|Krishnamacharya teaching Yvonne Millerand from A Yoga of a yogi (?)|
I was sent a wonderful link this evening concerning Yvonne Millerand who studied with Krishnamacharya for nine months in the 60's here's the link
Here my friend Dmitry Baryshnikov translates an article into Russian which I have in turn put through Google translate to at least give a taste of the interview
Yvonne Millerand Krishnamacharya and lessons (from the book "A Yoga of a Yogi")
Millerand Yvonne (Yvonne Millerand) in his youth had been an athlete. She met Krishnamacharya in the 1960s (that was about 76 years). After that, she went to teach yoga, and played a key role in the creation of the French School of Yoga (French School of Yoga). She also acted as the author of "A Practical Guide to Hatha Yoga." She continued her studies with Desikachar (Krishnamacharya's son) after the death of Krishnamacharya and returned to India many times. She now lives in France and moved away from teaching, but still alive the memories of time spent with their teacher.
In search of a decent teacher I heard about Krishnamacharya . I wrote Krishnamacharya letter to Madras, and we exchanged many letters to each other before I actually went to India. About my stay was delivered several conditions. I had to promise to refrain from the use of eggs, meat or fish. Of course, I agreed. Finally, I received a very warm and inviting letter from Madras and went there at the end of August. My daughter Christina went before me, I booked a room at the hotel, and most importantly, gave me an appointment with the Master on September 3, 1964 at 5 pm. She came to me and introduced me to the Master at the first meeting.
He was sitting on the stairs. He greeted us and then asked me to come to enter the classroom. After a short pause, sitting in a chair, he said: "Show me what you can do." I was very impressed, but managed to do all that came to my mind - the slopes, deflections, cords on both sides, twisting Pashchimottanasana, Ardha Padmasana, Sarvangasana, Shirshasana and many others. I sat down and looked at him. Suddenly he asked me, "Why did you leave your teacher?" Christine and I replied at once: "He's dead, sir." English, difficult for my understanding, he said: "You do not know anything. You do not know how to breathe and you just jump up and down like a sparrow! Come back on Friday at 5 pm, not before and not after. "
I arrived just in time. Giving me a few lessons a week, he started with a simple asana practice. I was to establish a link between breath and movement. Breathing should be controlled hand movements, slower breathing, the slower the movement. Each asana followed repeated at least four times. After one hour lesson in a sitting position, I learned the sound Udzhdzhayi and be able to distinguish it from the nasal sound. He allowed me to begin the simplest Pranayama - Udzhdzhayi Anuloma and Udzhdzhayi Viloma.
Krishnamacharya used to tell me, "lift up your chest," for the fact that, due to the rise of my chest, I could fill the air flow based on my lungs. After that, he insisted on the exhale with the abdominal muscles and the perineum. Breathe in and out - of course, but with the insertion of pauses, everything changes. Coached control is felt as an affirmation of life and gives a sense of a better life, by controlling breathing and blood circulation, which are interrelated. This is what I felt.
After a few asanas, he taught me the role of counter-poses, whose mission is to revert certain negative consequences. He taught me a variety of asanas that I never met. He never imposed me their names in Sanskrit and wherever possible used the English - "posture bed, mountain pose, stand on their shoulders, stand on your head, etc." On the other hand, he taught me all the names of Pranayam in Sanskrit. After a while he began to measure my heart rate before and after class. My heart rate should not exceed 65 beats per minute, that he was sure that my breath harmoniously followed the efforts during the practice of asanas.
Time has flown by very quickly. Toward the end of my stay did Krishnamacharya special emphasis on the two postures and their variations - and Sarvangasanu shirshasana. He asked me is in these positions, first on 15 minutes, and then gradually to 20 minutes. He wanted me to be equalized the number of breaths in each case. I never managed to do it in Sarvangasane, feeling more at ease working with shirshasana.
Until now, in front of my eyes is that last experience, printed in memory before I left Madras. After a few asanas Krishnamacharya asked me to do a headstand and stay in it for 30 minutes and count my breath. He remained in the classroom, watching the clock, until the time is over. I was busy holding the account balance and the number of breaths. I lowered my fingers one by one to the back on each breath, so when I used my 10 fingers, I knew I had done 10 breaths.
Upon completion of my 36 expiration Krishnamacharya told me to lie down for a while. I felt good, but when I walked out of class to the street, to me there was a very unusual thing. I was surrounded by blue light, like I was in heaven. Around him, I could not see anything but blue. I'm still wondering how I came back to the hotel, probably as well-programmed robot, I sat in my room, my mind is blank, no thought, no movement. Blue slowly subsided and disappeared. In my head there was a question: "What happened to me?" I served almost one breath per minute. Was the reason for the slowness of my asana or breath made this emptiness in my mind? My mistake was that I did not dare tell Krishnamacharya about this experience in my next lesson.
On his last day in India, I brought a basket of fruit and a flower garland for my teacher. He handed me a diploma and gave permission to pass it on to other lessons. His wife and son were also present, which was a great honor for me. My stay in India has been the greatest adventure of my life.
