June 18, 2018
Yoga Makaranda by Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya
The book was written in 1934 by Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya - the renowned Father of Modern Yoga. This was translated from its original source - free from all the revisions made and added/subtracted by modern-day yoga teachers about yoga. A second book, Yoga Makaranda II (YMII), came later as a sequel, continuing where the first book left off.
This blog is a book summary/discourse as I read it - starting in Dharamshala, India. It serves as my reference and perusal. By writing about the book, I also ensure that I understood it as I practised it.
It's practical for me to simply break down the book into bite-size chunks according to topic as listed below. If I come across an important word that is not given its own chapter, I search for all instances of this word within the book and create a new topic about this word.
- Understanding Yogic Chakras Apr 26, 2020
- 20 Essential Mudras by T. Krishnamacharya Oct. 6, 2019
- Prana Vayu (Pranic Wind) Sep 20, 2019
- Yoga Makaranda II: Inversions Oct 7, 2016
8 Limbs of Yoga
- yama - moral ethics, develops compassion for all living beings
- ahimsa - don't harm anyone
- satya - speak your truth
- asteya - do not steal
- brahmacharya - no sex
- kshama - don't be reactive
- dhrthi - mental fortitude
- daya - good intentions
- arjavam - honest state of mind
- mitahara - don't fill-up the stomach, half full is good
- sauca - be clean, inside and out
- niyama - moral ethics, dissolves anger, hatred and promotes peace and tranquility for self
- tapas - mental equanimity in the face of struggle; between doing it easy and hard, choose to do it the hard way
- santosha - maintain balance of the mind - peaceful mind
- asthikya - acknowledge god
- daana - charity without expectation of return
- isvara puja - be devoted to your god
- siddhanta vakya sravana - study the sacred books
- hri - own up to your mistakes and don't it again
- mathi - devotion to god
- japa - recite the mantras
- homam - spiritual rituals
- asana - the physical yoga postures, develops body strenth, balance, flexibility, endurance and optimization. Enhances good blood circulation which unblocks nadis for efficient energy flow. When doing asanas, do the right side first then the left side, otherwise, the benefit will not reach all parts of the body. Inhalation should be as long as exhalation when doing asanas.
- pranayama - practice of breath regulation, develops long life, health and power, good blood circulation and bone strength for good health. For fat people, practise rechaka khumbaka (breath-hold after exhalation). For thin people, practise puraka khumbaka (breath-hold after inhalation)
- pratyahara - concentration of the indriyas (senses). The senses are controlled/restrained from wandering about.
- dharana - controlling the mind for ekagrata (one-pointedness). With that, all the senses can be controlled and siddhis (psychic powers) developed
- dhyana -
- samadhi -
It's confusing when there are inconsistencies between the 2 books:
- Kandasthana - this is a ball of flesh where 72000 nadis converge. One part says it is located between the navel and the genitals. But in another section, it says it's located in the muladhara cakra.
- Chakras - In Yoga Makaranda I, 10 chakras are listed. In Yoga Makaranda II, only 7 chakras are listed - the surya, manas and brahmaguha chakras are omitted.
- Muladhara Chakra - In YMI, he Muladhara Chakra is next to the rectum towards the spinal tip. In YMII, it's between the root of the reproductory organs and anus.
- yoga nidra - yogic sleep (yoga nidra) is sattva guna (satvic quality), 1000x better than normal sleep (tamasic)
I took the effort to list down the bibliography because this is a great source of pre-modern yoga (pre-1934) where tradition followed a lineage. This was before Yoga Alliance took over, before Lululemon became a fad and before yoga became big business.
- Rajayoga Ratnakaram
- Hathayoga Pradipika
- Yoga Saravalli
- Yoga Balaprathipikai
- Ravana Nadi (Nadi Pariksa of Ravana)
- Bhairava Kalpam
- Sri Tattvanidhi
- Yoga Ratnakarandam
- Mano Narayaneeyam
- Rudrayameelam (Rudrayamalam)
- Atharvana Rahasyam vii
- Patanjala Yogadarshanam
- Gheranda Samhita
- Narada Pancharatra Samhita
- Satvata Samhita
- Siva Samhita
- Dhyana Bindu Upanishad
- Chandilya Upanishad
- Yoga Shika Upanishad
- Yoga Kundalya Upanishad
- Ahir Buddhniya Samhita
- Nada Bindu Upanishad
- Amrita Bindu Upanishad
- Garbha Upanishad
I haven't read all of Yoga Makaranda, but so far, I can say it's not an easy read - in part because of the translantion, the inconsistencies (10 chakras in YMI while only 7 chakras in YMII), the ambiguities and the sheer believabality of some claims ("do this pranayama and not even death can touch you", or "once you can hold your breath for 1.5 hours..."). Even though some texts might sound hyperbolic, I defer to A.G. Mohan who once did an eyeroll when TK claimed to know 64 variations of Sirsasana. To prove his point, TK actually performed all of the asanas. TK doesn't seem to be one who would embellish a story or a claim.
