Sunday, April 17, 2005


Gayatri Mantra

adtya hydayam - heart of the sun

gayatri - most auspicious to practice 1008 times

tat = that = god
(symbolised by the sun)

You have such a power that you can destroy even the impurities of the divine beings
We shall meditate on you

dhi = clarity
also courage - self-confidence - we have it but we can lose it or not be able to find it

The sun will remove the clouds of confusion.
By singing Gayatri - I will help myself cross over.

Symbol of Gayatri - ha = space, ra = fire


Bandhas play an important role in the cleansing processes

Pranayama helps to reduce waste matter in the body by directing the agni - the fire of life.

Bandhas are the means by which this process can be intensified.

The old texts tell us that by using the bandhas, the agni can be directed to the exact place where the rubbish has settled and is blocking the flow of energy in the body. The bandhas intensify the effect of the fire.

Bandha = to bind or tie together, to close,
in the way it is used in yoga it is "to lock"


3 principle bandhas:

1. j?landhara bandha
2. udd?y?na bandha
3. m?la bandha

j?landhara bandha involves the neck and upper spine and makes the whole spine erect

udd?y?na bandha focuses on the area between the diaphragm and the floor of the pelvis

m?la bandha involves the area between the navel and the floor of the pelvis

1st - learn j?landhara bandha
To start with we have to lift the spine so that it is very straight.
Then the head is pulled back a little and the chin is lowered.
As long as the chin is down and the back is straight we are in j?landhara bandha. This bandha can be performed with many, though not all ?sanas.

2nd - udd?y?na bandha - only when you are certain of and well practiced in j?landhara bandha should you try udd?y?na bandha. In this technique the diaphragm and the lower abdomen are raised. As you begin to exhale you contract the abdomen. By the end of the exhalation the abdomen should be fully contracted, drawn up and back towards the spine. With this contraction the diaphragm rises. When this bandha is mastered, the navel moves towards the spine and rectal and back muscles contract. At the completion of udd?y?na bandha the whole abdominal area is hollow.

IMPORTANT - that the contraction and relaxation occur slowly
- if the breath is held for 10 seconds after the exhalation (for example) then you should take at least two seconds to release the abdomen.
- if the abdomen is not fully relaxed after udd?y?na bandha, the following inhalation will be restricted and you will experience a choking feeling. It is easy to get the right feeling for udd?y?na bandha in some of the easier ?sanas such as tad?ka mudr? and adhomukha ?v?n?sana.

m?la bandha - develops out of udd?y?na bandha - we release the upper abdomen and diaphragm but maintain the contraction in the lower abdomen. In other words, the area below the navel remains contracted where the area above it is released. We move from udd?y?na bandha into m?la bandha during the following breaths, even while inhaling.

Bandhas and ?sanas

We should begin practicing the bandhas in simple ?sanas so that the body can get used to them.

The easiest position is lying flat on the floor with the arms resting on the floor over the head. We can practices udd?y?na bandha in this position ( tad?ka mudr?). tad?ka refers to the big pools on the temple grounds in India. Hollowing the abdomen in this position reminds us of one of these pools. Another simple position for practicing the bandhas is adhomukha śv?n?sana (the downward-facing dog pose). Anyone who is ready to practice the bandhas in these position is ready to try them in a sitting position such as mah?mudr?.

Mah? mudr?, the great mudra - is essentially only called this when all three mudras are involved. The position of the heel in the perineum supports the m?la bandha.

With the exception of j?landhara bandha, the bandhas can also be carried out in inverted positions - such as the headstand.

The bandhas are easy in this ?sana because raising the rubbish to the flame (with udd?y?na bandha) and holding it there (with m?la bandha) is greatly assisted with the body mechanics of the posture. In all the inverted postures, the rubbish is raised to sit above the flame. The flame burns up toward the rubbish and the rubbish moves down to the flame.

If we master the breath in the shoulder stand, then this is also a good posture in which to practice the bandhas. The best ?sanas therefore for practicing the bandhas are a few of the inverted postures and all the postures in which we are lying flat on the on the back or sitting with a straight spine. The practice of bandhas is very difficult or impossible in ?sanas such as backbends and twists, and are therefore best avoided.

A word of caution: do not use bandhas throughout the ?sana practice. Like all other yoga techniques, bandhas should be practiced artfully and not obsessively. The help of a good teacher is essential.

