Krishnamacharya's Yogasanagalu (1941) (translation project)

On this page an intro to the project with links


The ongoing translation of the Yogasanagalu

First edit of the full text can be downloaded for personal study from here.
(future edits to come perhaps with some of my own notes on the text)

First draft available for free download for personal study from here


My sincerest gratitude to Satya for doing all the hard work of translating, to Sraddha for sending me the original text back in 2010 and to Quique for formatting the asana table.

Intro to the project

Krishnamacharya wrote his book Yoga Makaranda in 1934 in the Kannada language, the Tamil edition was published in 1938. 

Krishnamacharya's Yogasanagalu was first published in the Kannada language in 1941, the 3rd edition was published in 1972 

K. Pattabhi Jois wrote his book, Yoga Mālā, in Kannada in 1958, and it was published in 1962, but was not published in English until 1999

Yogasanagalu along with Krishnamacharya's other book Yoga Makaranda (downloadable HERE), was originally written in Mysore while Krishnamacharya was teaching at the Mysore Palace and while Sri K Pattabhi Jois was his student.


The ongoing complete translation below will be updated as new pages come in.

Many many thanks to Satya Murthy for the continuing translation.




I did not attempt a detailed review of all ancient yoga treatises since it will make this book very long and perhaps cause boredom to the readers.  Please forgive.  This writing is mainly based on the following texts:
Upanishads related to yoga
Learning’s from my Guru and self-experience

About the Second Edition

This is the second edition.  Added additional text to one section.  I trust that by reading this, readers and practitioners will be able to overcome their doubts.  With a strong conviction, I suggest and request that teachers will be able to teach the essence of yoga to their students.

T. Krishnamacharya

Third Edition

There may be many forms of Yoga, but the most important yoga is the one that serves not to lose one’s Dharma of self or Dharma of the nation.

This was said by Bhagavatpatanjai (in Patanjali yogasutras).

Only these two will show the way for people’s life.  Patanjali has explained that the benefits of yoga are mainly these two and can extend from this world into the brighter world.   He also suggested that they are under the control of god, prana and mind.

In addition, those who eat satwik food and practice yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi under the guidance of a guru may be rewarded.  It has been said that in addition to the four objectives of man – dharma, artha, kama and moksha, four additional objectives – god, mind, prana and food are equally important.

The  Maharaja of our Karnataka state, his highness Sri Krishna Rajendra, an enthusiastic yoga advocate having practiced this Patanjala ashtanga yoga for many years under his guru and now wishing that his subjects also benefit from this practice has generously started 1) Maharaja Sanksrit Patha Shala 2) Jaganmohana Palace Sriyogashala 3) Bangalore Sanskrit Patha Shala 4) Mysore Univerisity 4) Chitradurga Sriyogashala and to help with the practice yoga ordered the publication and propagation of “Yogamakaranda”, “Yogasanagalu” and “Yoganjali” volumes in Kannada.

These volumes have been printed in 1) Bangalore Government Press 2) University Publications, Mysore and 3) Private Press.

According to the command of his highness, the first book “Yogamakaranda” has been translated to Tamil and published from Madurai, Tamilnadu.

The author of all these books is also the yoga teacher for his highness.  In order to publish the 3rd edition of the book “Yogasanagalu” and to help men, women, youth, old and patients practice appropriately, I used a new set of photos and expanded and altered many the topics regarding the practice.

About 38 years ago, our Maharaja took interest in propagating yoga and as a consequence of that action, a healthy lifestyle is growing in many countries.  Before this, it was not available in foreign countries.  Even if some books were available, it was not in this practical format.

I want to express deep gratitude and thanks to the officials of the Mysore University which is renowned in all of Karnataka.

Madras Author


NOTE: This English translation is of the 1981 'New and revised edition'

Table of Contents

Foreword V
Introduction IX
First section 1
Second section 23


First section

In order for the citizens of this world to enjoy unrestrained happiness, first their body and organs must be free from disease and be shining with pure energy day by day.

1. Requirements

Brain, neck, chest, lungs, bile duct, excretory system, urinary system, throat, urinary tract, esophagus and rectum etc., are important organs inside the body.

Eyes, nose, ears, tongue and skin are the five sense organs.

Hands, legs, mouth, rectum and reproductive organs are the five organs of action

2. We are seeing what disappeared

In addition, mind is an organ.  Its foundation is in the heart center. Staying in its location, like a light, it spreads all around and performs the function of organs.  There are no external or internal mischievous activities that are not associated with the mind.  Therefore, it is well known as the king of organs.  It is responsible for both happiness and misery in life.  Its stability, peace, and power are required for the upliftment of all humanity.  Most people agree that a stable body and mind are pathways for a happy life.  In order to develop these capacities, historically many systems have been developed and practiced.  Countless hospitals are also working.  Gymnasiums and sports facilities have also spread.  However, there is no deficiency of misery in this world.  We are proposing that the Yoga sadhana is also one such system to develop body organs and mind.

This yoga system is not new.  From ancient times, this system has been practiced by many in Hindustan according to Vedas, Puranas, drawings and temple carvings.

3. Intimation of Gratitude

The fact that citizens happiness and contentment was disappearing due to lack of yoga practice was noticed by his highness Sri Krishnarajendra Wadeyar who has practiced this system for many years and encouraged propagation of yoga system in many countries.  He established a yoga school in Jaganmohan Palace on August 11, 1933 so that a regular yoga practice is available to the public at large.  Our current ruling Maharaja, his highness Sri Jayachamarajendra Wadeyar G.B.E; J.C.S.I. who has been practicing yoga since childhood and who has experienced its benefits is also continuing the support for this yoga shala.

4. Result of Propagation

From the time this yoga shala started to the present, approximately one thousand people have benefited immensely.

5.  Classification

This yoganga sadhana has been divided into three series: power (strength) series, treatment series and the spiritual series.
The power series is further classified into mind and body
The treatment series is divided into kosha (sheath) and Nadi (pulse)
Spiritual is only one


First series requires many yogasanas and some pranayama
Second series needs some easy asanas and three pranayamas
Third series requires pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi
Later a table is shown that includes these.

6. Yogangas

Yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi are the eight steps in the yoga sadhana.

7.  1st Limb: Yama and its inner modules

Non-violence, honesty and truthfulness, non-stealing, Brahmacharya (chastity) and non desire for other’s property.  These are the five Yama’s under the first step of yoganga.

If we continue to practice this in the right way, our conflicts and other evil behaviors will be burnt to ashes from its roots and the author can envisage that such grossness of body and mind can not become reestablished.

8. Fruits of the 1st Limb

Above listed five foundations of the the 1st limb are: Ahimsa, Sathya, Asteya, Brahmacharya-Pativratya, and Aparigraha.  If we start practicing these principles in a small way, diseases related to the body, organs and mind will stop being obstacles to a happy life.  Practicing these will become joyful.

9. 2nd Limb: Niyama and its classification

1. Cleanliness in food, pleasure, sports, bath, body, mind and other activities in both internal and external aspects – this is called purity.

2.  Not feeling jealous of other people’s wealth and not feeling proud compared to other’s poverty, being always cheerful.  This is called contentment.

3. Not feeding our body which carries our life effortlessly with excess fat and performing fast at appropriate times so that the body fat can be decreased, eating moderately and on time.  This is called Tapas.

4. To prevent evil and impediments in life and to gain knowledge one must read vedas, puranas, scriptures, chant holy mantras while ruminating on its meaning and teach others.  This is called Swadhyaya.

5. Who built this tree of universe that has not stopped changing from the very minute (atomic) times undergoing many beautiful and wonderful changes;  Who must eat fruits bearing from this tree?  Why is that all are not eating these fruits equally without differences?  What is the reason?  Could someone like us plant another tree like that?  Why not?  The eternal that does not dry up but continues to give required fruits to the souls.  This creator, is he in front of us or not?  If not how does this work?  Without doubt we all realize that work does not happen without a reason. Therefore, one who is giving us this variety of unlimited fruits without end in this tree of universe must be immensely powerful, with unlimited knowledge, unfathomable, have infinite empathy and having many other amazing qualities.  His existence is documented in all vedas and puranas.  Although he exists, the reason we are not able to witness, we have to admit is our deficiency in body, faculty and mind.  Our ancestors called and praised him as “Paramatma and Sarveshvara.”  We have to resolve that we will practice sadhana to be able to see Paramatma and offer to Sarveshvara with great devotion our spiritual practices, without desire for any benefits. This is called Ishwarapranidhana.

10. Benefits of the 2nd Limb

From the above five, the first one will purify body and mind, remove environmental flaws, second will give mental happiness/contentment at all times, third one will reduce bad fat
from the body making it swift and light, fourth one will make you realize Jeevatma, Paramatma, and the essense of the universe, fifth one removes ego and selfishness.  In today’s state, we need all of the above five that are elements of the 2nd limb.

11. 3rd Limb and Authority

Third step is the asana.  People who make sincere efforts to practice the first and second steps (limbs) as much as possible, no matter what the conditions  are will have the authority to go into the 3rd step that is “Asana.”

Depending on how strong one practices detailed aspects of the 2nd and 3rd limbs, so fast will they experience the corresponding benefits. In yoganga, no practice will go to waste.  However, one should practice daily at an appropriate time with devotion, sincerity and respect and without going against how it was taught by the guru.

12. Caution

Especially those who want to start practicing the two yoganga’s “Asana” and “Pranayama” without following the aforementioned niyamas, following drawing charts and practicing on  their own freewill will not receive benefits but may also be responsible for tarnishing the name and bringing disrepute.  Unlike other practices, yoganga sadhana not only nourishes muscles.  It benefits body, musculature, and mind and according to the age of the practitioner improves the active energy, extends life, eliminates diseases, provides stability of the mind, comprehension of subtle reality and self knowledge.

13. Review

Body exercises can be divided into two types: Sarvanga Sadhana and Anga Sadhana.

The system which provides vigorous motion to one section of limbs while providing limited or no activities to other section is called Angabhaga Sadhaka.  I haven’t expanded on this since the current generation of youth may well imagine the examples that I am referring to.

Examples of well known body exercises that are classified under the Sarvanga Sadhaka are: Talinkhana, Garudi, etc. From these body exercises one can achieve more than necessary strong and bulky muscles resulting in impaired brain function and in these individuals respiration (inhalation and exhalation) will be irregular, but never even.


  1. In yoganga sadhana we don’t see these (above mentioned) irregularities and with regular practice all organs will become strong.  How is that?  When practicing asanas, we need to maintain deep inhalation and exhalation to normalise the uneven respiration through nasal passages.

  2. In yoga positions where eyes, head and forehead are raised, inhalation must be performed slowly through the nostrils until the lungs are filled.  Then the chest is pushed forward and puffed up, abdomen tightly tucked in, focusing the eyes on the tip of the nose, and straighten the back bones tightly as much as possible.  This type of inhalation which fills the lungs signifies Puraka.
  3. In yoga positions where eyes, head, forehead, chest and the hip are lowered, we have to slowly exhale the filled air.  Tucking in tightly the upper abdomen, the eyes must be closed.  This type of exhalation is called Rechaka.
  4. Holding the breath is called Kumbhaka.
  5. We have to discontinue laughter and shouting hard.  Reason?  Lungs become weak and you will start losing prana shakti.
  6. Do not hold the urge to urinate or defecate before, during or after practice.  Holding will lead to putrefacation of excreta internally therefore leading to diseases.
  7. Before practice and immediately afterwards no type of food must be taken.
  8. Foods that are very hot, sour, salty, bitter and smelling bad must be given up.
  9. Liquor, smoking, women (outside of marriage), eating fire must be rejected by the practitioner.
  10. Private parts must be held with appropriate attire during practice.
  11. It is said that these Niyamas must be followed by the yoganga practitioners in Patanjali yogashastra, Hathayoga pradipika and many other texts is mainly for our benefit and not for our misery. By practicing these Niyamas, our ancestors used to live without too much worry and have brought enormous fame and glory to the country of Bharata.

The art of yoga which had been in hibernation for some reason, has seen a resurrection due to encouragement by some very important people and it is the responsibility of the young boys and girls to make it a success.  Unlike other practices, yoga practice does not require spending money on various apparatus. Unnecesssary food or drinks are not required.  Expensive clothing and attire are not needed.  Big buildings are not necessary.  Differences in caste, creed, young-old, men-women do not matter.  However, deep desire, faith, courage, perseverence, Satvic (pure) and limited food - these are required.  There is simply no reason why this yoganga sadhana which provides so much benefits and is so simple must be given up by us, impoverished Indians.

While Foreigners have come to the growing yoga shala supported by Sri Maharaja, taken photos of the drawing charts and displaying it in their countries, it is not right that we sit still and do nothing.

Bharata, which is the home of all philosophical/spiritual sciences, we have it our hand to ensure that others don’t become teachers of our youth.  This amazing system is not being practiced along with spiritual sciences with the help of a Guru, but is being abused by some of us is very unfortunate.he number of yogasanas are countless. Although the quote “Asanani cha tavanti yavanto Jeevarashayah” from Dhyanabindupanishat has been widely known, people who keep on saying that there are only eighty four (postures), must be under delusion. Whoever practices yogasanas with appropriate breathing technique will not be bothered by diseases.  Yogasanas that are suitable for obese body, lean body and underweight body have been listed in the yoga shastra texts ( listed in the table coming up).  Some people are saying “yoga practice will lead to a very lean body and pranayama practice can cause madness.”  Respectable people who make such statements, did they get mad by practicing and then got cured by some treatment?  Our youth must ask this question. Some others bring up the dangers to sensationalize the issue. Without proper training and understanding there is danger in everything.  We have to assume that the reason some doctors have an unfavourable view of yoga is that the practice is not currently in vogue.TYogasanas must be only practiced with vinyasas and never without it. Vinyasas from 1 to 7 are equal in all asanas.  Vinyasas create movement in the kosha (sheath), nerve, arteries, muscles and spaces between bones and helps eliminate impurities in these areas.  In addition, muscle tissue develops and becomes strong.
Practicing  yogasanas without vinyasa will make the body lean and emaciated.  Some people who did not learn yoga through a guru and practice without vinyasa have brought bad reputation to yoga  which is very unfortunate.

Information, it is listed in the table below.

Therefore, how many vinysas for asanas? Asana position comes at which vinyasa count?  When do you perform rechanka and puraka?  When to do antah kumbhaka and bahya kumbhaka?  What are its benefits?  For yoga practitioners 
iyoga instructors.  Yoga practitioners may be divided approximately on the basis of body type and the same instructor can teach them. In the same way, practitioners with common disease types may be divided and treated (with yoga). Yoga sadhana is without risk compared to many of the body exercises that require equipment.  Yoganga sadhana must be done standing, sitting, sideways and upside down.
All these types of asanas are given in this edition.  Interested practitioners and instructors must study carefully, practice and teach. Many asanas are also printed for ladies.  From this, we can get an idea of our ancestors behaviour.

Lazy people can not make progress in any work while energetic will not be left behind. India’s cultural and spiritual wealth was not only permeated by speech. The courageous overcome obstacles and practiced.  In this edition, it is once again suggested that yoga sadhana is for people of all ages.

Vinayasas” many people are curious about its secret.  Some others want to know its basis.  I agree.



By making the breath smooth (and long), and by concentration or focussing the mind on the breath, the perfection of the posture is obtained

Please see Patanjala yogasutra and Vyasabhasha (P 2, S 47) *and my notes below

Both type of people (practitioners), be happy (enjoy).

Vachaspathi Mitra in that commentary

“सांसिद्धिकोहिप्रयत्न​ः शरीरधारको न योगांगस्योपदेश्टव्यासनस्य कारनम्।  तस्मात् उपदेश्टव्यासनस्यायमसाधकः विरोधीच स्वाभाविकः प्रयत्नः। तस्य च याध्रुच्छिकासनहेतुतया सननियमोपहंत्यत्वात्॥”“Saamsiddhiko hi prayatnah shariradharako na yogangasyopadeshtavyasanasya kaaranam.  Tasmat upadeshtavyasanasyayamashadhakah virodhi cha swabhavikah prayatnah.  Tasya cha yadruchhikasanahetutayaa sananiyamopahamtyatvat.”

