who said yoha


this is a rant.

my grandfather learnt exercises from T. Krishnamacharya for over 15 years.


Krishnamacharya stands for the k, in the krishnamacharya yoga mandiram. bks iyengar, pattabi jois and many of the nouveau experts have followed the acharya teachings and methods

krishnamacharya was the man who used taught and tailor-made asanas to heal and strengthen the body. He taught my grandfather pranayama and breath control. grandfather was able to HAPPILY live with psoriasis, epilepsy and weak lungs — because he practised twice a day the techniques taught by his teacher.

next is ma. also a student of krishnamacharya. she had polio when she was a baby; when she was an adult she learned asanas from the acharya to tone her feet and hands an body — and she was able to safely deliver one baby girl in 1978 — namely me.

a grateful ma, requested Krishnamacharya to give the baby a name- and so he did– and i get my offline name from the acharya.

so with all this background whirling — we are a little clued in about patanjali and his thoughts.

[ i can sit in padmasana for half an hour. ma does pranayama twice a day and rarely gets colds. grandfather used to be doing the headstand [sheershasana] when i dropped into visit him ]

i remember that grandfather used to froth at the mouth when anyone said ‘are you doing yoga’.

NO, he used to thunder, it’s an asana. it’s only one eighth of what is really yoga …

and he would launch into an explanation – of the other 7 parts of yoga…

yama, he said, which had ethical standards like truthfulness and non-covetousness

niyama, he said, which included cleanliness and surrender to God

asana, which he thundered, is being mistaken for yoga. the battery of exercises like padmasana, vajrasana, sarvangasana

pranayama or breath control

pratyahara or cultivating a sense of detachment

dharana or concentration

dhyana – meditation

and samadhi — a stage of transcending the self

all these yoked together make yoga, he would say.
a person who was learning yoga would necessarily have to follow all the limbs of what it means to do yoga

cut to 2013

one eager mum asked the principal of firstborn’s school to have ‘yoga’ included in the curriculum. the principal declined saying there were injuries from the last time when it was not taught correctly. and without a great and watchful instructor there is no point going ahead…

[awesome. i thought to myself quietly. but it’s not yoga … it’s asana]

my niece has a thigh swelling everytime after her school yoga class. her mum was thinking of bringing it up to the yoga teacher. [not yoga teacher, i thought to myself quietly — asana teacher]

and my friend b, was telling me that her health took a beating after a yoga retreat for 10 days in south india. instead of making her stronger it did the very opposite… she confided in me. she later found herself vulnerable to a serious health issue when she resumed work after the retreat. [an asana teacher isnt a yoga teacher, i thought quietly]

only when i heard an ‘expert’ pronoucing it as ‘yoha’ on the radio did i really sit down and key this 500 word long piece. read it at leisure… and be careful where you sign up to learn asanas.

yoga is a different plane of thought, transcending thought. asanas are exercises for the body.


25 responses »

  1. “Yoha”. Your self-control is commendable, I would have popped a vein.
    Yeah, I wondered about the origin of your lovely, but unusual name. Now I shall rest easy.

  2. This is something in the lines of what our Yoga sir at work told us. Yoga is not about the physical exercise (it is a part but its only one part!) its about adopting to a way of life, its more spiritual than physical. Seriously, someone called it ‘yoha’!!!

    PS – Makes me really curious about your name though 🙂

    • paramahansa yogananda writes exceptionally lucid explanation for the western mind in his autobiography of a yogi, you could take a dekko

  3. and what do you think of Asana Andiappan? Been wanting to take his classes, still haven’t gotten around to it.

    ps: looooooong time lurker, first time commentor!!

  4. Learnt something today. Have heard this before but it was not explained as clearly. Me thinks h gets replaced with g in Tamil so vice versa should be true? no? ok.

  5. Well, I thgt I’ve been learning ‘Ashtanga Yoga’ the past 6 months. Looks like am nowhere close! It’s the asanas. Feels good doing the asanas though!

    • you should read the autobiography of a yogi… there are a few very clearly written pages on what yoga is

  6. and i pop several veins here in blighty when they bleddy call it ‘twisting your body into pretzel shapes and then trying to breathe’. idiots.

  7. 30 days (not 10) Can’t leave the place except on fridays the off day
    200 people from 20 different countries at least 5 TTC every year (Y-TeacherTrainingCourse) in 4 different locations (Charging around 20K for Indians and around 3K USD for Non-Indians)
    So far they’ve churned out 30,000+ Y-Teachers
    6 am to 10 pm (Mediation twice daily to start and end … on the sleepiest part of the day)
    Home work to complete after 10 pm
    Asana classes for around 2 hours twice daily
    Philosophy, Anatomy class etc. in between
    2 meals daily (10 am and 6 pm & herbal tea with fruits around 1pm) … no onion garlie (less spice / spiceless)
    Karma Yoga for an hour – we end up cleaning in batches (the entire space)
    Attendance marked 4 times daily
    Final exam & Certificate (Initiation, Convocation combined with rituals / Pooja)

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