Bandhas and Pr???y?ma

Only when we can comfortable execute the 3 bandhas in the ?sanas discussed above are we advanced enough to introduce them in our pr???y?ma practice. Let's consider how the bandha positions intensify the cleansing effect of pr???y?ma.

j?landhara bandha positions the torso in such a way that the spine is held erect.
This makes it easier for the prana to move the flame toward the rubbish that needs burning.

udd?y?na bandha then raises the rubbish up toward the flame


m?la bandha helps us leave it there long enough for the rubbish to be burned.

These three bandhas can be used during both ?sana and pr???y?ma practice.

J?landhara bandha can eventually be maintained during the whole process of inhalation, exhalation, and holding the breath.

Udd?y?na bandha can only be done during breath retention following the exhalation.
M?la bandha, like j?landhara bandha, can be maintained during the whole pr???y?ma practice.

Because udd?y?na bandha is done only as you hold the breath after exhalation, one of the most important prerequisites for anyone who wants to practice it is that you must be capable of holding the breath for a long time after exhalation without sacrificing the quality of either the inhalation or the exhalation - if this is not possible then you must not consider doing this bandha.

If you want to do j?landhara bandha you must make sure that you are not tense in the neck or the back - so that you can hold your spine erect without any trouble while you keep your chin down. If you try to draw your chin down when your neck is stiff, greater tensions and pain will develop.

Only j?landhara bandha can be practiced with kap?labh?ti and bhastrika pr???y?ma. You should not do the bandha in ?ital? pr???y?ma, because in that exercize you are moving the head up and down.

If the bandhas are to be practiced during pr???y?ma, we must first establish a ratio of breathing - ie - inhalation, exhalation, and holding the breath - that we can maintain comfortably during twelve breaths without bandhas. We can then gradually introduce the bandhas.

As in our daily ?sana practice, we follow the principle in viny?sa krama, building up the strenuous practice of bandhas step by step. We then taper off gradually and finish our pr???y?ma practice with simple breathing. We intensify our practice until we make progress in the preceding step, practicing patiently without forcing the body or the breath.

First you practice Uddiyana bandha
Then jalamdhara bandha
Uddiyana bandha can be done standing, sitting or even in lying postures
NOT AFTER EATING (because it involves the forceful drawing in of the abdomen)
Uddiyana bandha is the basis for jalamdhara bandha

Jalamdhara bandha can be practiced in padmasana, brahmasana, siddhasana, svastikasana, vajrasana, baddha konasana, bhadrasana, and mulabandhasana

(some yogis say that danadasana, kraubacasana and virasana are also suited by jalamdhara bandha)

Contracting the neck – placing the chin firmly on the chest
The eyes must be between the eyebrows and kept closed

List of Yoga Texts

1.Yoga Vasistha:

The spiritual dialogue between Sri Ramchandra and Sri Vasistha

2. Avuadhuta Gita:

Attributed to the sage Dattatreya - a sage who walked out of all tradition and wandered over the surface of the earth in a state of unending bliss.

Neither scriptures nor the many worlds,
neither gods nor propitiation of gods,
Neither caste nore stages of life,
neither birth nor family,
Neither paths of smoke,
nor paths of light.

Nothing but the highest truth,
the essence of Brahman.

3. The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali

4. Samkhya-karika

Yoga Sutra Chapter 2

2.1 tapahsvadhyayesvarapranidhanani
- the sutra on healing

tapas = so many things - changing the food habits, pranayama, asana
svadhyaya = if somebody gets some problem regularly, systematically, maybe part of the problem can be resolved if the person looks at the way he eats, the way he sleeps, etc
So a little knowledge of one's own life habits is an important help in solving some of the sicknesses.

2.3 When there are impurities in the mind - one is distracted/disordered and communion with that w

Yoga Sutras Introduction + Chapter 1

Sutra means thread - each section/chapter has a thread of particular significance running through it.

Chapter 1 = For pupil whose mind is relatively focused - one whose mind is at the maximum level of competence
Chapter 2 = discussion of how to get to Chapter 1 - ie discussion of Kriya Yoga and Ashtanga Yoga
Chapter 3 = description of the siddhis that arise from following yogic path
Chapter 4 = discussion of absolute state or kaivalya and the possibilities of this state

Chapter 1


Atha - now - immediately

1.23 - Isvarapranidhanadva - to surrender and offer all actions to God, without attachment to the fruits of our action, one of the niyamas and a component of kriya yoga

Offering regular prayers to God with a feeling of submission to His power, surely enables the State of Yoga to develop

If one does all activities in a state of surrender/submission to God you are freed of interruptions along the way.