“तसात् उपधिश्टनियमासनम् अभ्यस्यता स्वाभाविकप्रयत्नशैथिल्यात्मा प्रयत्न अस्तेयः नान्यथा उपदिश्टं आसनं सिध्यतीति स्वाभाविकप्रयत्नशैथिल्यं आसनसिद्धिहेतुः।”
“tasmat upadishtaniyamaasanam abhyasyataa svaabhaavikaprayatnashaithilyaatmaa prayatna asteyah naanyatha upadishtam asnam sidhyateeti svaabhavikaprayatnashaithilyam asanasiddhihetuh”

“अनन्ते व्या-नागनायके स्थिरतरपणासहस्रविध्रुतविश्वंबरामंढले समापन्नं चित्तं आसनं निर्वर्तयतीति”“Anante vya-naganayake sthiratarapanasahasravidhrutavishwambaramandale samapannam chittam asanam nirvartayateeti”


II- 47. By relaxation of effort or by a [mental] state-of-balance with reference to Ananta

[A posture] results. With these words the sentence is completed. When efforts cease the posture is completed,so that there is no agitation of the body. Or the mind-stuff comes into a balanced-state with reference to Ananta and produces the posture. (Vyasa) Having stated what the postures are, he tells what are the means of attaining them. 47.By relaxation of effort or by a [mental] state-of-balance with reference to Ananta. A natural effort sustaining the body is not the cause of this kind of posture which is to be taught as an aid to yoga. For if its cause were such, the preaching of it would be purposeless in that it could be naturally perfected. Therefore this natural effort does not accomplish this kind of posture which is to be taught and is contrary [to it]. For in so far as this [natural posture] is the cause of an arbitrarily chosen posture it is the destroyer of the specific kind of posture. Consequently a man, practising the specific posture as taught, should resort to an effort which consists in the relaxation of the natural effort. Otherwise the posture taught cannot be accomplished. Or . . . with Ananta,^ the Chief of Serpents, who upholds the globe of the earth upon his thousand very steadfast hoods, [with him] the mind-stuff comes into a balanced state and produces the posture". (Vachaspati Micra)
*see notes on translation below

Therefore, how many breathings for which asana?  When is inhalation?  When is exhalation? In what way? When body is stretched forward, inhalation or exhalation? What about when you raise your head? To know this mystery and practice in order is called Vinayasa.  These along with the significance of each asana will be discussed in 1 to 32

Second Section


Special Direction

When practicing the above listed yogasanas people with heavy bodies must do more rechaka while people with lean bodies must be doing more puraka.  These are called langhanakriya and brahmanakriya, respectively.

Most important asanas shirshasana, sarvangasana, mayurasana, paschimatanasana and baddha padmasana must be practiced daily without failure.

Other asanas are practiced according to their convenience as people become proficient.

By practicing shirshasana, sarvangasana and thier variations at very early morning, great benefits are obtained.

Those who want to expand intelligence, heart energy and Jnanendriayas (sense organs) must practice these asanas ( shirshasana and sarvangasana) for long periods.

After practicing this, practice 15 minutes of one of the pranayama routines followed by 5 minutes of shavasana, without failure.


There are many types of pranayama.  The special pranavayu kriya sadhana that improves life expectany, brightens prana, corrects inhalation and exhalation from lungs is called “pranayama.”

The radiance that shines on the face and other organs is called prana shakti.  Some people call it as atma shakti.
This radiance seems to disappear from the face and different organs in a person with disease.

We see that the radiance is totally lost in all parts of a dead body.

We need to try to improve this radiance day by day.

The only way to improve this is by the 4th step of yoganga called “pranayama.”

The basis of pranic energy is prana vayu(air).  This is not like the air around us. It is very subtle, with amazing lighting speed like a warm flood of radiance.

This is hidden in the chest cavity.  The cavity is between the two lungs.

The same place is the location of the atma and the antaryami (inner controller). The bright radiance exists because of them.

When its movement is normal, the pulse from the heart is regular and our life is full of hope and joy.

If this is poisoned, our movements become slow and ultimately  becomes stop and go.  Finally the heart and the organs stop working and the body’s radiant brightness disappears. This stage is called death in common language.

To summarize this,

“यावत्प्रानः स्थितो देहे तावज्जीवनमुच्यते”

“Yavatpranah sthito dehe tavajjivanamuchyate”

meaning, our bodies are only alive until the pranavayu and pranashakti takes residence and keep it radiant, once they are lost, there is no life according to people who have experience in yoga shastra.

In order to make this pranavayu and prana shakti always permeate our body, there are three important types of pranayama - 1. Suryabhedana 2. Ujjayi 3. Sheetali

Procedure -


Exhale slowly and deeply through the right nostril (keeping the left nostril closed with the right pinky and ring fingers). After a brief interval, inhale in the same way with the same nostril.  After, hold your breath as per capacity (5 seconds initially) exhale through the left nostril the the same way as described before (close the right nostril tightly with the right thumb and loosen the two fingers on the left side).  Inhalation and retention are same as before.  During retention, both nostrils must be closed by the respective fingers.

Exhalation is “rechaka”, inhalation is “puraka” and retention is “kumbhaka” according to Yoga shastra.  How many rechaka we perform, the same number of puraka and kumbhaka must be performed.  This is Suryabhedana.  Right side puraka, left side rechaka, and no puraka on left side according to some.

This improves pranavayu, pranashakti, knowledge and life expectancy.


Slowly and deeply Inhaling through both nostrils (puraka) while creating a sound in the back of the throat, hold (as per one’s ability) and then exhale (rechaka) through the right nostril.  After this, as before, puraka and kumbhaka and then exhale through the left nostril. Afterwards Puraka.  This increases appetite, improves digestive fire and cleanses the bile ducts.


Folding the tip of the tongue  like a boat and pushing it out about half an inch in front of the puckered lips, keeping it tight as per ability, perform puraka and kumbhaka through the boat shaped tounge.  During kumbhaka, the tongue must be withdrwan inside the mouth. Rechaka procedure is similar to that of Ujjayi pranayama.  

During exhalation (rechaka) phase of the second and third pranayama, hand and finger positions must be held as described in suryabhedana pranayama.

This reduces thirst, heat in the head, chest pain and vertigo.

Three Bandhas

1. Moolabandha 2. Uddiyanabandha and 3. Jaladarabandha.  Bandha means - binding, tying or confining.  When you are practicing the yoganga called pranayama, the central part of the body from the base of the reproductive parts to the neck region must be tied up on our own volition.  Without these three bandhas, full benefits of pranayama can not be achieved for sure.  Therefore, practitioners must do this carefully.

1. Moolabhanda characteristics (in Hatahyogapradipika)

Procedure for binding

पार्श्णिभागेन संपीड्य योनिमाकुंचयद्गुदं
अपानमूर्ध्वमत्क्रुश्य मूलबंधोऽ भिधीयते॥

Parshnibhagena sampidya yonimakunchayeddgudam|
Apanamoordhwamatkrushya moolabhandho bhidhiyate||

Summary: Sit while pressing the perineum with the heel, contract the rectum firmly, withdraw and hold the lower abdomen.

Reason for the name

अधोगतिमपानं वै ऊर्ध्वगं कुरुते बलात्।
आकुंचेन तं प्राहुर्मूलभंदं हि योगिनः॥

Adhogatimapanam vai oordhwagam kurute balat|
Aakunchena tam prahurmoolabhandam hi yoginah||

Summary: This forces the apanavayu to flow upwards rather than down the rectum which can cause weakness. Therefore, this is called Moolabhanda.  According to yogi’s common usage, moola means, the bad vayu (prana)  that can cause the musculature of the lower abdomen to become weak.

Special procedure

गुदं पार्श्ण्या तु संपीड्य पायुमाकुंचयेत् बलात्।
वारं वारं यथा चोर्ध्वं समायति स्मीर​णः॥

Gudam parshrnya tu sampeedya paayumakuchayetat balat|
varam varam yatha chordhwam samayati sameeranah||

Summary: Firmly press the perineum from the heels of both feet, contract the inner rectum tightly, move the lower abdomen back and forth.

Benefits of moolabhanda

प्रानापानौ नादबिंदू मूलभंदेन चैकताम्।
गत्वा योगस्य संसिद्धिं यच्चतो नात्र संशयः॥

praanapanou nadabindu moolabhandena chaikatam|
gatva yogasya samsiddhim yachhato natra samshayah||

Summary: By practicing moolabhanda, pranavayu, apanavayu, hrudayadhwani and veeryabindu are united resulting in yogic benefits.

Special benefits

अपानप्राणयोरैक्यं  क्शयो मूत्रपुरीषयोः।
युवा भवति व्रुद्धोऽपि सततं मूलभंधनात्॥

Apanapranayoraikyam kshayo mootrapurishayoh|
yuva bhavati vruddhopi statam moolabandhanat||

Summary: The union of pranavayu and apanavayu reduces the frequency of urination and defecation.  Those who practice regularly feel youthfulness even in old age.

2. Uddiyanabandha

The basis for its name from Hathayogapradipika-

बद्धो येन सुषुम्नायां प्रानस्तूड्डीयते यतः।
तस्मादुड्डीयनाख्योऽयं योगिभिस्समुदाह्रुतः॥

Baddho yena sushumnayam praanastuddiyate yatah|
Tasmaduddiyanachoyam yogibhissamudahrutah||

Summary: The part of the body when tightly bound makes pranavayu which is the basis of life move in the form of a fine thread along the spinal cord all the way to Brahma randhra (center of brain) within the Sushumna  nadi (channel) is called uddiyanabandha.

Characteristics of Uddiyanabandha

उदरे पश्चिमं तानं नाभेरूर्ध्वं समाचरेत्।
उड्डियाणो ह्यसो बन्धो म्रुत्युमातंगकेसरि॥

Udare paschimam tanam nabheroordhwam samacharet|
Uddiyano hyaso bandho mrutyumatangakesari||

Summary:  Along with the navel, draw in the lower and upper abdomen to press against the
back bones (spine) tightly.  When practicing this, perform a deep rechaka (exhalation) in the utkatasana state, draw in the abdomen tightly holding breath for a little while.  This is like a lion for the intoxicated elephant, meaning the man who performs this has no fear of death. Those who have a big tummy must try to reduce the abdominal fat by performing many asanas and then can practice this. Such (obese) people must develop a solid paschimotanasana practice.  In addition, strong rechaka (exhalation) must also be developed.

Its benefits

उड्डियाणं तु सहजं गुरुणा कथितं सदा।
अभ्यसेत्सततं यस्तु व्रुद्धोऽपि तरुणायते॥

Uddiyanam tu sahajam kathitam sada|
Abhyasetsatatam yastu vruddhopi tarunayate||

Summary: Those who practice this bandha daily according to the teachings of the guru, they will retain youthful vigor even in old age.

नाभेरूर्ध्वमदस्चापि तानं कुर्यात् प्रयत्नतः।
षण्मासमभ्यसेन्म्रुत्युं जयत्येव न संशयः॥

Naabheroordhwamadaschapi tanam kuryat prayatnatah|
Shanmasamabhyasenmrutyum jayatyeva na samshayah||

Summary: Those who practice uddiyanabandha systematically by drawing in the upper and lower abdominal regions tightly so as to touch the back bone will achieve immortality.

3. Jalandharabandha

कंठमाकुंच्य ह्रुदये स्थापयेच्चिबुकं द्रुढं।
बंधो जालंधराख्योऽयं जराम्रुत्युविनाशकः॥

Kantamakucha hrudaye sthapayochhibukam drudam|
Bandho jaalandharachyoyam jaramrutyuvinashakah||

Summary: Bend the neck down, press the chin against the chest and hold tightly - this is called Jalandharabandha. This overcomes old age and death.

Reason for this name

बद्नाति हि सिराजालमधोगामि नभोजलं।
ततो जालंधरोबन्धः कंठदुखौघनाशनः॥

badnati hi sirajalamadhogami nabhojalam|
tato jaalandharobnadah kantaduchoghanashanah||

Summary: The essence of brain is blocked from going down, this is called jalandarabandha.  “Jala” means essense of the brain, a flood of this is called “Jaala” and to hold or bear this is called “jaalandhara”.  The more concentrated this brain essence, greater will be the memory power.

Special benefits

जालंधरे क्रुते बन्धे कंठसंकोचलक्शणे।
न पियूषं पतत्यग्नौ न च वायुः प्रकुप्यति॥

Jaalandhare krute bandhe kantasankochalakshane|
Na piyusham patatyagnou na cha vayuh prakupyati||

Summary: In the practitioner who performs the above described bandha according to the instructions of his guru, brain essence can not be destroyed by the jataragni.  In addition, relief from gas related abdominal bloating is also achieved.

In Pranayama, all three bandhas must be practiced.  After rechaka, one must do jalandharabandha, moolabandha and uddiyanabandha while after puraka, moolabandha and jalandarabandha must be followed without fail during pranayama.

In yogashastra, one must do 320 pranayamas everyday.  This means that it was classfied as 80 in the morning, 80 in the afternoon, 80 in the evening and 80 in mid-night.  Since this is impossible, one can do 80 pranayama in one sitting.  The reason is that now a days, you need to spend more time working to support your life.  Benefits are delayed too.

Rechaka, puraka and kumbhaka when practiced with equal time and equal numbers are called “Samavrutti pranayama.”  

When practiced with variations (increase and/or decrease) in time and numbers it is called “Vishamavrutti pranayama”.

Those who learn it from a Guru will learn to practice properly.

Those who are not proficient in yogasana  will not be able to get expertise in pranayama.

Women who are not pregnant have equal rights as men.  Even in pregnancy they have the right to practice samasankya samavrutti pranayama.  However, after the 6-month of pregnancy,  they can not practice that (samavrutti pranayama) also.  Yoganga applies equally to both men and women except during pregnancy - please remember this.

Some are saying that Nauli, Neti, Vasti, Vajroli, Dhauti, Khechari etc., kriyas are also part of yoganga and propagating such information through various texts is very unfortunate.

Any text that shows a list of yogangas does not say so.  “Hatayogapradipika” lists them under a separate heading “Shatkriyas” and in the same text clearly states that everyone should not practice it.

मेदःश्लेश्माधिकः पूर्वं षटकर्माणि समाचरेत्।
अन्यस्तु नाचरेत्तानि दोषाणां समभावतः॥

Medha shleshmadhikah poorvam shatkarmani samacharet|
Anystu nacharettani doshanam samabhavatah||

Therefore, we should pay attention to this rule and use it only as treatment for certain diseases such as those caused by excess fat.


I am embarassed to say that I don’t have the opportunity to discuss this in detail, but I have discussed this in detail in the 1st section of “Yogamakarnada”.  Therefore, I trust that you will be able to read from there.  Those who have the necessity can learn from respective teachers.  Also, one should learn in the same way the rest of yoganga parts:  pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi.


You know that some people believe and practice these as parts of yoganga.  However, these are not in Patanjaladarshana which is the basis of all yoga. They are also not described in other texts and Upanishads.  These are described only Hathayogapradipika and Gherunda samhita. However, in Hathayogapradipika, although Swatmarama has said

मेधःश्लेष्ह्माधिकःपर्वं षट्कर्माणि समाचरेत्।
अन्यस्तु नाचरेत् तानि दोषाणां समभावतः॥

Medhah shleshmadhikah parvam shatkarmani samacharet।
Anyastu nacharet tani goshanam samabhavatah ॥

Many people continue to practice it without learning the mystery, endangering themselves and bringing bad reputation to yoga which is very unfortunate.


There are six different types: 1. Dhouti 2. Basti  3. Neti  4. Nauli  5. Trataka and 6. Kapala bhati

1. Dhouti kriya

The first dhouti kriya is further classified into four types: Antardhouti, Dantadhouti, Hruddhouti and Moola shodhana.

Antardhouti:  This is again divided into  four types; Vatasara, Varisara, Vahnisara, and Bahishkruta

Vatasara dhouti: Open your mouth like a crow’s beak and slowly inhale the air then close the mouth and swallow, from this wash your stomatch by moving it all around and then release it from the anus or by exhalation.

By doing this once, it is not possible to release the inhaled air through the anal opening.  By  practicing daily for not less than 25 times for several days, then on the 5th try, the air can be released through the anal opening.

Those who can not accomplish this can do it slowly through rechaka.  This will give medium benefit.  This Vatasara dhouti belongs to Rajayoga.

Benefits:  Eliminates diseases of the heart, purifies blood and increases digestive power.

Varisara dhouti:  Continue drinking clean water (cold or warm) until it comes up to your throat.  Swirl the water in the stomach sideways, up and down, pull the stomach in and push it out and release through the anal opening.  This belongs to laya yoga.  This can be mastered by practicing several times a day.

Benefits:  By removing impurities from skeletal joints and knots within the nervous system, causes the body to shine and increases jatara agni (Raja Yoga).

Vahnisara dhouti: The stomach along with the navel must be pulled in so as to touch the spine and then pushed forward again. Repeat this several times.  While pulling the stomach in, practice rechaka kumbhaka and while pushing the stomach forward, practice puraka kumbhaka.  Practice this before eating.  If you want to practice this after eating, wait for atleast three hours.  Otherwise, it is dangerous.  This vahnisara dhouti must be practiced daily by repeating for 24 times (Raja yoga).

