Sunday, 17 August 2014

Yoga Philosophy Reading List

Last day of Manju's TT. After practice we were talking over coffee and a friend mentioned that we didn't get to ask so many questions this year, that she had wanted to ask Manju for any recommendations for yoga philosophy, from the Sankara side of things especially.

I remembered Ramaswami had a few pages of recommended yoga philosophy texts In his first book although Not necessarily related to Sankara) Yoga for the Three stages of life, of course he does, everything is in that book.
Excellent overview

Below then are mostly his recommendations with my hyperlinks for either Amazon or free online pdf's. I've also added some of the texts from my free Download page that sits at the top of the blog and an old post of mine on Krishnamacharya' Bibliography from Yoga Makaranda.

I remember somebody getting over excited when they noticed Krishnamacharya didn't mention Yoga Korunta, in that bibliography, have no fear he mentions the text in his second book Yogasangalu that we've ( read Satya Murthey) translated on/for this blog.

"I did not attempt a detailed review of all ancient yoga treatises since it will make this book very long and perhaps cause boredom to the readers.  Please forgive.  This writing is mainly based on the following texts:
Upanishads related to yoga
Learning’s from my Guru and self-experience"
Krishnamacharya Yogasanagalu 1941

Actually it's interesting that he mentioned it for that book as according to Eddie Sterne in Yoga Mala Korunta, means 'groups' and in Yogasanagalu Krishnamacharya presents a table of asana divided into three groups, Primary, Middle and Proficient. The first two groups are very close to what we practice Today in Ashtanga Primary and Intermediate series. Are these perhaps the original groups from the mythical/legendary Korunta text complete with Vinyasa count and kumbhaka indications?

"Guruji has often spoken about a text called the Yoga Korunta, an ancient manuscript on ashtanga yoga, which had been the basis of the practical lessons on yoga taught to him by Krishnamacharya. Attributed to the sage Vamana, it was one of the many texts taught orally to Krishnamacharya, which he learned by heart during the seven and a half years he spent living with his teacher, Rama Mohan Brahmachari. Korunta means “groups,” and the text was said to contain lists of many different groupings of asanas, as well as highly original teachings on vinyasa, drishti, bandhas, mudras, and philosophy". Eddie Stern (forward to Pattabhi Jois' Yoga mall).

But to the reading List, in as good an order as any other.

First my other Desert Island choice, Aranya's Commentary on the Yoga Sutras. The man actually lived this rather than just writing about it having spent most of his life in meditation and or seclusion.

Yoga Philosophy of Patanjali: Containing His Yoga Aphorisms with Vyasa's Commentary in Sanskrit and a Translation with Annotations Including Many Suggestions for the Practice of Yoga 
by Swami Hariharananda Aranya

A friend was asking about the Sankara (or possibly his students) Commentary

Sankara on the Yoga Sutras (A Full Translation of the Newly Discovered Text) 
by Trevor Leggett 

The Gita of course, I have a soft spot for the music of Mascaro version (slim volume too), he was a Jesuit priest I believe and it shows but there are many versions out there, several free online. check out my post on the Gita as it was (the argument goes that basically pretty much everything after the third chapter was added later)

The Gita Code, The Gita as it was

The Bhagavad Gita (Penguin Classics) Paperback 
by Anonymous (Author), Juan Mascaro (Translator)

For a highly readable Sankara treatment of the Gita

Realization of the Supreme Self: The Bhagavad Gita Yoga-s Paperback – January 1, 2002
by Trevor Leggett

Svatmarama's Hathayogapradipka (HYP)
with Brahmananda commentary perhaps)

Some free pdf version's out there of HYP
Free download HERE

Siva Samhita (SS)

Free download Here

Geranda samhita (GS
Free Download here

Keep an eye out for the out of print
Theos Bernard's Hatha Yoga,worth getting hold of if you can find it for a good price

This was pretty much his PHD thesis  I believe, working through his own practice of the hathayogapradipka with his teacher/guru. He includes substantial notes that compare large sections of HYP with GS and SS, nice mudra section.

Yoga Rahasya Nathamuni/Krishnamacharya

Yoga Yajnavalkya, AG Mohan's version

Yoga Vasistha

I like this one in two volumes, you can read a short section each day

The Supreme Yoga: A New Translation Of The Yoga Vasistha (2 volume)

Yoga Upanishads
Especially Isa, Svetasvatara, Chandogya, Sandilya.

Free Download of yoga Upanishads here

*See the old post I've added at the end of this post which has hype links to free pdf's of the Yoga Upanishads.

