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On Teaching
Sri K Pattabhi Jois Public Talks on Ashtanga Yoga - France 1991
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Question: Kailas has a question about teaching, teaching your yogamethod, he wants to start. When you say one can know when he is ready tostart teaching your method. And when to start pushing and pullingpeoples bodies to perfect the asanas. And if somebody has some injuryafter being pushed, what to do then?

Answer: Now gradually. If injury is coming, gradually you take. Don’tpush (force). Pushing means one asana you doing, not pushing that asanais notcorrect (if you have to use force and still the student is unable to dothe posture, the student is not ready). Not coming. Even 10 years youdo, one asana also is notcorrect. That is real, that is why you method you take that position(you must understand the method and sequencing).Student position is coming, after that self doing possible (If thestudent is able to do the posture with an adjustment, afterwards he/shewill be able to do it by themselves). Withoutthat method is not possible. First the method you understand. Aftersecond posture is not correct.

Man is every day strong body, stiff body, smooth (flexible) body, manytypes ofbodies. That is why that position (asana) is how long correct iscoming? Longtime you take. You push position is take, injury is coming. Take longtime, now you push and Oh! Pain - oh! Wait! wait, just gradually,inhale, exhale, you do breathing system, you introduce breathing systemalways, this is all your body anyone. (with breathing system any bodytype can do the postures) - you take a strong body, stiffbody, smooth body, any one you take, all breathing including, breathingcorrectly you do, body automatically is bending. Breathing is notcorrect, bending very difficult. Bending also you take care, you push,that is also very dangerous, sometimes with control (holding) breathingI willpushing (you are pushing yourself into a posture but holding thebreath) - it will start pain, starting sick also, suffering more. Thatbreathing is correct it. Breathing exhale you push after no problem,youcan understand. Same teaching, also very difficult, it is not easy toteach - very difficult. Difficult subject in yoga method also.

Question: Is it possible to take anybody directly in the primary series?

Answer: Yes, sure. Anybody is taken primary first. First taken one ortwo years (takes one or two years to learn). Gradually you breathingsystem is correct it, you bending (with correct breathing systemflexibility is coming).All is correct. Any age. No age restriction. This is age restriction?No. Except lazy people, in all the (for all) people, all very age (veryold), young people, after 40 years, after 80 years, any one stage, norestriction, no age restriction in yoga practice.

Question: Is there health restriction for yoga practice?

Answer: Vyadhi means diseases. Diseased people also take practice. It is curing.
Also weakness: one suryanamaskara you do, fell down, tired - thatstudent also take gradually. That is only one day you take all theasanas, very dangerous (if you learn all the asanas in one day it isvery dangerous). Gradually, gradually. Today how long strength?How is strength yours? You take one suryanamaskar 3 times you do.Finished! Finish. Stop (after 3 suryanamaskar for) one week. Secondsuryanamaskar you take oneweek. Stop. After next week (3rd week) you take one (or) two asanas.Standing positionsone two asanas same. But you don’t forget (the sequence). One by oneyou must take.All the asanas link is there. That is real.


Question: Didier is leaving tomorrow and is asking when he will know if he is ready for teaching…

Answer: Self practice takes long time, long time you take practice,practice, practice, practice. After it is correcting. But you want tosometime one or two years, three years you want to (go to) someteacher. Is a correct teacher. After you take better, you selfpractice, sometimes laziness is coming. “Tomorrow I am doing, today Idon’t want.” Some pain is starting, 2 or 3 days is stopping, that isreal. That is why you take one master. You take practice one or twoyears, take 3 years also. No problem, but is a correct method. Correctmethod, correct posture you take. After self-practice easy.

One time or two times, you come to Mysore. That is better. One or threemonths, you are staying it is better. Three months only one way yourmind collecting (your mind will be concentrated only on yoga). Not spreading(distracting) your mind there in Mysore. You came only (for) one yogapurpose. Another work is not there (work distractions are not there). That is why 3 months you take goodpractice. After is better. After you take teach no problem. Yes,practice also is good, teaching also is good. That method, thattechnical method you don’t understand, teaching very difficult. That isreal in yoga practice.
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