You can act with isvanapranidhanadva - with reverence for God in all that you do.

1.23 - 1.30 Discussion of isvara

1.29 - The Nine obstacles to Self-realization

The 9 obstacles/interruptions to the State of Yoga:

1. illness
2. mental stagnation
3. doubt
4. lack of foresight
5. fatigue
6. over-indulgence
7. illusions about one's true state of mind
8. Lack of perserverance
9. regression

1.31 All these interruptions produce one or more of the following symptoms

1. mental discomfort/deep feeling of restraint/ - duhkham
2. negative thinking/confusion - (at monomayam level (mental level))
3. inability to be at ease in different body postures - angamejaya
4. difficulty in controlling one's breath - svasup

These 4 symptoms shall be manifest across the 5 levels of existence:
ie 1. - made by food 2. monomayam 3. 4.mahatomayam 5. anandamayam

The Ramayana is the story of how Ravana - a great King of Sri Lanka abducts Sita - the wife of Rama (an incarnation of Vishnu). Ravana was very strong. He could lift Mount Kailash (the home of Shiva and Parvatti). He was also a learned man - he had read all the Vedas. Still he is overcome by viksepa - that is his mind enters into an agitated state. Viksepa can come to people in a good/strong state of mind to.

Ravana is depicted as having 10 heads - 1 is ego - the other nine represent the 9 interruptions described above.

Rama is depicted as having one head - as he is in a state of unity and focused on God.

When viksepa occurs - the above symptoms are inevitable.

Ravana sends his son Atreya to fight. Atryea means "that which does not die." Hanuman, the monkey God kills Atreya. Symbollically this marks Ravana's loss of identity in the Self - because of his agitated mind state/ his viksepa.

Then Ravana sent his brother - - which symbolised loosing control over his body.

Then he sent Indrigit - his other son - we have 10 Indras. Indragit controls the ego. The loss of this son represents the loss of mental clarity/capacity to operate in the world intelligently.

Then he himself went to fight and was killed. Hence he lost his prana - his life force.

The opposite is seen in the case of Rama. When Sita (his wife was abducted) he was alone in the forest without any help. But because he was in a state of Isvarapranidhanadva everything he needed came to his aid (instead of loosing everything he needed for peace of mind and equanimity - as was the case of Ravana).

First Hanuman comes to him and pledges his loyalty and help. Hanuman represents the monkey mind - the primitive mind - that which is always wandering and restless (when not focused on a noble or higher purpose) - that which is dissipated and the source of mischief and problems without wisdom to guide it (Rama represents the wisdom here). So Prana (life force) comes to the rescue, in the form of Hanuman - as Rama is in a one-pointed state of devotion to Isvara (ie isvarapranidhanadva).

The head General of Hanuman's army was Sukreva - su = auspicious, kreva = head
So mentally Rama's side that opposed Ravana (whom represented distraction and viksepa - mental agitation) was fully prepared (with qualities that completely opposed the other side).

Rama was in the highest state of Vairagyam - ie detatchment

Isvanapranaidhana can be helpful to us - as only Isvara is, was and always will be beyond avidya.

In yoga a kind respect develops - gradually yogis begin to accept a sense of something that is higher than we are. We cannot make to devotion to Isvara a prerequisite to yoga studies. To be open is essential in yoga. Everything is real, but everything changes.




Method of Diagnosis in Yoga Therapy


1. Darsana -

Person must be there. To see.
One has to see the consequences of the problem in the face, in other parts of the body.

2. Sparsana -

You must touch certain parts of the body to see whether there is something unusual. It does not just mean feeling a person - but sometimes doing something unusual, like pulling the stomach, to feel if anything is there.

3. Prasna -

Certain questions must be asked.

4. Nadi pariksa -

To feel the pulse.

Yoga Therapy Notes

Problems associated with spine:

1. Forward bending of spine - kyphosis

2. Lateral bending of spine - scoliosis

3. Increased lordosis

Lordosis is the natural arching of the lumbar spine.

All of these can be observed when in samastitti - for in a standing position misalignment will occur.

Certain simple arm movements shall help to look completely at the body's misalignment. Through movements unbalance can be identified - in the movement and in the compensation movements from other parts of the body.

Look at the movement of the hip, the neck, etc
Only give mild postures in an observation meeting.

Examination also when the patient is lying down - observe if the shoulder is raised from the floor etc. Also the chin position etc. Palpation also helps to identify stiffness in body.

