slokas to the Paramcharya of Kanch Mutt. with their consent. On knowing this attainment of speech by Mooka because of the grace of Devi. the day of victory for Devi. and Pravarasena. Sri Vidyaghana. This was recorded in 2002 Here is a link http://music. Muka Sankara is the author of Muka Panchasati. Mahakali (Chapter 1). Mahalakshmi (Chapters 2-4) and Mahasaraswati (Chapters 5-13). who succeeded Matrugupta on the throne.muzigle.Devi as "Slayer of the Buﬀalo Demon" . Matrugupta. it is an exceptional work of Sanskrit beautySri Muka Panchashati was composed by Sri Muka Sankarendra Saraswati.com/album/sri-durga-sahasranamam The Sun is worshiped in the female form in the name of Gayatri. I had this recorded by Sangeetha in the mid-eighties. a lyrical outburst of poetry on Kamakshi. Most famous is the story of Mahishasura Mardini .com/home#!album/devi-mahathmyam-2 Mooka Panchasati. gave sanyasa to the boy and ordained him as his successor in the Kamakoti Math.sangeethamusic. The recording is available on line from Sangeetha http://www. sent for the boy's parents and told them of his intention of giving sanyasa to the boy and.php?album_id=1513 I ﬁnd that this volume. But through the grace of Goddess Kamakshi he gained the power of speech. It is again a beautiful piece. respectively. all considered it a rare privilege to serve at the feet of this great Acharya. the then Acharya of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam.muzigle. Vikramaditya Sakari of Ujjain. He listened intently to diﬀerent portions for almost half an hour and blessed me with a shawl and himself released it at the Kanchi Mutt on the Dasara day.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 Jaimini and his students (who are in the form of birds). It is in the form of a stotra. The sage instructs by recounting three diﬀerent epic battles between the Devi.muzigle.VINYASAKRAMA.personiﬁcation of Tamas and a tale known almost universally in India. is another beautiful work . It was a red-letter day for me. He attained mukti at a village near Godavari on full moon day in the month of Sravana of the cyclic year Dhatu (437 AD). He was a congenital deaf-mute. Here is the link for download http://www. In this volume many Gayatri meter mantras and also the Saharanama of Gayatri Devi can be found. The brilliance of the work is said to be rivaled only by Lila Suka's Krishna Karnamrta. a merchant betrayed by his family. Some consider him as the avatara of Kalidasa an outstanding Sanskrit poet. Here is the link http://www. an astrologer and astronomer.. the 20th Acharya to adorn Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam. Written in unuasual Sanskrit meters.php?album_id=1596 The following link can be used to listen/play the album http://www. The narrative of Devi Mahatmyam presents a dispossessed king. a ﬁve hundred verse work by Mook Kavi.com/album-details.com/album/mooka-panchashathi Another chant I did which is dedicated to Durga is Durga Sahasranamam in early 2000.com/album-details..fm/Sanskrit/songs-21251-Gayathri_Sahasranama-Srivat.
muzigle.COM .com/track/ With best wishes Sincerely Srivatsa Ramaswami PAGE 50 OF 106 WWW.VINYASAKRAMA. you may open the following link and search for Srivatsa Ramaswami http://www. about 20.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 To listen to my other albums.
VINYASAKRAMA. maybe you would like to look at my book “The Complete Book of Vinyasa Yoga”.com/watch? v=tjMrVq6HuOw&feature=plcp VinyasaKrama asanas 1980 IV http://youtu.youtube. 8 or 9 at that time had recorded it. Have a look (at all the 4 videos) if you have the time and maybe you would like to forward it to a friend or two.youtube. 25 hour certiﬁcate program on Core Vinyasas and ﬁrst two chapters of Yoga Sutras for 10 hrs.@vinyasakrama. Hope I will be granted a safe smooth passage. I taught a weekend program on “Yoga for Internal Organs” and a ﬁve day 25 hour certiﬁcate program in “Core Vinyasakrama Asana” .. and Sri Krishnamacharya with his default head down position had PAGE 51 OF 106 WWW.youtube. The video quality is poor and the audio blank in the later parts.be/olAhZEBWTr0 For a more complete treatment of Vinyasakrama asanas. Sri Krishnamacharya had started coming to our house in the mornings to teach my brother.com/watch? v=iKbmT8Ssuho&feature=plcp VinyasaKrama asanas 1980 III http://www. Pranayama. My son Badri. I am scheduled to teach another 200 hr Teacher Training Program in Vinyasa Krama Yoga at LMU from the Monday after Independence day weekend (July 8th onwards for 5 weeks). It was interesting even for me to see how I was teaching 30 years back.. I am also scheduled to teach for about a week+ at Ricky Tran's Krama Yoga near Dallas. I managed to upload it on my Youtube channel. A few days into it. I may also be teaching again at Suddha Weixler's Chicago Yoga Center. and Meditation”. Part of it was asanas and the other part an interview with me which I have deleted in these videos as they were in Tamil. If anyone is interested in arranging some of my programs please write to me at i.com. During my visit to Chennai in Feb.com/user/srivatsaramaswami?feature=mhee ******** USE OF VOLUNTARY BREATH CONTROL IN ASANAS The very ﬁrst instruction I received from my Guru in Asana practice was “Inhale”. http://www. by the border gods(guards).. Texas in April.COM . Sarah made a video of it and sent me the CD just a few days back. I am now scheduled to teach in UK sponsored by Steve Brandon's Harmony Yoga for about ten days starting from October 4. Here are the links Vinyasa Krama asanas 1980 I http://youtu..10 hr Yoga for Internal Organs. Then another weekend on “Asana. For 2013 I have started assembling some programs. All were standing in Tadasana Samasthiti.be/vEM_QbH2fdo VinyasaKrama asanas 1980 II http://www. I came to the room to join my brother and father. one day after the 7 hr class hours I went to my good friend Sarah Mata's home studio for a short lecture. The one hour talk “Yoga and the Three Gunas I-V” can be viewed from the following link. Mantras. Here is the Amazon link Find this book on amazon.. Each program was about 20 mts aired every week under the youth program. Thank you Sarah.. During the early 1980s I gave a(n) 8 part series of asanas following the vinyasakrama with my students from Kalakshetra.com During my stay in LA for the Teacher Training Program at LMU.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 October 2012 — Use of Voluntary Breath Control in Asanas I returned to USA from India on Sep 5 and left for Chicago on 7th to teach at Suddha Weixler's Chicago Yoga Center.. my friends Srimathy and Ravi of Ashtanga Yoga Chennai and former teachers at KYM helped to edit it and get portions of the audio replaced with my Indglish descriptions. 2012.
A few years back I was teaching a weekend workshop . I was overawed by the smoothness. After a moment stay he instructed “Exhale”. To make that giant leap for the sake of Lord Rama. But one of them. There are a few who would say with tongue in cheek. I used to imagine Anjaneya standing on top of a hill with a huge hairy chest ballooning and that image came to my mind looking at this extraordinary Yogi. there being a perfect synch between movement and the breath. “Inhale slowly with a hissing sound and a rubbing sensation in the throat and raise your arms. believed to be associated with puraka and PAGE 52 OF 106 WWW. “we always breathe when we do asanas. sweating and breathing rather heavily. We followed suit.youtube.”. objected to taking frequent rests saying that she had already warmed up and does not want the system to cool down. Rama's wife. She would rather be on her feet doing a few suryanamaskaras than rest while others were savasana getting their breath back . I was giving the participants intermittent rest pauses as I found many were not able to control the breath or were not paying attention to the breath perhaps as they were not used to this. Breath under involuntary control or autonomic control between the sympathetic and parasympathetic is known as 'swaabhaavika prayatna” or natural breathing. There are others who would say that their breath is slow and not hurried. The breath always was following the movement. turned them outward and gave a good stretch to the body. He taught like that for the nearly 3 decades I studied with him and. interlocked his ﬁngers. a participant of the 200 hr Teacher training Program at LMU this Summer of 2012 videographed by another participant Josh Geidel. an expansion I had never seen. (By the way. Of course a number of people who practice asanas vigorously leave the breath to take its own course. According to some commentaries on Taittiriya Upanishad explaining the Prana maya kosa. http://www.. Follow the breath closely he added after a couple of movements and thus completed the basic instructions regarding breathing in asana vinyasas. My mother had given me a tiny volume in Tamil of Balaramayana (Ramayana for kids).“ he said (in Tamil and a bit of English) and raised his arms slowly breathing in. here is short video of Anjaneyasana following the vinyasakrama performed by Marina Boni. as far as I know. His face tucked against the breast bone would look like getting smaller against the background of his expansive chest movement Likewise his exhalation would be complete. In this the body. His chest would expand like a balloon. But the point I want to make here is that the breath in asana practice I learnt from my Guru involved complete control of the breath throughout the practice. he did not teach in any other way to others. and was teaching vinyasakrama.VINYASAKRAMA.. He said “Exhale and slowly lower the arms. expand his chest like an ocean and control the breath in his chest.COM . He started the exhalation with a hissing sound and synchronized the slow downward movement of the arms with the breath. or more particularly the chitt's normal vritti (samaanya or saamaanyakarana vritti) adjusts the breath rate depending on the needs of the body. I feel that generally people do not pay much attention to the breathing aspect.com/watch? v=GtrLY7dxbi8&feature=youtu. I was reminded of an episode I used to read when I was young. In it there was reference to the episode in which Anjaneya would prepare himself to leap over the Indian Ocean to reach the shores of Lanka in search of Sita.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 given the ﬁrst instruction. That was the ﬁrst time I had ever seen a yogi doing movements completely synchronizing with the breath and with such unimpeded fullness of the breath. Some practice asanas breathing heavily or bordering on 'breathless' and a few long standing practitioners appear to develop the “second wind”.ﬂow and fullness of his breathing. don't we all do that?”. he would go up a hill and breathe in deeply. the stomach muscles going deep into the abdominal cavity and the diaphragm into the thoracic cavity. The inhalation started when he started the movement of the arms and the inhalation went all along the movement continuously until he completed the upward movement. it is said that the main forces prana and apana .be Whenever I mention about breathing in asanas and vinyasas.
can bring the chitta under more voluntary control. has a much better preparation for meditation than someone who practices asanas with involuntary breathing and no pranayama. The Yogis take this route to slowly bring the mind and the heart too under control. I think on salabasana. altering the kriya between brahman and langhana kriyas and interspersed with occasional kumbhakas after rechaka (exhalation) or puraka (inhalation). And Sri Krishnamacharya used breath very judiciously. The slow movement and stretch/contraction help to squeeze out used blood into the venous system enhancing the muscle pump eﬀect of the various muscles and tissues. will be done on exhalation or langhana kriya as it facilitates contracting the abdomen and doing these movements more easily. People with elevated blood pressure or those who are obese. In vinyasakrama one can do about 5/6 vinyasa movements per minute and in a 30 minute stint one can do about 150 movements. Several years back. He also modiﬁed the breathing to suit individual requirements when people came to him for therapeutic help. in the early 80s. When cortical higher brain control is achieved over one basic function (here the breathing). I mentioned that the back bend in that asana should be done on exhalation as I used to prefer that. When the article was read to my guru. He was very clear about the use of controlled breath in asana practice. There are many experienced practitioners who can do vinyasa practice for about half hour without having the need to take rest breaks in savasana due to shortness of breath resulting in the inability to maintain an acceptable slow rate of breath of about minimum 5 secs each for inhalation and exhalation.COM . raising the head and looking up will be done on synchronized slow inhalation or brahmana kriya. The more the breath is brought under voluntary control. tense. much less if one has to take frequent breaks to recover the breath. But there are exceptions according to my Guru. Brahmana kriya on back bends and extensions also helps to increase the inter-vertebral space slightly of the thoracic spine and is very beneﬁcial to the spinal cord which contains an enormous nerve bundle. Breathing in asana movements was an important tool he employed while treating patients. Thus even as one practices asanas. are controlled by udana. Likewise Sri T Krishnamacharya would PAGE 53 OF 106 WWW. In one article. it would be possible to reach almost every 'nook and cranny' (nook and corner) of the body. So for about half an hour to one hour of asana practice and then during Pranayama the breath remains completely under yogabhyasi's control. or generally older would be encouraged to do these movements using langhana kriya.Thus a Yogi who uses voluntarily controlled breathing in asana practice.VINYASAKRAMA. expansive movements like raising/stretching the arms or the lower extremities. side bends. the Yogi it is said. By carefully choosing appropriate vinyasas for one's practice. Doing each vinyasa twice one can probably do about 70 to 75 vinyasas. Back bends. breathing lends itself to dual control.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 racaka. Patanjali in his Yogasutra does not claim that his Yoga Sutra work was his brainchild but was based on tradition and as per the Vedas (anusasana). back rounding. he asked me to change it to brahmana kriya as that was the correct breathing for that movement and what I was doing was a permissible exception. Simultaneously the deep breathing used helps to accentuate the respiratory pump eﬀect and suck in more venous blood to the heart. both the vinyasas and synchronized breathing help to improve the rakta sanchara considerably reducing thereby the strain on the heart and supplementing its work. One may say that the Yogi maintains a good control over udaana. twists. But in vinyasakrama as taught by Sri Krishnamacharya the breath is brought under voluntary control and kept under this control throughout the asana practice. I wrote a series of articles in an Indian magazine called Indian Review. it is possible to achieve control over other basic functions like the heart . Generally forward bends. Of all the involuntary functions. knee bends etc. and follows it up with a good pranayama practice. There are other important advantages of use of breath in asanas performed with variety of vinyasas.
started arguing which among them was the greatest. tatva vaicaradi corroborates this interpretation of prayatna as pranic activity. What innate eﬀort sustains the body? It is the breath. It uses the term 'dharayishyami (I sustain)' the same root (dhru to sustain or support) used by Vachaspatimishra in the YS commentary. Then prana to prove a point collected its forces and started leaving the body.. The sense organs thought it was incredulous and said so to Prana. In it there is an interesting episode. Yogasutra commentary. The main message is that the breathing if involuntary will adjust to the metabolic requirements-.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 mention that the unique use of mindful breathing he advocated in asana practice was not his innovation but was based on traditional and authoritative texts like Vriddha satapata. Hence the pranic activity is called samanya vritii and in nyaya they call it jivana prayatna or eﬀort of life. Yoga Sutras. dividing itself into ﬁve diﬀerent forces. There are two types of breathing as we have two centers that can control breathing. eyes. He says that the natural/ involuntary (swa-bhavika) prayatna or breathing will not be helpful in attaining the posture. So in the above sutras. what one wants or to get rid of what one does not want or wants to avoid . They all fell at the feet of Prana and beseeched it not to leave the body. Vachapati Misra explains this beautifully.COM .VINYASAKRAMA. ears etc. hurried under physical stress like weight lifting or doing Yoga as if like a workout. Here the instruction is that the breathing should be smooth which can only be achieved by controlling the breath. The root of the word dharaka.slow while resting. Patanjali uses the term chitta vritti and he groups them ﬁvefold. nivritti and jivana prayatna. Hence according to my Guru the term prayatna mentioned in the sutra is not the ordinary physical eﬀort associated with the movements of the limbs when one does asanas but the breath itself. nor the normal bodily movement one does in asana practice. Here he says that samsiddhika or the innate prayatna or eﬀort (of the yoga practitioner) is sarira dharakah or that of sustaining the body. One is under the autonomic nervous system with only very limited voluntary override. pravritti. So here we take control of breathing as we do the various movements or vinyasas. But in asana practice as per this sutra it would be under voluntary control. but samanya vritti or jivana prayatna or simply put 'breathing'. But in addition to the chitta vrittis mentioned above (ﬁvefold or twofold). prayatna saithilya (YS II ) means a lot. Prayatna is a word used to indicate eﬀort. in which the sympathetic is involved the inhalation and the parasympathetic in the exhalation through the respective breathing centers. But breathing can also be brought under the cerebral cortex when we willfully take over the control of the breathing process . the chitta incessantly is engaged in another vritti which the samkhyas call as samanya vritti or samanya karana vritti. Once all the organs of the body. In the yogasutra. saithilya. 'dhru' is used to refer to the prana's function in an important major upanishad called Prasnopanishad. He says ”samsiddhika hi prayatnah sarira dharakah”. I have written about it earlier but repetitions are helpful. the phrase of two words. which is the lifelong eﬀort of maintaining life. but the old texts like (navya) nyaya explain eﬀort as beings of three types. Vachaspati Misra in his commentary on Yoga Sutra. the word prayatna does not refer to pravritti or nivritti. Vachaspati Misra proceeds to explain another important element of Patanjali's teaching viz. the prana. Pravritti and nivritti are activities that one does to get. Further texts that support this approach would be Navya Nyaya and also Vachaspati Misra's tatva vaicaradi. doing the movements with the breath under control and voluntarily. which means to make it smooth. respectively. actually it would be a PAGE 54 OF 106 WWW. Having explained that prayatna in this context refers to Jivana prayatna or that of the sariradharaka or prana/breath. But cittavritti can also be classiﬁed as above. Suddenly all the senses started losing their bearings and realized how dependent they were on the main prana. sarira-dharaka. holds up and sustains the body and it was the greatest. The disagreement reached a crescendo when the innocuous and incessantly working prana stepped in to say that it.
