Every time I take another peek at Krishnamacharya’s Yoga Makaranda, I find something peculiar, intriguing and enjoyable.

Today I notice how the yoga guru and accomplished scholar puts yoga in the context of other Indian traditions. From Chapter 2

From ancient times, while doing veda adhyayanam, the svaras (the notes udatta (elevated), anudatta (grave) and svarita (middle/articulated) in the aksharas (syllables) of the vedas are observed and mastered without fail;

This is how that distinct sound of vedic chanting is made. He continues:

in music, the rules of sruti (division of octave), layam (metre or time), thrtam and anuthrtam are followed;

These are the basic structural elements of Indian music.

in mantraupasana, the anganyasa, karanyasa, sariranyasa, kalaanyasa, matrukanyasa, jivanyasa, tattvanyasa are experienced and understood.

These are some elements of how to make one’s mantra practice most effective – something I would love to learn more about.

Similarly in yogasana, pranayama and the mudras, the vinyasas handed down from ancient times should be followed.

It feels like there was very little ‘freestyle’ in the Guru’s vinyasa, instead a very distinct, structured, master craftsmanship. ‘Being traditional’, it seems to me, is about more than just following the rules, but learning the system thoroughly.

Much gratitude to all those who have made these texts accessible to us.


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