Conference notes


Tapah-Svadhyaya-Ishvarapranidhanani-Kriyayogah (Patanjali Yoga Sutra, II.1.)

Tapas means austerity. It means to lead a disciplined life.

Yoga practitioners (don’t talk about yogis) should get up early in the morning, follow a vegetarian diet and get early to bed. You should be able to maintain the discpline.

If you party in the night, you will struggle in your practice, because your mind is not focused.

Why should we follow strictly these guidelines? The mind is either focused or distracted. By an undisciplined life, the mind gets distracted and it’s impossible to go further in the asana practice.

Svadhyaya – selfstudy. You do your practice, teacher teaches and you think the whole day what your learned from him. You do your own research. Yoga books and yoga knowledge help us, but the student should put effort to understand. You can study and never understand even if you come 30 years to Mysore if you just hang around after your asana practice.

Asana brings calmness to the mind. If it’s not done properly, can bring aggressivity. We study the three limbs, Yama, Niyama, Asana to get rid of the disorders of the mind. That’s the purpose of doing asanas.

Ishvara Pranidhanani – Surrender to the Divine. Difficult for many people. When this is established, it’s Kriya Yoga. When practiced and established, you can go to Samadhi. When you surrender, nothing can hurt you. You become part of the Divine.

We think we are great and that’s why it’s difficult to surrender. The ‘I’ is always first.  When the ‘I’ is greater than yoga, the problems start. We act like we are everything even if we are just a tiny dot in this universe. Think someone is above us – Supreme God.

You should follow 4 things (when ready for Pranayama), Yama, Niyama, Asana and Pranayama, then automatically the rest (of Ashtanga) will happen. Dhyana (meditation) – you can see people doing workshop advertizing with pictures where outside they are like Buddha, but inside the mind is running. 😀


Q1:  How to develop faith? When I practice at home I don’t feel so inspired. It would be nice if something happened, but don’t believe anything happens through my practice.

A: You just do your practice. Your duty is to do. Fruit will come. God gives.

By coming to Mysore makes changes in you. It’s already an effort itself. If you don’t believe in this practice, try not practicing for a month and you’d understand the value of the practice.

Q2:  How to maintain spirituality if you’re not spiritual?

A: You are spiritual, but you don’t know it. You have to build a correct foundation. If the foundation is not correct, also the spiritual practice will tumble.

Spirituality has nothing to do with religion. Religions started often like this. You believe someone else’s experience instead of finding it inside of yourself. Fundamentally we are spiritual. Many things disturb us so that we don’t realize that. The change that comes through yoga is that first everything seems to be outside of us and after we find everything inside.

There are yogis in all the religions as there are non-yogis in yoga.

Spirituality is like growing a flower. You need to nourish the ground and the flower will blossom. In yoga you nourish with Yama, Niyama, Asana.

When you have children, educate them to respect the mother, the father, teachers, others and you become spiritual. It’s more spiritual than going to the temple and then do bad things after.

Q3: How do you share the experience of yoga with someone who doesn’t believe in God?

A: By practice. Once people come to yoga, they’ll come to know the spirituality. At least 30%-40% of them.

Q4: Do we need to do advanced asanas to reach Moksha?

A: No. Proper understanding is needed. Advanced asanas not a guarantee. It’s more how you do your practice that counts. You can have Dhyana state when doing asanas. Someone can be very flexible and so can do asanas easily, but the mind is not there. It’s not yoga.

Q5: Should we count in the practice?

A: Counting is important to know the Vinyasa.

Q6: So many asanas, some are stronger than others. In Yoga Mala Guruji speaks about Sirsasana and you seem to put a lot of importance on back bending.

A: You do so much forward bends, so it’s important to compensate that.

Q7: What should be the room temperature for the practice?

A: You must do efforts in asana practice to bring sweat from inside. If the sweat comes effortlessly (heated room), no use. It only dehydrates you and makes you weak.

Q8: Can you say something about the lifestyle business?

