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.
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”