What is VK?

What are the essentials of Vinyasa Krama that we teach?
1) Do asanas with a number of vinyasas, or variations, in succession. It is the art form of yoga practice. Vinyasa means art, and it involves aesthetic variation within the specified parameters.
2) The basic parameters used in Vinyasa Krama are steadiness of the posture, a calm mind, synchronizing the breath with slow movement of the limbs, and while in the postures, having the mind closely following the breath.

Why practice Vinyasa Krama yoga?

To quote Sri Ramaswami: "Vinyasa Krama Yoga is an ancient practice of physical and spiritual development. It is a systematic method to study, practice, teach and adapt yoga. This Vinyasa Krama (movement and sequence methodology) approach to yogasana (yoga posture) practice is unique in all of yoga. By integrating the functions of mind, body and breath in the same time frame, a practitioner will experience the real joy of yoga practice. Each of the important postures (asanas) is practiced with many elaborate vinyasas (variations and movements). Each variation is linked to the next one by a succession of specific transitional movements, synchronized with the breath. the mind closely follows the slow, smooth, deliberate ujjayi yogic breathing; and the yoking of mind and body takes place with the breath acting as the harness."

What is Kaivalya?

Kaivalya = Absolute freedom from the bondage of matter. The ultimate goal of the Yogi.

Friday, December 9, 2011

"Blissful Experience, Bhakti" *NEW BOOK* from Sri Krishnamacharya's son and daughter!

Blissful Experience, Bhakti
Quintessence in Indian Philosophy
Author Name : T.K. Sribhashyam,
Co-Author Name : Alamelu Sheshadri,
Binding : Paperback
10 Digit ISBN : 8124606145
13 Digit ISBN : 9788124606148
Edition : 1st edition
Year : 2012
Pages : xxiv, 336 p.
Bibliographic Details : 10 b/w photographs; Glossary; Bibliography; Index
Size : 23 cm
Weight (approx.) : 550 gm
Price : $ 24
About The Book

Bhakti-yoga is seen as the direct path to perfection that leads to the very heart of religious consciousness. Ramanuja's concept of bhakti (devotion) emphasised the practice of self-surrender through which a person realises his personality, strengths and weaknesses, and hidden powers. Bhakti, for him, acts as a link between mortals and the Ultimate Reality.

This book examines the views of Vishishtadvaita of Ramanuja on bhakti and prapatti (self-surrender). It studies in-depth the meaning of God, the soul and the Supreme Soul, and the world; the concept of bhakti; the different stages of bhakti referring to numerous sources that include the Vedas, the Bhagavad-Gita, the Upanishads and the Puranas. It focuses on Ramanuja's teaching of bhakti, examining his philosophy in general and his sevenfold practice, Sadhana Saptaka to generate bhakti that expounds the qualities and significance of discrimination for viveka, freedom from sensual attachment or anger for securing vimoka, repeated reflection of God, performance of religious duty for inner mental strength, development of ethical virtues, freedom from despair and freedom from excessive joy. It understands the relevance of symbols in devotion and examines nature and use of symbols in Buddhism and Hinduism. The scholarly study discusses the importance and cultivation of peaceful emotions, and need for prayer and dietary regulations in devotion.
Book Contents

Life Sketch of Our Father Sri T. Krishnamacharya
Benediction by B.K.S.Iyengar
List of Illustrations
1. Introduction

Lord Rama's Disappointment
The Soul
God and the World
Concept of Soul and Supreme Soul, Atma and Paramatma
God and the Soul
The Aim of DevotionWhat Does Man Achieve in Devotion?
The Supremacy of Devotion

2. Concept of Bhakti
3. Stages of Bhakti

Different Stages of Bhakti
Four Stages of Approach

Salokya -- Samipya -- Sarupya -- Sayujya

Stages of Bhakti in Narayaniyam

4. Ramanuja's Teaching of Bhakti

Ramanuja's Views in a Nutshell
Ramanuja's Teaching Through His Life and Works
Two Types of Human Pursuit
Surrender to God
The Theology of Ramanuja
Universality of God
Fruits of Self-surrender

5. The Sevenfold Discipline of Ramanuja (Sadhana Saptaka)

Ramanuja's Philosophy
Importance of Means and Practical Examples
Sevenfold Practice, Sadhana Saptaka
Discrimination (Viveka)
Means to Purify the Mind, the Intellect, the Ego and the Cit
Freedom from Desires (Vimoka)Constant and Uninterrupted Spiritual Practice (Abhyasa)
Good Action (Kriya)
Virtuous Qualities and Conduct (Kalyana Guna)
Truthfulness (Satya)
Straightforwardness or Sincerity (Arjava)
Compassion to Living Beings, Deep Sympathy (Daya)
Harmlessness, Non-violence (Ahimsa)
Gift of Duly Earned Belongings (Dana)
Satvika Dana
Rajasika Dana
Tamasika Dana
Non-covetousness (Anabhidaya)
Cheerfulness (Anavasada)
Non-exultation (Anuddharsha)

6. Value of Uttering God's NameImportance of God's Name
Relation Between Name and Form or Image
The Inherent Power of the Name (Nama-shakti)
The Means

7. Symbolism in Devotion, Pratika Upasana

Importance of Symbols
The Relevance of Symbols in Devotion
Symbols in Buddhism
Symbols in Hinduism

Pranava (OM) -- Shri Cakra -- Tantra -- Mandala -- Svastika -- Shiva-Linga -- Shalagrama or Shaligrama

Symbolic form of Worship (Pratika)
Worship Through Meditation

8. Peaceful Emotion Shanta Rasa

Birth of Human Emotions
Peaceful Emotion (Shanta Rasa)
Shanta Rasa and Bhakti

9. Image in Devotion

Need for Images in Devotion
How Images Develop Bhakti
Greatness of Images in Spiritual Evolution

10. Adoration of God (Prayer)

Adoration of God

Sound is in Fact the Breath of Brahman -- Pranava and Pranava Japa -- Rama Nama Japa
Mahatma Gandhi's view on Rama Nama

11. Dietary Regulations in Devotion: Ahara Niyama

Praise of Food (Annastuti)
Efficacy of a Proper Diet
Mind is Made of Food
The Quality of Mind Depends upon the Quality of Food
The Twofold Classification of Creatures
The Concept of Anna in the Upanishads
Chandogya Upanishad on Food
Prasada, the Divine Food

The Six Tastes of Food in Ayurveda

Sweet (Madhura) -- Sour (Amla) -- Salty (Lavana) -- Bitter (Katuka) -- Pungent or Spicy (Tikta) -- Astringent (Kashaya)

The Concept of Ojas
The Concept of Personality in Hindu Philosophy
Factors that Influence Man's Personality
Birth and Development of Different Emotions
Vegetarianism and Non-vegetarianism in Hinduism
Scriptural Awareness of Animals
The Three Types of Food According to Bhagavad-Gita
Food Regulations in Yoga
Disciplines in Food Habits
Ramanuja on Food Regulations
Vedanta Deshika on Food Regulations
Forbidden Foods
Foods to be Avoided
Eating Regulations (Bhojana Niyama)
Indications for Daily Life
A Note of Caution