Earlier newsletters and articles may be accessed from the following link http://groups. You may forward the letter to your friends .. Patanjali adds that the mind should be focused on the breath indicating that the breathing should be mindful or in the voluntary mode and not allow the auto mode. pl write to i. svase) like prana (pra+and. because hata yoga is pranayama as per Brahmananda. And cobras are said to live on breath. The word ananta can be split as most people do as an+anta.COM . So some say one could have the image of ananta or Patanjali in mind while practicing asanasa-. “upadeshta vyaasanasya ayam asaadhakah. and after all hatayoga is activity under complete control of the breath as can be seen from the yogasutras and the deﬁnition of Hatayoga of Brahmananda. It was how Sri Krishnamacharya taught me Yogasanas for decades--. And Patanjali is the incarnation of Nagaraja or the cobra king also known as ananta. the breath should be made smooth/controlled.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 hindrance. So if one would have controlled breathing in asana practice as discussed above and also does pranayama. suggestions.com. Here is the quote from Vacaspati Misra “tasmaat.com PAGE 55 OF 106 WWW. However the word ananta. upadhishta niyama asanam abhyasataya svaabhaavika prayatna saithilyaatma asteyah. the Hatayoga pradeepika commentator. here more appropriately should be broken as a word derived from the root 'ana' to breathe (ana.! Thank you Sincerely Srivatsa Ramaswami P S Any comments. Thus the cause of asana siddhi is indeed making the natural breath smooth (by controlling it). Some need more rest pauses and some less and some hardly any. Anta means end or limit so ananta would mean endless or limitless and hence ananta is usually translated as inﬁnity and many commentators recommend focusing the mind on inﬁnity.@vinyasakrama. virodhi cha swaabhavika prayatnah) Hence one should voluntarily control it and make it smoother (saithilya) which is what Sri Krishnamacharya did. When the breath would get out of control sometimes Sri Krishnamacharya would ask the student to lie down in savasana and regain the breath before continuing with the asana practice. The word ending 'ta' would indicate containing so ananta is containing or controlling the breath. of course a mythological belief.google. “prayatna saithilya ananta samapattibhyam” is the sutra about how to use the breath in asana practice.VINYASAKRAMA. If any of your friends wants to receive the newsletters directly and regularly by e mail. to have complete control over the breath while practicing asanas and apply the breath thoughtfully and well to diﬀerent individuals and diﬀerent conditions and in diﬀerent movements/ vinyasas.a symbolic way of saying 'focus on the breath' Whenever one says that one practices Hatayoga. I have an urge to ask if one does any yoga breath work like pranayama. Here he uses the word ananta to indicate the breath. To reinforce this concept. The preﬁx 'an' meaning 'not' rhymes with the English un used as 'not' in English.. The instruction loud and clear is that one should bring the breath under voluntary control while doing asanas and not allow it to be under autonomic control. naanyata upadishta aasanam sidhyati iti| swaabhaavika prayatna saithilyasya aasana siddhi hetuh|” Therefore when the intended asana is attempted.vinyasakrama. please send the e mail info to me to send an invitation. it would mean that the yogabhyasi would be in total control of her/his breathing during the entire period of hatayoga practice. vyana vi+ana etc).com/group/vinyasakrama-announce?hl=en www. A long-winded article on 'breath' in asanas. I . and in no other way the intended asana can be perfected.
why and how we are born. evolved by itself. all these questions remain in the background unanswered. When my grand aunt told us that my uncle died I did not fully comprehend it and she started explaining following the general belief in India that he had gone to heaven. Can one identify oneself in the purest form and answer the question “Who am I. one has to see beyond the sky--up above the sky I guessed. She would assure us that we should not worry about him as God would take care of him.a 24 hour program on Krishnamacharya's yoga and a Practicum of Hatayoga and Rajayoga for an equal length of time. A few however keep these wonderment queries alive. For 2013. the 200 hr Vinyasakrama Teacher Training program at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles starting July 8th and running for ﬁve weeks. UK. One evening my parents suddenly left Madras to his town. Many relatives and family friends used to visit us every now and then and my uncle also used to visit us.COM . I taught a handful of yoga programs at Steve Brandon's Harmony Yoga in Wells. Thanks to the planning of the authorities and prudence of individual citizens the loss of lives due to the mammoth hurricane was contained.-. When I was a child. I also taught a one day workshop on Vinyasakrama and talks on Mantra yoga and asana practice. a ten day 45 hour program at Ricky Tran's Kramayoga near Dallas Texas in April and a week long program at Suddha Weixler's Chicago Yoga Center in latter half of September ******* .VINYASAKRAMA. to search --like the stars. It was a nice group. what am I made of?” Is there any principle which PAGE 56 OF 106 WWW. sincere and well informed yogis for a very satisfying time. In childhood everything is a wonderment. leaving us in the care of my grand aunt. I remember my grand aunt pointing her ﬁnger up the sky where she said heaven was. We were living in Madras about 400 miles away. Sally and all the hard working. to experience. Thank you. Usually in India the elders do not spend much time with children but this person used to spend considerable time with us. We used to like him. I had an uncle (my paternal aunt's husband) who was living in a small town in deep south India. a very nice group indeed.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 November 2012 Newsletter — Chittavritti. I used to run out of the house and look up to see if I could see heaven.an Illusion As all of us share the sorrow. I would ask questions like if he had reached haven already. to see. Like this when we are young. prayers of all go to the families of those who lost their lives in this recent tragedy and may the souls of those who lost their lives rest in peace. My uncle had suddenly died. And heaven I learnt is above the sky. career and the concerns about keeping the head above water consume all the time and attention. Steve. CHITTAVRITTI—AN ILLUSION? Twinkle Twinkle Little Star How I wonder what you are. I have three conﬁrmed programs now. There are so many things to know. she would say that he would be traveling and would reach there in about 9 days or so and then he would reach God and be with him. God. Loss in property and belongings and disruption in daily life is enormous and one hopes that life will be put back to normal soon. ***** In October 2012. Then as we get older. a lot of questions arise in the mind like how the world came into existence. about reincarnation and many more. Did a Super-being create the Universe or did it come about by itself. The care about family.
Firstly with the equilibrium disturbed by the dominance of Satwa. the tamasic aspect of ahamkara leads to ﬁve sensations or tanmatras (touch. a mute spectator. On the other side. form etc) which in turn produce the ﬁve bhutas or the gross elements like earth. The diﬀerence with Samkhya conceptually is that the distinct two stream evolution of Samkhyas is missing. as is the recognition of consciousness as distinct from inert matter. They also recognize that in addition there has to be a consciousness principle that experiences all life without undergoing any change. Rajas (energy) and tamas (disorder/chaos) in perfect equilibrium. ahamkara and manas are also called antahkarana or the internal organ. the ahamkara. In it then Rajas raises its head to evolve the next tatwa called Ahamkara or what may be termed as Universal Ego. premises and speculations about these questions. there are also theories which ﬁnd it unnecessary to bring in a Supreme Intelligent Being to create the Universe. joins the subtle body and remains with it.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 does not undergo any change and hence is eternal or do all things change and are subject to time? “Is it always nature's law to change and constancy alone is strange?” And there are very powerful. the subtle body transmigrates and takes a new birth and acquires a new physical body by taking the help of the bhutas of the macrocosm. There is no room for a creator principle in this rather ingenious philosophy. PAGE 57 OF 106 WWW. etc. compelling but competing theories. These appear to be trivial questions and we turn our attentions thereafter to trivia. While the puranas of ancient times describe in great detail how the Supreme Being created the Universe. The intellect (buddhi). But they also subscribe to a superior Being. called satwa (order). which could be of considerable use in achieving the ultimate yogic goal. This theory of evolution is accepted by Yogis in toto. The ﬁve bhutas or gross elements combine in various combinations and diﬀerent permutations and become the variegated universe we experience. like the Samkhyas and the Yogis piggybacking on the Sankhya framework. one the microcosmic the other macro cosmic. the ﬁve sense and ﬁve motor organs along with the coordinating agency called manas. The three principles buddhi(mahat). water. They also accept worship of diﬀerent personal gods (so do samkhyas) which could be venerated for various ends including peace of mind but these gods are not considered as creator. Until then with the subtle accumulated karma bundle and old vasanas attached to it.VINYASAKRAMA. The satwic aspect of Ahamkara starts the microcosmic stream. They are able to recognize that for the kind of experience we have. Over a period of time matter particles combined variously and then the ﬁrst single cell bacterium was formed.COM . the non-changing eternal consciousness tatwa. until the yogi 'liberates' it with yoga. The Sankhyas say that the entire universe evolved out of a primordial atomic entity called mulaprakriti made of three essential characteristics. But added to these various theories we also have modern theories of evolution. one has to explain how the subject evolves and how the objects evolve so that one can explain the kind of subject object experience we have all our life and life thereafter. an Iswara. The spirit or purusha. the 11 senses (13 in all) form the subtle body. leads to eleven indriyas. Then the Samkhyas thoughtfully say that from Ahamkhara emanate two streams of evolution. how the universe came out of one entity called a 'singularity' very similar in concept to Samkhya's mula prakriti which evolved into this universe by a phenomenon called 'Big Bang'. the ﬁrst stage of evolution called Mahat or Universal Intelligence emerges. So one ﬁnds over time that it is prudent not to spend time trying to ﬁnd convincing answers to all these questions. And life force made up of the ﬁve pranas is considered just an incessant function (samanya vritti) of this antahkarana. then various beings.
Yoga and Vedanta form a group of philosophies that subscribe to the authority of the vedas. And perhaps the most important contribution in this respect is by the Samkhyas who explained the evolution not as one stream but as indicated earlier along two streams.it appears to have three PAGE 58 OF 106 WWW. It is the view of these darsanas that all the suﬀering one experiences birth after birth is due to the wrong understanding about one's own self and by implication the universe itself. Brahman the pure consciousness which has expanded into this mammoth universe. Again there are diﬀerent views like. Samkhyas talk about the need to know the manifest universe(vyakta) along with the origin of it (avyakta) and also the subject that experiences (jna). Vamana (dwarf). which are as diﬀerent as darkness and light are — cannot be identiﬁed with each other. man has a natural tendency.some like Matsya (Fish). Kurma (turtle). the preamble SELF and NOT-SELF “It is obvious that the subject and the object — that is. Then the dwarf (vamana). because it admits of only consciousness as satya or real and existent. here the chitta vritti. They explain it in so many diﬀerent ways and using diﬀerent examples. Samkhya. Varaha (Boar). Here is how he starts his commentary. the "I. Nonetheless. the objects of the universe that are experienced are considered only an illusion.VINYASAKRAMA. uses a similar approach." and so on. the Self (Atman) and the Not-Self. So all these philosophies start from our present experience of each of us as the subject and the entire universe as the objects." "That is mine. viz. Parasurama (wild man). the text for Vedanta philosophy. All these varying theories about the evolution of the universe. the microcosmic and the macrocosmic—the subject and the object as we experience.. the man-lion incarnation. not to distinguish clearly between subject and object. From this standpoint they start the discussions. etc.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 The evolution of diﬀerent species as per Darwin ﬁnds an echo in the Puranic stories of evolution. Then the boar. This leads to a confusion of the Real (the Self) and the Unreal (the Not-Self) and causes us to say such incorrect things as "I am that. then the half man/half animal. Rama (the perfect man) Krishna (the divine man) etc. The others are found in other puranas and itihasas like Ramayana and Mahabharata such as Narasimha (man-lion). The three vedic philosophies viz. It is a mistake to superimpose upon the subject or Self (that is. rooted in ignorance (avidya). but rather to superimpose upon each the characteristic nature and attributes of the other. the wild man (parasurama) then the perfect man (Rama) and the divine man (Krishna). According to the Puranas the Creator took several avatars or incarnation like the ﬁsh. if the created universe is really real.COM . Several puranas are named after these stages of evolution-. Similarly Patanjali in his Yoga talks of the subject. although they are in fact absolutely distinct. Adi sankara while writing the commentary on Brahma Sutra. They explain our waking state experience of the world as no diﬀerent from the dreams which while taking place inside the head appear to take place outside of us. Another example that is common among them is that of the image you see in a mirror. and to superimpose the subject and its attributes on the object. Even though there is no space or objects inside the mirror—it is ﬂat surface-. Then the Upanishads or the vedanta philosophy talks about evolution from one non changing principle that alone exists. the experiencer (drashta) and the object or that which is experienced. They are considered as essentially adhyatma vidyas or body of knowledge about one's own self. ancient and modern and all the cares of worldly life blunt the childhood wonderment as one keeps muddling through life. then the turtle the amphibious creature. “ Ultimately in the vedanta philosophy of Sankara's advaita." whose nature is consciousness) the characteristics of the object or Not-"I" (which is nonconscious).. representing the aquatic 'animal'.
rupatanmatras or rupaparamanus. Let us see the chronology of events. even as I feel I am seeing the object from the outside world through my senses as mentioned when we started the discussion. I see another object as chittvritti. So moment after moment I have chittavrittis in my mental plane or chitta akasa which alone I see even as it appears that I am experiencing the objects directly from outside. one cannot prove the existence of the world outside and then thirdly the vedantins assert that there is no real creation as we understand (maya). etc. There are three possibilities. Why so? Because I only see chittavrittis.. sends electrical impulses through the optic nerves to the brain. are selectively reﬂected by the object and reach my eyes. So the chitta projects the information not in the outside physical space but within the brain by creating a virtual mental space. and I have no proof that the objects do really exist. the objects may send sound waves or other sensations which are collected by the appropriate sense organs and transmitted to the brain. The chittavritti I experience may have three parts. When I see an object—I have talked about it in an earlier newsletter but we may go beyond by a further step —light particles. the act of observing and the observer or me. one the object/s I observe. and understands the object and then another aspect of the brain called ahamkara or ego adds its own color. The object may have changed or my attention may have changed to another object. purusha and chittavritti could lead to a similar conclusion of the advaita vedantins.. So whatever I experience now is my Chittavritti. must be experienced by me in three dimensions. and the retina stimulated by the sensation. It introduces feelings and emotions to the whole picture. which may be called mano vritti of the chitta. At moment 2. grahana. One is that the universe is real which is the belief of almost everyone of us. Going backwards I realize that I see objects from my previous chittavrittis. Another aspect of chitta known as buddhi (mahat) analyzes the information. there is a center called manas which coordinates all the information and makes a consolidated picture. I see an object as a chittavritti. This modiﬁed/interpreted picture must by seen by me. The previous discussion will show that it is indeterminate (anirvachaniya). At moment 1. for I only experience a succession of chittavrittis in the mental space(like an inﬁnite regress) and I have no proof that they take place in the outer physical space or as the Mayavadins say that there is no proof of the existence of a world outside.VINYASAKRAMA.COM . Now let us try to see if consideration of Yoga's subject and object viz. The vedantins say all that happens takes place within our consciousness but PAGE 59 OF 106 WWW.. like grahitru. like I love it or I do not like it or I'm totally indiﬀerent to it. But this information in the brain is within the brain space. so next moment I have another chittavritti representing the objects in the physical space. Simultaneously. To complicate matters the chitta also includes me as the experiencer of this chittavritti by positing me or my image as the one that is having the experience. The eyes channelize the reﬂected particles by focusing on the object. Now the next moment the chittavritti changes. So what I see or experience is not on the physical plane but in the mental plane called chitta akasa.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 dimensions and objects too. This is all I experience. This three part experience is called Triputi. But the light particles of the object I see the second time are from my previous chittavritti. grahya in Yoga sutras. refers to memory. the pramana vritti of which the pratyaksha vritti or the vritti of direct perception—direct perception through the senses—is one kind. What we experience takes place inside the brain or chitta as a chittavritti but appears to be outside of us. Let us take one of the chittavrittis. So it can be seen that my chittavritti is the totality of my experience including me Ramaswami as the experiencer of this experience. In the brain or chitta. The light particles reach the retina.
would also include the other sensations like touch. My mind projects what it sees I see what my chitta projects Now I see only what the mind/consciousness projects Incessantly all those illusions. Nama means name-. Namarupa the representative term. like a horse which shrugs oﬀ the loose hairs. as my guru would say “Sesaham Kopena Purayet (the rest of the debate was made up of anger)”. :”Namarupe vyakaravani”. the entire universe including me. Two sages once ran into each other in a celestial coﬀee shop. One was a great scholar of the puranas and started stressing the importance of recognizing a creator for the universe. When I wake up. I may even realize that I am really the pure unchanging consciousness and hence immortal leading to the Yogi's Kaivalya or the vedantin's moksha. The other argued that it is not necessary to subscribe to this view as nature is capable of evolving without a superior entity. my attitude towards myself (subject). Without anything else to say and unable to convince the other about one's own viewpoint the discussion deteriorated into angry words and was leading to blows. Knowing the truth about oneself is a great beneﬁt. Ramaswami. butted in and said. No greater importance will I then tend to give for my worldly experiences or even to myself. not even on my dream self. These are the two that our main senses absorb from the outside world for the mind to synthesize and present a picture.COM . I do not dwell on it. At the end of that period both of them had exhausted their very reasoned arguments. come to the conclusion that the waking state worldly experience is essentially no diﬀerent from the dream experience(an illusion. Each Chittavritti draws information from previous chittavritti and my world. They decided to sit down and chat over a hot cup of masala chai.. So what we experience are just soundbytes and other sensations.e. like the vedantins. If I. if the dream is sweet. They argued for a long time.here it represents sound and rupa is form. which I could savor for the rest of my life. here it represents light.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 appears to take place outside of it. is just a succession of chittavrittis. I have a smile and if it is a nightmare I shrug it away –as mentioned in Chandogya Upanishad.VINYASAKRAMA. They further contend that even the chitta like the body is something observed or experienced by the purusha or pure consciousness and hence all that purusha/ consciousness experiences. the world around(objects) could change. Sincerely Srivatsa Ramaswami PAGE 60 OF 106 WWW. i. “Did you ever consider if the universe that we see was really created or just an illusion even before ﬁnding out the origin of the Universe and how it was created?' What is the use of all these discussions? If I am convinced this really is the truth about the subject and the object. a make belief) I may attach the same importance to these worldly experiences as I would to the dream state. a billion years I guess going by a vedic episode. taste and smell but which are relatively minor when compared to the other two. as is your world. is just an illusion(maya) or rather not really real. Then the coﬀee shop owner who was watching the debate and wanting to close the shop for the long cosmic day. Now I may sing the popular rhyme as follows Twinkle Twinkle Little Star How I wonder what WE are. The vedantins especially the advaita proponents quote the chandogya upanishad to drive home this point.
He is Krishnamacharya's longest-standing student outside of Krishnamacharya's immediate family. Ilya Zhyravlev S. who is somewhat handicapped.info/en/issue/huge-variety-krishnamacharyas-teachings-interview-srivatsaramaswami However I thought I coul d take the liberty to forward it as a newsletter. and teaching in Madras (Chennai) (1955-1989). and he was coming and teaching at the college where my father's friend was the Principal. It seems that his teaching was represented by two major periods: teaching in Mysore (1926-1953). What happened is that I have a brother. His Chennai years started in his mid-50s. in his prime years. and all the members of my family one by one joined him. ******** Huge variety of Krishnamacharya's teachings Interview with Srivatsa Ramaswami Wild Yogi Magazine. for 33 years. Hope you like it. Нe currently lives and teaches in the U. Here is the link of my interview with Yuri.S. How did you meet him? Shrivatsa Ramaswami: Yes. Yuri: Lets talk a about your Guru. from 1955 until 1988 shortly before Krishnamacharya's passing. PAGE 61 OF 106 WWW. Thank you Yuri Sharonin and Ilya Zhyravley. Each period spans roughly 30 years. Tamil Nadu.wildyogi. and lead into the sunset of his life. India) was a student of the father of modern yoga. www. In fact."Why don't you try him?" My father met him. And he suggested . http://wildyogi. Yuri Sharonin who was participating in the program suggested an interview for possible publication in a on line Russian Yoga Website which may be published in their English site. Nearly entire former period went under a patronage of the Mysore royal family. Krishnamacharya. and brought into my house. The website articcle has some nice pictures. and studied under him for 33 years. He started to teach my brother.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 Mid November 2012 Newsletter — An Interview I was in LosAngeles th is summer teaching a 200 hour Vinyasa krama yoga teacher Training Program. Sri T.VINYASAKRAMA. You were studying with him until the end of his life. Ramasw ami (born 1939 in Madras. Some of the typos and grammatical peculiarites have been corrected by Yuri who did the long interview. Sri Krishnamacharya (1888-1989).info Yuri Sharonin Questions: Yuri Sharonin. I had described this in my book [Yoga for the Three Stages of Life. My father was told by one of his friends that there were a yogi from Mysor that settled down in Madras.COM . see also an extract published as "My studies with Sri Krishnamacharya" in Namarupa magazine]. in fact. It is very long.