Benefits:  This elimiates all types of stomach ailments

Bahishkruti dhouti:  Form your mouth like a crow’s beak and inhale air to your capacity and hold (kumbhaka) as long as possible.  Then exhale throught the nostirils (rechaka).  This rechaka and kumbhaka is only for those who are practicing for the first time. This way, after inhaling,  rechka kumbhaka must be practiced 25 times per day.  This must be practiced in the morning or evening before taking food.  If one keeps practicing this properly, it not only develops the ability to hold breath for long periods (kumbhaka), but also enables to perform rechaka through the anal opening. Once you are able to do this, you should not do rechaka through the nose.  With this practice, one will be able to perform kumbhaka for up to 1.5 hours.  After acquiring this power, stand in water up to navel level and  very carefully and cautiously push out through the anal opening, “Shakti Nadi” (in the form of a big bag  that spreads from lower abdomen all the way to Muladhara chakra).  Wash it with water until it is clean and push it back through the same anal opening.

Warning: This kriya is only for hatha yogis and not for raja yogis, laya yogis and mantra yogis.

Benefits:  Eliminates impurities throughout the body, provides shining to the body and prevents diseases from getting foothold in the body.

Danta Dhouti:  This is divided into four types:   Dantamoola dhouti, jihwamoola dhouti, karna dhouti and kapalarandra dhouti.

Dantamoola dhouti:  Scrub the teeth daily in the early morning either with “kaggali” plant extract or with clean mud.  Rinse out with clean water and rub the tongue with cow’s butter. After this hold the tip of the tongue with an iron tong lightly and pull it little by little. This is only for Hatha yogis.

Benefits:  If this is practiced daily  morning and evening without fail, helps in achieving  kechari mudra, removes all defects in the tongue and improves clarity of speech.

Karna dhouti:  Clean the ears using the index and ring fingers together, insert inside the ears and turn around.  

Benefits: Eliminates deafness, prevents diseases of the ear and gives power to hear the inner nadam (sound).

Kapalarandra dhouti:  Using the right thumb rub the uvula present in the back of the throat daily.

Benefits:  This kriya must be practiced daily in the morning after getting up, after lunch in the afternoon and evening.  This removes kapha dosha, cleans the nadis and gives good eye sight.

Hruddhouti:  There are three types:  Danda dhouti, vamana dhouti and vastra dhouti

Danda dhouti:  A banana stem or a turmeric stem or a neem stick is swallowed through the mouth until the heart region and immediately withdrawn.

Benefits: It removes excess vata and pitta, eliminates heart diseases and improves overall health.

Vamana dhouti:  Everyday after eating, drink water until the stomach is full and then fill the mouth with water.  Lifting your head up, look up into the sky.  After some time, spit out the water.

Benefits: Eliminates pitta and sleshma (kapha) and improves body health.

Vastra dhouti:  Take a soft cloth that is 4 inches wide and 15 mozhams (mozham = half yard) long and soak it in water.  Daily before sunrise, practice swallowing the wet cloth starting with one mozham length on the first day and increasing the swallowed amount daily by one mozam length, gradually taking it into the stomach and then carefully removing it.  Progressively practice this once a day, then twice and so on increasing up to twelve times a day.

Benefits: In this way, after one develops the ability to swallow 15 mozhams of  cloth daily without fail at the proper time, diseases such as gulmam (stomach ailment), fever, pleeha (spleen) and kapha (phlegm) are eliminated and the body will become strong and healthy.

Moola shodhana dhouti:  Inserting a turmeric stem or the middle finger of the left hand into the anal cavity, clean the inside of the opening properly and wash it.

Benefits:  Constipation, indigestion, and ama dosham (improperly digested toxic particles that clog the cavities) terrible diseases are eliminated.  The body will glow and the Jataragni will increase.

2. Basti kriya

There are two types: Jala basti and Sthala basti

Jala Basti: Get into water up to navel height and sit in Utkatasana position.  Using the force of kumbhaka, take up water through the anal opening.  By repeating this twelve times, sufficient water will enter the lower abdomen.  After this, in a systematic manner, push the water out through the anal opening.  This must be performed three times a day.

Benefits:  Removes many diseases caused by the bad “Apana vayu”.  The physical body will obtain beauty and luster.  This belongs to Hatha yoga.

Sthala basti:  Sitting in Paschimottanasana,  using “Ashwini mudra” draw in vayu and push it out while turning the stomach in all four directions.

Benefits:  Removes constipation and indigestion and improves Jataragni.  This is raja yoga.

3. Neti Kriya

Take a small thread that is twice the length of distance between the tip of the thumb and the tip of the little finger.  Take it in through the two nostrils until the two ends comes out

through the mouth. Grab two ends of the thread with two hands and carefully pull it up and down 10 - 12 times and then remove the thread.

Benefits: Removes many types of diseases related to kapha.  Improves eye sight and helps in developing the ability to perform Kechari mudra.  This is Hatha yoga.

4. Naouli Kriya

The nerves of the lower abdomen are pulled into the stomach and rapidly turned sideways (left and right) and all around.

Benefits:  Eradicates all diseases and improves digestive power.  This is Raja yoga.

5. Trataka Kriya

Gazing continuosly at one object, without blinking eyelids until the eyes start to tear.

Benefits:  Not only cures diseases of the eye and improves eye sight but also gives Shambhavi Mudra siddhi and removes long sight due to middle age.

6.  Kapalabhati Kriya

This is divided into three types: Vyut krama, Vama krama and Sita krama

Vytkrama Kapalabhati kriya:  Take in water through the nostrils and expel from the mouth.  This

is Raja yoga.

Benefits:  Removes diseases related to the phlegm.

Vama krama kapalabhati kriya:  Inhale air through the left nostril and exhale through the right nostirl.  Then inhale throught the right nostril and exhale throught the left nostril.  After four times of doing this, take in clean water through the left nostril.  Lift the face up, close the left nostril with fingers and tilt the head slightly to the right and expel water through the right nostril.  Then take in clean water through the right nostril and expel through the left nostril.

Benefits:   Prevents phlegm diseases related to runny nose.  Improves the sense organs such that it can differentiate subtle variations.  This is Raja yoga.

Sita krama kapalabhati kriya:  Water ingested from the mouth is expelled 24 times through the nostrils.

Benefits:  Eliminates diseases of the phlegm, prevents old age and imparts lustre to the body.

All kapalabhati kriyas must be done with cold water.  Early morning is ideal. For the first fifteen days of practice, throat and nose will experience a burning sensation and you will experience cold like symptoms.  Ignoring this symptoms and faithfully practicing the kriyas will quickly lead to benefits.

Asana Explanations

  1. Uttanasana
  2. Ardha badda padmottanasana
  3. Paschimotanasana
  4. Janushirshasana
  5. Upavishtakonasana
  6. Baddha Konasana
  7. Supta padangushtasana
  8. Suptapada parshvangushtasana
  9. Baddha padmasana
  10. Navasana
  11. Bakasana
  12. Kurmasana
  13. Suptakonasana
  14. Marichasana
  15. Niralamba sarvangasana
  16. Dwipada shirshasana
  17. Yoga nidrasana
  18. Baddhasana
  19. Durvasana
  20. Trivikramasana
  21. Gandabherundasana
Translators noteI have verified Uttanasana, paschimottanasana and Janushirsasana. The explanations are identical to those in Yoga makaranda. Satya.

Editor's Note : The Asana explanations and pictures below are taken from Yoga Makaranda (figures refer to full Yoga Makaranda edition) Tamil Translation by Sri C.M.V. Krishnamacharya (with the assistance of  Sri S.Ranganathadesikacharya). Satya (translator) informs me that the asana descriptions in Yogasanagalu appear identical to those in Yoga Makaranda. Having not seen an first or second edition of Yogasanagalu we are not sure which pictures if any were used. The pictures in the 3rd and 4th edition where taken at a later date and do not correspond with the text.

I have numbered the asana here in accordance with the Yogasangalu list.

