On Practice
Sri K Pattabhi Jois Public Talks on Ashtanga Yoga - France 1991
Written by guy   
These transcripts are a record of public talks given by Sri K Pattabhi Jois in France in August 1991. The questions were asked by Jean Claude Garnier and written down by Gilles Kerviche. Guruji's English is hard to follow at times so I have made some very minor edits to the text and included explanations in parentheses.

These records form part of a larger collection of of questions and answers to Guruji over several years published in French as "Entretiens avec Guruji" (51 pages) and it can be obtained from Jean Claude Garnier for 20 € + mailing costs

Question: Why should we not practice on full and new moon days?

Answer: That day is very difficult day. Two stars one place(conjunction) is going. New moon also, full moon also. That day verydangerous day. You (take) practice (on that day), anyone can have asmall pain starting. That pain is not going very quickly. Long time heis taking. Some broken possible. That is why that day don’t do. Question: When practicing alone at home, sometimes one feels tired, not motivated for practice what to do then?

Answer: You must continue no problem. But everyday you different food, you are eating. That is why. Different food is making weakness…

Shastra (scripture) is telling: “one day different food you eat, if you eat onion, that day your mind is no good. One day you take and another bad food you eat. That day your mind not agree (to do) any good work.” Good food you take, that day is very favored - your mind (is) clear, you see! … That is why every day … some sattvic (pure) food you are eating, that is good.

One day laziness is coming: “Ah, tomorrow I am doing, today, don’t want,” he is telling. Mind is there, mind is not agree. Good food you take, mind always is good. That is method. Increasing (good) food you take, your mind same increasing. Same method. Everyday you take bad food, your mind is every day working bad work… You take anyone good food everyday, same is your mind. Same method.

Question: What is the good food, sattvic food?

Sattva guna increasing, food same. Which one is giving you strength, your age (long life), you like always, that is.

You use milk everyday. That is good food. That is increasing your life age.

Buddhi means your mind flower very clear, you take every day ghee. Ghee use. Ghee and milk and wheat. That is called “Gaudi rava”, Chapati is making with wheat. Some vegetable you eat. That is good food. If you eat meat and champagne, all is very bad food. Very hot food, strong food. Strong means the food you need to chew ten to twenty times, this is no good. If you eat food you have prepared eight days back, this is also not good.

Question: Can you tell us why it is important that the room is warm and that we perspire?

Answer: This is only for small windows is open (only open a small window). That is your internal bad poison is coming out. That is taken good. That is small rooms. That is the windows don’t take it out (open), complete close. That is he is telling one.

Mata means you yoga practitioner taking classes. You can understand, you doing practice, which place? That place how is? That is important. “All padwara” means: all the windows don’t open. Outside don’t take practice - outside don’t take practice. “All padwara” means some windows you open. That window taken ten feet high, that window is complete open. Don’t put it there dirty (dont practice in a dirty place).

Third, fourth floor he is doing yoga - very bad. Underground he is doing yoga, very bad. First floor, that is all. First floor you take practice. That air is going third floor, fourth floor? That is not coming - your breathing is no good there. Underground breathing also is not good. Oxygen, you want oxygen, only for tree anyone complete trees house (shala should be surrounded by trees). There is oxygen complete here. Clear oxygen is coming, that is why first floor that is good place. Same place, same anyone you take. Don’t go upstairs, don’t do downstairs, don’t do central place. After, every day that place is cleaned.

Dirty don’t take. Inhalation, exhalation time is going dirty in your inside, internally. Heart is very bad after. That is why every day you must clean. - Amala means very clean that place. Animals, small animals is going (insects) is going - that is no good. That is all. You take outside your practice - bad.

Question: what is the good environment temperature for yoga practice?

Answer: Cool. Cool place, heater I don’t want. Automatically your body will be hot with breathing. Cool time you will be starting your practice. Cool place. Much cool is coming in your country, after you use heater (if it is very cold, then you can use a heater). This is very bad. Don’t take heater, otherwise you energy is gone. Automatically, you do breathing you will be hot. Practice, practice with breathing and you will be increasing your body heat. That heat is energy. Energy you want. Don’t use the heater while doing the yoga practice. That is very bad, your body will not be good, your health also will not be good. That is real.

Question: Why do you say it is not good to practice outside? Kailas refers to stories about yogis in India practicing in the forest.

Answer: That is very bad, don’t take it - not any one place is not telling. Your energy you want. Energy you doing practice practice outside, your heat is not coming out. Heat increasing and poison is not coming out. Poison means sweat… Your strength is gone. Your temperature is gone. One body you take one level temperature, you want temperature. You take inside practice, after coming your sweat completely. Completely you massage (massage sweat into body after practice), don’t wipe off with the cloth, don’t wash, you complete you massage. Very strong, and very light your body will become. Outside you do, one day you do, outside you do one complete yoga practice. After one or two days you look. After you tell! (check for yourself, try practicing outside and see)

That is very bad thing he is telling. First you left it, that one. Don’t take (heater) you take yoga practice. Morning if you put the heater on, your blood will become like water.

Question: Why is running before practice not good? I am doing every day much running and then practice.

Answer: Heart weakness is coming you know. You are doing breathing through the mouth. Running time, breathing is coming not nose.

Je respire par le nez, pas par la bouche. (I breathe through my nose, not through my mouth)

Do you close the mouth completely? Breathing impossible! If you are always breathing through the nose then no pain will be coming there (knee) pain. Now you suffering pain, because of the breathing through mouth.

One part don’t do exercise. You want to give exercise whole body, you give exercise. Now is running only for legs exercise. Dumbbell, only for arms exercise.Whole body not given exercise - you must give whole body exercise. That is internal exercise.
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