In fact. So this went on. I was playing tennis also. like Yoga Sutras. I slowly cut down on these. as it is now in the West? Yes. in India yoga was considered mostly physical. I had never seen anyone to teach like this. raise your arms.the ﬁrst thing he said was "Inhale.I had never seen a yoga teacher doing it with breathing. the way yoga was practiced is not the way yoga is practiced in the west. Did you have any background in sports." . After a long period of time my farther discontinued studying with him. Breath with hissing sound. long time. I never knew he was a scholar. you know. I had some exposure to chanting when I was young. I had some exposure to yoga.that was also very impressive.the number of vinyasas he taught was quite enormous! Was yoga in India then considered to be mostly physical.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 Krishnamacharya was coming to my house about 4-5 years every morning . I was young . I used to play ping-pong. Even in school we had a yoga teacher. and this went on for a long. Even with the ﬁrst few classes I can see that yoga was much diﬀerent than how we were practicing in India at that time. Later on I started going into his house.VINYASAKRAMA. And look at the vinyasas . he started to teach lots of other things. I was in college tennis team. What was your ﬁrst impression of him? First impression was that he appeared to be a bit stern.. and concentrated more and more on yoga. it feels so diﬀerent. but more - subtle. I thought he was just a yoga teacher. but I continued. But later on I found he was an exceptional scholar. any martial arts? Me? No. And then also types and number of vinyasas he was able to teach . I liked the way he taught Vedic chanting. captain of the team. But I used to play cricket at school. But the big diﬀerence was use of breath . They would practice some of the well-known asanas. the way he was teaching vinyasas. Yoga was so diﬀerent. shoulderstand.about 4-5 days a week he would come and teach for an hour.just 15 at the time. like headstand. Like all Indians. I've learned many simple asanas. He was very clear with his instructions. Once I started studying with him. It was still a physical practice. rubbing sensation in the throat.. Samkhya Karika. not in martial arts. Soon he started teaching pranayama. But I used to be interested in yoga as a physical culture. Do you feel it helped you? No. I had started studying with him. But once he started to teach . then afterward he started teaching Vedic chanting. seen a few books. this went on. and few PAGE 62 OF 106 WWW. but still. I had some exposure.COM .hour and a half. I used to have a few teachers. First thing that struck me was the use of breath. Then he started to teach various texts.
These are few exceptions here and there. Krishnamacharya stopped teaching. Would you like to join? My father asked me to ﬁnd out from you. But of course there are other people who are yogis. after he completed his studies he came to Madras. Like that. Most of them would be able to sit in vajrasana. I did not know he was able to do that.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 forward bends. or thorns. He was studying somewhere else.K. When did you realize that he is your Guru? I just started going to him . because we are more or less the same age. Yoga Sutras we studied together.I thought everything he has to oﬀer was very useful to me. because he is Krishnamacharya's son." I got interested. he would suggest which subject I should study. and asked his sons to teach. and I studied with him. most of them would be able to do a shoulderstand. That is my understanding. We came to know each other very well. I studied number of chants with Desikachar. When he started teaching I found that was another dimension to his teaching. Not the kind of intense practice you ﬁnd in the West.ten diﬀerent asanas that they would practice. I did not have any plan.he would take over and teach me. By that time 4-5 years are gone by. A few Upanishads we did together. we went through the commentary of Vyasa. I was very young then. he did not wanted me to have two teachers . General public were interested in yoga. Then he was started saying "why don't you study Samkhya Karika?" So we went on studying Samkhya Karika.VINYASAKRAMA. general public had about half a dozen . or padmasana. How old were you at that time? PAGE 63 OF 106 WWW. And a few people will do Surya Namaskara. Desikachar . or headstand. I was asked to study with Desikachar. like getting buried in the pit. But not the kind of diﬃcult postures you would ﬁnd in the West. which I thought was very good for me. Desikachar? I came to know him. Samkhya Karika we did once. we used to sit and chant along with Krishnamacharya. and started to work with his father. but their interest were limited to a few asanas. I studied with Desikachar for a while. I used to be interested in Indian philosophy at that time. Usually yogis are known for their extraordinary feats. some common classes.COM . You would practice for 15 minutes or half an hour every morning. he said. Then after some time. or laying down on the bed of nails. One day. But then when Krishnamacharya started teaching texts. A few teachers used to do it. Young Ramaswami & Krishnamacharya How did you came to know T. I think it was his son.we started chanting together – came and asked "I am going to study Yoga Sutras with my father. and started to study Yoga Sutras also. but by and large. He also started studying with his father.V. That's about all the practice we used to do. After we went through Yoga Sutras.
I don't know his lineage as far as his teachers. in Vedas. But basically our classes were conﬁned purely to studies. But about Pattabhi Jois I have never heard him saying anything. what his teacher was. Don't try to ﬁnd out his antecedents. go through the class. I don't think he spoke. memories of his studies. Mulah means the origin. and then at the end another prayer. I've never asked him.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 When I started studying I was 15. Subsequently I came to know through Desikachar that he had diﬀerent degrees. how did he develop his asana practice.only physical aspect.I am talking about physical aspect. Otherwise. And moreover. But this was one man. except once or twice about Iyengar. number of other degrees. "How is your father?. and after that I went back to study with him. but you see. no.VINYASAKRAMA. Sometimes people say he borrowed his techniques from gymnastics. in Vedanta. tremendous knowledge about yoga . You can't ﬁnd a person like that. There were no need for him to talk about it. the way he was talking about scriptures. don't try to ﬁnd out the source of a river. Very. He never spoke of his guru. Once in a while he would ask me. and all that . at least to me.you could see he was a great scholar.. let people say what they want to say. Not for any reason. Yes. it just happened that way. after he came to Madras and settled down. Likewise. Or Indra Devi. These days it is pretty common to indicate which lineage of yoga one follows. I liked what he taught. at that time I was maybe 27-28. Rishi means the sage. That made me go to him . how did one came about it. In fact. And it is very diﬃcult to ﬁnd in India a teacher with such a comprehensive background.I thought I can get anything I want from him. I go with what I directly was able to see from him. There is a saying “don't investigate the Nadi Mulah and a Rishi Mulah. he would start with his prayer. or his students? No. in Samkhya. very minimal communication on anything. vaishnavite philosophy. he would not encourage you to ask those questions. What I wanted from him. And I was not interested in that. I would go there. I am still not interested in all the gossip that goes on. and then I used to come out. About his students. He knew he had a proper lineage. is whatever he could give. Sometimes when you would ask questions which are not entirely connected with the subject. I knew he was a great scholar by the way he was teaching. and also knowledge of the shastras." Otherwise there were little or no talk.. what do you think was most unique about him? PAGE 64 OF 106 WWW. Did he ever talk about his Guru. Maybe he told about it to his son. he never spoke about his guru. Normally yoga teachers have a very limited understanding of the shastras . at that time I went to him. who had tremendous control. Looking back. Then I get upset a little bit.COM . and so on. Then when Krishnamacharya stopped teaching for a year or so. And he was interested in giving that. until year before he passed away. he never told me. I think. I have never asked him.
on the other side going and teaching. I think that's not fair to him. There were one or two who studied with him for a long period of time. But Krishamacharya was able to come down to my level and teach. and study with him. And he also had daily puja which he was performing. But at the same time he would come down to your level. until twenty years or so. As I was studying I was also teaching . When this started. Sometimes he used to show some pranayama.very few people stayed with him for a long time. I was able to broaden my base much better once I started teaching. or sitting in mahamudra. So when you study Yoga Sutras. So I would stand outside. rather than what I knew. I started to think about various things I don't know. Of course he did not object me observing his practice. He was not just a scholar . no. I could probably sometimes see him doing his headstand. Have you observed his practice? No. but they did not want to teach. or shoulderstand. But occasionally . That was a very good experience: studying with him on one side. and after that they used to go .VINYASAKRAMA. I saw him. because when you sit in front of him. Ekagrata. Vedanta with him. It is a parallel development: you go back. Of all those people who came to him.it helped me to improve my teaching. his understanding. and I started to study with him. want to study Vedanta. but you don't really go sit down and look.suppose I was ﬁve minutes early to his class. you would get the feeling these are all meant for us. Beyond that I did not observe his practice. you would get just a scholarly presentation.I had to raise my own level. you get a feeling you do not know anything. I asked more questions. or some of those postures. And one more thing . How he selected his students? Was he teaching to anyone who is willing to listen? I don't know. I did not think of teaching. One day he asked me "would you like to teach?" Until that time. He did not reject me. Whereas if you would go to lectures of scholars. I did not have a necessary background. Initially it was a bit diﬃcult for me .VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 His scholarship. Everyone has his own practice. PAGE 65 OF 106 WWW. you start developing.in India. things that are meant for our own good. when you want to study some of these texts. And you don't really get the feeling that these are all Atma Vidyas. he came to my house.COM . nor I did went about searching for a guru. If you say that most of his teachings limited to few of the sequences that you ﬁnd in the modern Ashtanga Yoga. He did not speciﬁcally ask me to teach. But then. 90% of them came for some ailment or other. he would be completing his practice. you won't ﬁnd anybody who would be prepared to teach you at your level. So far as I am concerned. some postures. They did not know what he can oﬀer. I don't think he was very choosy about anybody who wanted to study with him. As you start teaching. they had other avocations. he would talk to you so you would see he wants you to understand the basic principles. Most of his teachings really are not well-known. refer to whatever he had said. so he came to be known better a person who used yoga therapy. so I had a good idea how he spent his time.he could explain it to you so you can understand. but then unfortunately not many people at that time came and studied with him. Most people came for some ailment or the other.
And then convey it to the next generation. I think the impression you get from studying with him was this: these are the shastras. whenever I try to present this program [LMU 200hr TT]. I would just stand up. “your absorption is not good”. That was something very good about him. Not merely the subject. yes. But I can't believe that he taught anybody without breathing. he would start with the breathing. With him. and you would be always thinking whether you are able to understand what he was talking about. I kept quiet. in twothree days time. That was very rare. Very rarely asked him. when he was treating some people. Why didn't I notice? One day he said. and end with the prayer. I have no idea how he taught others. I would keep it to myself. synchronizing the breathing with the movement. he came out of his way to help you by explaining. because most of the Sutras he knew by heart. Of course he used to charge fees. and then come back next class. He would be focused totally on that.COM . He was totally focused on whatever he wanted to teach. The rest of the things were secondary. if I had a doubt. he gave a lot of importance to chanting. but how to convey it so you will be able to understand.VINYASAKRAMA. His life goal was to understand it. I tried to understand it myself by thinking about what he said. He needed money. bit by bit. But usually. he said. From the moment you come to the class and start with the prayer. But that was not the main thing. Sometimes I refer to other notes. go through the class. not frequent. scriptures. If you can show that you are really interested. And normally I never used to ask questions. And then suddenly he would open his eyes to see if you were sitting there. How is his teaching had changed through the years you had studied with him? I studied with him on one-to-one basis. Usually he would close his eyes and speak for 5-10 minutes. explain things over again? I had never asked him many questions. because he taught all these subjects. other commentaries. Every time . Another thing .it was thirty years every class I go to. there were nothing extraneous.” You are not listening. That is the main thing. did I miss something. That is why I try to combine all of them. “What is wrong you? You are not being observant. You can see that he was really interested in you. So I used to be very PAGE 66 OF 106 WWW. because I did not understand. Then I realized.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 India had changed tremendously during those years. everybody needs money. he mentioned about it.. Was he willing to be patient with a student. so they will become part of his own psyche. that's about all. I think one time I'd asked him a question. his own way of thinking. You can see a ﬁerce intent in transmission of knowledge. After the prayer is over. His focus would be teaching. I don't know how he knew. What was it like to study with him? His main goal was to convey the subject to the student. For instance. and go out of the room. in your development. then close his eyes and continue. I really have no idea how he taught others.he gave a lot of importance to pranayama. that's all. except when he asked me to come and observe if he wanted. but he would explain it. occasionally he would ask me to come and observe. I don't know how he was earlier. If I had a doubt.
Why do you think he chose to be a Yogacharya? I will put it this way: There are hundreds and hundreds of yoga teachers. Krishnamacharya's scholarly qualiﬁcations are so numerous and impressive. It will be quite useful. who combined yoga practice.. It was very clear the way he was teaching. without controlling rajas and tamas. Here .VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 attentive. headstand. But then again. So what you should do is try to develop your own studies. at least a solid hatha yoga practice. This is something you can ﬁnd in Yoga Rahasya.COM . My wife is a doctor – she says they appear medically sound. The time factor. But you have to quantify it. so they can appreciate what's been said. Sometimes when he was teaching a new subject.whatever spiritual height you want to achieve. Very rarely you can ﬁnd a person. and also Bandhas. so she can deal with professional terms used my modern medical practitioners. I need some more studies to be done. in the USA I cannot do anything. I can use my wife's help. I think his approach to the Six Koshas is very important.. or you want to be a jnana yogi . more people will meditate. In fact. and some of those things which are very diﬃcult to explain. it is more fundamental. They have to be put in a way. But the only thing is. But then I started coming here. Only thing is – she says. I had plenty of opportunities to reﬂect. The only reason why it is not brought about. it will become very popular. But then. If you want to be a bhakti yogi. In Yoga Makaranda. he mentions these things. It is not therapeutic application. you cannot really go into many of the meditative procedures mentioned. shoulderstand. More people will do Pranayama. but I was able to do some minimal work. In India I stayed for two-tree months.VINYASAKRAMA. I tried to do that. is that we have to validate all those things. Not because of compulsion. the length of time I could spent with him – that played a very big role. His Chikitsa Krama. so whatever I want to do he PAGE 67 OF 106 WWW. It is quite logical. I got it clear in my mind. but because the way he used to put it. It is quite obvious: asana and pranayama are necessary to control one's rajas and tamas. There are hundreds and hundreds of scholars who just teach philosophy. I think more than giving simple movements or exercises to people. even then things were explained again in a diﬀerent way. What I need is some good technician design some experimental studies. more people will do the Bandhas. two-three years back I was start thinking about coming up with a book called “Yoga for Internal Organs”. and subjects came up again and again. see the kind of importance given to Pranayama. I had studied with him for thirty years. and initially got something done. Once validated. it will be better if you can validate it. I tried for two years. and also philosophy. the inversions – few things that are unique to Yoga. so that ordinary people will be able to appreciate things that could happen – rather than talk about chakras. I am sure. he could have easily been a stellar scholar. But still. who just teach asanas. I know what I want to do. I cannot organize anything in that time. And his approach was this: that without yoga it is not possible to achieve all those things that were mentioned in the shastras. Which part of Krishnamacharya's teachings is least explored? I think therapeutic applications of his teachings. consisting of diﬀerent asanas and pranayama. you have to have a solid yoga base.
or studying philosophy? People who came during his Madras/Chennai stay. His book was popular at that time. Upanishads. If I can't do it. But because of his law background – very very sharp fellow.. See. There is a group of people which was interested in India. as I told you.VINYASAKRAMA. He was a great vaishnavite scholar. people would look at his pictures and practice. he is a lawyer. they were not interested in asanas. But he did not want to teach. People like us. What was Brahmacharya for Krishnamacharya? PAGE 68 OF 106 WWW. I don't even need a doctor. Sometimes people came for treatment of bronchial asthma. it is OK.. He did not want to leave his profession. I know a person who is two-three years older than me. but at the same time they were not prepared to teach... In fact. Hatha Yoga Pradipika. Bhagavad Gita. But again. They came to him because he had a lot of knowledge about Vaishnavism. I think this time when I will go I will be able to get something done. Vedanta. Likewise. these people are trying to say how it won't work. and many people came to study with him. The other group was people who were interested in vaishnavite philosophy.COM . not even chanting. In fact.. there was a yoga teacher called Sundaram in Bangalore area. He was a long time student of Krishnamacharya. The third group was coming and studying asana. studied. And were there other ones who seeking yoga as sadhana? Many of the real yogis keeping it to themselves. this won't work. This is one project I would like to do. That was another group. physiological problems. once he was considered for a top post.Kuvalayananda in north India. to head Vaishnava Mutt . Or sometimes they came due to inability to sleep. to whom he also taught related subjects like Samkhya. He studied asanas. many people came for some therapy. Philosophy... First thing they say. Maybe this time I will do this. or scoliosis. So I need a technician. about 75-76.. oh yes. were there any Indians who were seeking yoga as sadhana? Not for health reasons. or neck problem. Otherwise his emphasis was on Yoga Sutras.Matha is a particular vaishnavite denomination. but not very much.. Desikan's works. In your time of studying with Krishnamacharya. At that time there were number of renown yoga teachers .. I don't know kinds of various equipment available now. there are few people who studied with him. Ramanuja's works. Very good in Yoga Sutras and all that..VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 will be able to implement. He used to teach Bhagavad Gita. He became a Public Prosecutor. or mental peace. I want this to be done.. Krishnamacharya was in Mysore. But he studied a lot of philosophy. studying with him. That was one group. Some chronic back problem. it is all conﬁned to few asanas.