1. Uttanasana (Figure 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5, 4.6, 4.7) 
Following the rules for tadasana (yogasana samasthiti krama) (Figure 4.1, 4.2), stand erect. Afterwards, while exhaling the breath out slowly, bend the upper part of the body (that is, the part above the hip) little by little and place the palms down by the legs. The knees must not be even slightly bent. Raise the head upwards and fix the gaze on the tip of the nose. While doing this, draw in clean air through the nostril, hold the breath firmly and maintain this position. This is called sahitha kumbhaka. After remaining here for some time, exhale the breath (that was being held) out very slowly through the nostril, lower the head and place it on the knees. Do not inhale at this stage. Draw the breath in while raising the head and exhale the breath out while lowering the head — this must be practised according to one’s strength and capability. In this position, while the head is raised and while it is lowered and placed onto the knee, the palms must be firmly pressed against the ground. This sthiti is called uttanasana. Initially, when one remains in this sthiti, there might be an occurence of tremors in the arms and legs. At these times, if one holds the breath firmly and stands, these tremors will not occur. After remaining in this sthiti for some time, return to tadasana sthiti.
There are 8 forms of uttanasana. As a result of practising these 8 forms, all the various diseases of the lower abdomen will be removed and the digestive power will increase. Even ordinary stomach pain will stop. Women may also practise this asana. But this asana must not be done during pregnancy. This is the first form. There are 3 vinyasas for this.
The procedure for Padahastasana and other different forms of uttanasana: —
Hold the big toes of the feet with the first three fingers of each hand. Exhale the breath, remain in the same sthiti and bring both ears between the two arms while lowering the head. This is called cakrasana. Take the hands behind the back, bend the body backwards as well and then do uttanasana. There are special benefits for this. But practise only according to your physical condition and capacity. Hold the big toe of the right foot with the left hand and the big toe of the left foot with the right hand and lower the head and place it between the knees. This position, if it is maintained, is one form of padahastasana.
Keeping the legs spread as far apart as possible, hold the big toe of the right foot with the fingers of the left hand and the big toe of the left foot with the fingers of the right hand, as described above. Lower the head and place it between both legs making sure that it is aligned properly. This is also a form of padahastasana.
While practising the following asanas and other related asanas, the knees must remain straight and should not be even slightly bent: Uttanasana, pasci- mottanasana, hasta padasana, janusirsasana, ardhabaddha padmottanasana, up- avishtakonasana, supta konasana, viparita konasana, urdhva prasarana padasana, halasana, sirsasana, sarvangasana, and padahastasana. This important rule must never be forgotten.
After first practising all the parts of padahastasana properly, as described above, practise uttanasana.
In another form, bend forward to the extent possible and place the face 9 angulas below the kneecap. That is, the asana must be done such that the head is placed exactly halfway between the knees and feet. After this, even here, place the head between the legs. This is another form of uttanasana.
2. Ardhabaddha Padmottanasana (Figure 4.11, 4.12, 4.13, 4.14)
From tadasana, do puraka kumbhaka. After this, choose either leg and place its foot on top of the opposite thigh. Slowly, little by little, move the foot up until the back of the heel is pressed against the lower abdomen. Whichever leg is raised, move the same hand behind the back and clasp the big toe of that foot (from behind the back). Keep the other hand in tadasana sthiti and do puraka kumbhaka. After this, slowly exhale through the nose and bend the upper part of the body forward down to the floor. Place the palm down by the foot and keep it firmly pressed against the floor. Release the breath out completely, and without inhaling, practise kumbhaka and lower the head, placing it on top of the kneecap of the extended leg. Repeat this from the beginning with the other leg following all the instructions mentioned earlier. This has 10 vinyasas.
Benefit: This removes all the impurities and deposits from all sides of the lower abdomen and expels them out through the anus. It strengthens the diges- tive power daily.
3. Pascimattanasana or Pascimottanasana (Figure 4.19 — 4.28)
This asana has many kramas. Of these the first form has 16 vinyasas. Just doing the asana sthiti by sitting in the same spot without doing these vinyasas will not yield the complete benefits mentioned in the yoga sastras. This rule applies to all asanas.
The first three vinyasas are exactly as for uttanasana. The 4th vinyasa is caturanga dandasana, the 5th vinyasa is urdhvamukhasvanasana, the 6th vinyasa is adhomukhasvanasana. Practise these following the earlier instructions. In the 6th vinyasa, doing puraka kumbhaka, jump and arrive at the 7th vinyasa. That is, from adhomukhasvanasana sthiti, jump forward and move both legs between the arms without allowing the legs to touch the floor. Extend the legs out forward and sit down. Practise sitting like this with the rear part of the body either between the two hands or 4 angulas in front of the hands. It is better to learn the abhyasa krama from a guru. In this sthiti, push the chest forward, do puraka kumbhaka and gaze steadily at the tip of the nose. After this extend both arms out towards the feet (the legs are already extended in front). Clasp the big toes of the feet tightly with the first three fingers (thumb, index, middle) of the hands such that the left hand holds the left big toe and the right hand holds the right big toe. Do not raise the knees even slightly. Then, pull in the stomach while doing recaka, lower the head and press the face down onto the knee. The knees should not rise from the ground in this sthiti either. This is the 9th vinyasa. This is called pascimottanasana. In the beginning, everybody will find it very difficult. The nerves in the back, the thighs and the backs of the knees will feel as though they are being fiercely pulled and this will be extremely painful. The pain will remain for 8 days. After this, the pulling on the nerves will release and it will be possible to do the asana without any problem. This pascimottanasana has many forms. After first practising this asana with the face pressed onto the knee, practise it with the chin placed on the knee and then eventually with it placed 3 angulas below the knee on the calf. In the 10th vinyasa raise the head. In the 11th vinyasa, keeping the hands firmly pressed on the ground, raise the entire body off the ground and balance it in the air without touching the ground. The 11th vinyasa is called uthpluthi. The 12th vinyasa is caturanga dandasana. The 13th is urdhvamukhasvanasana. The 14th is adhomukhasvanasana. The 15th is the first vinyasa of uttanasana. The 16th vinyasa is the 2nd vinyasa of uttanasana. Afterwards, return to samasthiti. You should learn the intricacies of this vinyasa only from a guru.
Benefit: This will cure all diseases related to the stomach.
This asana can be done on the floor or on a mat according to the capabilities of one’s body. Learn some of the other forms of pascimottanasana krama by studying the pictures carefully. Pregnant women should not do this asana. But this can be done up to the third month of pregnancy. For men, there are no restrictions to practising this asana. If this is practised every day without fail for 15 minutes, all the bad diseases of the stomach will be removed.
4. Janusirsasana (Figure 4.33, 4.34)
This form follows the hatha yoga principles. Another form follows the raja yoga method. The practitioner should learn the difference. First, take either leg and extend it straight out in front. Keep the heel pressed firmly on the floor with the toes pointing upward. That is, the leg should not lean to either side. The base (back) of the knee should be pressed against the ground. Fold the other leg and place the heel against the genitals, with the area above the knee (the thigh) placed straight against the hip. That is, arrange the straight leg which has been extended in front and the folded leg so that together they form an “L”. Up to this point, there is no difference between the practice of the hatha yogi and the raja yogi.
For the hatha yoga practitioner, the heel of the bent leg should be pressed firmly between the rectum and the scrotum. Tightly clasp the extended foot with both hands, raise the head and do puraka kumbhaka. Remain in this position for some time and then, doing recaka, lower the head and place the face onto the knee of the outstretched leg. While doing this, do not pull the breath in. It may be exhaled. After this, raise the head and do puraka. Repeat this on the other side following the rules mentioned above.
The raja yogi should place the back of the sole of the folded leg between the scrotum and the genitals. Now practise following the other rules described above for the hatha yogis. There are 22 vinyasas for janusirsasana. Please note carefully that all parts of the outstretched leg and the folded leg should touch the floor. While holding the feet with the hands, pull and clasp the feet tightly. Keep the head or face or nose on top of the kneecap and remain in this sthiti from 5 minutes up to half an hour. If it is not possible to stay in recaka for that long, raise the head in between, do puraka kumbhaka and then, doing recaka, place the head back down on the knee. While keeping the head lowered onto the knee, puraka kumbhaka should not be done. This rule must be followed in all asanas.
While practising this asana, however much the stomach is pulled in, there will be that much increase in the benefits received. While practising this, after exhaling the breath, hold the breath firmly. Without worrying about why this is so difficult, pull in the stomach beginning with the navel, keep the attention focussed on all the nadis in and near the rectal and the genital areas and pull these upwards — if you do the asana in this way, not only will all urinary diseases, diabetes and such diseases disappear, but wet dreams will stop, the viryam will thicken and the entire body will become strong.
Whoever is unable to pull in the nadis or the stomach may ignore just those instructions and follow the instructions mentioned earlier to the extent possible. Keep the nadis in and near the rectal and genital areas pulled up, the stomach pulled in and hold the prana vayu steady. Anybody with the power to practise this will very soon be free of disease and will get virya balam. Leaving this aside, if you follow the rules according to your capability, you will gradually attain the benefits mentioned below.
Important Observation:
After practising the asana for just one or two minutes, do not whine that you did not receive any benefits. However little effort there is, if you keep practising the asana daily for at least 5 to 10 minutes, you will start experiencing its benefits in a few days. There is no doubt about this. If you keep practising it from half an hour to an hour following the given rules, you will get the benefits mentioned below.
1. Diseases of the spleen will be removed.
2. People suffering from a low-grade persistent fever in the stomach will notice that the fever, the resulting anaemia and other such dangerous diseases will be wiped out. Continuous and recurrent cough, bloated stomach, flatulence and the first symptoms of tuberculosis will disappear. As a result of these intestinal doshas being removed, the digestive power increases and one feels hunger at the appropriate time. When you are very hungry, it is essential to eat sattvic foods cooked in pure ghee or cow’s milk or goat’s milk. Rice avul, kara boondi (fried peanut flour), kara vadai, peanuts, chickpeas — these tamasic foods should never be eaten. Eating high-quality fruits and kanda mulam is very beneficial.
When they are hungry, some people will eat terrible things without thinking about it. This is a despicable matter. Because of this, they keep catching various diseases and suffering as a result.
If one keeps practising janusirsasana according to the rules described above, then whatever diseases cause blocking of urine and faeces, increase the heat in the nadis, cause an increase in vata, if any such acute diseases occur, they will be destroyed from the root and the practitioner will be in good health very soon.
Heavy head, burning eyes, weakness of the body, burning in the urinary area, fever caused by toxins built up due to indigestion and constipation, loss of ap- petite and sense of taste in the tongue due to a spoilt tongue, laziness or lethargy — all these will be removed by practising the asana in the highest standard. That is, all diseases caused by weakness of the nadis nearby will be removed.
It is important to always remember that it is necessary to practise such asanas like janusirsasana on both the left and right sides. The reason for this is that the strength of the body should be the same on both the left and right sides. Nowadays, modern games and physical exercises give strength to only one side of the body without developing proper blood circulation on the other side. This will result in paralysis and other such diseases. Therefore, every asana must definitely be practised equally on both the left and the right side.
Janusirsasana 2nd Krama
Whichever leg was folded and placed such that the back of the foot was between the rectum and genitals, place the back of the sole of that foot instead against the top of the thigh of the outstretched leg, firmly pressing against it. Now practise according to the rules described earlier. But the benefits of this will be received very slowly. Some people will not be able to place the head on top of the knee on the first day. But one should not abandon the effort thinking that this is impossible. If one keeps practising this for one or two months daily without fail, following the prescribed rules, then it will become possible.
It will be very difficult for those who have allowed excessive flesh to grow in the stomach and hips to practise this. By practising this regularly over a period of time, all the excessive flesh that has grown in or near the stomach and hips will melt, the joints of the bones and nadis will clear up, the stomach will grow thinner and eventually the head will touch the knee. The deposits of excessive flesh are the main cause for the lack of flexibility in the body. All this can be melted away with asana abhyasa.
Many people who have a protruding stomach like a pumpkin believe that they are healthy. Others think that they have correspondingly as much more strength as their arms, legs and thighs are excessively huge, and they keep trying to enlarge the girth of the body. One can clearly say that this is a result of their stupidity. Being blessed with good health is not in the plumpness of the body. The limbs of small children are soft and supple — to lift and bend them is easy. The limbs of adults should be similarly soft and supple and strong and there should be no obstruction to the prana vayu and the blood circulation. Everybody knows that people who have overly large stomachs or who are obese often have excessive breathlessness and bloating of the stomach.
But they have not realized that the vayu sancharam is not proper in any part of the body. When there is no proper movement of air in the body, mounds of excessive flesh will collect in the body forming a barrier. Without proper air circulation, how will the dust fly away? Without water, how can the earth become soft? Similarly, in our bodies, if we want the blood to circulate and the prana vayu to flow properly without obstruction, we need to first knock down and remove the bad deposits of flesh (durmamsam) which appear like a wall. Only prana vayu has the capacity and power to completely destroy the excessive blobs of flesh that exist here and there in the body. This cannot be done with any other medicine.
The stomach is the only cause of an untimely death. There is no other reason. The dwelling place of death in the body is only the big stomach and nowhere else. Even though we desire long life and good health, why do we make our stomachs very large and leave room for death in them? Is this not a terrible thing? Therefore, by practising janusirsasana following the krama with correct instructions, one can melt away the stomach, no matter how large it is. You can definitely believe that as the stomach reduces in size, the death dwelling in it will leave the body. There is no doubt about this.
It is superior to regularly practise this janusirsasana before becoming preg- nant. One should not do it after becoming pregnant. If women who have stomach pain during menstruation practise this asana following the instructions mentioned above, in one or two months, all the germs that cause the stomach pain will be removed from the blood channels and will be expelled out of the body through the urinary tract.
This has 22 vinyasas. The 8th and the 15th vinyasas are themselves the asana sthiti. The benefit is correspondingly as great as one’s capacity for recaka.
5. Upavistakonasana (Figure 4.35)
This has 15 vinyasas. Recaka kumbhaka is its primary principle. All the vinyasas must be done following the instructions for pascimottanasana. But in the 7th vinyasa for pascimottanasana, we extend the legs straight out between the two hands. In the 7th vinyasa for upavishtakonasana, instead of extending the legs out in front between the two hands, spread the legs as far apart as possible while extending them. Remember that the knees should not be raised or bent. Then follow the instructions just as described for pascimottanasana. Clasp the big toes with the fingers of the hand, lower the head and place the face on the floor between the legs. This is called upavishtakonasana (the 8th vinyasa). The 9th vinyasa is like pascimottanasana’s 10th vinyasa. The 10th to the 15th vinyasas are like the 11th to the 16th vinyasas of pascimottanasana. After this, return to samasthiti. This must also be done while lying down on the back.
Benefit: Hip pain, knee pain, any disease that occurs near the region where the thighs meet, violent stomach pain, and flatulence will be cured.
If all women practise this upavisthakonasana for one half hour both in the morning and evening according to the prescribed rules during the time of men- struation, all the diseases of the uterus will be cured. This asana, along with janusirsasana and baddhakonasana must be practised daily without fail by any- body who has irregular menstruation. In three months, they will have proper healthy regular menstrual cycles.
6. Baddhakonasana (Figure 4.36, 4.37)
This has 15 vinyasas. The 8th vinyasa is the asana sthiti. The 1st to the 6th vinyasas are like the 1st till the 6th vinyasas for pascimottanasana. In the 7th vinyasa, just like the 7th vinyasa for pascimottanasana, keep the hands down and bring the legs forward in uthpluthi. But instead of straightening them, fold the legs and place them down on the ground. Folding them means that the heel of the right foot is pasted against the base of the right thigh and the heel of the left foot is pasted against the base of the left thigh. When the legs are folded in this manner, the soles of the feet will be facing each other. Hold the sole of the left foot firmly with the left hand and hold the right sole firmly with the right hand. Clasping the soles together firmly, do recaka kumbhaka, lower the head and place it on the floor in front of the feet. After practising this properly, press the head against the top of the soles of the feet. While keeping the head either on the floor or on the soles of the feet, make sure that the seat of the body does not rise up from the floor and remains stuck to the floor. This sthiti is baddhakonasana. After this, from the 8th until the 15th vinyasas, practise as in upavishtakonasana and then return to samasthiti.
Benefit: Coughing, urinary diseases (constant dripping of urine, burning urine), genital discharges, collapsing of the navel inward — such diseases will be cured.
If women practise this especially during menstruation, it will cure all men- strual diseases and will clean the uterus. It will be very helpful for women who wish to conceive.
7. Supta Padangushtasana (Figure 4.38, 4.39, 4.40, 4.41)
The first krama for this has 21 vinyasas. Through the 6th vinyasa, it is exactly as for pascimottanasana. In the 7th vinyasa, lie down facing upwards instead of extending the legs and sitting as in pascimottanasana. While lying down, the entire body must be pressed against the ground. The toes must point upwards and the back of the heels must be stuck to the ground. This is also called savasana by other schools. This is the 7th vinyasa for supta padangushthasana. In the 8th vinyasa, slowly raise the right leg straight up. Hold the big toe of the right foot with the fingers of the right hand, do recaka kumbhaka and remain in this position for as long as possible. This sthiti is called dakshina supta padangushtasana. While remaining in this sthiti, at no time should the elbows or knees of the extended arms and legs be bent. At this time the left hand should be placed on top of the thigh of the outstretched left leg. In the 9th vinyasa, slowly pull the right leg little by little into the front of the right chest. While doing this, gradually raise the head little by little until the face is placed against the right knee. Remain in this position for some time. The 10th vinyasa is like the 8th. The 11th vinyasa is like the 7th. The 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th vinyasas follow the method for the 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th but with the left leg and arm. From the 16th until the 21st vinyasas, follow the rules for the 11th until the 16th vinyasas of pascimottanasana and after this return to samasthiti. The 12th vinyasa is called vama supta padangushthasana. From the 8th till the 15th vinyasas, no part of the body must be crooked. While one leg is raised, the other leg must definitely not be bent or curved, must not roll around or undergo any such torsion.
Benefit: It will keep the body measurements proportional and equal and will give tremendous strength to the nerves. It gives good strength to the hips. It is not appropriate for women during pregnancy.
8. Suptapada Parsvangushtasana (Figure 4.42, 4.43, 4.44, 4.45)
This has 23 vinyasas. Up to the 8th vinyasa, this follows the method for supta padangushthasana. In the 9th vinyasa, without breaking any of the rules described earlier, pull the raised right leg down towards the ground on the same side (right side) and slowly lay it down on the ground while still clasping the right big toe. In this sthiti the head is facing upward and the other extended leg is kept straight and remains pressed against the floor. Stay in this 9th vinyasa for at least ten minutes and then do the 10th vinyasa. In the 10th vinyasa, bring the foot that is being held against the ground back to the position in the 8th vinyasa and remain here. Without letting go of the foot, move it such that the leg (or calf) sits on the chest beneath the neck and such that the elbow of the arm holding the foot is behind the neck. Remain here. In this sthiti, the head must be raised slightly. That is, there should be 6 angulas of space between the ground and the head. Inside the matham, this is called sammukha parivrtasana. Repeat this on the other side. To first practise this with the right leg and then with the left leg is characteristic of a superior yogi. The 11th vinyasa is like the 8th and the 12th is like the 7th. Do the 13th vinyasa like the 8th and then do the 14th and 15th vinyasas like the 9th and 10th. The 16th is like the 8th and the 17th must be done like the 7th. The six remaining vinyasas of this posture must be practised like the last 6 vinyasas of pascimottanasana. After this, return to samasthiti.
Benefit: Not only does it clean the parsva nadi, it does not allow the parsva vayu to exist in the body. It destroys diseases like acute tuberculosis. Women should not do this while pregnant.
9. Baddhapadmasana (Figure 4.52, 4.53, 4.54, 4.55)
Place the right foot on top of the left thigh and the left foot on top of the right thigh. Take the hands behind the back and tightly clasp the big toe of the right foot with the first three fingers of the right hand and tightly clasp the big toe of the left foot with the first three fingers of the left hand.
Press the chin firmly against the chest. Keep the gaze fixed on the midbrow. Sit down, keeping the rest of the body straight. This has the name baddhapad- masana. This asana must be repeated on the other side (that is, first place the left foot on top of the right thigh and then the right foot on top of the left thigh) in order to exercise both sides of the body.
This has 16 vinyasas. The 8th and 9th vinyasas are the asana sthiti. The other vinyasas are like pascimottanasana. Study the pictures (Figures 4.52, 4.53) and learn how to keep the gaze. In this asana, one must do puraka kumbhaka. Only in yoga mudra sthiti should one do recaka. This sthiti consists of two forms — so study the pictures (Figures 4.54, 4.55) carefully.
Benefit: It will cure all diseases of the lower abdomen. Pregnant women should not do this asana.
10. Navasana (Figure 4.59, 4.60)
This has 13 vinyasas. In this asana, we need to keep our bodies like a boat (look at the picture). In the 7th vinyasa, maintain the position observed in the picture. That is, only the seat on the back of the body must be on the floor and all the other parts of the body must be raised off the ground. Similarly raise both legs off the ground, keeping them extended. Extend the shoulders out in front, extend the arms forward and place the palms on each leg not quite touching the knees. This is called paripurna navasana (Figure 63).
In the 7th vinyasa, lie down just as in supta padangushtasana, raise the ex- tended legs off the ground. Join the hands and interlace the fingers behind the neck, placing the head on the palms and hold the head tightly with the clasped hands. Then, as observed in the picture, raise the upper body halfway using the back and stop. This is called ardha navasana (Figure 64).
11. Bakasana (Figure 4.61)
This has 12 vinyasas. The 7th and 8th vinyasas are the asana sthiti. In the picture, only the 8th vinyasa is shown.
Benefit: This is an important means for the awakening of the kundalini. It also removes constipation.
12. Kurmasana (Figure 4.62)
This has 16 vinyasas. The 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th vinyasas demonstrate the sampurna sthiti of the asana. Only the 7th vinyasa is shown in the picture.
Benefit: The apana vayu is cleaned; nocturnal discharges are stopped. This is also a very good method for curing piles.
If women with irregular menstruation practise this asana with all the vinyasas for a few months, this affliction of the uterus and of menstrual disturbance will dissolve and they will have regular menstruation.
Important Rule: The practitioners of kurmasana must not practise it within 3 hours of eating. It must not be done on a full stomach.
13. Supta Konasana (Figure 4.64, 4.65)
This has 14 vinyasas. The 9th vinyasa is the asana sthiti. In the 7th vinyasa, stay as shown in the picture.
The 8th vinyasa is uthpluthi. From uthpluthi, move to the position shown in the second picture and then do recaka. The position shown in the second picture is the 9th vinyasa.
This 9th vinyasa itself is the suptakonasana sthiti. The 10th vinyasa is catu- ranga dandasana. The four remaining vinyasas are just the last four vinyasas of pascimottanasana. Study the picture very carefully. Remember that the stomach needs to be pulled in and held in.
Benefit: It will not allow sluggishness due to mahodaram jadyam (dropsy). It will cause timely expulsion of faeces. It will prevent the occurrence of goiter, of inflammation of the glands of the neck, and of any kapha diseases.
Suppose that a woman does not want any children. If she does this asana and along with this, practises krounchasana, then, as desired, she will not have any offspring. If women who have stomach pain during the time of menstruation prac- tise this asana along with upavishtakonasana during the time of menstruation, the pain will disappear quickly.
14. Marichasana (Figure 4.66, 4.67, 4.68, 4.69)
This has 22 vinyasas. This needs to be done on both the left and the right sides. Study the sannaha sthiti (the preparatory state) of marichasana in the picture. This sthiti is the 7th vinyasa.
The right-side marichasana paristhiti is shown in the second picture. Maricha Maharishi was known for bringing this asana to public knowledge and hence it is named for him.
Stay in the 7th vinyasa for some time doing puraka kumbhaka. After this, do recaka and come to the 8th vinyasa. Stay in this position for as long as possible. In case your head starts reeling (you get dizzy), come back to the 7th vinyasa, do puraka kumbhaka, close the eyes and remain here for some time. The dizziness will stop.
The 9th vinyasa is like the 7th vinyasa. The 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th vinyasas are like the 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th vinyasas of janusirsasana.
The 14th vinyasa is marichasana sannaha sthiti on the left side. This is demonstrated in the 3rd picture. The 15th vinyasa is the left-side marichasana paristhiti. This is demonstrated in the 4th picture. In the 14th vinyasa do puraka kumbhaka and in the 15th vinyasa do only recaka. The 16th vinyasa is like the 14th. The 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st, and 22nd vinyasas are like the 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st, and 22nd vinyasas of janusirsasana.
Benefit: It will not give room for paralysis or any such diseases. Bloating of the stomach will quickly disappear. The stomach will not increase in size. It brings the hips to a correct measurement and broadens the chest. Any weakness of the heart will be removed and the heart will develop strength. The practitioner will never get jaundice or any other liver disease. Only pregnant women should not do this posture.
15. Niralamba Sarvangasana (Figure 4.70)
This has 14 vinyasas. The 8th vinyasa is the asana sthiti. The form depicted in the picture is the 8th vinyasa. This is niralamba sarvangasana paristhiti. In order to get to this sthiti, slowly raise the arms and legs either together or one-by- one in the 7th vinyasa . Do only recaka at this time. Never do puraka kumbhaka.
At this time the chin should be pressed against the chest. The gaze should be fixed on the midbrow. While doing this, the arms and legs must not be bent. This sarvangasana has two forms — salamba and niralamba. The tradition of Kapila Maharishi matham has two types for each of these. This book follows the first form. Hence, the picture shows only the first type.
Benefit: Stomach pain, violent stomach pain, flatulence, and indigestion due to changes in diet will be removed and the stomach will become slim. If a person who is having trouble sleeping properly at night remains in the asana paristhiti for fifteen minutes and then lies down, they will be able to fall into a sound contented sleep. Whoever has chest pain, discharges during dreams, is tired, or is suffering as a result of walking for long distances — if these people practise niralamba sarvangasana with its vinyasas for some time, then all these problems will be cured and they will become content. Women can do this even if they get pregnant but should not do it after the 4th month.
16. Dvipada Sirsasana (Figure 4.73)
This has 14 vinyasas. It is the same as for pascimottanasana up to the 6th vinyasa. While practising the 7th vinyasa, place both legs on top of the shoulders, and do uthpluthi as in the 7th vinyasa for bhujapidasana. Then lean the rear of the body forward and sit down.
After this, do recaka and slowly and carefully place the left foot on top of the right foot on top of the back of the neck. That is, the right heel should be by the left ear and the left heel should be by the right ear. While remaining in this state, do puraka kumbhaka and raise the head. Bring the hands next to the muladhara cakra and join them together in prayer. From the 8th vinyasa until the 14th vinyasa practise just as for bhujapidasana.
Benefit: It will remove diseases of the spleen, of the liver, and of the stomach. It will clean the muladhara cakra. It will greatly help with uddiyana bandha. Practise it after first studying the picture very carefully. Women who are pregnant should not do this posture. Those who are prone to miscarriage must practise this asana regularly for some time and then discontinue it before they conceive. If they stop practising this asana during pregnancy, it will enable a strong healthy birth and will help the uterus wall expand and be healthy. People who do not wish for progeny must always practise this asana. If they do, then they will not have any children.
17. Yoga Nidrasana (Figure 4.74)
This has 12 vinyasas. The 7th vinyasa is yoga nidrasana sthiti. The first 6 vinyasas for kurmasana are the first 6 vinyasas for this. In the 7th vinyasa, sit like you did in dvipada sirsasana and instead of keeping the two legs on the back of the neck, first lie back facing upwards. Then lift the legs up and place them on the back of the neck.
In dvipada sirsasana, we joined the hands together in prayer and placed them next to the muladhara cakra. In this asana, following the krama, take the shoul- ders (that is, the arms) on both the left and right sides over the top of the two thighs, and hold the right wrist tightly with the fingers of the left hand beneath the spine. Study the picture.
In the 7th vinyasa, after doing only recaka, arrive at the asana sthiti. Then, one should do puraka kumbhaka and lie down. The 8th vinyasa is caturanga dandasana. The last four vinyasas for this asana are exactly the last four vinyasas for pascimottanasana.
Benefit: Tuberculosis, bloating of the stomach, dropsy and edema (swelling of tissue due to accumulation of water) — such serious diseases will be cured. It will cause the vayu to be held at the svadhishthana cakra and the brahmara guha cakra and as a result will cause long life. It will help to rapidly bring the apana vayu under one’s control. It is not for women who are pregnant.
18. Buddhasana (Figure 4.75, 4.76)
This has 20 vinyasas. The 8th and the 14th vinyasas are the right and left side asana sthitis.
The first picture demonstrates the right-side buddhasana and the second pic- ture demonstrates the left-side buddhasana.
The 7th vinyasa of the right-side buddhasana is the 13th vinyasa of the left-side buddhasana. These are like the 7th and the 12th vinyasas of ekapada sirsasana.
While doing the 8th vinyasa, it is just like the 7th vinyasa for ekapada sir- sasana. Study the picture carefully.
The 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th vinyasas for this are just like the 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th vinyasas for ekapada sirsasana. The 14th vinyasa is the left-side buddhasana sthiti. In this sthiti, take the left leg over the top part of the left shoulder and place it on top of the back of the neck. Then hold the wrist of the right hand with the left hand. A different form of buddhasana sthiti is depicted in the second picture and here the hands are clasped together behind the back. The practitioners need not be surprised by this. Some think that since Buddha advocated siddhasana as superior to any other asana, hence siddhasana and buddhasana are to be practised in a similar manner. This is contrary to all the yoga texts and their descriptions of the connections among the nadi granthis in the body. Hence, the practitioner must understand that the siddhasana krama and buddhasana krama are different and must be practised accordingly.
Benefit: It will cure hunchback and will create proper blood circulation in all the nadis. It will clean the svadhishthana, anahata, visuddhi and brahmara guha cakras and gives complete assistance for kevala kumbhaka.
This asana is very beneficial for curing long-term persistent fever. Pregnant women should not do this.
19. Durvasasana (Figure 4.82)
This has 20 vinyasas. The 8th vinyasa is right-side durvasasana and the 14th vinyasa is left-side durvasasana. In the 7th and the 13th vinyasas stay in ekapada sirsasana sthiti. From there, in the 8th and the 14th vinyasas, get up and stand. Study the picture carefully. While remaining in this asana sthiti, the leg that is being supported on the ground must not be even slightly bent and must be held straight. Keep the gaze fixed at the middle of the nose. You must do sampurna puraka kumbhaka. The head must be properly raised throughout.
All the other vinyasas are like skandasana.
Benefit: Elephantiasis, vayu in the scrotum, trembling and tremors of the head — these serious diseases will be destroyed. It is a tremendous support on the path towards samadhi. Pregnant women should not do this.
20. Trivikramasana (Figure 4.85)
This has 7 vinyasas. From the 1st to the 5th vinyasas and then the 7th vinyasa, practise following those for utthita hasta padangushtasana. Practise the 2nd and 7th vinyasas as shown in the picture (study it carefully) and remain in these positions. The 2nd vinyasa is the right-side trivikramasana sthiti. The 6th vinyasa as shown is the left-side trivikramasana sthiti. The picture shown here only demonstrates the left-side trivikramasana. It is important that equal recaka and puraka kumbhaka must be carefully observed while practising this asana. Keep the gaze fixed on the midbrow. Both legs must be held straight and must not lean or bend to any side.
Benefit: Not only will it maintain the body in an equal balanced sthiti, it will rapidly awaken kundalini.
21. Gandabherundasana (Figure 4.86, 4.87)
This has 10 vinyasas. The 6th and 7th vinyasas show the asana sthiti. The first picture shows the 6th vinyasa and the second picture shows the 7th. In the 4th vinyasa, come to caturanga dandasana sthiti and in the 5th vinyasa proceed to viparita salabasana sthiti. In the 6th vinyasa, spread the arms out wide, keeping them straight like a stick (like a wire) as shown in the picture. Take the soles of both feet and place them next to the ears such that the heels touch the arms and keep them there.
Next, do the 7th vinyasa as shown in the second picture. This is called supta ganda bherundasana. In this asana sthiti and in the preliminary positions, do equal recaka puraka kumbhaka. Keep the gaze fixed on the midbrow. This must not be forgotten.
Benefit: Goiter, inflammation of the glands of the neck and diseases due to mahodaram will be destroyed. The visuddhi and brahmaguha cakras will function correctly and this will take the mind to the state of savikalpa samadhi. Pregnant women should not do this.
The full translation of the Yoga Makaranda, Tamil Translation by Sri C.M.V. Krishnamacharya (with the assistance of Sri S.Ranganathadesikacharya, can be downloaded from here