Tools of Yoga Therapy

1. Sakti krama = when you want to develop muscular power, the power to concentrate, the power to
do difficult postures (sakt = power)
2. adhyatmika krama = to go beyond the phyisical and to understand God, or oneself - to know what is inside us
3. cikitsa krama - is for people who are not ready for sakti krama or adhyatmika krama or who may not be interested in them - but who come to us with some problem.
The practise of asana + pranayama has to be modified so the problem can be reduced.
The cikitsa krama is focused on eliminating impurities in Kosa or nadi.

Kosa = different organs in the body eg: liver, spleen, intestines, respiratory system
Nadi = certain channels through which energy flows, like capillaries, bloodstream, nerves etc


Muladhara - "that which is the basis of everything"

The Theory of Asana Practice

Yoga = reaching for something higher - something that was once out of reach - but that through the practice of yoga becomes reachable

asana = posture
- from the sanskrit root - "to stay", "to be", "to sit", "to be established in a particular position."

Asanas have two important qualities:

1. sthira - steadiness and alertness
2. sukha - the ability to remain comfortable in a posture

This principle of yoga is fulfilled only when we have practiced a particular asana for a certain period of time and feel alert and unstressed as we practice it.

"Sthira sukham asanam" (patanjali)

The asana is a position of comfort and stability

From Hathayogapradipika:

Asana is the first of the various tools.
Practice of asana will bestow the person with various things - 3 benefits:

1. sthairyam - because of something happening in the body it goes to the mind.
Firmness in the body leads to firmness in mind (hence hyperactivity is reduced - one of the gunas).
The gunas all feed into our way of being and all are necessary to be at peace/functional in life.

2. angalagharam - light (meaning opposite of heavy)

Removing tamas (heaviness/dullness) - Tamas is what gives you the ability to sleep.

3. Arogyam - healthy (very general) - a feeling of well-being in the body-mind relationship. Again the consequences are felt in the mind.
(sattva -s much deeper)

With asanas - everything revolves around the spine.

Pascimatasana (forward bend)
- when you bend forward the impurities are taken up to the fire (agni)

Purvatana (back bend) - fire brought toward the impurities

Patanjali talks of "malas" as a covering of ignorance over your "good"/eternal knowledge

Headstand - pinnacle of postures - fire is taken up, impurities brought down , blodd pressures drops, oxygen goes to head

Vinyasa Krama - a correctly organized course of asanas progressing appropriately towards a desired goal

Breathing in Postures

Breathing is intrinsic to asana practice
Conscious breathing helps to improve the posture
- increased awareness of body and mind comes + drastic reduces the chances of injury
Breath also indicates whether sthira (firmness) and sukha (comfort) are being attained.


Inhale - ribs expand - chest expands - spine moves slightly back, diaphragm moves goes down
Exhale - ribs contract/chest contracts - spine moves to a straight position, diaphragm goes up

Figuring out the right relationship between the breath and posture is often done using the spine as a yardstick

Purpose of asanas - 1. alignment of body, chakras
2. removal of impurities
3. as an experience - body-breath-mind

Vinyasa krama - to place the various postures in an intelligent order

List of Terms

Vairagya: dispassion = detatchment
Moksha: Liberation
utpatti: creation
sthiti: phenomenal or illusory aspect of all manifestations
upashanti: quiescence of mind
upadesh: instructions
jagrat: ordinary/waking state
swapna: the dream state
sushupti: deep-sleep state
triputi: the doer, the cause and the effect
- Vishnu
- Brahma
- Rudra
sankalpas: ideations
sankalpa: idea

The mind is whatever is concieved or percieved - it is also known as sankalpa (idea), Smiriti - memory and avidya - ignorance

This ideational or sankalpa-roop body (form) is the primeaval body (form) of everything. As a result of the firm practice of this ideation (sankalpa), the gross body is experienced and the true form, or Atma, is forgotten.