Grihastha. It is said that in his late years he practiced only Bhakti Yoga. So basically. He was a bhakti yogi from the very beginning. He used all angas of ashtanga yoga. trying to say you are a Brahmachari. they are not as disciplined as during previous Yugas. This system of maintaining celibacy all life in several religions have been less than 100% successful. Yes. that during Kali Yuga [current epoch. or householder]. ultimately. you are not a Brahmachari. Brahmacharya is not a choice. I want to become a Brahmachari. In Brahmacharya Ashrama [ﬁrst stage (Ashrama) of life in Vedic Ashram System. Because later on. and have no problems. and simultaneously developed a bhaki yoga practice. But then . of course is a strict celibacy. as a Grihastha you can practice Yoga. That is why in Vaishnava philosophy. for him it was faithfulness to the marital vows. You can't just decide “I want to become a yogi. That is why he started teaching. There are very few people like that. There are more distractions. don't have this mental control. Patanjali talks about two types of Brahmacharya. Unfortunately sometimes they make mistakes. PAGE 69 OF 106 WWW. you must get married. they don't allow to remain Brahmachari – even the heads of the Mutt. people who maintained Brahmacharya throughout their life.” They won't allow that. This is a simple test. Brahmacharya is not possible. Does this mean that he came to conclusion that Patanjala ashtanga yoga. once all your duties are done. because Bhakti Yoga does not deal with that. But still. His purpose was to have a vision of the Lord. then become Vanaprastha [next stage.meditation on the Lord. it was his family tradition. you are not allowed to remain a Brahmacharya throughout your life. On the other hand. this particular period of time. or Yuga. But then he also used to tell. Once you practice your pratyahara. everything would be directed towards that. He used to say there is only one dhyana . that is not so. student life] you are expected to maintain the celibacy. you don't fool around. they create lots of problems. If you even have thoughts about sex. because that's not what you want. you can become a Sannyasi [the ﬁnal life stage of the renouncer] and proceed. next thing for you would be meditating on the Lord.VINYASAKRAMA. in the cycle of four yugas described in the scriptures]. I would say he was a bhakti yogi. boys are taken and then made into Shankaracharyas. as he was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu all his life. That was a main thing. Everything else he did would have to lead to bhakti yoga.. all these people create problems. So Krishnamacharya used to say. you must get married [enter the next stage. they called Naishtika Brahmachayas. So all those things mentioned in Yoga Sutras become very academic. They can live without sex all their life. or a jnana yogi.COM . or Patanjala yoga darshana. When they make mistakes. If you want to categorize Krishnamacharya whether he was a bhakti yogi.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 Brahmacharya. in which one partially giving up material desires]. Unless you can maintain real Brahmacharya. that various procedures and practices mentioned in Yoga Sutras are very important. and samadhi is not a practical way to achieve Kaivalya? No.that is Bhagavat dhyana . Whereas in the Advita Shankaracharya tradition. if you don't have this capacity. so you are not a nuisance to society. He did not become a bhakti yogi in his late years. or a hatha yogi. after completing studies. Brahmachayas.
But if you believe in God. and then do the bandhas afterwards. so he presented things that people like to see. But not the same kind of asana you see him doing in 1938 ﬁlm. Even at that time he was teaching diﬀerently to diﬀerent people. I will tell you that all those things were done with a purpose of demonstration.COM . I don't think he was teaching those things to the royal family. and then try to understand True Self. None of them requires belief in God. People like to see those things. And then. It is said that Krishnamacharya was continued to call himself a student because he felt that he was always “studying.something extraordinary was in a way he was able to expand his chest.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 And what is the predicament of non-believer? If you have no faith in God. It is clear that he was leaning towards individual. I would not say Yoga Makaranda and Yoga Rahasya are complete representation of the way he taught. not that kind of yoga. No. fast practice. Whatever you see in the movies. try to develop onepointedness. See. It seems like his practice changed through the years. His yoga as presented in Yoga Makaranda seems quite diﬀerent from yoga he taught you. I've seen his pranayama . PAGE 70 OF 106 WWW. nor encouraged. exploring and experimenting” with the practice. then you can go through the procedures mentioned there. he was teaching youngsters. Yoga Sutra provides provisions for that: do your pranayama. For the purpose of people knowing it. He insisted that everybody should practice pranayama. or whatever is mentioned in Yoga Makaranda . one get impression of very active. additional help. He would adopt to individual requirements. Have you seen him practicing asana in his late years? Yes. that is what I told you before. You can use that. Watching snippets of his 1938 movie. There is a royal path available. Clearly. your meditation. They were not jumping through. He was also teaching the royal family. one-on-one approach in his later years.he wanted to present a particular view of the whole thing.VINYASAKRAMA. you got additional support. He himself used to say that you have to change your approach to yoga as you get older. even in earlier years. or doing those diﬃcult things. more emphasis on pranayama. And that does not mean that this was what was he teaching. Right. Unfortunately. right. nowadays pranayama is neither taught. you are writing about some asanas. in those photographs. Sometimes when you write a book. when he was teaching in Mysore. how particular asana should be done.
it is so commented. he said that most of it is quite acceptable. That's a common approach. and try to be satisﬁed with that . If other yoga text is consistent with Yoga Sutras. that is good. How do you tell they are not acceptable? They are not consistent with Patanjali Yoga Sutras." Is the secret is just practice. because it was meant to be brief. you do not have to read them. in midlife chikitsa. So books are not a complete picture of how he was teaching. because it contains yoga philosophy. Because people like to see those things. those movies. go against principles of Raja Yoga. Practice changes as we get older." Pattabhi Jois used to say: "Practice and all will come. You have to have a good grounding even when you are young. It does not tells you about various asanas. Yoga Sutras gives only two sutras to explain parameters of asanas. HYP is a very PAGE 71 OF 106 WWW. That is what I feel reading Yoga Makaranda. And I think he himself would say it sometimes that those were made to attract people towards yoga. or sthiti krama to maintain a good health. and at the same time gives all the necessary details about the important things. depending upon your age. Especially some portions of the Third Chapter. I would not say that his teachings were conﬁned to what you see in 1938 movie.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 Whereas in Yoga Rahasya he says that the whole thing have to change. once you have understanding of Yoga Sutras. or samhara krama. Many times in India. or what was mentioned in some of the earlier books. you want to study Yoga Sutras. you have to go to other texts. and shown them. Yoga Sutras in particular? He considered Yoga Sutras as the most important text if you want to study yoga. they retire. If you are happy with asana practice. There is a saying "Success is 99% practice. It is the most important text. yes. But the way Krishnamacharya used to teach. When I studied Hatha Yoga Pradipika with him. anta. or studying shastras is essential? What place study of scriptures should take in one's progress? Again. It gives overview of the whole thing.it is diﬃcult to understand it then. I think people who practice only asana. but there are certain areas that are not acceptable. with empasis on asanas and vinyasa. after they get to 60 years.. If you want to know more about asanas. and then as you get older.after some time. That is why he had three diﬀerent kramas: srishti krama when you are young and growing.. then it is acceptable. So much written about Yoga Sutras. It is not a complete picture. Philosophy helps to guide you in the old age. That is my view. He was capable of that. Yoga Rahasya. and maintain that. It can only explain basic parameters. it may not be suﬃcient. There is a general rule "anuktam anyato grahyam" if the main text does not explains certain things. which will help you to understand. If you want to study yoga philosophy.VINYASAKRAMA. What was Krishnamacharya's method of studying scriptures. Because Yoga Sutras by itself cannot explain everything in great detail. And yoga philosophy considered to be one of the fundamental philosophies belonging to the Vedic period.COM . and start studying Vedanta philosophy . view not found in Yoga Makaranda. And then he said. it all depends on individual interests. that frequently comments obscure the original meaning rather than clarify it. you can compare it with other texts.
Krishnamacharya would break down every word. They are considered to be OK in some traditions. there were not many people who were teaching Yoga Sutras at that time. because we were afraid we were not explaining it properly.this is not according to main teachings of the Yoga Sutras.this is not acceptable. word by word meaning. because Yoga Sutras was considered to be a very diﬃcult text to deal with. Yoga studies were very limited at that time. Then whenever you read the commentary it goes much easier. what it means . If you read only the commentary. That is the ﬁrst reading. Very few people were studying Yoga Sutras. if they encourage that. Now because yoga is popular. he would just take the sutra. I remember we were very. At that time. Whereas people would teach Vedanta very easily. Give a brief understanding of the sutra. don't go near those practices. Now.(picture) How did he study actual source? There is actual text. you do not know. You apply to the shastri position in Sanskrit college (teacher learned in the texts and commentaries) . because some understanding of Sanskrit is necessary. But otherwise. Can you give any example of that? There are many practices that are not helpful to maintain brahmacharya. Vyakarana (grammar). like Krishnamacharya. He would say. he writes another book. But in the olden days there were number of yoga systems which seem to violate some of the yama niyamas mentioned in the Yoga Sutras. then somebody reads my book. you get idea about that. but don't take it as a Gospel Truth. Then it becomes that much easier.I read a commentary. of course.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 good text. There was a lot of mixing up in yoga practices in the olden days. This kind of information is available when you go to traditional yoga teacher. Over the period of time meaning becomes completely diﬀerent. Second reading you go to the commentary. So he would say. and more so nowadays. because many people did not have necessary background to teach yoga. The ﬁst time around. almost everybody teaches Yoga Sutras. Give a derivation of each and every word. and then explain etymology. or Mimamsa. watered down . When I was young. How did he approached it? Let us take Yoga Sutras. every word in the source. People who study the Yoga Sutras will know . people started to teach Yoga Sutras. But if you go to a teacher who does not belong to this tradition.. be careful about that. and don't have understanding of sutra. you are very close to the text. But nowadays what happen is that people do not read the sutras.people would prefer to study Nyaya Shastra. or Nyaya. I remember Yoga Sutras were taught more in Western universities than in Indian universities. which is very terse. and only Krishnamacharya and few people like that could teach.COM . PAGE 72 OF 106 WWW.. write a book. Ramaswami teaches. or experimenting along those lines. it is an excellent book – especially for Pranayama.VINYASAKRAMA. and there are a lots of translations and commentaries. or Vedanta. That way you get very close to the Sutras. The ﬁrst reading itself. the varieties of Pranayama discussed. very reluctant to explain Yoga Sutras at that time. Brahma Sutras were taught.
Because there should be cogency. It becomes easier when you study with a guru like him. Again. What other works he considered to be essential? After the Yoga Sutras. Then he went on to teach several of Upanishads.VINYASAKRAMA. There is a structure to it. This kind of representation you cannot ﬁnd in modern commentaries. etc. . he asked us to study Samkhya Karika. You must have a basic understanding of the whole thing by reading the Sutras. They are Bhakti portions. Upanishadic Vidyas. an entry-level yogi. all these things. and then try to paste some meaning out of it. Like the Panchakosha-Vidya. That he was able to present properly.the commentary. [Yoga philosophy piggybacks on Samkhya philosophy. And some of them are rituals.the knowledge portion..if you chant Surya Namaskar. Bhuma-Vidya. or Sad-Vidya. But more than anything else. This makes you understand Sutras structure. Then what happens.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 He taught only Vyasa's commentaries. the chanting is done every Sunday. the interpretation of Svadhyaya in Yoga Sutras is study of the Vedas. Rudram Chamakam. But you can't understand Yoga Sutras by reading commentaries alone.COM . both are available in English translation.. or Panchagni-Vidya.chanting. Traditional translations are available. and then . Again. dating back to early Iron Age. whom Patanjali is addressing. some portions of Upanishads. "this commentator says this". you don't ﬁnd that even in traditional commentaries..] He taught Samkhya Karika shloka by shloka. and then he also used Gaudapada's brief commentary on that. And then there were another comments by Shree Shankaracharya. and then think about it. That was the second most important text. a lot of chanting. There is also equally good commentary by Vachaspati Mishra.go to the Sutras.. You take Surya Namaskara mantra. That went on for a number of years."this commentator says this". because a lot of things that are taken for granted in Yoga Sutras you ﬁnd in Samkhya Karika. Those supposed to have a very laudable beneﬁts . that is a theoretical basis for Yoga. When you start to explain Yoga Sut ras through commentaries . First you go through the Samkhya Karika text. the way he was approaching it was . and a life-long yogi.he would take one section. Some of the things he would say . There is little point in saying "X says this". Try to understand the Sutras without any of these frills. in addition to that . And of course. Chanting of the Vedas. Not the complete Upanishads . Was it part of part of Bhakti Yoga? No. "Y says this". you are supposed to PAGE 73 OF 106 WWW. they called Vidyas. And some Bhakti like Purusha Sutra. one sutra from there. [Traditions of Vedic chant are considered oldest unbroken oral tradition in existence. You would study it. Updanishads portions of Jnana .this way you are not really explaining the Sutras. and these commentaries will be helpful.] He would teach chanting of mere Yoga Sutras.Yoga Sutras divided into three parts meant for three diﬀerent groups: the born yogi. you try to take one sutra from here. I have learned a lot of chanting. you know.. What is it you want me to understand? This is exactly what you would get from Krishnamacharya: he would explain what it means. Then when you want a little more about it. I would say that Krishnamacharya interpretation of Yoga Sutras was the most important thing.
and he was able to teach us. Whereas Yoga Rahasya is a text which was lost. and two . because during the class he used to quote from Yoga Rahasya. and I understand he wrote it in two-three days time. etc. you are bound to feel healthier. There were number of other sections he taught.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 have a very good health. We used to study and chant Surya Namaskar every Sunday along with him for a number of years. or ways of chanting the Vedic mantras. And also I could see he was talking about three stages of practice. remember. I found that some of the shlokas he taught in the class are not there. towards the end of his life." I used to note down many of those things. partly the therapeutic applications. and he wrote the whole thing. even if you only hear those mantras. g.he wanted more Indians to practice yoga. He wrote in his mother tongue. Mere chanting itself has an eﬀect. pictures were taken. Unfortunately. It was two things . translated to Tamil. I don't know if he wrote the commentaries on the other three chapters. and also number of other things that he wanted to say: the therapeutic beneﬁts of some of the procedures. He himself studied the Vedic chanting when he was young. There were few other ideas you do not ﬁnd in Yoga Makaranda. He wanted many Indians who were not practicing yoga to start practicing. If you believe in that and chant. you cannot change that. with the inspiration from Nathamuni.COM . is it? [The oral tradition of the Vedas consists of several pathas. and then published. PAGE 74 OF 106 WWW. So he wrote that book. Vedic chanting must be done in a very particular way.VINYASAKRAMA. But later on Desikachar was able to collect all of them and publish it as a book. That kind of belief is there. they are very auspicious sounds. Kannada. He used to say. recitations. it has a very salutary eﬀect on your system. What was his target audience . He was probably directed by Maharajah of Mysore to write a book. yoga based on vaishnavite philosophy.] Yes. I think Yoga Makaranda was written for Indians in general. He wrote it in Kannada. Let us assume that he wrote everything himself. I think later on. he would say "this is what Yoga Rahasya says. like pranayama. I don't know why it was not translated in English. Chants are supposed to vibrate in diﬀerent chakras in the body.one is the instructions for Maharajah. It was addressed partly the vaishnavite philosophy. if you take it that way. He wanted to represent the Vaishnava Yoga. and it is not singing. It was not addressed for Western audience per se. and some of the shlokas the he did not teach were actually there. Krishnamacharya wrote several books throughout his life.who was he writing for? E. I told the story of Natamuni wanting to transmit a knowledge to his grandson. he wrote a commentary for ﬁrst chapter of Yoga Sutras. Yoga Makaranda has a very diﬀerent form than Yoga Rahasya. I don't know when he wrote that.
that's very interesting about him. He was in Madras for about two years before my father met him. he was very stern. He would use many Sanskrit terms. He learned Tamil. and they were able to understand him.COM . Then when he came to Madras. very nice things about him. He learned Tamil. he had a very strong accent. very good friend of his. Did he have Western students? Yes. but at the same time there was a very beautiful element in him. but it was worse than his Tamil.most of the elders at that time were very forthright. they tell you right in your face. Yes. Did he understand or speak English? He spoke English. He was one of those. or his character? A bit of disciplinarian he was. He was my father's age. He knew Kannada. and it was very good. Maybe is is the case in every civilization. He is no more. by maintaining good health Indians should be more disciplined and not be so easily swayed by Western inﬂuence at that time.. his mother tongue virtually. how many teaches are there like that? He was also a patriot. He was interested in Yoga. he had an accent. It is not only him . that was very helpful. Was Krishnamacharya was only speaking Kannada? No. They won't mince words. for ﬁrst few days it used to be funny. PAGE 75 OF 106 WWW. Like that. like the way we speak English sometimes. But he was a very. he believed that by following yoga. Is it sign of times. He was a good friend of his.. he learned Tamil. But at the same time he had Western students. at that time there was an American Consul General in Madras. What was his name? I wonder what become of him. Yes.VINYASAKRAMA. India was not independent at that time. Initially. and then he would study with him. He lived in Mysore. English was very diﬃcult. he had an odd choice of words. His name was Dr Albert Franklin. The only thing. No problem at all. and by then he learned it.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 In his writings he sometimes comes across as severe. And all of that was directed by his ﬁrm belief in the shastras. categorical. But then. over the period of time you get used to it. and sometimes angry. and he and his wife used to come there. and started to teach in Tamil.
why in lineages originated from Krishnamacharya (B. Mohan) Shatkarmas (cleaning procedures) are not PAGE 76 OF 106 WWW. Some shlokas hit you as very very meaningful. T. one eights of it. great scholar. but visited USSR a couple of times after she settled in Argentina. is on ashtanga yoga." Are you familiar with tradition of Tamil siddhis (sittars).V. actually. Were there any other western students? T his one I remember. because he was living in Madras. I used to go for my class.. Yoga Sutras. He was pretty severe about Vamachara practices. like I told you. She emigrated after the revolution. Tantra itself is a huge subject. Pattabhi Jois. This man would have been a very good teacher. He would say "Be careful about those practices. I wrote an article about Tirumantiram in Namarupa magazine (there was also an article about Tirumular and Tirumantiram in Vinyasakrama Oct 2009 newsletter). He was one of those people who did not merely studied asanas. somebody introduced me. He had an icon. for a few minutes. but I think he studied with him for a number of years. He was a Harvard Ph.worship. I don't know why he chose not to teach. He himself used to practice that. She came to see him on his 99th birthday or something. and worshiped it on a regular basis. Desikachar. They called it Sadachara and Vamachara. some people say it is Tantra. Indra Devi was there.S.G. Tirumular was a great yogi. A. you. Iyengar.” Did he ever share his thoughts about Tantra? You see. He was more known as siddha. I used to meet him just outside the class and speak for couple of minutes. and all that. He knew Yoga very well. May be there were a few others. If it is an idol. and Tirumantiram scripture? Do you think this tradition is still alive? In fact. she said “Hello. D in Political Science.COM . Indra Devi was born and brought up in Russia. I think he studied Bhagavad Gita. There is one section. There are some practices that were considered to be not acceptable from the Vedic approach. and he was US Consul General. that are not acceptable. I wish people like him teach Yoga. I did not speak to her. in Hatha Yoga Pradipika. If you want to understand those. supposedly a contemporary of Patanjali. In your opinion. Unfortunately.K. He also studied number of other things. Because sometimes after his class was over.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 I don't know if he wrote anything about Krishnamacharya. And then some other practices. it is a very good text.. A very nice man. objectionable practices.. but that is acceptable.K. The entire Tirumantiram consists of 3000 verses or so.VINYASAKRAMA. I've met her just once. The others is about Tapa Siddhi.