Special Instructions

One has to believe that the eight yoganga’s yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi are the best way to bhakti sadhana and then practice.

Human development can not take place with just food, sleep and sexual pleasure. All animals experience this equally. Along with discovering the essence of jeevatma and paramatma, we must strive for energy that does not impair the mind due to rapid natural changes. The omnipresent, all pervading, all knowing, filled with the best qualities and who protects those who come to him, we must live under the orders of that Paramatma, acquiring wealth and property without going against what is prescribed in the shastras, taking a vow to dedicate the fruits of services back to him and to proclaim this in the world without any ego. Do not listen to those who are saying and publishing that “there is no God; it’s all a big hoax”. Those who practice yoga and their teachers must publicise the two foremost niyamas that are like a life force in this world - Brahmacharya and Pativratya.

We must not forget that various diseases afflicting people are mainly due to excess food, drinking and entertainment. 

We must eat vegetarin food, speak the truth and one day a week practice silence (not speaking).

Fast once in 15 days and always display a pleasant personality.

The main factor that allows man to enjoy the comforts of life is the blessing of good health, this everyone agrees.

Knowing that “yogasana is the most important skill that provides such good health without too much cost and which is easily accessible to all castes and groups” our great  Bharat (Indian) ancestors have written many prominent texts so that we can practice according to the suggested niyamas and enjoy the fruits of practice.

This yoganga sadhana way is not new that was discovered recently.  These practices that were in vogue many thousands of years ago as witnessed in the vedas and puranas, have been resurrected.  Why all these statements?  Is Sri Bhagavad Gita, that is admired by all people of this world not enough?

Regarding the close relationship between yogasanas and body well-being-

हठस्य प्रथमां गत्वादासनं पूरवमुच्यते।

कुर्यात् तदासनं स्थैर्यं आरोग्यं चांगलाघवं॥

Hatasya prathamam gatvadasanam poorvamuchyate

kuryat tadasanam sthiryam aarogyam changalaghavam

(Hatha yoga pradipika, 1, 17)

Only yogasana makes it possible for humans to enjoy long life with healthy body and intellect by optimizing the unhindered movements of prana, apana, vyana, udana, samana and other ten different vayus along with purification of important and variety of nadis such as ida, pingala, poosha and yashaswini.  Swatmarama yogi states “without the well being of the body and the indriyas, the facile movement of the vayus will not take place, therefore, I will describe the yogasana kramas systematically and benefits resulting from practicing it.”   The basis of this is  “ ततो द्वन्द्वनबिघातः

“tato dvandvanabighatah”  ( Patanjali sutra 2, 48).  Those who practice yogangasana are not bothered by cold, wind, sun, happiness, sorrow or to conditions of vata, pitta and kapha  according to Maharshi Bhagavat Patanjali.

Many thousands of years ago, these yoganga sadhanas were customary without any resistance.  However, it is my opinion that it is not our duty to figure out why these practices have disappeared now.

Yogadharshana and other shastras have described:

  1. Yama   5 types
  2. Niyama   5 types
  3. Asana  Countless
  4. Pranayama 128 types
  5. Pratyahara 2 types
  6. Dharana  2 types
  7. Dhyana  2 types
  8. Samadhi  8 types

Yogasanas are the third step in the yoganga sadhana.

The sadhana practice that combines dharana, dhyana and samadhi is called “samyama” as per  “ त्रयमेकत्र संयमः” “trayamekatra samyamah”  ( Patanjali sutra 3,  4).  From this yogis can discover what can’t be seen by the eyes.

Yogasanas are coutnless, this is clearly suggested in Dhyanabindupanishat that lord Shiva gave spiritual advice to Parvati as “ आसनानि तावन्ति यावत्तो जीवरशयः” (asanani cha tavanti yavatto jeevarashayah).  Despite this, many people still proclaim that there are only 84 asanas.  Hatha yogapradipika which serves as a fundamental yoga text says: 

वसिश्ठाद्यैश्च मुनिभिः मत्सेंद्राश्च योगिभिः।

अंगीक्रुतान्यासनानि कथ्यन्ते कानि चिन्मया॥

(Hathayogapradipika, 1, 18)

Vasishtadyishcha munibihi matsyendradyishcha yogibihi

Angeekrutanyasanani kathyante kani chinmaya

It has been accepted by Vasishta and other rishis along with yogis Matsyendranatha and Gorakanatha that there are innumerable yoga postures.  However, isn’t it amazing that many still insist that there are only eighty four postures!

It has been described by Patanjali Maharshi that in yoganga there are three parts: bahiranga (outer) sadhana, antaranga (inner) sadhana and paramantaranga sadhana.

त्रयमंतरंगं पूर्वेभ्यः।

तदपि बहिरंगं निर्भीज्स्य

Trayamantarangam poorvebhyaha

Tadapi bahirangam nirbheejasya

Patanjali Sutra (3, 7-8)

The first five steps of the eight mentioned before are well known as “bahiranga sadhana”  The remaining three are widely known as “antaranga sadhana.”  Only nirvikalpa samadhi is classified under “paramantarana sadhana”.  Samyama also comes under antaranga sadhana.

Diseases that can be observed by the main sense organs such as eyes and ears, those affecting body parts such as  hands and legs, sense organs  (eye, ear, nose, tongue etc. ), muscles, lungs, nadis and nadi granthis, bones and spaces between the bones can be eliminated and the body made powerful by practicing the five bahiranga sadhanas - yama, niyama, asana, pranayama and pratyahara.

Although it can not be observed by the main sense organs, the jeeva or soul that is hidden within the body and experiences countless suffering and joys according to followers of Visishtadwita and Dwita philosophies, in the mind as per Sankhya followers, reflection of jeevatma according to some yogis and Advita followers.  The mind (its ability to experience) with attributes of wanderings and restraint by way of the heart (called Dahara and Kuhara) is rooted above and below in the following chakras:
  1. Mooladhara chakra - below the navel and above the reproductive organs
  2. Swadishtana - between mooladhara and manipuraka
  3. Manipuraka - exactly on the navel (belly button)
  4. Anahuta - middle of the heart
  5. Vishuddi chakra - below the neck
  6. Agna - between the eye brows
  7. Sahasrara - crown of the head

Encompassing these seven chakras (nadi granthis) are 1. Avrutti, 2. Parivruti and 3. Samvruti.

The movement (activation) of these chakras are caused by the greatness (power) of pranayama and the variety of rechaka, puraka and kumbhaka. 

Along with these, ‘antaranga sadhana”  practices of dharana, dhyana and samadhi stabiliizes the wandering, drifting and roving mind, eliminates mental illness and worries, enhances life expectancy, intellectual power and expands the mind to new ideas.  

Along with these, by practicing antaranga sadhana called “samyama”, yoga practitioners may see subtle substances that are not visible to the naked eye (without using modern instruments) and can know the truth. This type of samyama is called antardrushti, divyadrushti or yogadrushti.  The details of this can be understood by studying Sutras  “नाभिचक्रे कार्यव्यूहझानम्”  “nabhichakre karyafyoohagnanam” (3,29).

Who is Jeevatma?  Who is Paramatma?  What is the relationship between the two?  Many of these principles can be understood by practicing “nirvikalpa samadhi” which is well known as Paramantaranga sadhane.

Doctors until today haven’t been able to definitively declare the number of diseases that can afflict humans.  This is impossible.

Diseases afflicting humans are related to one’s karma, nutrition, pleasure & drinking habits, body disposition such as obesity or severely thin and emaciated type. Yogasana practice can help rectify such conditions and promote overall health.

Yogangasana practice eliminates and prevents illness but also originates (manifests) the wisdom of jeevatma and paramatma according to the sutra “योगांगनुष्टानादशुद्दिक्शये झानदीप्तिराविवेख्यातेः” “yoganganushtanashuddikshaye gnanadeeptiravivekhyatehe” (2, 28) and one can study this and overcome their doubts.  It is a misconception  but not reality to think that all need to practice all yogasana postures or to get alarmed by assuming that it is impossible (to practice yoga).  Some have this delusion due to association with skeptics.  Similar to medicine, yogasanas are also prescribed according to one’s body type and condition.  

Those who are interested can learn more depending on their situation.

Caste, creed, gender, age etc. must not become an obstacle.  Everyone needs physical well being.

युदा व्रुद्धोति व्रुद्धोवा व्याधितोऽ दुर्बलोपिवा।

अभ्यासात् सिद्धिमाप्नोति सर्वयोगेश्चतंद्रितः॥

yuda vruddhoti vruddhova vyadhito durbalopiva

abhyasat siddhimapnoti sarvayogeshchatandritah

Whether youth, old age, or very weak due to affliction with a disease, if one does yoga practice in the right way without lazyness, can achieve the desired benefits.

However, those who unwisely don’t follow the right way but go off on their own, may encounter danger and experience pain.  This is known to all in any venture.

Some are proclaiming that “yogasana causes madness” (those who got mad by not practicing well and could not get it cured by any other sadhana).  They can’t explain how people get crazy without doing yoganga practice or they can’t prove that those who got crazy really practiced yoganga sadhana.

Anyone, on any subject matter, who does not study/practice properly and therefore can not experience appropriate benefits and proclaim that the virtue is defective or that the defect is the virtue, is making an  improbable statement that is against one’s own conviction.

Yogasana practice eliminates decomposing urine and fecal matter, musculature, and bad fat via the excretory orifices and makes the body glow.  Therefore, our ancestors had named yoganga sadhana as “astra shastra chikitsa or ashastra shastra chikitsa.”

Yogashastra has the ability to dissolve excesss fat and purify the blood in a person who is obese and make them look good, or in people who are very lean, the practice will help grow the muscles and give them beauty.  Therefore, many call this yogashastra as “sharirashilpa shastra” (body sculpting science).

Supporting expressions

1. वपुःक्रुशत्व॑ (vapuhkrushatvam)  the state of body that can not get obese

2.वदने प्रसन्नता (vadane prasannata) Peace and lustre on the face

3. नाद स्फुटत्व॑ (naada sphutatvam) Clarity in language and heart

4. नयने सुनिर्मले (nayane sunirmale) Eyes that are shining without any illness

5. आरोगता (Arogata)           Destroys all diseases

6. बिन्दु जयः            Sexual energy under control

7. अग्नि दीपन॑ (agni deepanam)         Indigestion is eliminated

8. नाडि विशुद्दिः (nadi vishuddihi) Blood vessels are purifiied

Those who pranayama along with yoganga sadhana will achieve "हटयोग लक्शणम्" (hatayoga lakshanam) -  this is explained clearly in Hatayogapradipika, 1, 78. (one must not forget that the practice must be as per the shastra).