maya: illusion
vasanas: latent tendencies/ tendencies or desires/ impressions of the past that remain embedded in one's consciousness
Universe = 1. andaj - that which is born of egg
2. Jarajuj - that which is placental
3. Swedaj - that which is sweat born
4. Udbhijj - that which sprouts from beneath the ground
karma: actions
gyan: knowledge
Atmagyan: knowledge of the Self
Atma = gyan-swaroop - consciousness or the state of knowledge
yajna: sacrificial ritual
asuras: demnons
vivek: discrimination
chitta:an ideation/modification in consciousness
Brahm: consciousness
Sat: truth/ the Real satyam - truth
asat: the unreal
vichar shakti: power of introspection/contemplation
vichar-roop siddhi: power of contemplation
purusha:signifies Atma - "that which sees"
purushartha: endeavor/ an endeavor or activity which is done for Atma/ efforts to stabilise chitta in Atma according to the directions of sages/saints/scriptures = purushartha
dairva = the purushartha of previous births becomes the daiva of the present birth
Brahmswaroop: the absolute or unmodified state
prarabdha: bright/fortunate destiny
satsang: holy company or association with the truth
sat-shastra: study of holy scriptures
antahkaran: purity of mind/a pure mind
vikalpa: errors (in perception/understanding - brought about by avidya)
bhoga: indulgence/enjoyment/experience
shama: quiescence - quiet/stillness/ eveness of mind
-the method by which one abandons all desires and remains contented with what one gets in the normal course of things according to prarabdha, without feelings of joy or sorrow
dama: control of the senses
- the method by which one controls one's prana - vital force - and aquires mastery over one's senses
dama and shama are the two ways to renounce bhoga

dhyan: concentration/ the capacity to measure (according to J.Krishnamurti)
Atma-tattva: the Absolute
tattva - essence/teaching/truth
santosh: contentment

shama, santosh, vichar and satsang - are all intimately related - focus on one and the other's naturally follow - they are essential qualities for the journey to free oneself ignorance

abhyas: practice

The mind is brought to a quiet state through (i) vairagya - dispassion (ii) vichar (contemplation) and (iii) abhyas (practice).

dharma: religion
artha: wealth
kama: pleasure/ desire for pleasure
ananda: bliss
bhava: a state of mind
shubh: virtuous state of mind
ashubh: viscious state of mind
Paramatma: the Supreme Self
gyani - a wise being
agyani - an ignorant being
Vedas - knowledge/scriptures
hrdaya - the heart - that which does not change
klesa -
gunas - the constituent quality of the mind:- there are 3 of them
1. sattva, 2. rajas 3. tamas
purusa - that which sees/which does not change
samadhi - becoming one with God; state of meditation in which only the object of meditation is apparent; total absorption with the object of focus
totally absorbed, attentive, free of distraction
kaivalya -
duhkha - suffering

In contrast to other Indian systems of philosophy that state that nothing is real except God, Patanajali's position is that everything in a person's experience is sat - the "truth" or "reality," and cannot be denied. Even duhkha is sat and is not something to be ashamed of or denied.

Krishnamachyra used to say: "Thank God for dukha." - which he described as "the unavoidable motive for practice."

muni - sage
jiva - the self or seer
tapas - process of removing impurities; meditation; discipline; austerity
Upanisad - essence of the Veda
Puraka pranayama - emphasis on inhalation
Recaka pranayama - the exhalation is lengthened whilst the inhalation remains free
Khumbhaka pranayama - focus is on breath retention. On inhalation/exhalation/both.
anuloma - refers to something that follows the normal way
Nadi Sodhana - technique for lengthening exhalation + inhalation
breathe through nostrils, do not use throat at all
Sodhana - "cleansing"
nadi - vein or passage through which the breath and energy flow (ie prana router)
Sitali -
Kapalabhati -
Bhastrika -

raga - attraction/making demands
dvesa - repulsion/rejecting things
asmita - ego
abhinivesa/bhoga - fear
Muladhara - "that which is the basis of everything"
svadharma - the right duty at the right time
asrama - station of life (4 asrama - each with a significant stage)
1. brahmacaryaasrama - "car" - to move "brahma" - highest truth
- Most important responsibility was to seek a teacher to educate oneself
2. grhastasrama ("grh" - home)
- Most important duty in this stage of life was to marry and have a family
3. vanaprasthasrama - "vana" - "forest"
- In this stage one has fulfilled one's duties to one's family and one is supposed to free oneself from social and domestic obligations - so as to spend more time in calm and tranquility and to focus on God. There is a certain degree of detachment operating. Learning to live with the bare minimum (mental detachment).
4. Sanyasa-asrama - detatchment is they accept what is to come (leaving the body etc)

varna - something that describes
rajas - to be hyperactive
tamas - dullness
sattva - equanimity
prakriti - nature/mind (everything outside of purusha)

Prakriti can be used in two ways 1. to be enjoyed/suffered - ie pleasure of the senses etc
2. to get to the highest state of realization
(where one is not interested in the fruits of one's actions)

ie the mind is an instrument that can be used for liberation or to feed the klesa's

bheda - the differences in different persons
brhmana = expansion
langhana = constriction
asastra-sastra-cikitsa = surgery without instruments
chit - that which has consciousness/absolute order - ie purusa
chitam - that which does not have consciousness/ does not have mind
(Purusha - "that which sleeps")
samadhi - 1. understanding correctly
2. merged, without separation
nirkalpa = no change/no creation/no imagination/no thought

The Definitions of Yoga

2.48 - Because of two forces going in opposite directions - we find ourselves in difficulty
Heat - cold rich - poor

To endure the extremes - is to master yoga.