My relationship with Krishnamacharya much changed during my stay. I did what I asked for, no questions asked. If I did not know the name of any asanas in Sanskrit, the master uttered it and I repeated after him. He was hard to please, but he was always fair. Gradually, I better understood the words that he used. He began to speak more softly, and I began to feel more free with it. Between you and formed something like a close connection, and he seemed pleased when he saw me. Eventually I plucked up the courage to ask, "How yogi react when confronted with poverty in the streets?" I watched the corpse lying in the street a man completely ignored by passers-by. He replied: "I care about those who are close to me. Where I can do something useful, like, feed or heal those who sleep next to my door, I'll do it. For the rest, I pray. "
We used to talk during small breaks after the practice of asanas and pranayama before.
Once I dared to ask him about what he thinks about the chakras, because at that time in Europe, all of them was talking. He said: "You should not touch the lower three chakras, as they depend on each other. On the front side of the head symbolizes the consciousness of Ajna, Sahasrara on top of the head - a symbol of perfect knowledge, but the most important is in the heart chakra. " He did not mention the throat chakra, which surprised me. The lessons continued.
One day, I was really touched when I was doing the long practice of pranayama with Krishnamacharya, sitting in front of me in a wicker chair with his eyes closed. Then I felt a strong desire to open his eyes and look at him. Descended on me from without vision - black motionless figure around which shone golden light aura, full of exciting love struck right at me and enveloped the whole, as if the master took me to a new level of consciousness. I was moved and fascinated. Anyway, I finished my practice. Not a word was said, but I will never forget this experience.
Krishnamacharya trusted me enough to offer me to use the name "Narayana" during pranayama. He pronounced it, with emphasis on the letter "p", forcing me to repeat it until he was satisfied with my pronunciation. Then he said, "It belongs to the sacred name of my tradition. You have to look at their own culture name that you wish to call in his heart. " I was free of any influence, and thanked him for it.
On return, I was greeted by a classroom and my disciples. All were eager to hear about India and master. What I taught, it was literally a revolution for the students. Asanas are either dynamic or static, which they had never done before. Nasal and "breath Udzhdzhayi" they were not familiar with. It took them several months to adapt to so many innovations. Each lesson is different. I observed the technique of "Vinyasa" preparing to asana, and then leading to its implementation.
Krishnamacharya changed my life, recognizing his student. I think it is a living entity that continues to inspire me. His wisdom and patience are still alive in me. Just as a child can love his school teacher, so I love him with all that is due to him, respectfully.
UPDATE : I've just been reminded that this is from the back of Yoga of the Yogi The Legacy of T. Krishnamacharya. by Kausthub Desikachar I have the book but had forgotten this chapter. I was generally disappointed with this book, perhaps that's why it slipped my mind.
I also came across, I'm guessing, her daughter Beatrice Millerand's website, also a Yoga Teacher.
On this site there are some free downloads of magazine articles ( in French) including this one that has the most wonderful pictures of Krishnamacharya teaching Yvonne.
Another interview here in French from Journal of india
Put through google translate we get
Interview with Yvonne Millerand
Interview by Françoise Blévot February 2005
Yvonne Millerand was a founder of the FNY with Roger Clerc, Nile Haoutoff, Solange Demolière, Claude Peltier and Eva Ruchpaul. She has contributed greatly to know a yoga quality from a long line of Indian masters (she was a student deTirumalai Krishnamacharya) Specified in France under the name "Yoga Madras»
FB: Your first teacher was Lucien Ferrer, how did you know him?
YM: It was my mother who told me about Lucien Ferrer. She followed his progress ... and I noticed that she was more flexible than me! She gave me my first lessons, so I make my turn its attention.
FB: What it differed teaching gymnastics?
YM: The difference with gymnastics was the fact that we were taught movements associated with breathing. For example, crossing his arms expire on a bending back on inspiration with outstretched arms. It does not impose pace, everyone did as he could, some went too fast. It was also to postures.
FB: Static? We are already in Asana!
YM: Yes, but he did not use that word!
FB: Where himself did he know?
YM: To develop his own method, he was inspired by several books, but mostly "The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation" (subtitled "Or the Method of Realizing Nirvana through knowing the mind"). He organized meetings also allow students to explore practices of oriental origin. For example, he brought someone who "practiced OM". As elsewhere, it was taken by its core business, and its activity "healer" gradually I began to serve as his assistant (as Roger Clerc), and to work his students. Everything I learned, I diffusais in As ... or I invented ... or I was looking for myself to explore some ideas.
Then one day I was talking to the students of the descent of the diaphragm on inspiration, so they understand the mechanism of respiration, Mr. Ferrer went into the room and heard me. He then criticized this statement, "It is not breathing that you need to talk, it's energy! "I was furious! I thought I had the right to explain to students what is happening in their body!
From this moment I have more raw. Twelve years had passed since I started with him. In 1964, he died. I was without direction, and I wanted to learn ... A person who followed my progress, Mrs. Klein, spoke of his daughter and her husband who lived in Madras. She invited me with them and they informed me of the existence of a reputed master, Krishnamacharya, and then from the project took shape.
The daughter of Mrs. Klein (who would become the dancer Malavika) was already there when I arrived, she greeted me, put me to the hotel (run by the brother of Ravi Shankar!) And arranged an appointment with Krishnamacharya .
She accompanied me to the first interview, which took place on 3 September 1965. The first issue was the Master: "Why did you leave your master? "Malavika and I answered with one voice," But he's dead, