Yoga Makaranda and Some Extra Yamas and Niyamas I had not Heard Of

Been reading Krisnamacharya’s Yoga Makaranda with delight. Thanks Grimmly for passing around the link to the free e-book.

There is some controversy over the recently published work on this translation as in: original transaltor said, KHYF replied, original translator said.

But controversies aside (see end note), I am glad the book is free and available online for anyone to see what a true master of yoga like Krishnamacharya would have us understand within the confines of 169 pages, most of them filled with great pictures of asana performed by him and some of his -very young- students.

A.G. Mohan (author of Krishnamacharya his life and teachings)  says in his book that he heard Krishnamacharya’s wife say that he wrote it in 3 nights.  No Facebook back then, ha?

The one surprise I found right away is that he lists 10 yamas (observances of yoga) and 10 niyamas (principles to follow in yoga), not five as we are accustomed to hear, say, from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

I suppose they can be combined into the mayor five but not always.

I, for once, was happy to find some of them addressing issues like money, hoarding and giving, or mantra repetition and visualization of well being, or the divine auspiciousness reaching us.  To me this makes the yamas and niyamas come much closer to my time, to things that affect me in this century, it brings them closer to home.

Take for example how we have all heard of: Ahimsha –non-violence-, satva –truth of word and thought-, asteya –do not take or steal from others-, bramacharya –using our sexual energy responsibly-, and aparigraha –non-possessiveness-.

Tirumalai K. adds a few more

KSHAMA – Equanimity of mind no matter what happens in life
DHRTHI – to continue our work with mental steadfastness and courage no matter what may come
DAYA – to behave with good intentions towards all, be it friend or foe
ARJAVAM – to keep the state of mind honest
MITAHARA – to eat food only to one half of the stomach, the other half goes half to air and half to water

and wait, there is more!
” … to not hoard money is called asanchayama, this is also a yama”, maybe even two: “… to perform good deeds without fear is also a yama”

And then, on the niyamas, we have heard of: Saucha –cleanliness of body and mind– Santosha –contentment-, Tapas –austerity practice-, Svadhyaya –study of scriptures-, and Ishvarapranidhana –surrender to God

Krishnamacharya has this to add:

ASTHIKYA – to make up our minds and follow with conviction the energy that protects all worlds “paramatma”
DAANA – to give away from our honestly earned earnings to good causes without expectations
HRI – Modesty
JAPA –  To properly chant the great mantras
MATHI – to visualize divine auspiciousness from our chosen deity

I am glad he separated them, made them 10 and elaborated.  Here is the free book, the yamas and niyamas are on page 22.

End note: The original translator, Nandini Ranganathan, says:
“…I ask that you do not sell it but you are welcome to put it on a website for anybody to download, to e-mail further, or to lend your manuscript to be copied by anybody. It does have typos (remember, we did this in 2006 and planned to do a final revision or a new edition later) but I think it is actually otherwise reasonable (we would welcome corrections and comments). Most importantly, it will accomplish our goal that people read what Krishnamacharya had to say without interruption and without censorship. The book is powerful and wonderful and I hope any of you that reads it finds it as meaningful and relevant as we did”

We did.

And so, here is the book, share it!


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9 Responses to Yoga Makaranda and Some Extra Yamas and Niyamas I had not Heard Of

  1. Capricious Yogi April 25, 2011 at 9:11 am #

    thanks for sharing! I&#39;m looking forward to downloading the free e-book. I recently finished &quot;Krishnamacharya his life and teachings&quot; and found it really inspiring. Given my own recent study of the yamas, this will make a great addition. <br />Shanti!

  2. Claudia April 25, 2011 at 9:19 am #

    Hi Capricious Yogi, loved the little vignete cartoon in the latest post 🙂 and yes this adds a lot of perspective!. I also liked the AG Mohan book, I especially like when he is with Krishnamacharya at the end of his life and asks of him &quot;what is important in life&quot;, and Krishanmacharya says: &quot;Health Longevity a tranquil mind&quot;… so true! 🙂

  3. Anonymous April 25, 2011 at 12:32 pm #

    What would you suggest to a yoga beginner? <br />How many days of practice per week?<br />Any good beginner videos/books to use on filler days when not at class?<br /><br />How long ago did you start yoga?<br />Thanks. <br />The info I find is overwhelming to a beginner like me.

  4. Claudia April 25, 2011 at 12:36 pm #

    Anonymous, i appreciate your comment, it is indeed very overwhelming to come into yoga and I take your post to heart, think I will write a post dedicated to this…in the meantime if you like Ashtanga yoga, at least in my case I started by practicing three times a week. I used Mark Darby&#39;s DVD because it had him doing the poses and a French female instructor who did &quot;modifications&

  5. Claudia April 25, 2011 at 12:38 pm #

    One more thing, I believe Kino MacGregor has a DVD coming out soon on the first part of the primary series. She also has someone doing modifications, AND there is a chapter on breathing and one on philosophy… you could try that one too, I have not seen it yet but sure will be reviewing it when it comes out kino is at

  6. Anonymous April 25, 2011 at 12:55 pm #

    I cant tell you how many people I know that won&#39;t do yoga primarily because they are intimidated. I look forward to your post for beginners…and thank you for the information, it&#39;s very helpful. <br /><br />I am always breathing in when I should be breathing out… 🙂

  7. Claudia April 25, 2011 at 1:50 pm #

    Anonymous, thank for being the voice, you have inspired me deeply and I have began work on this post at once, what a great idea! I sincerely appreciate that you actually said it out loud… and as per the breathing in and out, you had me laughing… I am sure that is not the case, at least not always 🙂

  8. Anonymous April 25, 2011 at 5:54 pm #

    I ordered the Mark Darby&#39;s dvd. I let you know how I am doing in few weeks. I&#39;m excited about this. Happy I made you smile. Thanks again.

  9. Claudia April 25, 2011 at 6:29 pm #