Yoga? What is it? Is it anything you want it to be? Lets ask Krishnamacharya.

Quotes from KRISHNAMACHARYA’S YOGASANAGALU (1941)

From ancient times, while doing veda adhyayanam, the svaras (the notes udatta (elevated), anudatta (grave) and svarita (middle/articulated)) in the aksharas (syllables) of the vedas are observed and mastered without fail;

in music, the rules of sruti (division of octave), layam (metre or time), thrtam and anuthrtam are followed;

in pathyatmaha (verses of 4 lines each) poems the rules for chandas, yati, and parasam have been established and are carefully followed;

in mantra upasana, the anganyasa, karanyasa, sariranyasa, kalaanyasa, matrukanyasa, ji- vanyasa, tattvanyasa are experienced and understood.

Similarly in yogasana, pranayama and the mudras, the vinyasas handed down from ancient times should be followed. But nowadays, in many places, these great practitioners of yogabhyasa ignore vinyasa krama and just move and bend and shake their arms and legs and claim that they are practising asana abhyasa. This is being done not only in yogabhyasa but also in veda adhyayanam and in mantra upasanas where the rules are being ignored and people shamefully practise this as though it were part of their worldly affairs. If this behaviour continues for some time, even the vedas will be ruined. Everybody knows that anything that is done without following the prescribed rules will not give any benefits. When we know that this is true, is there any need to reiterate this for the great traditions of yogabhyasa, veda adhyayanam and mantra upasana which provide the best benefits? Some people, who are involved in sahavasa dosha and interested only in worldly benefits, say that they do not see any point in following sanatana dharma or karma yoga. There are reasons for their saying this.

I would like to briefly mention one or two points addressing this.
1. They are not following the rules such as vinyasa.
2. Their guru is not teaching them using the secrets and techniques that are in his experience.
3. The guru has not instructed them properly about the place and time of practice, the appropriate diet and drink and activities for the practitioner. As a result of many people teaching yogabhyasa in this fashion, many leave the path of yoga saying that they do not see the benefits in yogabhyasa and fall into the traps of various diseases. They do not exercise the body properly and spend money unnecessarily.Instead of following the system properly, they lose their way and waste time on unnecessary pursuits and have started saying that these times are not appropriate for sanatana dharma and karma. Some others, in order to hide the mistakes and bad actions that they have committed, keep saying that doing yogabhyasa makes one go mad and intentionally deceive great people in this manner. 

Just as music without sruti and laya will not give any pleasure,similarly asana practice done without vinyasa krama will not give good health. When that is so, what more is there to say about long life and strength in this context?
Especially those who want to start practicing the two yoganga’s “Asana” and “Pranayama” without following the aforementioned niyamas, following drawing charts and practicing on their own freewill will not receive benefits but may also be responsible for tarnishing the name and bringing disrepute. Unlike other practices, yoganga sadhana not only nourishes muscles. It benefits body, musculature, and mind and according to the age of the practitioner improves the active energy, extends life, eliminates diseases, provides stability of the mind, comprehension of subtle reality and self knowledge.
Those who ignore these rules and only do yogabhyasa according to their wishes, by following picture books, will be unhappy as a result because they will obtain absolutely no benefits from this. These people then ridicule yoga vidya and their sanatana dharma, and start doing physical exercises that are contrary to our country’s ahara guna (diet), jala guna (water) and vayu guna (climate) and waste a lot of money on this. Who is at fault?
Nowadays, we follow Western exercises and methodology, think that this is easy, spend a lot of money on it, procure expensive equipment from abroad and exercise with no consistency or routine. This is not an achievement of the body but a bodiless eort or a body destroying eort. We did not make up these names. We realize this from the kinds of kriyas that are being followed by the practitioner of these exercises. Moreover, such exercises will give proper blood circulation to some parts of the body while reducing the blood flow in others. This will result in poor strength, and eventually will cause paralysis and lead to an early, untimely death.
Practicing yogasanas without vinyasa will make the body lean and emaciated. Some people who did not learn yoga through a guru and practice without vinyasa have brought bad reputation to yoga which is very unfortunate. Therefore, how many vinyasas for asanas? Asana position comes at which vinyasa count? When do you perform rechanka and puraka? When to do antah kumbhaka and bahya kumbhaka? What are its benefits?
Now, might you think there might be something else besides a class lead by so young person that did a 200 hr training course that was taught by a teacher that did a 200 hr training course and is now teaching teachers to teach “yoga”???
Whats in your yoga? (that’s from me, not Krishnamacharaya) 🙂
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2 thoughts on “Yoga? What is it? Is it anything you want it to be? Lets ask Krishnamacharya.

    • Bhawna, please take this the right way. Book? Seriously?

      Guru parampara is not available to just anyone. Not gonna find that easily.

      You can do your best to search the Internet for all kinds of stuff. But it is the internet. no parampara is going to be on the internet trying to sell itself. That is the first thing to understand.

      Nath sect would be pretty authentic but what, are you going to find s local yoga teacher from Nath sect or something? Get the problem?

      You can try Srivatsa Ramaswami and vinyasa krama or shadow yoga but once again, you think the authentic stuff is out there or consumption of the masses?

      Second problem, why yogasana? It will not get you anywhere, can’t. Why is the entire “Yoga” world focused on asana?
      So in one way, no I have no references for you in that, sorry.

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