but he would say don't let anybody do an oil bath or a massage to you. Krishnamacharya. "it is not necessary for you. when he started teaching us. You have to massage your own body. I did not ask him how to do this. that these are not necessary for everyone. He would also recommend taking castor oil twice a year for cleaning digestive tract. Of course yogis take cold water bath. Vivekananda. Bihar school of yoga. only people who got a lot of toxins that should be removed. He did not give any particular recommendations. do it regularly. at your age. because I don't know how to use this. it is more refreshing. And then there are some materials that are available to remove excess oil from the body. not on the regular basis.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 taught? In his early work. Kapalabhati takes the air to cleanse the whole system. allow 20 minutes to half an hour for oil to soak. And they are not very pleasant. So when we were practicing. and then have a bath. Did he teach it? No. but only when absolutely necessary. he said. Many times we take a cold water bath. in fact I do remember him indicating it. other cleaning procedures? Yes. e. Yoga Makaranda. I do not teach it to anybody. you must know that these are various things available. use it if it is necessary. a practitioner of yoga. oil bath. You don't need to use a Neti Pot daily. They are there if needed. Yes." When you talk about the system. this is what you PAGE 77 OF 106 WWW. He himself would say. because you are not putting anything external into the system." At that time I was not thinking of teaching. you do not have to do all those kriyas. Shat-kriyas need not be practiced by everyone. In traditions of Sivananda. g. and followers of Dhirendra Brahmachari place great emphasis on teaching these procedures. one needs to know how. your breathing is normal. he gave plenty of attention and importance to these practices. never gave much importance to them. oil bath is som ething that people in India. you have to learn how to use it. at the time he said. especially in South India. In fact. we know that. and he did not teach me. But he said. Did he give any recomm endations on massage. See. Normally in Madras we take a warm water bath in the morning.COM . These were accepted practices. They should practice this. it is an option we have. It does not mean you should practice them. so he was teaching only for my own requirements. Usually this was done twice a week. just because it is mentioned there. But Krishnamacharya insisted you take warm water bath.VINYASAKRAMA. he mentioned them because they are all in the texts. whereas other kriyas introduce a lot of foreign material. And then Hatha Yoga Pradipika clearly says this is not for everybody. "It is not necessary for you. I think it is mentioned somewhere. He said. Only the kriya that he said was important was Kapalabhati kriya. as a yogi. To be able to use it.
So he used to go to bed around 8-8:30. or monitoring one's health? As far as sleep is concerned. From that point of view. Whereas Ayurveda. this would be diﬃcult in the Western countries. I did not study Ayurveda practices. yogic approach. he would say. you have to take a rest frequently. go to bed early. or meditation. The ﬁrst thing they would have to do is to have a good health.COM . whether it is winter or summer. so they could sit down. But then you must also understand that yogi was usually a recluse. including shat-kriyas.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 should do. Naturally the condition of yogi who lives in Himalaya will be diﬀerent. PAGE 78 OF 106 WWW. If the breath rate is above the normal. Yes. over period of time. He was a lso an Ayurvedic practitioner. was prevention of diseases. I don't know. because they did not have same discipline that he had. meditate. Another thing he would say. Yoga texts in general don't talk about Ayurveda practices. It seems that in old days. I don't think Krishnamacharya himself was an Ayurvedic expert. be up by 3 in the morning. that he would say "don't allow your thighs and waist to spread. How did he come up with Ayurveda? Did he use it in his own practice? Did he use it for healing? For his own sake. The whole purpose was to slow down the breath rate. They would have to manage the everything by themselves. and the ready to receive anybody for a class." Did he recommend measuring thighs. "don't allow a heart rate to go up. don't allow a breath rate to go up. Whenever you ﬁnd a student struggling for breath. The metabolic breath rate should come down. mentions that if diseases cannot be cured by Ayurveda. and heart rate regularly? Yes. But asanas were not suﬃcient. So he would supplement them with ayurvedic preparations.VINYASAKRAMA. But he used to go to bed around 8:30 at night. I take a warm water bath before my yoga practice. That is what I hear. allow them to settle down. But from that day on. or whatever. He would say. He did not have facility of Ayurvedic doctor/ vaidya. Because morning is the best time for you to practice your yoga. "go to bed early. But whenever students came to him. Did he gi ve any other recommendations on diet. about 7 o'clock in the morning. he would teach them asanas." Even though you are practicing asanas. waist. Of course. So yoga. be alone. and was independent from Ayurveda. get up early in the morning. and get up early in the morning. or chanting. try to get at least 6 hours of sleep. don't ask him to go on. develop its own techniques of maintaining the good health. be careful about your diet. I don't know if he used ayurvedic preparations. In India sunset is always around 6pm. I understand. By 6 or 7 would have completed all his morning ritual. sleep." "Don't put on weight. He himself used to wake up at 3 o'clock in the morning." I think I mentioned to you. yoga got enough material to maintain a good health. it should be tackled by Pranayama.
He would himself teach Pranayama. Often presented as dangerous. You are required to do ten times Pranayama with Gayatri Mantra. In fact. In fact it's a more diﬃcult pranayama. it is the most important anga. And he had a good understanding of human anatomy. He taught Pranayama from very beginning. Right. check your marmasthanas [vital body regions]. long exhalation. Normally your asana practice ends with pranayama session. with few ayurvedic preparations. And then Pranayama practice is regular. almost anybody who has studied with him learned Pranayama from him. Let's talk about Pranayama. If everybody.COM . ten in the morning..VINYASAKRAMA. there is no control over the breathing. even non-yogi do forty times pranayama. He had a good working knowledge of Ayurveda. and there two or three in addition in every sitting. ten in the afternoon. physiology. what's the big deal? Samantraka Pranayama (pranayama with Mantra)? Samantraka Pranayama. That itself is half Pranayama: long inhalation. with pranayama. In his writings he says numerous times. How Krishnamacharya taught it. Everybody . Here you try PAGE 79 OF 106 WWW. I don't think he taught this to anybody. for joint pain.with asana. he would draw from diﬀerent sources.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 Ayurvedic Vaidya. powder. He would check your pulse. say. why yogi should shy away from that? And I don't think Krishnamacharya told anybody not to teach Pranayama. He also gave certain lehyam [ayurvedic jam]. by and large. He might have not told somebody to teach speciﬁcally pranayama. Pranayama practice is an integral part of daily routine in olden days. He used pulse. and all that. Like that. I know it was very early. I don't know what happened. He had a good working knowledge how to treat patients . He had his own methods of diagnostics. But he didn't prevent anybody. That is my understanding. You start from day one. You see. Everybody is required to practice Pranayama forty times every day. Pranayama is the one that makes Yoga unique. that Pranayama is the key to the whole practice. and how soon? I don't remember when he started to teach me Pranayama. I think I've mentioned it several times. In all other systems there is no control over the breathing. Vinyasa Krama you teach is centered around the breathing. Few things he developed and used. because he had started to use breathing on day one. Maybe his son learned about it. In all physical exercises. I think I mentioned. he used to prescribe medicated oils. and then make a recommendations to his students.you don't have to be a yogi to practice Pranayama. But still a pranayama. He would use them as a supplementary method. and sometimes has an air of being remote like samadhi. And yet. or things like this.. When students come to him. Virtually you do forty pranayamas every day. And sometimes he would teach some mantras to chant. You are required to do. ten in the evening. Pranayama. So. Pranayama is considered essential part of your daily life. I have never come out from his class without practicing Pranayama. taught on the fringes.
And they say you have to be careful. Krishnamacharya was insistent that without Pranayama. then Pranayama is Kumbhaka? Kumbhaka is breath-holding. Any people who want to meditate. It has to be preceded by inhale." Yetashakti "Exhale as much as you can. But then enough instructions are given in the books.. Yoga is a Union. These postures. there is no Yoga.. you have to learn from a teacher. If there is something very big.. You have to work along these lines. Tha is Apana. If you do Pranayama in very unorganized way.. You look in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. and then later on you have to practice Pranayama on your own. very unique about Yoga . See that it is within your limits. he would say at the end of the class. You don't have to teach forever. or whatever. and which ones were mostly frequently used? PAGE 80 OF 106 WWW. So Hatha Yoga Is Pranayama. 108 times. but they are creating unnecessary fear in people. word Hatha. Once he knew that you practice your Pranayama properly. "I practice Hatha Yoga without Pranayama?" I don't know why people are unnecessarily discouraged from Pranayama. And then he would ask you to do . Hatha Yoga is a union of Prana and Apana." Slowly build your capacity.COM . Yes. Everything is dangerous. you feel very uncomfortable. you have to learn from a teacher. How can you say. You have to use your inhalation or exhalation before you are able to hold your breath. achieve kaivalya. means Pranayama. One reason why people are reluctant to teach Pranayama because they are afraid of teaching it. Kumbhaka is the most essential aspect of that." Which Pranayamas were taught. If Hatha Yoga is Pranayama. he would ask you to sit in padmasana. If you understand. People who discourage Pranayama are doing a disservice to Yoga. the commentator says Ha is Prana. but sometimes you make a mistake. etc. or exhale.one day Ujjai. as in Hatha Yoga. and they are doing a disservice to Yoga.it is the breathing. vajrasana. how can you progress? You have to use this vehicle. like that he would slowly build up the practice. another day Sitali. How would Krishnamacharya teach it? Aft er you practiced your asana. "practice Pranayama for 15 minutes. which is Pranayama. or Sarvangasana because they don't want to get any problem. In fact in Hatha Yoga Pradipika. these procedures are a bit tricky. Pranayama is control of the breathing. do your Kapalabhati. some of those things that are mentioned . In fact. the ﬁrst instruction is "Inhale as much as you can. That may not be their intent.VINYASAKRAMA. you got to use Pranayama. then perhaps. if you are able to practice them – well and good.if you shy away from Pranayama. They don't want to teach Sirsasana. to achieve samadhi. They don't teach Pranayama because they don't want to get into any problem.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 bring your breathing under voluntary control. another day Nadi Shoddana.
They are not as common as Nadi Shoddana and Ujjai pranayamas. And then there are number of Smritis (texts) which refer to Pranayama. Pratiloma Ujjai. Bhastrika is a speciﬁc pranayama. And then if you combine those two. Bandhas can be done. how to use the Mantras. and you can hold the breath for a short period of time. several Smritis which talk about Pranayama. so it becomes easier. especially. Brahmari are special pranayamas.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 Mostly. Next question is how long you can inhale. according to Krishnamacharya. without Bahya Kumbhaka. because we use Ujjai in our practice. Nadi Shoddana pranayama is mentioned in the texts also. Because most of beneﬁts expected from Pranayama you can get from these two procedures. you have long inhalation and exhalation. So. the other is how to use the mantra in this pranayama." The main emphasis was on Ujjai and Nadi Shoddana. Because Kapalabhati is a cleansing kriya. What about Bhastrika. then the next thing for you would be to try PAGE 81 OF 106 WWW. When weather is very hot.VINYASAKRAMA. lot of material available on Pranayama. for certain conditions. Occasionally he would ask me to do Sitaly pranayama. How did he teach the Bandhas? And how soon? Once your breathing is comfortable. There are several Upanishads. Inhale through one nostril. Yes. there are diﬀerent parameters that come into play. He did not use much of Bhastrika? No. What scriptures did he use as authority on Pranayama? Hatha Yoga Pradipika talks about it. Brahmari? Brhastrika. why don't you do a Sitali pranayama. Once you are able to do Bandhas in that position. chant the Pranayama Mantra. I think he taught Tataka Mudra as the best procedure positioned to teach Mulah Bandha. he would use Ujjai breathing. Pranayama has two things: one is technique of doing pranayama. you get Anuloma Ujjai. He would ask you to do Kapalabhati. he would say "you look tired. Viloma Ujjai. they use Nadi Shoddana pranayama. not eﬀective without Bandhas.COM . Just as Bandhas not viable without Kumbhakas. Ujjai and Nadi Shoddana are the two most important pranayamas. Normally for Mantra Pranayama. Pranayama. and Uddiyana Bandha. in Vinyasa Krama practice. what ratios you can maintain [puraka – antar kumbhaka – rechaka – bahya kumbhaka]. exhale through the other nostril.
Uddiyana Bandha. you see. queues can be very simple . That's about all. If you want Prana Apana Vayu to enter Sushumna and all that. Depending upon the requirements. Hatha Yoga Pradipika talks about Uddiyana Bandha. You can't lift the diaphragm as much as you can during Bahya Kumbhaka. and say. even at the end of your inhalation. it is ﬁne. But that description does not make it possible to do Uddiyana Bandha on inhale. pinning of abdomen against the spine. we do the Jalandhara Bandha. because you cannot lift the diaphragm? But there would be pressure there. When you try to pull Uddiyana Bandha. by pushing the Prana in the Antar Kumhaka. your condition. Do I understand it correctly. So Uddiyana on inhale.VINYASAKRAMA. it may be not as deep. But. but he said. "this is not for Grihasthyas" [non-Brahmachari]. maybe you would like to do your bandhas on inhalation. but at the same time you will be able to feel the pressure. and then you got the air inside your chest. it may be a negligible movement. Yet Hatha Yoga Pradipika talks about it. closing one's voicebox and lifting the chest. he did not elaborate on this. Uddiyana on exhale is not only passive lifting a diaphragm. What I am trying to say. but at the same time we produce enormous amount of pressure inside your chest. and you get the union between these two. In case of Mulah Bandha. he said. That way they say the Apana is moved up. it is only pressing abdomen against the spine. These are the postures he would ask you to practice the Bandhas. He gave simple instructions. He would observe how your Bandha is. especially Padmasana and Vajrasana. that's the idea. He himself practiced this. but also active pressing of abdomen against the spine? Yes. Udiyana Kriya.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 it in Adho Mukha Svanasana. pushing up Apana. How is it done? Some lineages talk about Udiyana Bandha vs. anatomically. I've not been taught that. and perhaps it may be useful for many people if we will discuss it. probably you want to do your Uddiyana on exhalation. Probably you can learn from a teacher. I don't know why it is mentioned there. On the other hand. It is a diﬃcult procedure. the most beneﬁt you get from certain things . I think. I think considerable confusion exists about Bandhas. so I can't talk about it.yet books written about it. it is better to do it on exhalation.COM . it is not impossible. done by exhaling. Let's go through three major bandhas. He would say draw your rectum and tighten lower abdomen. it is PAGE 82 OF 106 WWW. Antar Kumbhaka. if you want them to be helpful to massage your internal organs. then some of the seated postures. is a passive stretch of a diaphragm. I don't know about Udiyana Kriya.for instance if you want to work with your heart. I asked my teacher. The idea appears to be getting the union of Prana and Apana. That is all instructions he would give.
Apana through Sushumna and all that." Try to bring chin down. You maintain the control with Jalandhara Bandha in Ujjai. where as during inhale. Mulah Bandha. you maintain Jalandhara Bandha. It all depends on who is asking you to do what. If you look at it from this point of view. Because the pelvic muscles are pulled up. there is more space between the pelvis and ribcage. How did he teach it? In Jalandhara Bandha. while you hold your breath. he showed me. During this kumbhaka period. Yes. The bandhas are very important during kumbakha period. Jalahdhara Banha.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 not for us. it can be either left contracted. Deﬁnitely! Jalandhara Bandha aids Ujjai. Antar Kumbhaka.VINYASAKRAMA. In Bahya Kumbakha also. and Uddiyana Bandha. Jalandhara Bandha aids Ujjai. so you are able to do the bandhas much better. it is contracted. You inhale. And that is the correct Jalandhara Bandha. and then pull it up. Because he was not talking in terms of the Kundalini Yoga. Naturally during inhale or exhale you will relax your bandha. but still you have to control the breath. and this normally continues in Bahya Kumbhaka. They are all related. and then straighten your back. for the six koshas of the body. Mulah Bandha. "get the chin to the breast bone.they wanted to get Prana and Apana closer. bring your chin down. or be relaxed. you maintain the control with your ﬁngers in Nadi Shoddana pranayama. Prana. but increasing chest pressure is what they are wanting to do . It also has a number of other beneﬁts. You still control the breath by maintaining Jalandhara Bandha. Then lock the chin. It helps you to keep your back straighter. And this bandha is let go once you start inhaling or exhaling? Yes. pull it up and lift your chest. What happen is the whole chest moves up along with it. it appears to be very logical. The main thing you want to do it when spine is straight. that is during kumbhaka.COM . He was using Uddiyana Bandha. some of the texts talk about it. you bring it down down and pull it up. In Bahya Kumbhaka you maintain Jalandhara Bandha. and after inhale completed. your Mulah Bandha and Uddiyana Bandha also become more eﬀective. he would say four inches below the neck pit. saying. I guess it is confusing to me because on exhale the diaphragm is relaxed. in Antar Kumbhaka. Once you pull up the spine. What asanas recommended for its practice? PAGE 83 OF 106 WWW.