After a serious practice of yoga one's resistance to extremes grows. One's immune system is strengthened.
Yoga is the art of mastering the challenges born of living in a physical and psychological universe of extremes.
Being aware that when the mind is at rest - as a consequence of a well tuned body one can be like the eye of the storm - calm in a mayic dream of extremes: an attentive, clear, flexible entity released from the pain, violence and inattention of a mind that is attached/confused/in a state of disorder.

The mind is disturbed. There are 9 impediments - (yoga sutra first chapter)
If I can get my rajas and tamas down - then the asanas are effective.
"sattva" - another dimension - (no jealosy/anger) - serenity.

Yoga is the control over the activities of the mind

Yoga is the art of ending fragmentation
The bringing of order to a mind in disorder
- when you give your complete attention to something you see it in another light - the light of order and understanding

"Yoga is samskara"

- Sri T. Krishnamachyra

Yoga is the movement from the non-acheivable to the achievable.

Yoga makes one fit for another action.

It removes impurities and makes you fit for vedanta
(from the Brahma Sutra (the Voice of God)

- When there are impurities in the mind - one is distracted/disordered and communion with that which is beyond the self/ego is not accessible (2nd chapter 3rd sutra)

The Five States of Mind

The Qualities of Mind

Patanjali defines yoga as a certain mental state - he calls that state Nirodha

Nirodha is the 5th and highest level of mind

Nirodha is attained by successively recognizing and conquering the lower levels of mind.

1st/lowest level is to be likened to a drunken monkey swinging from branch to branch: thoughts, feelings, and perceptions go in rapid succession. We are hardly aware of them and we can find no thread linking them - this level of the mind's activity is called ksipta

2nd level is called mudha. Here the mind is like a heavy water buffalo standing for hours in one place. Any inclination to observe, act, or react has nearly disappeared. This sort of state of mind can arise from many causes.
eg. from eating too much, or having too little sleep, certain medications can cause this state of mind, some go into this state when they lose a loved one.
Mudha can happen as a reaction to a deep disappointment, when something that was deeply desired cannot be reached. And it sometimes arises in people, who, after many unsuccessful attempts to make something of their lives, simply withdraw and do not want to know about anything anymore.

3rd level is called viksipta. In viksipta the mind is moving but the movement lack consistent purpose and direction. The mind encounters obstacles and doubts.

The mind state is characterised by shifts from knowing what it wants to do and uncertainty, between confidence and diffidence. This is the most common state of mind.

4th level is called ekagrata. Here the mind is relatively clear. Distractions have little influence.

We have a direction and most important of all, we can move forward in this direction and keep our attention on it.
This state corresponds to dharana.

By practicing yoga we can create the conditions that gradually move the mind from ksipta to the ekagrata level.

When ekagrata is fully developed it peaks at nirodha

At the level of nirodha the mind is linked completely and exclusively with the object of its attention. Mind and object seem to merge into one.

rodha - developed from the root rudh "to be wrapped in"
ni is a prefix which indicates great internal intensity

Nirodha is also sometimes translated as "limit" or "restraint"
Which can be interpreted as "total absorbtion" as all other mental activities are restrained - indeed they cease.

Patanjali defines yoga as citta vritti nirodha - that state of mind that has one and only one direction is "citta vritti nirodha"


urdhva - raised, elevated, tending towards
parsva - the side, flank, lateral
From Hathayogapradipika -

Sitting postures:

1. Vajrasana - the diamond pose
2. Padmasana - the lotus pose
3. Siddhasana

Vertical postures:

1. Tadasana - the tree pose
2. Shirasasana - the head stand

Horizontal posture:

1. Shavasana - corpse pose

General -

Uttanasana - standing forward bend

parsva uttanasana


cakravakasana - cat pose

dvipada pitham


matseyendrasana - half spinal twist





pascimatanasana - sitting forward bend

From teachings of Lara:

1. samasthiti – sama = upright, straight or unmoved sthiti = standing still/steadiness

2. Tadasana – tada = mountain

3. Bhagirathasana – posture named after sage bhagiratha
(also known as vrksasana – tree pose)

4. Parsvuttanasana
– parsva - side or flank – ut = intense tan = to extend/to stretch/to lengthen

5. Trikonanasana – tri – 3 kona - angle

6. Uttanasana – utta – to stretch (see no. 4)


The main object or central teaching of systems like the Vedas is that Brahman is real and that the world and all other things are unreal.