I consider this a credible bridge between pre-modern yoga (traditional yoga) and coming-of-age yoga (that is mostly asana-heavy), that can get one deeper into the practice. The section about Prana Vayu alone has taken me months to get a foot-hold on. But then there are the other disciplines - pranayama, mudras, chakras, etc. Just on this book alone, you can be established in the practice already.
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Dharamshala (city), India
Travel Tips for Dharamshala
- short power outages frequently happen during the day
How to get to Dharamshala from Rishikesh by bus
- Bus - Rishikesh to Dharamshala is 449 kms. The usual route is to go to Haridwar and take the State transport buses to Lower Dharamshala, but it's less hassle to get a bus from Rishikesh that go all the way up to McLeod Ganj - a little more money (INR 1150) but worth it specially if you a carry bulky pack. You will leave Rishikesh 4pm and arrive in Dharamshala the following day (you save one night lodging) at 7am.
How to get to New Delhi Airport from McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala by bus
- Bus From McLeod Ganj bus station, take a semi-sleeper a/c overnight bus, INR 1000, 11.5 hours (7pm to 6:30am) straight to Kashmiri Gate Train Station in New Delhi.
- walk to Kashmiri Gate (no need to ride a tuktuk)
- take the Yellow Line towards Huda City but get off at New Delhi Station (INR 16)
- From New Delhi Station, take the Airport Metro Train (INR 60) and get off at the airport
Travel Tips for India
- e-VISA - visa on arrival is no longer done. Tourists should apply online for an e-VISA. Tourist e-VISA for 60 days = US$51.25 (including surcharges, non-refundable). NOTE: e-VISA is only honored in 25 designated airports and 5 designated seaports (Cochin, Goa, Mangalore,Mumbai,Chennai). You CANNOT do a land crossing using an e-VISA.
- US$1 = Indian Rupee (INR) 67.18
- nearly every food served is spicy...there is no escaping it
- other travel destinations in India
- always good to have an Indian SIM. It's handy to get wifi in some cafes
General Travel Tips
- avoiding scams - as a general rule, I ignore the touts or anyone I don't know who call out to me. The calling comes in many forms - "Hi! Where are you from?", "Excuse me! Excuse me!", "Where are you going?". I don't look them in the eye and I remain non-verbal with them. If you reply to them, you just gave them an 'in' to hound you. In order not to look rude, I smile and wave the 'not interested' hand to them, without looking at them.
- power bank - hand-carry your power bank. Do not check it in. You can be called in when you are already inside the plane to go all the way to the loading dock so you can personally remove the power bank...and chances are, you'll have to surrender it to them. And you might delay the plane departure!
India Blogs by TheLoneRider
- 16 Days in McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala: Goodbye India June 23-July 8, 2018
- Peoplescape of Dharamshala, India June 14 - July 8, 2018
- Visiting the Tibet Museum June 27, 2018
- In Search of Tibetan Yoga (Yantra Yoga) June 25, 2018
- Conducting Yoga Classes at Pema Thang Guest House, Dharamshala, India June 24 - July 8, 2018
- Life in Upper Bhagsu, Dharamshala June 16-23, 2018
- Trekking to Naddi from Upper Bhagsu, Dharamshala June 19, 2018
- Matters of the Heart Jun 17, 2018
- A First Timer in Dharamshala Jun 14, 2018
- 29 Hours in New Delhi Airport July 9-10, 2018
- Meditation with Shirly Pnina at Lodi Garden, New Delhi May 15, 2018
- A First-Timer in New Delhi, India May 12-17, 2018
- A 26-Day Mini-Life in Rishikesh May 18 - June 13, 2018
- Peoplescape of Rishikesh May 18 - June 13, 2018
- Rafting the Ganga River with Greg Goldstein June 1, 2018
- White Water Rafting on Ganga River, Rishikesh May 25, 2018
- Satsang (spiritual discourse) by Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati May 21, 2018
- Ganga Aarti (devotional fire ritual) at Parmarth Niketan Ashram May 21, 2018
- Bouncing Back into Yoga in Rishikesh May 21, 2018
- Exploring Rishikesh, India May 18, 2018
- India e-VISA snag May 9, 2018
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