Also, if we study yoga sutras 3, 46, 47, & 48 etc., along with Vyasa bhashya, we can learn special benefits of yoganga sadhana.

According to “Shwetashwataropanishat”, those who perform yogangasadhana systematically and follow the niyamas will lose the fear of disease and death as follows:

1. तस्य रोगाः (na tasya rogah)  he will not get diseases

2. जरा (na jara)           no old age 

3. म्रुत्युः (na mrutyuh)          no death

This applies to those who practiced yoga and obtained divya teja sharira (divine and radiant body) - "प्राप्तस्य योगात्निमय॑ शरीर॑" (praptasya yogagnimayam shariram).  

4. लघुत्व॑ (laghutvam)    always energetic

5. आरोग्यम् (arogyam)    good health

6. आलोलुपत्वम् (Alolupatvam)   removes excess desires

7.वर्ण प्रसाद॑ (varna prasadam)   brilliant sheen on the body

8. स्वर सौश्टव॑ (svara soushtavam cha)  refined speaking skill

9. गन्दः शुभः (gandah shubah)   no body odor

10. मूत्रपुरीषमल्प॑ (mootrapurishamalpam) eliminates diseases of urinary tract and kidneys

"योगप्रव्रुत्ति॑ प्रथमा॑ वदन्ति" (yogapravruttim prathamam vadanti)  - Those who practice yoganga properly will first obtain these results.

It is not incorrect to say that those who learn to practice by looking only at picture charts are committing a blunder.  Those who practice following instructions from a qualified teacher will obtain the desired results according to :

एव॑विधे मटे स्तिथ्वा सर्वचिन्ताविवर्जितः।

गुरूपदिष्टमार्गेण योगमेव समभ्यसेत्॥

Evamvidhe mate stithva sarvachintavivarjitah

guroopadishtamargena yogameva samabhaset

(Hatayogapradipika, 1, 14) 

It is very cheerful news that we are seeing an increase in the number of people who can teach and publicize yogangasana practice. However, we must seek out and examine those who have mastered the secrets of yogadarshana and only learn from them.

Those who have not studied vedas, vedanta and yoga related scriptures (texts) are not qualified to teach yoganga according to:

"शौच सन्तोष तपः स्वाध्यायेश्वर प्रणिधानानि नियमाः"

Shoucha santosha tapah svadhyayeshvara pranidhanani niyamah 

(Patanjali sutra 2, 32)

In addition, yoganga practice can act as treament for body ailments, mental(mind) disorders and can teach distinctions between, manifestations of jeevatma, paramatma and the entire universe.

We have now seen that the treatments for body and mental disorders are taught by qualified teachers in medical schools.  Does not everyone know that treating such conditions independently could be very dangerous?

While practicing or teaching yogangasana, one must know which asanas and pranayamas to teach to whom? how many days? for which disease? (treatment) how many inhalations and exhalations? how long to do a particular asana? which asanas for obese individuals?  which ones for lean body type? when to inhale and when to exhale? for how long? Don’t we need teachers and promoters who know these secrets?

We need some who are just demonstrators.  However, if they don’t learn these secrets and want to only promote, it will not be of much use.  

Yogarahasya (yogic secrets), ragarahasya (secret of music, melody), rajarahasya (secrets of a king, ruler), dampatya rahasya (secrets of married couple) are really confidential.  It is not wise to act without understanding these essentials. These can be learned only from experienced elders and gurus.  Even then, it will take a long time according to shastras.  I hope the educated will take note of this.

In pranayama practice (yogangabhyasis), inhalation and exhalation motion is performed using both nostrils, trachea, tip of the tongue, between two lips and in between two rows of teeth.

Normally during yogasana practice, inhalation and exhalation is performed via the trachea deeply, subtly and with sound.  This is common practice with everyone.  This type of breathing is called “anuloma ujjayi” and quoted in -

मुख॑ स॑यम्य नाडीभ्या॑ आक्रुष्य पवन॑ शनैः॥

यथा लगति क॑टात्तु ह्रुदयावदि सस्वनम्।

पूर्वावत्कु॑भयेत्प्राण॑ रेचयेदिडया ततः।

श्लेष्मदेषहर॑ क॑टे देहानलविवर्धन॑।

गच्छतातिष्टता कार्य॑ उच्छामोख्यन्तु कु॑भक॑।

Mukham samyamya nadibhyam aakrushya pavanam shanih

yatha lagati kantattu hrudayavadi sasvanam

poorvavathubhayetpranam rechayadhidaya tatah

shleshmadeshaharam kante dehanalavivardhanam

gacchatatishtata karyam ucchamochyamtu kumbhakam

(Hatayogapradipika, 2, 51, 52, 53)

Bending the head (face) forward, pressing the chin to the chest tightly, through both nostrils via the trachea all the way down to the chest, making a slight hissing sound, take a deep inhalation (first timers as per their capacity) slowly without difficulty exhale through the left nostril.  This is called gurumukha.

This will eliminate the kapha (phlegm) from your throat and make you hungry.  Eliminates impurities from the nadis, stomach, lungs, excretory organs, kidnyes, and bone joints.  Also prevents jalodhara and mahodhara ailments.  This can be practiced sitting, standing, walking and lying down.

Every yogasana has a corresponding kriyasana.  After each asana, to prevent pain and to generate energy, we must always practice the kriyasana.  Many without knowing this secret, suffer, stop practicing yogasana and declare that there is no benefit from yoga practice.  Therefore, people who want to practice and teach yogasana must understand the pratikriyas appropriately and then practice.  For example, poorvasana is a pratikriya to mukhyasana or moolasana pachimatana asana.  

For Remembrance

Hundreds of years ago, practice of yoga was as popular as the Vedas.  According to the power of the person, it could be samantraka (possessing charms or spells) or amantraka (without the vedic verses).  Now it exists only  in some people.  Upanitas (those invested in Brahminical thread and study vedic philosophy and texts) are empowered in both.  Anupanita is empowered in amantraka yoga only.

How Gandharva veda (classical music) is differentiated into seven different notes, Veda chatushtaya is discriminated as udatta, anudata and swanta, Mantras are divided into anganyasa, karanyasa and vyapakanyasa, the third step of yoganga called yogasana was rooted in vinyasa and practiced customarily with vinyasa.  Only some people still have that practice.

However, some of our people of the country of Bharata, by peer pressure,  are forgetting our rooted customs with respect to dress, language, food, drinks, bathing and sandhyavandana practice.  Similarly, if we say that people are forgetting the vinyasa that goes along with the asana practice for the  third step of yoganga, it is not incorrect. 

While practicing yogabhyasa, the variations of inhalation and exhlations are known as vinyasa.  This is explained in Patanjalayogasutra 2, (47 - 48).  Please see the appropriate translation and commentary.

It is enough if you remember “Samsargaja doshaguna bhavanti.” 

Music needs shruti and laya, yoga requires deep breathings and mind needs concentration.  If you miss one of these elements, yoga and raga becomes unbearable.

Restrain prana with pranayama
Restrain mind with dhyana and japa
Restrain vision from Shanmukhi mudra
Restrain Vajni (speech) with silence
Restrain sex organs by satvik food

These five practices will provide increased lifespan, knowledge and sense of well being.

It is not difficult for boys and girls to learn vinyasa.  Five year old boys and girls can start to learn yoga. Those who are old and sick can start practice without vinyasa and learn gradually.  People who are blind, speech and  hearing impaired can also learn to practice yoga. 


This is an important characteristic of the eight step yoga practice.  In our land of Bharata, there are three types of people: sthoola, krusha and vakra.  Sthoola is obese type, krusha is lean and emaciated and vakra is crooked and curved.  Crooked body is an abnormality and a disease.  Obese body type have a tendency to breath short and shallow.  Although the lean can breath deeply, they get tired quickly.  The crooked body type have a difficult time in stretching the limbs.  Without bending and stretching, such body type do not get proper blood and oxygen circulation. This also applies to obese and lean type.

Practicing yoga with deep breathing variations known as langhanakriya and brahmanakriya can eliminate these body variations and impart strength and beauty.

Recently, we are seeing people who are extremely obese and suffering from heart diseases.  We are also seeing people who are lean due to lack of proper nutrition.  Some have experienced a hard life of growing  up on the streets from childhood and have become crooked.  Primary reason for these are overeating, eating only dry food or other unhealthy practices.

Yoganga practice with appropriate vinyasa will eliminate and normalize all three types of body variations.

Samakaya is very important for yoganga practitioners as procalaimed in Bhagavad Gita as “Samam kayam shirogrivam.”  After each practice, one should stand in samasthiti with hands folded together in front of the chest and pray to their ishtadeva (preferred God).

Please see the picture illustration here.  Samastithi position showing the samakaya expression gives happiness.  Some people can get proficient in some yoganga asanas very quickly.  For others it may take longer.  One need not get discouraged.

Please study the Patanjalayogasutra “Sa tu deerghakalanairantaryasatkadarasevito drudha bhoomihi” 

Due to misuse, left and right of muscles can become right and left.  Vinyasa practice can set this right.


What must be the mental status during the practice of yoganga?  This is determined by vinyasa.  Although people may have sufficient wealth, gold and other material riches, if they do not have relaxed movement of pranavayu in their body, they will not be happy.  The inhalations and exhalations in non-practitioners of yoganga are approximately 360 per galige (24 minutes).  One day including day and night consists of 60 galige’s and therefore 60 x 360 = 21600 breathings.  This number is for healthy people.  In the diseased, the number can be higher or lower.  In children, pregnant women, drunks, and criminals, the rate of movement of prana is entirely different.  Overall, it should not exceed 21,600.  If it exceeds, untimely death is assured.

Those who practice yoganga, with the power of vinyasa and pranayama, have the ability to significantly decrease this number.

While practicing yoga with reverence, one can offer their essence to God during exhalation and during inhalation, imagine/suppose that God is entering your heart.  During kumbhaka, we can practice dharana and dhyana.  Such practices will improve mental concentration and strengthen silence/stillness.  Eliminates agitation and restlessness.  This is easy for people with samakaya personality and impossible for Vishamakaya’s.

Standing in samakayastithi (samastithi), we have to invite ishtadeva (preferred God) into our heart and pray.  This is called “Hrudyaga” according to some people.  This must be done standing only.  

Pranayama, dhyana and japa must be done in samakaya stithi while seated.  Pranayama practices must always be done in a sitting position.  Only Bahyaradhane (outward prayer or glorification of God) can be done sitting or standing.

The basis of daily count for pranavayu in people is from the Patanjaladarshana section of Sarvadarshana collection by Sri Sayana Madhava.

The reverence and respectful reflection during  pranayama and yoga practice is discussed in Sri Vishnusahasranama text under the stanza “Suparno vayuvahanah..”

While practicing yoganga, according to samakaya or vishamakaya state correspondingly Brahmanakriyala-langhanakriya or samakriya vinyasa must be performed.

Samakriya means, equal inhalation and exhalation.

Yogasanagalu (continued)

  1. What does it mean?  
  2. Amantraka, Samantraka , is there a difference between these?
  3. At what age does one have permission to practice?
  4. How many are there?
  5. Must everyone practice all postures?  It is natural that these questions are being asked now.
  6. Can one learn and practice by using photos and charts?
  7. Instruction/advice by a Guru necessary?
  8. How long should one spend on yoga?
  9. Why don’t we move our limbs faster like they do in today’s physical exercises such as drill and sports?
  10. Why? There is no end to such grumbling.


  1. For those who believe, the answer is that it is a body position and a spritual practice producing stillness and joy that permits union of jeevatma and paramatma.  Those who don’t accept Paramatma, but accept jeevatma, understand it as the union of jeevatma (soul) and the mind.  For those who do not accept the philosophy of personal soul, understand it as the body practice that permits the union of indriyas(cognitive organs) and the prana.
  2. Indians could feel both of these types of reverence.  However, due to the siege on the nation, only left in few families.
  3. At the age when a child can eat on its own, has permission to practice.
  4. The number if asanas are equivalent to the number of animals in this world
  5. One should practice appropriately according to one’s body endowed with samabhava or vishayabhava. Learn this from the smart ones.  Therefore, some people must become completely proficient in the art of yoga.
  6. (-7 ) Yoga, music, medical treatment and dance - all these must be learned under a Guru, otherwise could be dangerous.

  7. Not necessary to practice for more than an hour.  One hour in the morning and one hour in the evening before taking food.
  8. If you move your limbs quickly like they do in drill and sports, it will lead to imbalance in blood circulation and movement of pranavayu and will lead to sthoola kaya and vakra kaya body type instead of samakaya, but may also develop crooked limbs.
  9. It will eliminate all types of diseases and will help develop mental concentration.
However, I would like to remind  the only condition that yoganga sadhane must be learnt  under the supervision of a Guru.
All these information provided here is based on texts such as Patanjaladarshana, Yogayagnyavalkya samhita, many Upanishats, Gheranda samhita, Hatayoga pradipika, etc.

Instead of believing that only asanas as the practice of yoga, but understand that practicing other limbs(elements) along with it(asnas) is the yogabhyasa, is a beautiful saying.

Profound Instructions

Those who practice yoga by following rules for consumption of food, speech and place can obtain immediate benefits.

Among countless yogasanas, which one is middle, higher and lower?  Which one should be practiced first? Which ones can be practiced by pregnant women?  Commonly how many types?  By these interesting and confusing questions, one should not feel doubtful.

Standing, sitting, lying, legs stretched, legs folded, body turned sideways, upside down, and jumping, with so many types available, if one decides appropriately on the basis of body type, age and disease state, the asanas will be higher and most beneficial.  Women who are 5 month pregnant must not do asanas involving extreme bending.  If pranayaman, japa and dhyana are practiced as per the customs of the household, there will not be any problems.

After giving birth, from 16th to 21st day, once a day, anuloma, viloma, pratiloma and ujjayi pranayama without kumbhaka may be practiced.  After 24 - 45 days, there is no restriction to practice yogasana.

During period, women should not practice yoga.  However, if they have abdominal pain, if they practice mahamudra, baddhakonasana and upavishtakonasana along with moolabandha, they will get relief from pain.

If men have ejaculation or urinary problems, they should practice salamba sarvangasana with udiyana and moolabandha along with two types of sheetali pranayama.

When starting to teach students or patients who came for treatment, yoga instructors must first demonstrate deep and subtle inhalation and exhalation following the Ujjayi system.  This is the basis of yogabhasa.  Offer prayers foremost to Patanjali and then to Ananta Nagaraja and then start.

During uttarayana, shukla paksha, one can start on an auspicious star and day with asanas appropriate to the personality.  However, for sthoola (obese) body type, it is best not to teach sarvangasana and shirshasana until the obesity has come down.

Yogasanagalu Additional Chapter 1972 (first part)

Yogasana Style

Dandasana is the first posture among the sitting asanas. Vyasa has spoken highly of this (posture) in the Yogasutrabhashya.

First part: Please see photograph No: 1 shown in this book.


Procedure to practice: Place a soft blanket not less than 6 feet in length, sit down facing eastern direction with legs stretching straight forward and lift both hands above the head. Left and right forearms are aligned with the respective left and right ears and stretched upwards without bending the elbows.  Hand fingers are interlocked tightly in such a manner that the palm is facing upwards and then the chin is lowered into the chest by bending the neck. The two feet are joined together with the heels touching the floor and the toes stretched upwards.  Without bending the knees, keep the thigh muscles stretched tightly and hold the back erect.  Softly close the eyelids and as explained before and take six deep inhalation and exhalations.  After exhalation, pull in the region of abdomen in all the way into the navel.  During inhalation, the chest is to be expanded. Breath should not be held for more than a second.  In the yoga shastra, exhalation is known as Rechaka and inhalation is referred to as Puraka.

Kumbhaka is retention of breath. When we are practicing breathing like this, our stomach, neck, head and chest should not be moving up and down. Rechaka has to be longer than Puraka and also must be subtle. One Rechaka, one Puraka and one Kumbhaka make one Avrutta.  Initially, only six Avrutta’s are enough and must be increased over time.

In this Asana, the body remains straight like a stick (Danda) and strengthens the spine, hands and legs and therefore is called Dandasana.

Benefits: Eliminates indigestion and rheumatic conditions

During each breath we should be practicing remembrance of God.

Dandasana part 2 (Photo # 2)


In all respects this asana follows part 1 except that the palms of the two hands are now behind the back. In addition, both the palms are near the hips on the floor.  The elbows must be straight and Kumbhaka must be performed after exhalation (Bahya kumbhaka).  Please study the photo.

This posture is easy for obese as they have a hard time keeping the forearms up due to impediment from the lower half of their body.

Pashchimatasana (Photo #4)


Although this posture has been practiced by yogis from ancient times, Swathma Rama yogi, the author of Hathayoga pradipika has praised this posture.