You can do it in Maha Mudra. Vajrasana are two main postures. no. we are following the breath. you better have your eyes closed. How is Drishti used in Vinyasa Krama? Drishti is mentio ned in many of Pattabhi Jois works. you can do it in Halasana.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 Usually Padmasana. both from the Kundalini point of view. Whenever we do Ujjai breathing. What about practicing banhas during inversions? Yes. That's about all.if you can develop good Mula Bandha and Uddiyana Bandha it is helpful. as you are able to stay in Sarvangasana. Jalandhara Bandha is nat ural during the shoulderstand.COM . but for all those years I've been studied with Krishnamacharya. Everything is happening inside. But whether you must look at the toe. in Sarvangasana. whenever you do Trataka you gaze at the lamp. He never mentioned about it. Most of the asanas you keep the eyes closed and work with the breath. and for helping your body koshas. Sidhasana is very good for that too. Shirshasana . Most of the time our eyes are closed. PAGE 84 OF 106 WWW. But it is better than in the Plaugh. so that you will be able to focus on the breath and the bandhas. so your legs and the whole body can relax.VINYASAKRAMA. and then get into a proper shoulderstand. and your eyes closed. because you keeping your whole body up. and all that I ﬁnd. and then internalize it. except in standing poses. you don't need to keep your eyes open. Kechari Mudra? No. Jalandhara Bandha is natural during the Shoulderstand and the Plough. But there is no point for staying in Halasana for 15 minutes. Did Krishnamacharya teach Jihwa Bandha. Concentrate on breath. Only thing he will say. that kind of thing he never mentioned. You don't get a gravity advantage in your Halasana. you can do it in Maha Bandha and all that. What about Viparita Karani? Viparit a Karani is just an intermediate procedure for a shoulderstand. When you are doing Paschimottanasana. you can keep the back much straighter. he never mentioned about Drishti. If you want to work with Jalandhara Bandha. Yes. we will ask you to roll the tongue back. Beneﬁts you will be able to get for staying in shoulderstand for 15 minutes are entirely diﬀerent from what you will probably get with Jalandhara Bandha in Halasana. Keep your head down. which are helpful.
PAGE 85 OF 106 WWW. Lots of misconceptions were there in India at that time. You go and study. Even now in India. He was not teaching yogis. I think I had a very deep interest in the subject. got interested in that. No. he was teaching to people whatever is required for a particular individual. He was the man who can give you the knowledge that you need. as some. rather than teaching Dharana. the chapter has got a theme. How did he teach? Not much here that he would teach.. It is completely diﬀerent. Most of the people never knew what he was capable of. most people. Pancha Kosha Vidya in the Taiitriya Upanishad. yoga teachers. Ordinary people were coming. you don't even tell anyone that you are practicing yoga. What is going on in the West is diﬀerent from what is going on in India. you know. no. take few lessons and go away. As you chant. we have a diﬀerent impression about him. But he.. What about Dharana and Dhyana? Since they are entirely internal practices. all that he mentioned in Yoga Makaranda. or that.COM .. what I was found with him. I developed interest in that. a replacement for himself? No. I wanted to know. antaranga sadhana. See. The elders used to discourage it. During his later part of his years.undercutting the tongue. chanting also helps your mind to become focused. Nowadays a few people are interested because it is more popular in the West. Not because you wanted to become teacher. it slowly leads you. He did not try to develop teachers or anything. . Nobody knew. I wanted to know what it is all about. or yogis? Prepare. And he would teach. and teacher's options are quite limited. or become this. you are able to get this particular theme in your mind. he started teaching the Chanting.. the whole thing is. and what do you do? There are not many people who want to become yogis. He had to teach for anybody wants to come to him and wanted to learn something.any of the fancy things you ﬁnd in those books . They would come.he was in Mysor. what he was trying to do . All those things mentioned in Hatha Yoga Pradipika. For instance. no. Dhyana directly. yoga teachers. he was teaching ordinary people. Fortunately over the period of time. or Yoga Makaranda. And people won't do it in India. he has come to Madras. I think I told you. or the Neti Pot. at that time.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 But that is not comparable to the real Kechari Mudra. Yuri Sharonin & Shrivatsa Ramaswami(picture) Why didn't he teach yoga teachers. or the Suttra Neti. Because of our own personal interest. He won't be teaching all these things. You take a particular chapter.VINYASAKRAMA. And then he was not teaching teachers. like us. A few people. they think you will become a recluse. so to speak. Otherwise. and I was part of that gang.. It was very diﬃcult to get married if you were to become a yoga teacher at that time. In my time. if you know the meaning. it is much deeper.. he did not teach in the later years.
The one that we do is one method. It develops Ekagrata [focus]? Yes. like Aham Brahmaasmi. nobody teaches that. So-Ham. people seeking to start meditation practice come to Vedantic or Buddhist meditation. He did not stop with taking a mantra and asking to do your Dharana. It is peculiar that here in the West. They go to religious people. But I prefer after some time to go through the chanting procedure. Or. he did a lot to develop your Ekagrata. You can't think of anything else. Dhyana. when they want meditation. if you are doing Bhagavad Dhyana. one particular idea. because other mantras are also available. then it helps you to do Akara Dhyana [form meditation]. He taught both of the methods. start doing all these things. rather than going through the various parts of Patanjali. take a mantra. to Pranamaya Kosha. Surya Namaskara you chant for one hour. In such cases it is better to go through Patanjali's procedure. he did a lot for your meditation. they go to Buddhist meditation. That's why he would say. The same approach is done in the Puja also.. This is in addition to practice of Dharana.. You take one Akriti. Bhagavad Dhyana.. But he also brought all these other things. that has a physical form. and trying to meditate. a thousand names of a particular deity. it can be a Puja. and then you remain focused on that. Dhyana? He taught tha t you practice it.that's one way of getting your mind focused . Like that it leads you.now you take one particular concept. one particular deity you want to meditate upon. If you are doing Bhagavad Dhyana.COM . that helps you to bring your mind to it. and think of Yoga only as a source of health beneﬁts. I chant and meditate upon that. you have done a meditation on that. to Manomaya Kosha. Every day for 15 minutes or half an hour. Shivo-Ham. like that. it is not the only method. I thought he was insisting more and more along these lines. Entire one hour your mind will be on that. and all that. PAGE 86 OF 106 WWW. So people who practice Yoga. Because either you go through Bhakti Marga [path of devotion] or Jnana Marga [path of knowledge]. it will be diﬃcult for them to attach to this kinds of practice. It is also a very conventional way. there is only one Dhyana. because meditation is mentioned there. he did a lot. you don't have to go through all this. instead of taking a mantra and repeating it. or. So if you really look at him. If you are Bhakti Yogi. So if you chant for ﬁfteen minutes. then you do Archana to it [chanting names of the deity]. . Nobody teaches the yogic meditation.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 from Annamaya Kosha.. or chanting sahasranama. they don't teach meditation at all. it can be Akara Dhyana. And then the problem with most people of other backgrounds is that it will be diﬃcult for them to do the chanting. because they can teach some Vedantic mantras.VINYASAKRAMA. what do they do? They have to go to Vedantic school. Why do you think that is? Why not Yogic Meditation? The whole problem is. sometimes they take a mantra. You look at some older teachers. There are hundreds of methods by which this can be done.
It is true. It is very diﬃcult to teach Pranayama or Meditation to someone who just shows up.his teaching.. I am going to teach Pranayama. And then when you go to yoga school to learn some yogasanas. If people won't teach. Have one class every week. oh. You have 1. because most teachers have not studied Pranayama. Unfortunately this will not be done. it is dangerous. a few people may be interested. First you learn it for your personal practice. ﬁxed number of asanas. it is dangerous. Rakta [blood] goes to those areas. and thousands of thousands of people who follow them say they are following Krishnamacharya traditions? But they don't do Pranayama. and they will say. Can you describe the Vinyasa Krama. how to learn Pranayama. and they will practice. And then the mind is focused on the breath. And they won't let anybody else come and teach Pranayama. That's why it got so many movements. the method you are teaching? It's uniqueness? Vinyasa Krama is a method. that is all I know. It goes the same way with asanas.VINYASAKRAMA. Once two or three people will study Pranayama. and it is invariably a drop-in. you are likely to reach and exercise all parts of the body. it won't spread. the reason why Pranayama is not taught. Because they can't teach. again. There is an appropriate breathing for each of these movements. so they can't teach.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 It may be that the format of typical yoga studio does not allow it. Is it diﬀerent in India? In India. They say. or Meditation. How can his students. there should be some classes available. These are the main diﬀerences between Vinyasa Krama and other methods. but at t he same time the studio can oﬀer programs on Pranayama. Krishnamacharya has taught Pranayama. Have one class for Pranayama. All of the various movements body can do. with a number of movements leading to asanas. because you need Pranayama to teach it. Prana goes to those areas. whereas you can have classes all through the week for asanas. Then it will grow. falling within common deﬁnition of asana. counter-poses to the asanas.” It is not fair to Krishnamacharya .5 hour class. If you come to study yoga for three years. All yoga teachers can learn safe simple Pranayama and teach. It is not so diﬃcult if you apply your mind to it. “don't do Pranayama. if you say. And then yoga is not practiced with so much of enthusiasm as it is done here. There is no seriousness. There are so many diﬀerent movements. The term Vinyasa means Art. One more advantage of Vinyasa Krama is that you are able to access diﬀerent parts of the body. but because they not taught about it. PAGE 87 OF 106 WWW. if you doing ﬁxed number of movements. movements in the asanas. asana people practice only asanas.. then slowly introduce the Meditation. I am telling you. Unfortunately it is completely shut out here.COM . And then all the asanas are done with a proper breathing. by which you do asanas. You will ask them. which you won't do. there should be a provision for it. is not nearly because it is considered to be dangerous. Vinyasa Krama is practicing yoga as an Art.
shoulderstand. Again. that when they would teach youngsters. There are number of movements you will do. Among the static postures. middle-aged people. because if you stay for only a minute. At the same time. if you have Vinyasa Krama. Each part has its own set of movements. That's why we give more time for headstand. for instance. I can't just go on for an hour and just keep on moving. But if you learned only a few asanas. I have to have a mixture of these two. it takes time for internal muscles to relax and then move. Do you think this reduction in number of poses was due to maximizing eﬀectiveness. he also talks. say about 700 vinyasas or so. Sarvangasana.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 How does Viny asa Krama relates to Chikitsa Krama [therapeutic approach to practice]? Vinyasa Krama.VINYASAKRAMA. they came up with all the movements the body can do. old people. if you learn and practice it. You are required to do vinyasas. He would insist. You want to go into shoulderstand. Nor remain in one posture for a long period of time. you can study the patient. and then try to pick and choose. Yes. and also for Paschimottanasana. for example. Those vinyasas are going to be helpful. they have enough material to teach accordingly. It takes time for a body to relax. like the teacher training. and also static postures. and Sirsasana. then you don't have that scope. But I remember these four. In his early works. the body won't relax. and then ask old people to perform it. he would say these four are important. Paschimottanasana. so you have to provide time for that. t hat is what I remember. no. Of course in a group class. My practice should have a number of movements and also should have these postures. So what yogis are done. Krishnamacharya recommends 10-15 asanas for a regular [long hold] practice. will give you a lot more. PAGE 88 OF 106 WWW. The human body is so unique. they will have enough material to teach them. about Mayurasana in the Yoga Makaranda. But at least they will know. then you can teach for diﬀerent people: young people.COM . because. so we can access all parts of the body. How does Vinyasa Krama relate to long hold asanas? Long hold asanas are there. when if they need to teach older people. some people may ﬁnd it diﬃcult to do a diﬃcult posture. Because in Vinyasa Krama we have. I have to access diﬀerent parts of the body. There is no need to have a same structure that you teach to youngsters. The reason why I have to do movements. You mentioned he asked four asanas for constant long hold practice: Maha Mudra. the bigger base for you to apply in Chikitsa Krama. you have to stay there for a long period of time. Everyday practice consists of dynamic movements. headstand. because they require time to give proper beneﬁts. or a concession to students? No. If you want to teach somebody for a particular condition. almost every day he would ask us to do these four asanas.
Even the physical Surya Namaskar sequence you taught us is quite diﬀerent from what I practiced before in Ashtanga-Vinyasa-style practice – it is slow. But if you are doing it for yourself. and you had learned these vinyasas. or did he encourage variations? Yes. I vary my procedures from day to day. We used to do only chanting part. Normally he would say number of breaths. That was a chanting. if the breath is long. if you come to me for a treatment. followed by Badha Konasana. no. or sometimes I feel heavy in my legs. That is your responsibility. He was teaching Maha Mudra to almost everybody. But. Did he taught Surya Namaskar. Not as it is being done in the West.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 I have to ﬁnd out the way so I can exercise the whole body. Once you learned these vinyasas. he w ould teach you the way I go about teaching this class. It was just taught out. then I will pick and choose the vinyasas and give it to you. In eﬀect. then in your own practice you will pick and choose on a daily basis. No. PAGE 89 OF 106 WWW. "do twelve breaths. so I probably spend more time doing vinyasas in my shoulderstand. Usually about 5 minutes on each side. We never used to do the physical part. So physical Surya Namaskar sequence was not practiced at all? No. as text recommends? Basically he would teach only M aha Mudra. He practiced Maha M udra as one of the main poses. Just a chanting. In addition. tomorrow I think I should do something for my neck and shoulders. And that's what they have done. and includes prostration.COM . or headstand. He taught it. was it a part of a daily practice? You mentioned earlier it was a part of weekly routine. Why do you want to stay in those static postures for a long period of time? Because these postures take time to give you beneﬁts." If a breath is short it will take a short time. but then he never insisted on a physical part of the Surya Namaskar. I've done this. Twelve breaths for ﬁve minutes is quite acceptable. Did he practiced it by itself. You don't need a teacher to come and tell you. Pranayama was another must. it will take a longer period of time. How particular was Krishnamacharya in Vinyasa sequences? Did he require to stick to a particular sequence. then you have to design your program on a daily basis. that's about all. or with conjunction with Maha Bandha. and Maha Vedha. on the other hand. done with long kumbhakas while mantra is chanted. it is a Samantraka Pranayama. I will keep it in mind and adjust the practice in such a way.VINYASAKRAMA. not the physical aspect. no.
VINYASAKRAMA. Hips seems to open better if legs are apart and internally rotated. similarly to that he will do. Ding Namaskara he taught. diﬀerent Trikonasana sthiti. That's why I teach it. He didn't say. legs together in Adho Mukha Svanasana. we do Ding Namaskara on a daily basis. He just organized it. But it won't be rough. Then the second will be Surya Namaskara. He uses the term Kaya Klesha. occasional verbal suggestions. or bring legs one after the other. Few minor adjustments I've made in the class. ﬂexing a knee more than 90 degrees in Virabhadrasana sequence. so he would come and help you out.. Uthita Prasvakonasana. there will be asymmetry. gentle physical touch. It is better to keep the legs together and do all these movements. because these mantras are there. instead of doing it in haphazard way. Things like Chandra Namaskara? I've never heard of Chandra Namaskara.. It is done anyway. It clearly says that. Surya Namaskara mantras. in any vinyasas or asanas? He would make minor adjustments. But then Hatha Yoga Pradipika commentary clearly says: “don't overexert your body with heavy weight lifting. I told you. rather than allowing them to ﬂay without any control. Because. especially after Ashtanga Vinyasa-like practice. [very minor. Some things.COM . For instance.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 Yes. What are the examples of that? Bahu bhara vahanam carrying very heavy weights. Jalandhara Bandha in Urdva Mukha Shvanasana. He did not make it a part of regular practice. in our morning procedure. What makes Kaya Klesha? Pain.] Supposing your shoulderstand is very uncomfortable. So he did not taught sequences like Surya Namaskara. You will have to shift to one hand and then to the other hand. which will exert the system. look odd in Vinyasa Krama. The only thing. He was insisting on mantra portion more than the physical portion. When you jump through your hands and you cross your legs. but he did not insist. he brought out a system. or doing multiple Surya Namaskaras”. “don't do Surya Namaskara” - but don't do too many Surya Namaskara. or Ding Namaskara. PAGE 90 OF 106 WWW. Read the commentary to Hatha Yoga Pradipika. Surya Namaskara he merely taught. Not a very meticulous kind of adjustment to the posture. How speciﬁc he was about alignment. rare. Kaya means body. There is a big diﬀerence with doing 108 Surya Namaskara. The mantras are there already. If you want to maintain symmetry you got to keep your legs together. You do it every day. Bahu Surya Namaskara.
it is a very beautiful procedure. I won't make a forward knee position an issue in Virabhadrasana. advantages are there if you keep the head down. if you keep your head down. no variations allowed? Pattabhi Jois was stating that he was teaching strictly according with Krishnamacharya tradition.. I've never been told that this should be a factor to be considered at all. If you keep head straight. I am not saying that everybody should project the knee out. why Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga follows strict sequences. For instance. Was Krishnamacharya teaching Jalandhara Bandha in Urdva Mukha Svanasana. it should be straight. You better oﬀ to keep your feet together and do the entire sequence. In your opinion. Uthita Parsvakonasana.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 No. the you can stretch the spine better.COM . In fact. not overextended.project forward. Oh yes. Unless you are required to turn your head. sometime. If you are overextended. Why they should always be open? Normally when you walk you keep your hips open. If that is going to be helpful for me to lower my body and get to a Virabhadrasana properly. Maybe for some people. you got a stable position so you can do these movements properly. if you keep the head down. along with that the spine pulled up. that has to be straight! You should not move the knee inward or outward. Stretching of the spine is easier. The movement is lateral. And it is going to aid your balance. If you properly keep your feet position. and not a narrow base. you can see it in his book also. the Iyengar school insists that knee does not over. a good base. or pull up your ribcage. your back is straighter. I would say that default position of the head is head down – any posture. I won't make it an issue at all. you need somebody to come and pull up your waist. That is another position for the hips. When do you keep the legs together? Tadasana requires you to keep your feet together. PAGE 91 OF 106 WWW. no..VINYASAKRAMA. That keeps your neck relaxed. A lot of importance is given. As long as the knee does not projects to the side? No. The critical aspect is that I am able to stretch. Adho Mukha Svanasana? Yes. it is not going to be helpful. If you keep the chin down. for you to pull up the spine. or take head back – otherwise you keep the head down. but then hips also need to be closed. Jalandhara Bandha pulls the whole chest up. That is not a critical aspect. I may as well do it. I got to lock the chin. I think it is more stable if your knee goes forward.
