My brothers mullet

Part Two in a Series The Evolution of Yoga Before introducing a new posture, concept or technique, my teacher, Kausthub Desikachar, always takes time to help us review, digest and integrate what we've already learned. This review is called ksema, and it is essential to the study of yoga. Before we proceed, let's honor my teacher with some ksema on what we've covered so far. Last month's article explored yoga's roots in the Vedas, India's oldest oral teachings. We looked at yoga's link to the...

The impossible possible the role of practice in yoga

The secret to mastering any new skill, concept or behavior, according to my teacher's teacher's teacher, Yoga master T. Krishnamacharya, is repeating and digesting so as to become comfortable, or ksema. So before we move on, let's look back. In issues 40, 41, and 42, we saw that 'yoga' is a common Sanskrit word with many meanings, including, 'to link.' The word 'yoga' however, is distinct from Yoga, one of six formal philosophies, or darsanas extracted from the ancient Indian Vedas. The aim of...

Patanjalis yoga sutras is in simple terms a guidebook for cultivating a sattvic mind

Yet non-dualism is not in intrinsic part of Yoga Philosophy. Samkhya describes all reality as having two components purusa, or consciousness, and prakriti, matter. Samkhya, being dualistic, states that these components are connected, but separate. In samkhya, as in yoga, the goal is not to dissolve all things into one whole. Instead, emphasis is placed on illuminating the individual parts, and clarifying their relationships. Relationship, as we shall see, is central to Yoga. Purusa is...

The yoga sutras of patanjali

Before learning something new, we should always begin by acknowledging and assimilating what we already know. This is ksema, and according to the legendary yogi T. Krishnamacharya, whether it is a new pose, insight, or behavior, all learning is deepened by review and repetition. Previously, we discussed the fundamental nature of reality according to samkhya, the dualistic philosophy darsana linked to Yoga. The first component of this ancient system is purusa, the seer, which is always watching,...