Yoga in the Language of Krishnamurti

When you are so absorbed in that which is beyond thought you forget yourself.
When you are no longer - the other is.

Both Krishnamachyra's teacher and Ramana were so absorbed in God that they both got burnt at different times and did not feel it. The "I" was no longer.

Krishnamchayra's approach to teaching

Vinyasa Krama - a correctly organized course of asanas progressing appropriately towards a desired goal

Vinyasa means ordered/sequential/appropriate - the principles that influence it are listed below - how to begin teaching a student is influenced by the factors here:
1. desa - from where is the student from. Teaching must consider whether the person is from one country or another.
2. deha - what to teach a fat man; what to teach a lean person; a young person; an old person
3. Kala - year/time. The way to teach and what to teach depends on the time of year. Spring teaching is different, winter teaching is different. The time of teaching is different and what is to be taught is different.
4. Vrtti - what I would teach a runner and what I would teach a philosopher are quite different.
5. Vrtti-bheda - depending on the avocation ("avocation" is the someone's occupation/doing which is outside of their normal activities)
6. Marga - somebody is interested in devotion, somebody else is interested in fitness; somebody else wants to chant because he wants to sleep; soembody else wants to chant because he wants to pray. Depending on the direction of the mind of the student - the teaching must be directed.

7. Sakti - the capacity of the person also must be taken into account. How much endurance they have. How much memory they have. How much time they have to study or practice. All these things must be examined.

bheda - the differences in different persons

Book Recommendations

Chase's recommendations:

Mahayana Buddhist traditions of China and Japan - anything by Thomas Cleary
(check out -

1. Unlocking the Zen Koan - a new translation of the Wumenguan
2. Secrets of the Blue Record, Zen comments by Hakuin and Tenkei


Lu Kuan Yu's series:

"Chan and Zen teachings Vol 1 and 2"

Presentation of mind in those three books very interesting


1. Burton Watson's translation of poems by the 7th Century Chinese Buddhist
recluse "Cold Mountain" - the book is entitled "Cold Mountain"

2. Sam Hamill's translation of Matsuo Basho's Haiku - Narrow road to the Interior (excellent)

Then there is more stuff by Cleary:

1. Awakening to the Dao by Liu I Ming trans T.Cleary
2. Back to Beginnings, trans T.Cleary
3. Understanding Reality, trans T. Cleary

Hari's recommendations - in Germany

Swami Apishiktananda - "The Further Shore."

By the way, great book but bit heavy is Destructive
Emotions by Daniel Coleman - opened my eyes.
(from Mark Shepherd)

Sustained effort

"Do you know how peasants buy their teams? Oh, they are experts in these matters, and know very well how to find out the mettle of an animal. They simply touch the tail and the effect is miraculous. Those that have no mettle in them offer no resistance, but lie down on the ground as if they are going to sleep. But those that have mettle jump about, as if in protest against the liberty taken with them. The peasants choose the latter.

One must have the true mettle of a man within, if one wishes to be successful in life. But there are many who have no grit in them; who are like popped rice soaked in milk, soft and cringing! No strength within! No capacity for sustained effort! No power of will. They are failures in life."

Paramahansa Ramakrishna

Things learned from Adamo

Italian, Los Silos, Tenerife

Breathing in through nose
Exhaling through nose

Bending over in this position and using the diaphragm muscle to clean the intestines

With practice a second technique comes about whereby you are able to move the abdominal muscles and the diaphragm from side to side


Breathing through the throat - (using the muscles to breathe (and the nose as the "agent of inflow"). - while practicing the asanas

Adamo practices 4 hours a day - in the morning
Of which 1 hours is Pranayama
Approx: 40-50 mins

Cliff -ashtange master - living in a barranco (hidden valley) in Crete

Also a school of ashtanga yoga in Crete

Mysore - very hot in the summer
cool at times in winter - but pleasant
Mr Iyengar - $100 a month for studying with him

If you wanted to go back to Los Silos - there is a Language school at IES in Icod
Lucas-Martin Espino EO1 - ICOD - next to the Campo de Futbul