Daily practice need not be the same. I will do more vinyasas today. does it aﬀect my body. what will happen?” You can change any of these vinyasas. then my practice becomes more and more intelligent. I am not able to teach my students. and then after ten years they know only asanas. he used to say that everyone should have a capacity to draw from this and then adopt the procedure on a daily basis. Maybe the next class. because you change. I speciﬁcally asked him for more vinyasas. when I started teaching. 1940s maybe. does it give me any beneﬁt? If I know this. “why am I doing this particular procedure?”. so I went and asked him. PAGE 92 OF 106 WWW. That kind of attention and that kind of application is necessary for a practitioner. He would study the person. you can't blindly do the same thing over and over again. Some days you are lazy. I used to practice. why am I doing this? Is it only to see how it feels. This opportunity some of the earlier teachers did not have. He knew how to apply it to individuals. I am not saying – don't do asanas. I feel very sorry for people who practice Yoga for ten years. and then go and teach. In any walk of life. I will go and teach. This kind of thought should be in my daily practice. I feel more energetic. And another thing. I studied with Krishnamacharya for a long. One class I would learn these vinyasas. long period of time. yes. provided you know why you are changing it. he kept on teaching more and more.VINYASAKRAMA. and then design what is required for him or her. such as in your family. Like that it went on and on for a long period of time. if I can use the term. nothing else. Like that. You can't mindlessly practice the same thing over and over again. there should be some understanding. Does practice needs a plan? You ne ed a plan. You can't mindlessly practice yoga. immersed in thoughts. because of enormous knowledge he had. you must know why you are doing it.. it is all went on for a long period of time. That is why you need adaptation on the daily basis. some people very pensive. “if I change it. Likewise. You have to know. then execute it. and also be able to share with other people – don't stop with asanas. then he started. In fact. Because of background. This is my advice: if you really want to make personal progress. Do you have any observations on how Krishnamacharya was able to provide an individual instructions for a diverse group. I realized that that I was not able to teach much more. it is all depends on how long they studied. “did you teach this vinyasa.. I can only speculate. is there something more? Yes. and otherwise.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 Right. this other vinyasa”. some days energetic. are there more vinyasas? I said. I feel more tamasic. or two or three classes he will teach another set of vinyasas. Now many new vinyasas would he teach? No. One is that Krishnamacharya taught only those vinyasas at that particular time. You think about it. They belong to much earlier group. plan it. let me do more Pranayama today.COM . “what does it do for me?”. Don't stop with asanas.
all of them become part of your practice. he started slowly introducing all of these things – study of the texts. we were all the trustees. So at that time. and then also start doing a lot of Pranayama. But when Krishnamacharya came to know about it. They take over. Paul Harvey from the UK who studied Yoga Sutras with me at that time. suggestions. when I was working and running around. “I understand you have written a book.VINYASAKRAMA. he said. what we did. And then he would make suggestions. it went on for about 28 months or so. that is what he mentioned in Yoga Rahasya also. called Indian Review journal. At that time I was a trustee of Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram (KYM). Can you tell a bit more about your books? The ﬁrst writings I did for a journal. In fact. I was one of the trustees.. he wanted these teachings be known. But the publishers said. He asked me to write those articles. So I wrote a book called “Basic Tenets of Patanjala Yoga”. He said. and the stable postures. Desikachar said. naturally he would ask me to do more and more vinyasas. During the middle part of the life. Not corrections. that's right. you must write more books. Desikachar. When the Mandiram started. Was this a meaning of the title of your book. Then after a few years. When you were young. and this particular magazine was interested. You can't teach the same practice to everybody. and I want to bless you. we should publish to make Mandiram known. and all these things. meditation. I was surprised. try to cut down on your vinyasa practice. Then. very supportive. whenever ﬁnd time. First few issues I used to type the article. not many people read that. I think it was way back in 1978 or so. So he wanted Vinyasa Krama. As you get older.” He was very positive. He used to be very happy about what was going on. he came all the way to my house. and one of his class fellows. give it to Desikachar. but they are not the major part of the exercise. explain it to him. I had something going on.. an introductory book on Yoga Sutras. more and more pranayama. asked me to write a book. so I started writing. It is a very good thing. PAGE 93 OF 106 WWW. he and Desikachar came to my house. myself. and he would. He used to encourage you very well. It was not a great success. Asanas are still there. In about six months time I got out of Mandiram. read it to his father. “Yoga for Three Stages of Life”? Yes. One Sunday. When the book was published in 1982. that was the major part. I was not going to classes for three-four months. chanting.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 How hard the practice should be? Where should be the balance between making an eﬀort and centering on your inner peace? How did Krishnamacharya managed this? Did he sometimes make you work harder? When I was young. why don't you keep on writing? I went on writing. Try to do more of the stable postures. one of the Desikachar students. chanting.COM .
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At that time, Pattabhi Jois and Iyengar were teaching, but not directly in contact with him; Desikachar started to go to diﬀerent parts of the world. He was very supportive. And then another thing started doing, I ﬁrst recorded the Yoga Sutras, then wanted to have a recording company do it. Ultimately I was able to ﬁnd a Recording company, they recorded it and released it. Then subsequently they asked me to come up with a number of other subjects. So over the period of 15 years, most of the chanting I have learned from Krishnamacharya I was able to record about 30 in all, about 30 hrs of Sanskrit chants, and this company released it. This was another important aspect of Krishnamacharya's teaching.
These were two early publications. Then in 1999-2000 I wrote “Yoga for the Three Stages of Life”, and in 2005 I wrote “The Complete Book of Vinyasa Yoga”, a Vinyasa Krama book, and in 2006 a book with David Hurwitz, “Yoga Beneath the Surface”. These are the publications. And subsequently, I started to send Vinyasa Krama newsletters, so I can share whatever I consider is important. It was good to keep on writing, one way or the other. What do you think is your best work so far? Of course “Yoga for the Three Stages of Life”, I really, really enjoyed writing it. But then Vinyasa Krama book is also good. Reason why I wrote this particular book, is that I found that even though I go and teach workshops, not many people heard about it. I thought I will not teach, so I wanted to put everything I knew in form of the book, and publish it, so it is out of my mind. And then LMU fortunately started this program [LMU 200 hr Teacher Training with Srivatsa Ramaswami in LA, California, USA]. Few people now had studied this. And then book with David was good – I could see what kind of questions arise in people, that was good. It is a wonderful format, Q&A. Yes. We started without intent to write a book. He asked me, can I ask a few questions? I agreed, he sent me an email, I replied, he kept them with himself. Then after some time, after I wrote a Vinyasa Krama book, I asked him; David put the whole thing in a form of the book, and we submitted it to a publisher. Initially they hesitated, but ultimately, published it. Any other books, besides essential scriptures, that should be studied? As yoga teachers you must be familiar with various texts. Bhagavad Gita, Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Yoga Yajnavalkya – these three texts... Yoga Upanishads are there, but they are not very accessible, some of them are repetitive. You can still have a look at them. This is all with respect to Hatha Yoga. There is also other text – it is not a text, it is part of the Purana – it is called Suta Samhita. It is not very important, just an additional material.
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Then you can probably think about Samkhya Karika. It is work of 75 shlokas or so, like Yoga Sutras it is also very concise, and a beautifully written text. Lot of things that are taken for granted in Yoga Sutras can be found there. For instance, the three Gunas, the evolution from the Mulah Prakritti explained very well, Transmigration; number of other concepts that are taken for granted by yogis can be found there. English translations are available; English commentaries are also available. Samkhya is one of the six traditional Indian Philosophies. Samkhya, Yoga, and Vedanta form a compact group. They all talk about Nivritti Shastras – how to stop the Transmigration. Go through the Yoga Sutras, get a good outline of that, then try to support it by Bhagavad Gita from one side, and Samkhya Karika on the other side. Bhagavad Gita will be very helpful, because it is very “user-friendly”, not like the Yoga Sutras. Yoga Sutras are very dry – Bhagavad Gita tries to explain. In fact, you don't need any commentary for it, because same ideas explained over and over again. Arjuna was a warrior, not an intellectual. Then once you are familiar with these texts, then you can read some of the Upanishads, Upanishad Vidyas. Vedas per se might not be of much importance to us. It contains lot of rituals, things like this. More important thing for people who study Yoga is to study Upanishads. The Upanishads portions is the Thought, philosophical ideas are contained there, and there are many. Can you give some advice on approaching Upanishads study? There is one called Chandogya Upanishad, another one called Brhadaranyaka Upanishad. Katha Upanishad is another Upanishad that is very important. Another important Upanishad is Prashna Upanishad. It is a series of questions and answers. Smaller ones are Taittiriya Upanishad - Panchakosha Vidya discusses 5 koshas (sheaths): Annamaya, Pranamaya, Manomaya, Anandamaya,Vijnanamaya, Anandamaya. They are dealt with in Taittriya Upanishad. Again, it is the same subject, but approached in a diﬀernt way: body made of 5 koshas, like in Yoga Sutras we have 24 Tattvas (principles). Then there is another Upanishad, called Mandukya Upanishad; it talks of the meaning of Pranava Mantra, Om. Om divided to 3 phases, states (Avasthas), A-U-M. Akara related to a waking state (Jagrat), Ukara – dream state (Svapna), and Makara is a deep sleep state (Sushupti). Omkara, AUM is the state that is beyond all three, called Turiya-avastha, or Turiya- samadhi. These ideas are taken up in the Mandukya Upanishad, and commentaries been written. This is another important Upanishad Krishnamacharya taught. In Chandogya Upanishad there is a Vidya called Sat Vidya. Sat means “that which is true, unchanging, permanent, or that which exists”. That refers to anything that exist forever Brahman or the Ultimate Reality, according to them. The way they go about explaining it, it is all anecdotes – it is a nice story. It is a dialog between father and son. The son goes to the teacher and excels, after studying for a number of years. Then he comes home proud of this knowledge, thinking his father doesn't know anything. His father gets upset of his attitude, and teaches him a lesson, teaches him. It is a beautiful story. In that they say main Mahavakya
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(great pronouncement), called “tat tvam asi”. Tat is the Ultimate Reality, Tvam “you are one of the same”. There is another Vidya called Bhuma Vidya. There are number of them. Same idea, but they are trying to put it in so many diﬀerent ways. I asked my teacher, “There is only one Brahman, why are there so many diﬀerent Vidyas?” He said, it all depends on attitude of diﬀerent people. Diﬀerent people – diﬀerent questions arise. They tried so many ways to put across the idea... If you like, go and buy a book on Upanishads, and then look for these Vidyas. Otherwise what happens, you give it a general reading, there are a lot of things that may not be of much interest to us. The re is also another Upanishad I told you about, Brhadaranyaka Upanishad. It has another Vidya, Madhu Vidya. Madhu means the sweetest part of the ﬂower, nectar. In that, they try to tell you what is the sweetest thing – again they go to the Brahman. It is where Sage Yajnavalkya tells his wife he was going to partition his property and become a recluse. I've told you this story. So there are stories, sometimes direct discussion between a teacher and the student, that way they made it very interesting. Take some of the Upanishads, try to ﬁnd out which interpretation you like, whether it is Vashishtadvaita, or Advaita, or Dvaita. Advaita seems to be most popular, more and more books has been written on that. So like that, you take one of these, and then when time permits, try to go understand. You can interest yourself by studying Upanishads, doing one Upanishad after the other. Because you may not ﬁnd teachers straight away, it may be a good idea to read them, try to ﬁnd a book that explains them in easily understandable terms. Just don't go to the scholarly/academic works, they are going to make it diﬃcult. In 2010 or so, there were 5000 yoga teachers registered with Yoga Alliance in the USA, countless others are not registered. Do you ﬁnd modern teacher preparation satisfactory? At my stage of life, what I want to do is to be able to teach what I know. If the few people can learn... You see, it is very diﬃcult, people come with diﬀerent expectations. Diﬀerent teachers teach diﬀerent approaches, so many diﬀerent practices are there. What I can do is to teach what I had studied with my teacher. Whatever I practiced, whatever I thought about that. That is all I can do. Initially, when I came here, I thought, not you teach what you want, others may teach what they want. It is ultimately up to the people to ﬁnd out what is good for them and practice. Do you feel that someone with a serious practice of several years has a duty to teach? My feeling is, anybody who practicing Yoga for ﬁve years should start thinking about it. Where am I going, what I am trying to do? Some introspection is necessary. You can't just keep doing the same thing over and over again. That is not an intelligent approach to Yoga. You try to ﬁnd out, what else is there in Yoga. Suppose somebody says, don't do Pranayama - why you should not do Pranayama? Or if somebody says, don't do shoulderstand – what are the problems? Why shouldn't I do shoulderstand? Otherwise it is all the same routine. As they get older, it will not going to be helpful, I am sure. Practices that are good when you are young will not be helpful when you get older. You need a diﬀerent set of practices.
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I was concentrating on teaching asanas. It was mostly dealing with youngsters. I am sure. in the Dance School. asanas.. trace their origins from Sri T. Mandukya Upanishad. Like that. But then Krishnamacharya was teaching groups when he was in Mysore. It went on for about 20 years. It was asanas.good. “you seem to work with groups”. Dhirendra Brahmachari. over and over again. Krishnamacharya. if I feel that it has something to oﬀer to me. I did not have much opportunity to teach Philosophy. Yes. because I went on to school to teach. I ﬁnd more people liking aspects of yoga that are not fancy – people are able to settle down for the Pranayama. people who come to my program seem to be interested. I hesitated to talk about all that. How did your teaching evolve? When I ﬁrst started teaching. a junior college. what was not possible back then.COM . I always felt there should be few people with a similar temperament that I have. I've taught some one-on. I was able to teach.. I hesitated teaching Pranayama. When I started teaching here. hesitated teaching Mantras. PAGE 97 OF 106 WWW. but not much. We know only names of their Gurus. Nobody said “what is this fellow talking about?” That is good. which suggests that Asana practice adopted a lot from modern western bodily exercises. This program (TT) has Yoga Sutras. There is also a modern research. It lets you teach as wide a spectrum of yoga practices as possible. Initially. You are teaching for more than thirty years now. Natha order Natha Sampradaya that authored medieval Hatha Yoga scriptures are not practicing Hatha Yoga for several centuries now. Slowly I started to teach that. to whom this may appeal. I've taught Samkhya Karika a couple of time here. These things interested me when I studied with Krishnamacharya. All these things are happening. like his father was doing. Because it was a school. ﬁrst few years were just asanas. On the face value. I asked University (LMU) if I can also teach. children.VINYASAKRAMA. If they like that approach . That is what Desikachar told me. lineage of modern yoga can be traced no further then 19th century. One or two Upanishads. There was no scope for teaching other things. student ﬁnd his/her own teacher. and does not teaching it in their ashrams. that just because this appeals to me. By and large. well and good. Basically. now I am comfortable.one. Hesitated talking about philosophies. So what I should do is keep on teaching. Further lineage is invariably unknown. Like attracts like. as many people as possible. Swami Shivananda. there should be a few people around who may have a similar temperament. whereas he was concentrating on one-to-one basis. then I will like it.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 How did your teaching career proceed? I was teaching in India. It so happened. for the Yoga Sutra class. Can you please share your opinion about sources of modern Hatha Yoga? All Indian schools widely known in the West.
If somebody would ask me in the court. if you look at Indian background. with a spiritual development. or how they develop asanas. Agraharam means that almost in every village used to be a yogi who would have written about his own experiences. They complement each PAGE 98 OF 106 WWW. But then. They develop more and more asanas. But Hatha Yoga Pradipika does not say anything substantial about Yama Niyama. until about a hundred years back. Usually sitting postures. those texts are available. and Pranayama. you people should go out into the villages. physiologically you won't be able to control the mind. he did not talk much about asanas. one day he said. unfortunately. That does not mean it didn't happen. there are some people who specialize in Hatha Yoga. I don't want to mention it. Yoga Sutras. I will concentrate on diﬀerent aspects. and all that.VINYASAKRAMA. like Puranas. Several sages are supposed to have developed diﬀerent asanas. Just because we don't have it. Take the Vedas. It is common knowledge that Patanjali in Yoga Sutras deﬁnes asana as comfortable still pose for pranayama and meditation. does modern Hatha Yoga merges these two traditions satisfactory? Hatha Yoga and Raja Yoga? Even though Hatha Yoga says it leads to Raja Yoga. Raja Yogis say that unless your body physical health is maintained. sitting postures. Asanas as body exercises seems to originate from Natha Yoga. They used to be written on palm leaves. Brahma Sutras says that one should sit in the yogic posture before asana for a meditation. in early part of my studies with him. all of them are lost. there is no written records on that. but because books were not written. Just because there is no written records you cannot say it does not exists. Rama was supposedly sitting in Virasana. Raja Yogi was bent on more on ability to concentrate. But he gave a lot of importance to Yama Niyama. So they said. if you want to call it. The Padmasana is mentioned by Puranas. There was a division on specialization. as far as Hatha Yogis were concerned. These are very big mistakes these modern scholars are making. I don't have my ﬁnancial records 20 years back. It means Virasana was known at that time. and then ﬁnd out people who practice yoga. very very old books. what happened? I do not have them. and Vedas. And then look at some very old books. They say the way Krishnamacharya teach is only a hundred years old. you learn from the teacher. The focus was on physical and physiological development. they are available only in India.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 My Guru used to say that lots of the written works of that period are lost. Krishnamacharya used to say he taught according to traditions. If you look at Ramayana. But lots of details were lost. where are the books? Books are written only recently. In fact. And then if you look at some very very old texts. I don't know. the ﬁrst shloka of Valmiki Ramayana says. That is why in Yoga Sutras. But they were complementing each other. They all may have diﬀerent personal experiences. I am not saying this because of the materials are not available. Asanas are mentioned. Puranas written a long time back. it does not mean they were not available. Where are the books? Even in the western world. Smritis. if you really look for old sources on yoga. There were teachers available that would teach you Asana and Hatha Yoga. I don't believe just because no records are available it was not there. because texts are available. Do you think in old times these were entirely separate lineages of yoga? In your opinion.COM . Right. you practice asanas. I tend to believe him more. many are Agraharam (habitats with scholars) . In fact. Most of them were Karna Parampara.
I used to know many people who come to India to study. so I run my own yoga. If he would have said. Puranas writing about asanas. you go to a complementary text. it is not necessary. or stick to the same routine. Patanjali writing about asanas. Nowadays it is all gone.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 other. I am not saying that everybody is doing it. Right. and then teach. And I should be happy about it. I would not have gone to him. so they developed that particular branch. when they start on Yoga. Do you feel like in the West people are reinventing the Yoga? Yes. which he did admirably. it could happen once in a while. I want to create my own yoga – call it Contemporary Yoga. but that is the best I can do. and they are very good in that. many p eople are now inventing Yoga.. Can you share your thoughts on the future of Yoga – in the West and in India? Any observations on changes in spirituality and ideas of dharma in the modern world? No. It is not as good as he taught. You have to study them in the group. I would not have gone to him. after some time they don't ﬁnd any improvement whatsoever. Vedanta have to oﬀer.. I wanted to know that. At least in olden days. and then you will be able to ﬁnd that information. what is the philosophy behind that. “What am I doing? Why am I doing this?” That is why I would say. what is there. PAGE 99 OF 106 WWW. Because I had wanted to know what was Yoga.VINYASAKRAMA. Swatmarama writing about asanas.” My approach would be: alright. it is a yoga he is invented. practice progression? Everyone has those moments at some point. It is up to you. what practiced there.. and the only reason I had stayed with him for a long period of time. There is no point in everyone writing about Asanas. because they don't have access to tradition. I had studied with Krishnamacharya. So what I would say is. And he faithfully interpreted those shastras to tell you what they are all about. They say that “who knows Yoga in India? Now it has become established here. if you want to teach Yoga. was because he was interpreting the shastras with his experience to me. What I can tell you from my own experience. you must understand. I w ill tell you this: Yoga is an old discipline. I g et that feeling quite often even now (laughs). Some people are specialized. It should not be frequent. now I want to explain to people the way I understood.. if you don't ﬁnd some information in the text. even discouraged about yoga practice. What happens – yoga is popular. See. Do you feel these traditions merged in modern yoga satisfactory? It is a specialization. Whatever I understood from him. like Krishnamacharya had. There is a saying Anuktam anyato grahyam. I will do whatever I can do to explain the way I understood. and practice. I would say. If you would say.COM . What is your advice for those times when one feels uncertain. At the same time they recognized that this is not the end of the story. 90 people out of 100.