Practice: Please study the photo and practice

From Dandasana, take a deep Rechaka, pull in the stomach, keep the hand fingers interlocked, slowly bend forward, wrapping fingers around the legs with the palms facing on the outside.  Rest the forehead on the knee caps or slightly beyond, perform Rechaka and Puraka, and keep the knees stretched straight without bending.  Starting with three Rechaka and Puraka on the first week, keep increasing by one every week for a maximum of twelve Avruttis.  This state is called Paschimatanasana.  After this come back up from the posture and take rest.

Benefits: Pranavayu has two states called purvavahini gati and paschimavahini gati.  purvavahini gati is wheezing or difficulty in breathing such as ashtma.  This results from indigestion.  People’s health deteriorates resulting in enlargement of stomach. In paschimavahini gati, the movement is behind the muladhara chakra.  Enlarged stomach is made smaller by increasing the digestive fire, destroying indigestion and extending rechaka without wheezing.  Isn’t this enough? One should not practice this on a full stomach.  This posture is forbidden for pregnant women.

Purvattanasana (photo# 5)


This is also called as the rejoinder to pachimattanasana.    

When pain is experienced due to a particular type of body situation, space between bones, movement of pulse nodules and discrepancy in musculature, practicing these counter poses will alleviate such pains.  This will help set the junctions, nodules and muscles into their original spaces. That means it will realign the body into original state.  This secret was not known for many years.  The reason?  Not receiving advice from a Guru.  

After experiencing this type of pain, people are deterred from practicing Yoga.  They have been hesitating and becoming more reluctant to take up yoga practice. Even though they may be breaking limbs and bleeding from sports injuries, they don’t hesitate.  In spite of spending lots of money on sports, they will continue to play, limp and make merry.

This Kali influence is said to be the main reason for disappearance of ancient Indian Arts and Sciences.  In this way, every yoga posture has a counter pose. If we learn this practice  from a Guru and yoga practitioners promote and teach others, it does not cause any harm to people.  The yogic sciences will not disappear.

Procedure:  Please see photo # 5.  From Paschimattanasana position, inhale and lift both hands straight up and while exhaling deeply take the shoulders slowly behind the back and place the palm of the hands on the floor about 1 foot distance from the hips with the fingers facing forward. Similar to the second step in dandasana, push the chest forward and do a deep puraka kumbhaka.  Pressing the heels and the palms tightly against the ground, lift the entire body in a straight line and drop the neck backwards.  Close the eyes and keep still for at least 5 seconds.  This is Purvottanasana position.  After this, bend the neck to bring the chin to the chest, exhale and place the body down.  In this way, practice three times in the first week and gradually increase to six repetitions.

Benefits:  Eliminates pain at the back of the body.  Eradicates fragility in the forearms and neck.

This posture is reciprocal to paschimattanasana since in paschimottanasana the entire body movement and position consists of bending forward in exhalation (rechaka) mode with the head bent forward.

Purvottanasana is the riposte with the body movement and position in contrast is not bent but straight, upward facing with hands behind in the mode of inhalation (puraka).

Chatushtada peeta (Photos # 6, #7 and #8)

After stepping down from Purvasana, sit in Dandasana pose and without changing the position of hands bend the two legs and join the heels and knees in front of the hips.  Keeping the back straight, bring the chin to the chest and perform rechaka. (see photo # 6).  

Pull the abdomen in towards the navel while doing puraka for five seconds and expand the chest area outwards while keeping the heels pressed to the floor. Lift the midsection and hips upwards and tilt the head backwards.  Now the midsection of the body should look like a plank by lifting as much as possible #7. Remain still and do not change the positions of hands and legs.  This posture is called chatushtada peeta.  This will be hard for a couple of weeks.  Afterwards becomes easier.  Must be practiced slowly and patiently.


Benefits:  All types of indigestion are removed. Must be practiced twice during the first week.  After that three times.  After five seconds of lifting the midsection come down while slowly performing rechaka and rest.  Contra indicated after five months of pregnancy.

In yoga shastra, our body is divided into three parts: urdhva (upper) part, madhya (middle) part and adho (lower) part.  Above the neck is urdhva, neck to reproductive organs is madhya and from there to the sole is adho.  One can practice chatushtada peeta as tripada peeta by placing one foot in padmasana.  Thighs will get stronger in this pose.  Please see photo # 8 and practice.


Navasana (Please see photo # 9 and practice)


Come down from chatushta peeta and without changing the position of legs perform two rechaka and purakas and as illustrated in the picture without bending the knees lift the legs up while lowering the neck a little bit.  Staying in this position without movement, perform rechaka and puraka for as long as possible.

Benefits: Slims down the waist and creates appetite

Ardha baddha padma paschimatanasana, part 1, (photo # 10, #11)

Procedure for practice: As in pachimatanasana, stretch the left leg forward and bend the right foot and place it on the left thigh with the bottom of the foot facing up.  As shown in the photo, from the back, take the right hand and grab the right foot big toe with the palm facing down.  Extend the left hand with a forward bend and tightly hold the left foot big toe with index and middle fingers or if possible with all fingers. Keeping the back straight, pressing the chin to the chest, perform not less than three rechaka and purakas (see Photo #10).  


While doing the 4th rechaka, fully extend the mid portion of the body and while lowering the head place the forehead on the knee (see photo #11).  Now repeat the corresponding posture with the right leg extending forward.  In this posture, one foot is like paschimatanasana and one foot is in baddha padmasana. Therefore, it is called ardha baddha padma paschimatanasana.

When people with obese or lean body types start practicing yoga and pranayama vigorously, it is natural to experience some pain in bone joints and musculature.  Because there is no type of exercise that will not induce such pain, we should not hesitate.  If we can tolerate for a few days and continue to practice, it will be most beneficial.  

Without practice, no one can achieve the ideal posture shown in the photos.  By gradually increasing the practice daily, we can achieve the perfect posture.  We should not use force.

Ardha baddha paschimatanasana part 2 (photo #14)


While sitting similar to part 1, if the left leg is stretched out, turn the left palm outwards and grab the left foot just beneath the big toe.  Turn your neck towards the right shoulder and look at the back.  Do not change the position of the right hand.

When the right leg is stretched out, turn the right palm outwards and grab the right foot underneath the big toe.  Turn the neck towards the left shoulder and look at the back.

The benefits are so many that it is impossible to discuss them all.  Many afflictions that have their roots in waist, neck, stomach, arms and vision will be removed.  

This posture must not be done immediately after eating or by women who are more than 5 month pregnant.

Matsyendrasana (photo # 15)

This is divided into uttama, madhyama and adhama (full, half and quarter) stages.
If one can practice, adhama matsyendrasana adequately, they are ready for madhyama and once proficient they will be eligible for full matsyendrasana.  Otherwise, they will be the target of so many afflictions.

It is unfortunate to do yoga practice without knowing this secret. Those with obese body type  must become proficient in the two parts of ardha baddha paschimatanasana before jumping into matsyendrasana.  Some people have obesity from childhood.  Now a days, 70 percent of both male and female children have obese body type.  This is a danger to a healthy life and acts as seed for the development of asthmatic condition. These kids must be coerced into learning yogabhyasa.  

Adhama matsyendrasana (photo # 11)

One must practice this posture for some time before moving on to other matsyendrasana postures.  Those who want to practice matsyendrasana and baddha padmasana must remain light eaters.  Otherwise, it will be hard to master these postures.  I’m going to stop providing detailed descriptions of postures now because I’m afraid that this manuscript will become huge.

I trust that those who are interested in practicing will learn from a qualified yoga teacher.  


Many of my old students from Kannada land are requesting me to write about pranayama practice for propagation.  Therefore, I’m writing about it.  Since the current generation are developing a keen sense of intellect:

अनन्तं पारं बहुवेदितव्यं अल्पस्च कालः बहवस्च विघ्नाः।
यत् सारभूतं तत् उपाददीतहंसो यथा क्षीरमिवांबु मिश्रं॥

As per this saying from a great man, since it is impossible to write about innumerable varieties of “pranayama”, I’m only going to write about three important one according to my Guru’s teachings.

1 ) Nadishodhana, 2) Ujjayi and 3) Sheetali are the most important ones.  These can be practiced by both men and women.  The first one purifies the blood and blood vessels.  The second one purifies the gut and the lungs, eliminates phlegm and provides good sleep. The third one eliminates poisons from nadis (channels), nodules, internal receptacles and joints and helps keep the body temperature in equilibrium.  Cures indigestion, improves life-span, energy and memory. These benefits are obtained from all three types of pranayama.

However, those who want to practice pranayama must be proficient mainly in shirshasana, sarvangasana, mahamudra and baddha padmasana.  They must also be be practicing brahmacharya, pativratya (faithful in relations), consuming satvic food, and practice japa and meditation with faith. From time immemorial, vedas, sutras, puranas and prose and poetry have been advertised in different times.  In Kruta yuga (time period) the dharma of mental psychology and yoga dharma was propagated through the vedas, in Dwapara yuga through vedas and sutras, in Treta yuga via the medium of vedas, sutras and puranas.  In Kali yuga (current period), vedas, sutras, puranas, prose and poetic medium is being utilized for the propagation of yoga dharma.  These prose and poetry are called smrutis, bhashyas  and suktis by people according to their custom.

If any dharma and custom is to be beneficial to society, it has to be written down as root manuscripts according to any civilization.  This is generally called law and justice.  Shouldn’t the yoga dharma be propagated by Indian’s in this period of Kali yuga by way of sutra, purana, prose and poetry?

After contemplating on all this, in order to bring out the essence, the great saint Sri Bhagat Patanjali created yogasutras, Vyasa rishi generated bhashya in prose style in order to demonstrate the correct way for mankind.  In doing so, they deserved glory.  Similarly many great rishis have written yoga manuscripts.  Yoga related upanishads are also well known.  These are eternal, immemorial and momentous.

Many Kannada writers have also published yoga dharma manuscripts in Kannada language. The three types of pranayama practices mentioned before are also discussed in these kannada manuscripts. Those teachers who study these manuscripts and teach the public will protect the people.  Those who don’t will cause much harm.

Nadi shodana pranayama

Before learning to practice pranayama it is very important to know the meaning of classical terminology:

Pranayama: duration of breath
Rechaka:Exhalation of breath
Puraka: Inhalation of breath
Antahkumbhaka: Holding of breath after inhalation
Bahyahkumbhaka: Holding of breath after exhalation ( do not inhale immediately after exhalation)
Kumbhaka: Holding of breath

These four states of pranavayu must be long.  Then only it is called pranayama. In order to learn the limit of these duration, we have to know the differences. There are two types of pranayama called samavrutti and vishamavrutti.  Householders must use baddhapadma and siddhasana for others.

If the duration of rechaka, puraka and antahkumbhaka are the same, it is called samavrutti pranayama.  If there are differences, then it is called vishamavrutti pranayama.


Rechaka 5 seconds,  puraka 5 seconds,  antahkumbhaka 5 seconds, is called samavrutti pranayama. Start with 5 seconds and gradually increase to 20 seconds.  Maximum should be not more than 30 seconds.  All rechaka and puraka practice  (not for kumbhaka), must be subtle, slow, long and must be accompanied by remembrance of house holder deity and mantra.  One must not indulge in surprise or fear of 30 second duration.  By gradual increase it is possible to reach it in 3 months.  Power of prana is the basis of long lifespan.

In vishamavrutti pranayama, puraka 5 seconds, kumbhaka 20 seconds and rechaka 10 seconds.  Rechaka must be twice the length of puraka and kumbhaka 4 times.  Here know that kumbhaka is antahkumbhaka.  First start with samavrutti and only after we are adept in it, we should start vishamavrutti.  Otherwise, you may get chest pain.  Those who are unable to do vishamavrutti can only practice samavrutti.  The basic tenet of Patanjali, Upavarsha and Varshaganya rishis is that one must practice yoga with deep inhalations and exhalations.  Sit facing east or north direction.

If we examine the Rishi traditions, rechaka puraka and kumbhaka is performed while holding both sides of the nose just below the bony part using right fingers.

Starting from the right thumb fold the second and third fingers on the inside and extend and join the pinky fingers and the ring finger next to it and press the left nostril while holding the right nostril pressed with the right thumb.

Mrugee mudra

This position is called the “Mrugee mudra”.  While holding in this position, our palm is in the form of a deer face.  Therefore, the name.  By employing this hold, prana flows only in the targeted nadis (channels).  Nitya and Kamya are two types of pranayama.  Mrugee mudra is used for nitya pranayama while Hamsa mudra and Sookari mudra are used for Kamya pranayama.  No need to discuss these details.  Patanjala yoga sutra bhashya only mentions “pranayama” and does not discuss details or different types.  Please see “Yogamakaranda” and “Yoganjali” texts for more details.

While doing rechaka and puraka on the right side, left nostril must be pressed tightly and while doing rechaka, puraka on the left side, right nostril is pressed tightly.  During kumbhaka, both nostrils are held tightly using “Mrugee mudra”

Om Shantih Shantih Shantih


NOTE (6/10/2016): With the translation of Krishnamacharya's second book Yogasanagalu ( Mysore 1941 - 3rd edition with additional chapter 1972) now complete, I'm just putting the finishing touches on a free to download edition of the full text that will be available on the Free Download page at the top of the blog.

There should be a blog post launching the full text by next week.


Misc. notes etc. from blog comments regarding the text



Antah kumbhaka (purakha kumbhaka) = retention of the breath after inhalation
Bahya kumbhaka (recaka kumbhaka= retention of the breath after exhalation
Ubhya kumbhaka = retention of the breath after both inhalation and exhalation

*In the Primary group above kumbhaka is indicated explicitly in only three postures, baddha padmasana, uttanasana and sethubandasana. In the earlier Yoga Makaranda (1934) however, kumbhaka is indicated other primary postures. This may be that while learning the Primary asana we may forgo kumbhaka in most of the primary postures until gaining familiarity and a degree of proficiency with those asana when we would then begin to work in the kumbhaka. this may be made clearer as the translation continues.

Kumbhaka (mentioned explicitly) in the Yoga Makaranda Primary asana
Tadasana (here implies samasthiti )- purakha kumbhaka
Uttanasana -purakha kumbhaka (we can perhaps presume that all the uttanasana variations would also include antha kumbhaka EG. padahastasana, parsvauttanasa
na, prasaritapadauttanasana.
Ardha baddha padma uttanasana - recaka kumbhaka
Urdhavamukhssvanasana - puraka kumbhaka
Adhomukhssvandasana - recaka kumbhaka
Paschimottanasana - purkha kumbhaka (recaka kumbhaka implied ?)
janusirsasana - purka kumbhaka & Rechaka kumbhaka
Upavistakonasana "recaka kumbhaka is the central principle for this posture"
badhakonasana - recaka kumbhaka
Suptapaddangusthasana- recaka kumbhaka
utthitahastapadangusthasana - recaka kumbhaka
Bhujapidasana - recaka kumbhaka
marichiyasana - recaka kumbhaka ?

re the table in the yogasangalu see pdf

The first column refers to Vinayasa number, the second to Asana positions, third to breathing order and fourth to Benefits. For e.g., the first one on the list, Uttanasana: 3,2,rechaka,abdominal purification.

I have seen some really categorical statements such as "one shouldn't be doing yogasanas without vinyasas and it is a shame that people who don't know better are bringing bad reputation to yoga sharstra" :)


Krishnamacharya knew we would be curious about Vinaysas!

From page 21:

“ Vinyasas” many are curious regarding its mystery. Some question its basis. I agree. (Then he quotes several verses from Patanjalayogasutra and Vyasabhasha in sanskrit written in Kannada script). Finally he concludes- Therefore, what type of breathing for which asana, when to inhale and when to exhale, how , when you bend forward inhale or exhale? What about when you raise your head? To learn this mystery and practice in order (krama) is Vinyasa.

I don’t see the jumping back and forward vinyasa of Ashtanga anywhere. Also, I don’t see Suryanamaskars A or B mentioned anywhere. I guess it must have been Jois’s innovation to bring Suryanamaskar along with its components of jumping into ashtanga vinyasa.

I will have to ask my brother regarding translation of Sanskrit verses. My sanskrit is really rusty and very basic. He had recently shared this link regarding sanskrit. How appropriate it is for this discussion. 

Yes Grimmly, there are retentions specified in many of the 2nd and 3rd level asanas. The next few pages really sets up the basics for starting a practice. Stay tuned. 

Asana table list
Hey Grimmly,

Let me quench your speculation because it may be a while before I can get to those pages in translation!  In the Tables on pdf pages 16 to 19, asana’s are divided into three groups – primary, middle and mature (proficient).  As you can see the primary and middle pretty much follows the Ashtanga primary and second series.  The remaining 56 are listed under the proficient.