Desikachar's Lectures

Friendship – the best thing is when we do not have an agenda for our friendship – other than our friendliness

Bhakti – there is a reflection in the relationship – ie not one sided
9 ways of expressing devotion
ie 9 steps to devotion

Bakri is explored by bhakti sutras of Narada
Also in epics such as Bhagavad Gita

Bhakti – dhyananm - bhakti versus dhyanam – devotion versus meditation

Direct meaning and derivative meaning

Eg Vedas – knowledge
Vid (root) = to know (becomes above - ie Vedas)

Dhai – to think, to inquire (dhai – cynaatanam)

Baju (seyvanam) – to serve

Dhyanam – only comes in the yoga sutra
Bhakti – does not come in yoga sutra
Think about isvara

Dhyanam - one of eight tools of astanga yogam – used to reach a particular goal

5 sections in first external segment - : asana, pranayama, nyama, yama, pratajahara

3 sections in 2nd segment – Internal – related to mind
ie dharana, dhyana, samadhi
In yoga sutra.


There is a tendency of the mind generally to go in different directions
One-pointed attention is the state of yoga – but it is not commonly seen in nature

Attempt of focusing mind towards object has 3 steps:
1. Choose an object /subject of attention – Dhaarana
2. Mind is instrument of perception
Mind is directed towards object of perception by perceiver
When attention on object is sustained – that is the state of dhyanam
3. When attention is completely integrated and the identification is gone
(ie separation as observer) – then samadhi occurs
Bhakti ( a loaded word)
- contextually – by defining devotee – we will understand what devotion is

Faith is implicit in bhakti
As object is implicit in dhyanam

Mindless meditation – what is the perceiver and it’s relation to perception
Mindful meditation – what is the nature of anger/emotion etc

Devotion towards somebody
Rarely (if ever) to a concept
In India devotion is towards God or teacher

Sneha – a capability for an object to be close

Like a “glue” you get attached
Friendship – sneha – in Sanskrit – bondage

Svadayam - two meanings

- to study some text
- to recite some words

Tools of yoga: tapas/mantras

Janma - it is given easily
Oshaddhi - tapas

Without cause - there is no effect...

darsham - that which helps us to see (eg eyes/glasses)
duk - that which sees

eva - independent - but as if one...

Asmita - in a high state of meditation - all we see is that we are not aware of ourselves

The sutras use asmita in many different ways

"I am seeing the buffalo" - with asmita - becomes "there is a buffalo"

Only through right connection is there transformation

If the mind is to be transformed there must be a connection with a superior being with superior qualities.

asmita = an impact
a profound connection
- with a profound connection/a story

asmi = i am

When two things become one that is asmita
Sometimes there is lack of interest
Sometimes there is not the possibility to comprehend

Textual books have effect... but the individual connection has the most powerful effect


nirmana - reconstruction of the mind/transformation
Nirmana - can be corrupt/negative also

In the mind there are so many vasanas/impressions

valikima = cancer in sanskrit
valkimi = composer of ramayama


3 hours daily meditation
Start out with 1/2 an hour - increase slowly (without straining)

1 hour in the morning
2 hours at night (but do not take a heavy meal in the evening)
- is excellent

Put yourself into the right state of mind by thinking of yourself as part of the One life that pulsates in every animate being.

Become enveloped in the great calm and quiet.

Then when you become still and absorbed in this concentrate on your breathing.

Do not hold or force the breath.

Watch the natural inhaling and exhaling.

If your thoughts wander bring your consciousness back to the breath.

Do not tell anyone about your meditation.

Keep a diary and write down daily what you experience you have had.
How you feel about yourself and your work and surroundings.
This will in time become the account of a mystic.

Keep diary entirely to yourself - do not let anyone read it.

Note your thoughts - look at them like a spectator.

Just go on with your sadhana.

If you feel dejected that you are not getting anywhere, do not bother about that, just go on.

If meditation produces conflict in your life - do not bother about this either.
Do not give up your sadhana because conflict is taxing.

If you should feel called to stop all activity and live a purely religious life in time, do not blame me for you have asked for a sadhana.

Meanwhile do your work - just take your bath or change your clothes as a necessity.
That has to be attended to.

Avoid physical contact with others as far as possible.

By touch bad qualities might pass from one person to another.

Definition of Terms

Viveka - discrimination as to the ultimate reality
Vichara - the inquiry into the true nature of Self


Yoga means union. An end to conflict. A gate to love.