So we have to devise a solution... but to some extent Yoga Philosophy may be very very helpful. Analyze and choose a course. Philosophy to PAGE 100 OF 106 WWW.you must have Faith. You have to sit down and analyze. Personally. though. or more and more angry – that can be due to preponderance of other two Gunas: Rajas and Tamas. I have the faith in subject also. what happens in our life – sometimes there are other problems. I am not saying it is going completely solve the problem. Once I allow it to get shattered. The reason why it does not work for me is I don't know what they are talking about.. The only problem. They may not go away completely. For the mind to become quiet. When you solve the problems. what do you want to give up. what does it say about Three Gunas.VINYASAKRAMA. They come into our life. Frankly speaking. mind is shattered. So long as everything OK. many problems we come across in life are of our own creation. Here Yoga Philosophy co mes more importantly. Like you. But to greatest extent – the Philosophy. but at least they won't aﬀect us so much. sometimes it can be Asana practice. if you understand philosophy. it is nothing new to me. things you depend upon. I will tell you: Yoga Philosophy. So ﬁrst starting point . and then deal with it. That faith I must have in this. There is no other way. but it is much easier to deal with them. Yogis promise so much. Philosophy is the only way they can help us. we expect it will go away. You are able to see that those people in olden days – they were able to see those problems. I have to persist. I too have or had my own problems. These two things you must have.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 the reason why we are getting this feeling is. Practice sustained by Yoga Philosophy. Then you must at least learn to make use of Yoga so you can overcome those diﬃculties.. that is the only thing – at least when I was young. it will be good.. Then there is certain problems which you cannot completely eliminate. it should have an anchor. only details may be diﬀerent. One of the reasons sometimes we get more depressed. If we don't deal with the problems at this level. but they are very sincere. the Upanishads. all is ﬁne. We must try to ﬁnd out situations that causing these problems. not understood it properly. you also have to give up certain things. I am not able to experience it. relationship. It is very diﬃcult to rebuild it. That's what they call Shraddha (faith with love and reverence). If we can make use of Yoga to deal with these problems better. and get aﬀected by outside factors too much. I should not allow myself to get shattered. You try to understand Yoga Philosophy. they were very helpful. but if something goes wrong. I had that faith in my Teacher. Maybe I am not doing it properly. That is why these things will be helpful: Practice to some extent. we take ourselves too seriously. They have no ax to grind.COM . All of us have our own set of problems. We must slowly try to see that these problems do not aﬀect us. we are not getting everything that practice supposed to give. Sometimes it can be Pranayama practice.. then we have to depend on external help. they tell you what they had experienced. These thoughts contained there. Sometimes. All of us – we don't solve the problem. It has happened to many people earlier. Sometimes you must ﬁnd a permanent solution for a chronic problem. health. what do I want to get rid of. The mind should know it can be peaceful without any external things. Maybe Asana and Pranayama can help on physiological level. And then another thing. On psychological level you have to sit down and analyze. it is a big problem.
But Yoga Philosophy will help you to get this particular state of mind. beautiful commentary written by one of his students. There are some very good books written by Shankaracharya's students. nothing in particular. or Vedanta. Just because “I practice Yoga. it is very diﬃcult to understand those English terms. with problems. When you teach Yoga. you do not teach Vedanta. There is one written by Adi Shankaracharya called Dakshinamurthy Ashtakam [Shiva Devotional Stotram (hymn) ]. 15 chapters written by one of the Shankaracharya students. or any other philosophy. their translations and interpretations are more faithful. do your Meditation. there is a commentary. When I ﬁnd Tamil translation. I want to give mind some peace – that is all I am trying to do. All these things will help. Now I tend to read Advita books. Samkhya. it will do me good” – it is good. You must know why you are doing it. Do you have any advice for teachers who are only starting? Or do you wish you had done something diﬀerently in your own teaching career? PAGE 101 OF 106 WWW. I don't know about Western Philosophy. What is why I say. I can do that. They explain it in terms accessible by ordinary people. have your practice. I tend to read that. These are very interesting books that are available. and I am not saying blindly follow philosophy. I tend to read these books in my mother tongue. Between them. This we lack – I can give a lot of happiness. What you value most in life. But you have to believe in this philosophy. or something else. with no money. We must have some kind of guiding philosophy in our life. I read a few shlokas every day. that is possible – some kind of a philosophy should be there.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 some extent. I don't know if it is Yoga. Any books you are currently reading? No. Mere Practice won't do. pleasure to the mind. It keeps you going. There are very good works. Once you will be able to develop certain peace of mind in yourself. not just scholars.VINYASAKRAMA. But you must have a guiding philosophy in life. solid Philosophy. called Panchadasi. do your Pranayama. but you read them. I may be peaceful with a lot of money. that's my mother tongue. Because you need to go over them. and also support yourself with a good. Personal philosophy you will have to develop. So whenever I am not doing anything. But to appreciate the whole thing – you must have a strong philosophy. There is another text. Where are in English translations. or without problems – and this is to be maintained. mind is reinforced so I can deal with problems better. once you start valuing it more than other things – lots of problems will get solved. Buddhism. go over them. But I am not able to get right kind of peace. think about it. And they use terms close to original. I think there should be something very strong. which is not dependent on the external circumstances. I tend to sit and read them. Can any Philosophy support practice? Do we have a choice? All practices must be supported by a strong philosophy. That is why sooner or later – whether you like Upanishads.COM .
I am sure that the whole system was designed in such a way that it was going to beneﬁt the individual. Try to maintain practice. Los Angeles. USA Copyright © 2009 . reﬂect on all the practices.VINYASAKRAMA. psychologically. very much for your time. It is a result of accumulation of lots of individual practices. try to understand all these things. Before you start teaching others. disciplines your mind. ﬁnd usefulness to yourself. Yoga Teacher Training with Srivatsa Ramaswami. It helps you physically. It meant to beneﬁt the individual. I hope it will be useful. and start teaching – that should be helpful. and see how you feel. Only thing is. You practice.term eﬀects. Krishnamacharya.COM .com Yuri Sharonin is certiﬁed (No.81) Vinyasa Krama teacher. so you make it really useful for yourself ﬁrst. Thank you very. like my Guru. July-August. Even if you do your asana practice. San Francisco Bay Area. a lot of practice on this. located in Bеlmont. Loyola Mormont University (LMU). Over the period of time – maybe practice for a month or two. try to enlarge your base. CA. And then. and practices of gurus. this particular vinyasa. Class of 2012. (picture) Website of Srivatsa Ramaswami is vinyasakrama. see how you feel. kriya? How do you feel after Pranayama? And look for long. PAGE 102 OF 106 WWW.2012 Wild Yogi Non-commercial use of material from this site is permitted with attribution. California. Thank you. They have done a lot of research. share it with others. Teachers must teach with certain amount of conviction. it is very rewarding.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 I will say that Yoga is a very very rich subject. reﬂect upon that: how do you feel after this particular asana.
Marichyasana and others.. David has gone through each and every one of my articles these four years.COM . Then we have a series of poses centered around 'ekapada sirsasana' like Kapilasana. thanks to the generous help from Ross Smith who created the whole setup and my friend David Hurwitz ( Yogi Dave) . Some bore the names of renowned sages or rishis. more involved seated poses like Bharadvajasana. quoting the vedas. Marichyasana are simple seated poses but many others are more diﬃcult ones and one may wonder if the rishi would be able to stay for a long time in those postures and also meditate. But it gave me an opportunity to write several topics that were ﬂoating in my mind and based on the teachings of my guru. There is a view that the entire vedas was called Arsha or the creation of rishis. Viswamitrasana.@vinyasakrama. and made the necessary corrections and passed on brief valuable opinions. I may also possibly teach in San Fransisco for about ten days including Memorial day weekend. not necessarily for their yogasana capabilities.com/group/vinyasa-krama-announce?hl=en Any comments or suggestions? Please write to i.. Then we have a few poses which can form a group like the 'side plank' poses such as Vashishtasana. Of course some of the asanas were one legged poses like Bhagiratasana and Durvasasana but I had heard and also read in some puranas that such one legged standing poses were resorted to by several tapasvins to get the blessings of the Lord. 24 hrs of Yoga Sutra and 18 hrs of Hatayoga Pradipika. I hope some of you may have found some of the articles of some use. basically meditative postures like Vajrasana also known as Dadhichi asana about which I had written earlier. I am scheduled to teach a 200 hr week Teacher Training Program at LMU in July/Aug and a 45 hour program at Ricky Tran's Krama Yoga in Dallas in April and at Suddha Weixler's Chicago Yoga Center for a week in September as I mentioned earlier. I had known about rishis being associated with a few asanas even earlier but these were mostly seated poses. not even heard of before. Thanks are also due to my friend Anthony Hall for posting these regularly in his highly popular Yoga blog and making them available to more yoga friends. These were also featured in his book Yoga Makaranda.VINYASAKRAMA. Of course most of my writing require heavy editing.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 December 2012 Newsletter — RISHIS I started this monthly newsletter four years back. These Rishis were well known though. Krishnamacharya thus taught many asanas bearing the names of well known rishis—many of which I had not heard of. Matsyendrasana. The view is that the vedas were created by creator Brahma when creation took place but were dormant. Some like Bhardwajasana. ****** RISHIS During my lon g studentship with Sri Krishnamacharya. even though Sri Krishnamacharya would say. This way one can communicate freely with friends.at Steve Brandon's Harmony Yoga in May . But Sri Krishnamacharya taught several new asanas I had not known. You may access my earlier newsletters from the following link http://groups. Kasyapasana and others. I am also scheduled to teach in Wells. fr om Jan 2009.google. Thank you all for the kind support and interest shown all along. I am very thankful to both of them.com For the year 2013. UK. he taught several asanas and vinyasas normally not well known at that time. The rishis with their deep contemplation were able to PAGE 103 OF 106 WWW. It will be 18 hrs of Yoga Chikitsa Krama. The asanas named after rishis and taught by my Guru can be classiﬁes into simple seated meditative poses like Dadhichi asana (vajrasana). that the vedas are apourusheya or not created by human beings. before I came to study with him. And 6 hrs of Suryanamaskara with mantras.
Rk( vedic mantra). Indra. birds like garuda (eagle). His discussions and advice to his mother on spiritual matters known as “Kapila-devaahuti samvada” is very well known. “These mountains represent the three vedas and the three handfuls of dirt in front of you represent the vedas you have studied so far. According to Bhgavata purana he was the avatar of Lord Narayana Himself. You see the vedas are innumerable and inﬁnite (ananta vai vedaH) and any number of births would not be suﬃcient to exhaust all the vedas. each set of species to diﬀerent wives. But then vedas were considered revelation of the absolute truth so another deﬁnition of a Rishi as quoted by Sri Krishnamacharya from a well known Sanskrit thesaurus “Amarakosa” is that Rishis are revealers of Truth (Rishayah Satyavachasah). Vasishta and Viswamitra are two renowned vedic rishis.COM . So the rishis were known as “seers of mantras”. “I will study the Vedas further”. It was also known as Seswar Samkhya. as Yaska the vedic etymologist would say “Rishayah Mantradrashtarah”. I have already written about these two in an earlier article “Yogagate”. Reference of Kashyapa is found in some Buddhist literature also. He is considered to be a great vedic scholar and teacher. Again many families carry the Bharadwaja name. the Brahman. then snakes and other reptiles all were born to these women. Here is an interesting story about how diﬀerent species were created.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 tune in with the hidden vedic mantras and then gave it to human beings for proper use and understanding. Rtam (truth). the Lord asked him to look at the three huge mountains the Lord created and took out from each one of them a handful of earth and placed them before Bharadwaja and said. Many families in India still carry his name. “Bharadwaja!! If I give you another human life what would you like to do?” Back came the reply. Arjava (straightforwardness) can be traced to one sanskrit root “rj' meaning 'to be straight' . Bharadwaja was so much concentrating in studying the vedas that even as the life was coming to an end he was still continuing with his studies. Kashyapa thus became the father of all beings and all beings of the universe were considered to be related to one another (not just the human beings) through a common forefather Kashyapa. Kapila was a vedic rishi. Kapila also is associated with the story of how the Ganga was brought to earth from the lofty heights of the Himalayas by Bhagirata. He is said to be the son of Marichi (does it ring a bell?) who was believed to be one of the ten 'mind children' (manasputras) of Brahma. Viswamitra is credited with revealing one of the most PAGE 104 OF 106 WWW. several creeds of demons. So we can say Rishis are those who reveal the absolute truth after they experience the truth through the discovery of vedic mantras. He is credited with the formalization of the Samkhya philosophy.VINYASAKRAMA. Upon that. Rju (proof). He is also credited with the Samkhya Sutras one of the earliest works on Samkhya even as Iswarakrishna's Samkhyakarika became the standard text for Samkhya philosophy. Of course both the deﬁnitions could amount to the same. ”Kashyapaf pashyako bhavati”. Please read the story of Bhagirata in an earlier Newsletter. You try to understand the essence of the vedas. Maharshi Kashypa is another well known vedic rishi. the source of all the Universe.” And Bharadwaja became a great spiritual teacher of the vedas. An episode found in the Kaataka portion of the Taittiriya sakha of Yajur Veda would be of interest. Thus not only other human beings but all the beings belonging to all the species were considered kith and kin. tigers and lions. Kashyapaa married 13 women and through them were born so many oﬀspring/progeny that the whole universe was ﬁlled diﬀerent beings. and still some Indian families carry his name. Some scholars indicate that the words Rishi. the Lord appeared before him and reminded him that it was almost the end of his life. He told Bharadwaj. Sage Bharadwaja is another renowned vedic rishi. Divine beings like the 12 suns (adityas). Rishi Kashypa is mentioned along with the understanding of the solar system in the well known Surynamaskara portion of the vedas.
VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 important mantras of the vedas. One day I started wondering how the sages could stay in these postures like viswamitrasana. the meter in which it is constructed and the devata or the divinity it addresses. In the case of the Gayatri mantra the meter is (nichru)gayatri and the devata is savita the bright sun and of course the rishi is Viswamitra. The rishi poses are majestic. smritis and various other ancient works. great fun. brihati (9 syllables). It is one of the million questions I did not ask my Guru. These are some of the stories of rishis well known to yogis through the asanas that bear their names. Likewise when one uses the pranava. vayu. The seven vyahritis are bhuH. One touches the nose(instead of the mouth) and mentions the name of the meter in which the mantra occurs and then one touches the heart and mentions the deity that the mantra represents. If you take the gayatri mantra.VINYASAKRAMA. Bhrugu. bhuvaH. “Om iti brahma prasauti” say the vedas. I do not know. the Gayatri which is used by thousands everyday and is the mantra used lifelong by many. known as balaa and atibalaa mantras in the Ramayana. Viswamitra also is credited with teaching a pair of important mantras to Lord Rama (and Lakshmana). durvasasna for a long time and still meditate. Then in the daily Sandhya routine the seven vyahritis mantras are used while doing pranayama.COM . Pankti (10 syllables) tushtup (11 syllables) and jagati (12 syllables). There are many more rishis whose lives. vageesa. indra and visvedevaH. Gautama.it is said in the vedas that Brahma created the Universe chanting “OM”. Kutsa. Rishis are known and remembered more for the mantras and philosophies and not so much for their yoga poses. the most common meter (8 syllables). And the devatas or divine beings represented by the mantras and meditated on in the heart would be agni. discoveries and service to mankind in the spiritual path are very signiﬁcant and can be found in vedas. Maybe asanas with rishi names can be found in older texts like puranas and smritis. Again many families still carry the name of Vasishta and Viswamitra's earlier name Kausika. but the mantras and philosophies of the rishis are very profound indeed. Many postures are named after objects like catushpadapeetam or table pose. varuna. the rishi of this vedic mantra is Vamadeva and the meter is anushtub and the devata is of course Gayatri. Sincerely Srivatsa Ramaswami PAGE 105 OF 106 WWW. arka. ushnik (7 syllables). What are the seven main meters found in the vedas? They are gayatri (6 syllables per line). anushtup. you ﬁrst say the rishi of gayatri mantra is Viswamitra and touch your head (nyasa) with the ﬁnger tips as head(brain) is the thinking instrument the rishi used to discover the mantra. Vasishta. puranas. Kashyapa and Agirasa. Usually mantra meditation(japa) is well organized. suvaH etc. itihasas. There is another interesting procedure for the Gayatri meditataion. When one wants to use a mantra she/he should associate the mantra with the author rishi of the mantra. Which are the rishis associated with these seven mantras? They are the seven rishis (sapta rishis) who are Atri. If one masters the bala mantra one would not tire during a war and the atibala would protect the disciple from thirst and hunger while on the battleﬁeld. the rishi in this case is Brahma the creator Himself-. Maybe some yogis gave the names of rishis for some of the postures. Some were given the names representing the eﬀects the posture has like paschimatanasana (posterior stretch pose) or sarvangasana (whole body beneﬁting asana) and some were named after rishis I guess. Prior to Gayatri meditation one has to welcome or imbibe/invoke into oneself Goddess Gayatri and there is a mantra called 'gayatri avaahana mantra '. These are important mantras next only to pranava and gayatri. When I was young I used to do the rishi asanas with reverence.
com My videos https://www.COM .google.com/group/vinyasa-krama-announce?hl=en PAGE 106 OF 106 WWW.VINYASAKRAMA.vinyasakrama.youtube.VINYASA KRAMA YOGA NEWSLETTERS VOLUME 01-12 / 2012 My website www.com/user/srivatsaramaswami?feature=mhee Newsletters http://groups.
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