Pashimatanasana (Purvatanasana)
Prasaritapadottasana a,b,c
Utthitatrikonasana a,b
Utthitaparsvakonasana a,b
Ardhabaddda padmottasana
Utthitahasta padangushtasana
Triyunmukhaikapada paschimatanasana
Marichasana a,b,c
Ardhabaddhapadma pachimatanasana
Baddhapadmasana with yogamudra
Navasana a,b


Dhanurasana – 2 sides
Dhanurasana – 3 Ekapada
Ekapada sarvanga
Marichasana d,e,f,g
Salamba Shirshasana
Niralamba Sarvangasana


Ekapada Rajakapota
Ekapada Baka, a,b
Niralamba sarvanga
Niralamba sheersha
Salamba sheersha
Urdhwa kukkuta
Vipareeta danda
Ekapada vipareeta danda
Ekapada danuh
Bakasana (hatha yoga)
Ardha matsyendrasana
Poorna matsyendrasana
Vipareeta shalabasana
Tiryanmukha utthitatrikonasana

How to practice Krishnamacharya's early ashtanga?

This article will most likely change as more of the translation becomes available and a clearer understanding of Krishnamacharya's approach to practice in 1941 is revealed.

I was asked whether I would include jump back's/jump throughs etc. in my practice of the Primary and Middle group in Krishnamachary's Yogasanagalu (see below).

Satya Murthy, who has been translating Krishnamacharya's yogasanagalu, has indicated that there is good stuff to come on this as the translation of the text continues.

Grimmly said...

I think I'm most curious about the breath, , how slow, whether there are retentions in some postures, if inhale and exhale are equal or the exhale longer in some postures, if it suggests five breaths or eight etc.. curious whether there's anything on drishti too, if there's much on pranayama and pratyahara.... Lots to look forward to.

Savim said...

Yes Grimmly, there are retentions specified in many of the 2nd and 3rd level asanas. The next few pages really sets up the basics for starting a practice. Stay tuned. Satya.

For now I'm going with Krishnamacharya's Yoga Makaranda published in 1934 in Kannada and 1938 in Tamil.

There is a freely downloadable edition HERE

Let's take Paschimottanasana for example. Interestingly this seated posture appears in the Yogasanagalu in the middle of the opening standing group.

Krishnamacharya's instruction for Paschimattanasana in the Yoga Makaranda

'Pascimattanasana or Pascimottanasana (Figure 4.19 — 4.28)
This asana has many kramas. Of these the first form has 16 vinyasas. Just doing the asana sthiti by sitting in the same spot without doing these vinyasas will not yield the complete benefits mentioned in the yoga sastras. This rule applies to all asanas.
The first three vinyasas are exactly as for uttanasana. The 4th vinyasa is caturanga dandasana, the 5th vinyasa is urdhvamukhasvanasana, the 6th vinyasa is adhomukhasvanasana. Practise these following the earlier instructions. In the 6th vinyasa, doing puraka kumbhaka, jump and arrive at the 7th vinyasa. That is, from adhomukhasvanasana sthiti, jump forward and move both legs between the arms without allowing the legs to touch the floor. Extend the legs out forward and sit down. Practise sitting like this with the rear part of the body either between the two hands or 4 angulas in front of the hands. It is better to learn the abhyasa krama from a guru. In this sthiti, push the chest forward, do puraka kumbhaka and gaze steadily at the tip of the nose. After this extend both arms out towards the feet (the legs are already extended in front). Clasp the big toes of the feet tightly with the first three fingers (thumb, index, middle) of the hands such that the left hand holds the left big toe and the right hand holds the right big toe. Do not raise the knees even slightly. Then, pull in the stomach while doing recaka, lower the head and press the face down onto the knee. The knees should not rise from the ground in this sthiti either. This is the 9th vinyasa. This is called pascimottanasana. In the beginning, everybody will find it very difficult. The nerves in the back, the thighs and the backs of the knees will feel as though they are being fiercely pulled and this will be extremely painful. The pain will remain for 8 days. After this, the pulling on the nerves will release and it will be possible to do the asana without any problem. This pascimottanasana has many forms. After first practising this asana with the face pressed onto the knee, practise it with the chin placed on the knee and then eventually with it placed 3 angulas below the knee on the calf. In the 10th vinyasa raise the head. In the 11th vinyasa, keeping the hands firmly pressed on the ground, raise the entire body off the ground and balance it in the air without touching the ground. The 11th vinyasa is called uthpluthi. The 12th vinyasa is caturanga dandasana. The 13th is urdhvamukhasvanasana. The 14th is adhomukhasvanasana. The 15th is the first vinyasa of uttanasana. The 16th vinyasa is the 2nd vinyasa of uttanasana. Afterwards, return to samasthiti. You should learn the intricacies of this vinyasa only from a guru.
Benefit: This will cure all diseases related to the stomach.
This asana can be done on the floor or on a mat according to the capabilities of one’s body. Learn some of the other forms of pascimottanasana krama by studying the pictures carefully. Pregnant women should not do this asana. But this can be done up to the third month of pregnancy. For men, there are no restrictions to practising this asana. If this is practised every day without fail for 15 minutes, all the bad diseases of the stomach will be removed.' 
Yoga Makaranda. T. Krishnamachacharya Translated from the Tamil (1938 ) by Sri C. M. V. Krishnamacharya / Sri S. Ranganathadesikachar 
Below is an illustration of the transition in and out of the asana from the editors appendix to the Media Garuda edition (the boxed positions are an addition by the editor, not included in the instruction but assumed).

Below Krishnamacharya demonstrates vinyasas (variations) of paschimottanasana

'Learn some of the other forms of pascimottanasana krama by studying the pictures carefully'. p69

TRANSITIONING  (Jumping back and through)
Krishnamacharya stresses the vinyasas to arrive and exit the posture.

'Of these the first form has 16 vinyasas. Just doing the asana sthiti by sitting in the same spot without doing these vinyasas will not yield the complete benefits mentioned in the yoga sastras. This rule applies to all asanas. ' p69

So yes, clearly a jump though and jump back (or step through and back) to the posture. 

Of course this doesn't necessarily mean that one should include a jump back and through between each side or each variation. Srivatsa Ramaswami who studied with Ramaswami from the 1950's-80's was taught by Krishnamacharya to jump through to the asana in a similar way to that illustrated above, but once there, to perform the different vinyasas/variations of the key asana before then transitioning back out of the asana, subroutine or sequence.

As with paschimattanasana many of the asana have several vinyasas/variations demonstrated in the book. Whether we would choose to practice one or more of those variations would depend on the goal of our practice for that day. 

This is why I interpret  the groups in Yogasanagalu as signposts along the way, at any point one might include extra vinyasas of the key asana. It will be interesting to see if this is made explicit as we get further into the translation of Yogasanagalu.

We also have drishti (gaze)

'...keep the gaze fixed on the mid brow' p103

'..gaze steadily at the tip of the nose' p69


It is also clear that in some postures one would stay for longer and shorter periods than others.

Adhomukhasvanasana (Downward dog) an excellent posture for exploring and developing uddiyana bandha...

'As a result of the strength of the practice, one learns to hold this posture for fifteen minutes' p69


Breathing is complex in Yoga Makaranda and I look forward to seeing how it is described in Yogasanagalu.

In some postures Krishnamacharya mentions making the inhalation and exhalation the same.

'Inhalation and exhalation of the breath must be slow and of equal duration' p99 Utthitahastapaddangusthasana

Many of the postures, however, include Kumbhaka (breath retention) often but not always on the exhalation but always made clear.


'While doing Janusirsasana, pull in the stomach to the extent possible. the benefits obtained will be greater. While drawing the stomach inward, exhale and then hold the breath' p 142

'Recaka kumbhaka must be done in this sthiti. That is expel the breath completely from the body, maintain this position and then without allowing any breath into the body, bend the the upper body. Now carefully pull in the stomach as much as one's strength allows and hold it in.  p99 (another stage of Utthitahastapaddangusthasana).

We can see then that the practice of asana in Yoga Makaranda is highly sophisticated. Where modern Ashtanga has been simplified and standardized (not necessarily a criticism ), the approach to each asana in the Yoga makaranda appears to be variable as is which and how many vinyasas/variations of a asana one may practice.

This adaptable approach to practice, even though we find set Primary and Middle groups clearly laid out in table form in Yogasanagalu, seems to be consistent throughout Krishnamacharya's teaching. One adapts one teaching to the student and teaching situation just as one adapts ones own practice to the goal of the day.

So in approaching the groups in Yogasanagalu one might approach them in a standard, simplified manner of equal inhalation and exhalation with no retention, include jump throughs and back between asanas or sides and stick to the sequences as laid out while also including standard drishti.

One might also approach the groups with more sophistication to 'derive the greatest benefit' from the asanas, choosing to develop some areas of the group through vinyasas/variations, stay perhaps for extended periods in some postures but not in others and include bandhas (jalandhara would effect the drishti) more intensely in some postures and practice breath retention how, to what degree and where applicable. Also to practice the asana in the context of an integrated yoga practice in which the other limbs are explored and developed as fully, if not more so than just asana.

The picture groups below are intended as a rough visual representation of the list above. 

Primary group : Standing

Primary Group : Seated 
Middle Group

Primary Group : Finishing 
Proficient Group

Proficient series correspondence with David Williams Ashtanga Syllabus
Advanced A Series
1-9, 13-20, 37, 39-41, 53, 
Advanced  B Series
21-28, 30, 35, 38, 42-45, 47-51, 55-56
2nd series
10-12, 29, 31, 33, 52, 54
34, 36, 46,
The translation and treatment of the sutra below is from Patanjali's Yoga Sutras Based on the teaching of Srivatsa Ramaswami by Pamela Hoxsey and taught on the Vinyasa Krama teacher training course that I attended in 2010. This is relevant because Ramaswami spent over thirty years, from the 1950's to the 1980's, as Krishnamacharya's student.

Yoga Sutra II-47 

"prayatna - effort (of life which is breathing)

saithilya - smooth (make it smooth)


          ananta -breath

          samapattibhyam - focusing on it

By making the breath smooth (and long), and by concentration or focussing the mind on the breath, the perfection of the posture is obtained. Note: Krishnamacharya interprets this sutra differently than other teachers. he gives the correct technical meaning (in this context) fromn prayatna or Jivana prayatna, or effort of life which is breath. he says that it is the breath that should be made smooth and effortless, not the posture. it is not physical; it is the breathing" p55
------------------------------- I also found an Online edition of The Yoga Sutras with Vyasa's commentary and the explanation/gloss called
tattva- vaicardi of Vachaspati Micra ( Mitra) quoted in length in the text above.

II- 47. By relaxation of effort or by a [mental] state-of-balance with reference to Ananta [A posture] results. With these words the sentence is completed. When efforts cease the posture is completed,so that there is no agitation of the body. Or the mind-stuff comes into a balanced-state with reference to Ananta and produces the posture. (Vyasa) Having stated what the postures are, he tells what are the means of attaining them. 47.By relaxation of effort or by a [mental] state-of-balance with reference to Ananta. A natural effort sustaining the body is not the cause of this kind of posture which is to be taught as an aid to yoga. For if its cause were such, the preaching of it would be purposeless in that it could be naturally perfected. Therefore this natural effort does not accomplish this kind of posture which is to be taught and is contrary [to it]. For in so far as this [natural posture] is the cause of an arbitrarily chosen posture it is the destroyer of the specific kind of posture. Consequently a man, practising the specific posture as taught, should resort to an effort which consists in the relaxation of the natural effort. Otherwise the posture taught cannot be accomplished. Or . . . with Ananta,^ the Chief of Serpents, who upholds the globe of the earth upon his thousand very steadfast hoods, [with him] the mind-stuff comes into a balanced state and produces the posture". (Vachaspati Micra)

Translation of Ananta
Ananta is another name for Vishnu (the infinite. limitless one) and often gets translated as infinity, some argue that the meaning of this sutra is to meditate upon the infinite, Sankara puts it like this,

"When the mind attains samadhi on that which stands pervading all existence, the posture is perfected, made firm" p275  

As Ramaswami states
"Krishnamacharya interprets this sutra differently than other teachers..."

"There is another interpretation of the word ananta. The...meaning comes from the word "ana" which means to breathe. Ana means preach. for example, prana, apana, vyana, and so on. They all come from the root ana, to breath. So, here ananta refers to the breath. Ananta Samapatti is to focus your attention on the breath. Anatasamapatti is to focus your attention on the life force which is the breath." p97-98

Enjoy the two types ?

I've been troubled by the meaning of this, it seems to be a heading but what are the two types Krishnamacharya is referring too. 

In the quoted (at length) commentary of Vachaspati Micra we find this line,

"By relaxation of effort or by a [mental] state-of-balance with reference to Ananta"

Is this then the two types (approaches to practice or asana)  that Krishnamacharya is referring too

1. "By relaxation of effort 
A natural effort sustaining the body is not the cause of this kind of posture which is to be taught as an aid to yoga. For if its cause were such, the preaching of it would be purposeless in that it could be naturally perfected. Therefore this natural effort does not accomplish this kind of posture which is to be taught and is contrary [to it]. For in so far as this [natural posture] is the cause of an arbitrarily chosen posture it is the destroyer of the specific kind of posture. Consequently a man, practising the specific posture as taught, should resort to an effort which consists in the relaxation of the natural effort. Otherwise the posture taught cannot be accomplished". Vachaspati Micra

How do we do this?
As Ramaswami stated above
"By making the breath smooth (and long), and by concentration or focussing the mind on the breath, the perfection of the posture is obtained. Note: Krishnamacharya interprets this sutra differently than other teachers. he gives the correct technical meaning (in this context) fromn prayatna or Jivana prayatna, or effort of life which is breath. he says that it is the breath that should be made smooth and effortless, not the posture. it is not physical; it is the breathing" p55

2. by a [mental] state-of-balance with reference to Ananta
Or . . . with Ananta,^ the Chief of Serpents, who upholds the globe of the earth upon his thousand very steadfast hoods, [with him] the mind-stuff comes into a balanced state and produces the posture". (Vachaspati Micra)




It's interesting here that Krishnamacharya gives a warning about kriyas and yet still goes ahead and describes them rather than the mudras, both kriyas and mudras were covered in his earlier book Yoga Makaranda.

A. G. Mohan writes at some length about discussing Kriyas with Krishnamacharya in his book Krishnamacharya: His Life and Teachings,

"Krishnamacharya , however, did not recommend the kriyas to his students. He considered them mostly unnecessary and sometimes risky. He would point out that the kriyas are not found in the more ancient texts;they are relatively recent practices. He would add, "The kriyas are not necessary if you know now how to do proper asana and pranayama". The Hath Yoga Prapdika supports this view:

Some teachers say that all impurities are removed by pranayama alone and other acts (the above mentioned kriyas) are not accepted by them.
Hatha yoga prapdika 2.37"
Krishnamacharya: His Life and Teachings, A. G. Mohan p 63-64

Srivatsa Ramaswami, who studied with Krishnamacharya for 33 years writes

"The six (sat-kriya) practices are dhouti (stomach wash), Basti ( or vasti, colon wash)  Neti (nasal wash), Trataka (or tratakum, gazing), Nauli (stomach churn) and  Kapala bhati (skull polishing). 
Of the first there which use water , cloth or other external agencies, were not recommended or encouraged in the system in which i was trained ( i.e. Krishnamacharya). trataka, which is a good exercise for the eyes, nauli, which is for the lower abdomen and kapalabhati, which is primarily for the respiratory system, are however, frequently used by abhyasis, none of these practices introduce external aids into the system, and none is as displeasing as the first three". 
Yoga for the three stages of life Srivatsa Ramaswami p89


Anonymous said...


yoganangulu is very smart series copy bns techer student krishnamacharya yogashala mysore

Grimmly said...

Thank you Sir for your comment and links. I have been thinking recently again of coming to study/practice in Mysore

Unknown said...

WOW. I love this. Thank you so so much. Namaste.

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

TK writes in the introduction to this text:

"This writing is mainly based on the following texts:
Upanishads related to yoga"

Does "Yogakuranti" mean "Yoga Korunta"? And why is there no further reference to this in the text? Is it possible to shed some light on this?

Thank you.


Grimmly said...

I noticed the same and mentioned it in this post

He doesn't mention Rajayogaratnakara in the actual text either, it could mean that parts of the text are based on his study of Rajayogaratnakara and Yogakurunti, he was supposedly made to memorise it but if so surely he would have quoted it more than the single quote we always get from Vyasa "yogi don't practice asana without vinyasa".

Perhaps we shall never know for sure, perhaps more interesting than what is in the text is why we want it to exist, validation for the practice. And if it turned up would we then wonder who taught it to Vamana Rishi or would we be happy to think he had come up with it himself.

Anonymous said...


Thank you for the reply and the link to your older post, I hadn´t read it before.

I agree that one would expect TK to quote more elaborately from the text.

If you see the whole "Yoga Korunta" myth in the context of Krishnamacharya´s efforts to "propagate" yoga and other "ancient" Indian knowledge, its non-existence could mean that TK really did build much of his work on more recent developments, as it was suggested by Norman Sjoman in "The Yoga Tradition of the Mysore Palace".


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