Other texts
 Dhyanabindu Upanishad
Advayatarka Upanishad
Svetasvatara Upanishad
Garbha Upanishad

Yoga Kuran-tam
Vrddha Satapatam
Tejabindu Upanishad
Geranda Samahita
yoga Taravali
Yogasira Upanishad
Advitananda Upanishad
Trisikhibrahmana Upanishad
Siva Samhita
Brahmavidya Upanishad
Ygasikha Upanishad
Yogakundalini Upanishad
Nadabindu upanishad
Darsana Upanishad
Amrtabindu Upanishad
Yogacudamanya Upanishad
Yogatattva Upanishad
Sambhu Rahasya
Yoga Rahasya
Suta Samhita
Yoga Yajnavalkya
Yoga vashitha


And from my free Download page at the top of the blog

Free Downloads

Krishnamacharya's Yoga Makaranda

Krishnamacharya's Yoga Makaranada Part II


Below is a post I put up a while back on the bibliography in Krishnamacharya's Yoga Makaranda

from Yogacarya Krishnamacharya - The Purnacarya. Edited by Mala Srivatsan

Unfortunately long out of print
NB: Italics in brackets are my explanatory notes

"Krishnamacharya went searching for the ashram of Rama Mohana Brahmacari. In a cave, a very tall hermit with a long beard, wearing wooden shoes stood at the entrance. It was evident to Krishnamacharya that this was his guru. He prostrated before him, gave his name and asked to be his disciple. Krishnamacharya was questioned in Hindi on the reason for his visit. After he expressed his desire to learn yoga he was called in. He met his guru's wife and three children. he was given fruits called Ankula to eat and the escorts who accompanied him were dismissed with a cup of tea.

Krishnamacharya's first instruction from his guru was, to take a bath and perform acamana. The first precept of pranayama was then taught. For eight days, the master said he would not teach him anything else and that Krishnamacharya should eat only fruits.

Thereafter Krishnamacharya became a part of the Rama Brahmacari's family who belonged to the Kasyapa gotta (family lineage). His daily food was chapathu (Indian bread), halwa ( a paste of vegetable or fruits sweetened along with ghee and tea). His period of gurukulam (stay with the guru ) in Tibet lasted for seven and a half years. Rama Mohana Brahmacari made him memorise the entire Yoga Kurantam in the Gurkha language. The various stages of Patanjali's Yoga Sutra were dealt with in that book. Various kinds of of yoga practises were also described with great clarity. Only with the help of Yoga Kurantam' could he understand the inner meanings and science of the Yoga Sutra. The first three years he was made to memorise the Yoga texts in the form of adhyayanam ( to memorise and recite correctly, with proper accents). His focus was in the study of the Yoga Sutra, Vyasa Bhasya and the Samkhya Darsana. In the next three years he practiced yogabhyasa and for the next one and a half years he studied the siksana krama (planning of practices based on the stage of life of an individualand the cikitsa krama (therapeutic approach).

During his seven and a half year stay with his guru, Krishnamacharya learnt all aspects of yoga practice, therapy and philosophy. His capacity to learn, his previous education and his discipline made him an ideal student.

Having spent seven and a half years with his guru he would happily have spent the rest of his life learning and serving him but Rama Mohana Brahmacari then told him to go back to society, lead the life of a married man and spread the message of Yoga. Following his guru's words he returned from Tibet in 1922"

Yogacarya Krishnamacharya - The Purnacarya. Edited by Mala Srivatsan p26-28


from Yoga Makaranda T. Krishnamacharya
"This text contains the essential concepts from many texts of antiquity listed below.
I have studied the texts listed below under the blessing of a great teacher and have explained the truths contained in them that I have personally experienced. I request that the Lord of the auspicious Karnataka throne, the great Lord and Emperor, the fourth Sri Krishna Rajendra, accept this work and allow my
humble self to fulfil my endeavor and bless me.
More than this, I have nothing to say in this preface.

1. Rajayoga Ratnakaram
2. Hathayoga Pradipika
3. Yoga Saravalli
4. Yoga Balaprathipikai
5. Ravana Nadi (Nadi Pariksa of Ravana) 6. Bhairava Kalpam
7. Sri Tattvanidhi
8. Yoga Ratnakarandam
9. Mano Narayaneeyam
10. Rudrayameelam (Rudrayamalam)
11. Brahmayameelam
12. Atharvana Rahasyam
13. Patanjala Yogadarshanam
14. Kapilasutram
15. Yogayajnavalkyam
16. Gheranda Samhita
17. Narada Pancharatra Samhita
18. Satvata Samhita
19. Siva Samhita
20. Dhyana Bindu Upanishad
21. Chandilya Upanishad
22. Yoga Shika Upanishad
23. Yoga Kundalya Upanishad
24. Ahir Buddhniya Samhita
25. Nada Bindu Upanishad
26. Amrita Bindu Upanishad
27. Garbha Upanishad

Thirty Minor Upanishads

tr. by K. Narayanasvami Aiyar



from Yogasanagaly T. Krishnamacharya
I did not attempt a detailed review of all ancient yoga treatises since it will make this book very long and perhaps cause boredom to the readers.  Please forgive.  This writing is mainly based on the following texts:
Upanishads related to yoga
Learning’s from my Guru and self-experience

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Manju Teacher Training, Rethymno, First Day

 I don't tend to blog abut a workshops until after they're over but I couldn't resist sharing a video of the first day of Manju's Workshop here in Rethymno,  Crete right away.