A: People learn 15 days in teacher training and then they say: “I’m a yoga teacher.” They are spoiling yoga and the name of yoga. How many of those “teachers” are dedicated to yoga? How many of them dedicated their whole life to yoga? These people give bad fame to yoga. It’s about Sa-tu-dirghakala-nairantaryasatkarasevito-drdhabhumih (Patanjali Yoga Sutra I.14.). You have to practice long time without interruption and with devotion.

Some people do many workshops with different teachers and then they put this list on their website. From yoga’s point of view not good to do different workshops. Do the same thing and maintain the dignity.

Students can feel the teacher’s energy. If the foundation of the teacher is not good, whatever they teach, is not good.  If you don’t practice, how can you teach others?

Q9: If yoga increases sensitivity and perception, how does it not weaken oneself?

A: You have to think and find what is good for you. The strength and perception comes through practice. It’s a process. It comes by time. You will have better clarity and understanding. If it doesn’t happen, your efforts are wrong.

2013-12-21 17.10.00~ Blossoming in Mysore ~

Narasimha on Kriya Yoga


Sadhana Pada 

Kriya Yoga = Tapah, Svadhyaha, Ishvara Pranidhana

2. sutra: Samadhibhavanarthah klesatanukaranarthasca

The practice means culturing the body, the nervous system, the mind, the emotions to become an evolution orientated system.  You control the growth. The growth has to be positive.

Make yourself grow as you should grow = we are genetically coded and we can either distort or enhance the code. If we don’t understand the system (Svadhyaya is self-understanding), we may harm it. We should be able to allow the genetic code to open, to flower. How do you catalyze so that the genetic information is not distorted? This is your study.

Analytical, emotional, physical, sensorial systems are independent. They have to operate smoothly even when they interact. If in interaction there’s a contradiction, there will be a conflict and the individual suffers. Each system should be flexible. People differ in that some are drawn to distroy themselves, some drawn to grow.

Why Kriya Yoga?

1) To reach Samadhi, internal total stability which is usually dormant. You can also say that Samadhi is alert restfulness. To reach it, you go through many levels. First by Tapah you stop the external input. When external disturbances stop, you become aware of your internal disturbances.

SamadhiBHAVANartha, bhavana means to be stable in a particular state. Here it means the capability of being naturally in Samadhi, no forcing.

2) To reduce the Kleshas which are imbedded in us all. Example: We are never really happy. When we feel sadness, we think it’s never-ending. When we feel happiness, we think it ends quickly.

3. sutra: Avidyasmitaragadvesabhiniveshah kleshah

This is the classification of the reasons of why we’re never happy. These kleshas make us restless, there’s always ups and downs.

Avidya – We suffer when we don’t know how to handle. We suffer also when we don’t know what all our body and intelligence can do. We don’t want to know. We are afraid to know ourselves. By yoga we gain more CANs than CANTs. Man usually creates routines, timetibles, mental patterns that are safe. This inhibits his full potential.

Asmita – You associate yourself with other things and it makes you restricted in your mind. We are ready to be miserable to fit the society, we try not to show our faults.

Raga – We are attached to material and sensorial things. Out of that the fear that we can’t live without something. Example: you are tired and your friend gives you coffee as a remedy. Next time you feel a little tired, you take coffee again. Or you take coffee even when not tired. Then it becomes more sophisticated. You want a certain kind of coffee with certain milk, sugar…it becomes more complicated and you more attached.

Dvesa – We dislike things that are there. Example: I want to have the body of Mr India. I don’t have that kind of body. I hate my body.

Abhinivesa – Any change creates fear. Coming to India is a big change to a Westerner. A flexible system adapts itself to many new things. In a crucial situation, you will know your attachments (fears).

When the Kleshas disappear, Samadhi comes. Two things happen at the same time. Samadhi is quietude, Kleshas inquietude.

The ideal is to have a flexible system and interaction between the Kleshas. Example: If you are used to get a 8 hour sleep, you might be attached to that. If you can’t get it, you become scared. A flexible system means that you can control it in a situation, e.g. if you need to prepare yourself for an exam, you would work more and sleep less. You can decide, you can adapt. A rigid system can’t.