Such a pleasure to see Manju again. I was here in Rethymno for his TT last year and then a week or two later I managed to attend his extra Led class at Stillpoint Yoga (see my previous post, I'm teaching a workshop at StillPoint Sept 9th, Manju is also teaching there for a week or so, it's like being on the same bill as Elvis). So it's been a year but feels like weeks, such a relaxed atmosphere here. This 'relaxation' is important to Manju actually, he's talked several times about the importance of making sure that the person your adjusting is very relaxed, many of the adjustments he presents seem to be more about helping us relax into the postures (love the little massages). It  makes sense, if we're stressed, tense, we don't breathe as well and this is a breathing practice. Krishnamacharya too was big on this, it's making the breath smooth and steady that allows us to become proficient in asana.

The workshop is full, half again more than last year and so we're practising in shifts, Mysore style'ish, "NEXT!" Working well actually, love popping out the back for a cool finishing. My shift is at 6:45, The video below is taken after my shift has come out and settled our selves at Kyria Maria, the taverna next door to the shala where they look after us all so well. As the video opens there's our table. Areti over on the right, Areti Invited me to present Vinyasa Karma at her Shala in Heraklion last week. Eleftheria, opposite, was also present and on Manju's workshop last year.... in fact, come to think of it  everyone at the table attended Manju"s TT last year and the year before that too I believe. Natasha, next to Areti has a shala in Thesoloniki, next to her is Gloria and her husband Nektarios who have a shala in Chania. Nekatarios and Gloria also invited me present Vinyasa Karma at their shala in Chania, then took me down the Samaria Gorge on the Saturday 'rest' day ( I had to take another day off practice afterwards, could hardly stand up the following day).

After a twirl around the table I walk up to the shala and put the camera just inside the door and leave it there for quarter of an hour or so, Manju, Kristina and Nikos working the room ( If anyone in the video is uncomfortable being on my blog or youtube let me know and I'll take it down).

Below is a shot from the second session 'Adjustment clinic, there's Manju, his back towards Nektarios and I.

So, Manju Runs through for or five asana, showing us how he adjusts/assists and then we go off and work with several different partners. One of the great things about Crete is having several participants come back year after year which means that along with Kristina, Nikos and Manju himself there is plenty of guidance. Again the relaxed atmosphere that Manju engenders means that nobody seems shy to call out "Manju, Manju" across the room to double and triple check our adjustments.

As above if your not comfortable appearing in the any of these photos or videos please let me know and I'll either edit you out or pull the video.

After the adjustments Manju presents a couple of Pranayama's and then we chant Shanti mantras for fifteen, twenty minutes or so before finishing off for the day with Q and A. 

Back to the "relax" theme, I feel particularly laid back this time around, asked all my 'intense, ardent,  questions' last year and where in the previous year I was wanting to bring my 'best practice ever', not in the sense of showing off so much ( had been out of action with kidney stones for a couple of months before the TT) but to have my 'best practice', adjusted, assisted, tidied up. This year I'm happy to bring my 'usual' practice, however it is. Currently that's half a series ( primary and 2nd split over four days) as I breath pretty slowly and can't think of a single reason why I should treat the breath in dandasana any different than that in  kapo or the vinyasas in between the asana. I'd rather do half a series and savour each posture the same along with standing and finishing than rush through a posture or two.

With the early start the break in between and the long early afternoon session it eels like a long day, however, five hours of yoga practice is, it seems, still not enough for some, my class Vinyasa Krama Tuesday well attended.

Maha Mudra in My Tuesday Vinyasa Krama Class

And there's xtra class tonight on the Vinyasa Krama shoulder stand and headstand sequences (supine and inverted sequences), very similar to what we see on the classic Krishnamacharya video from 1938, back when he was teaching the young Pattabhi Jois,

Here's a ink to my previous post for more on my Workshop in London at StillPoint Yoga Sunday September 7th 10-18:00

The History of Krishnamacharya and Ashtanga 
Intro to Vinyasa Krama inc. backbending, inversions, pranayama, pratyahara and meditation 


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from Kalama sutra, translation from the Pali by Bhikkhu Bodhi

from Kalama sutra, translation from the Pali by Bhikkhu Bodhi This blog included. "So, as I said, Kalamas: 'Don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, "This contemplative is our teacher." When you know for yourselves that, "These qualities are unskillful; these qualities are blameworthy; these qualities are criticized by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to harm & to suffering" — then you should abandon them.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.

"Now, Kalamas, don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, 'This contemplative is our teacher.' When you know for yourselves that, 'These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness' — then you should enter & remain in them. Buddha - Kalama Sutta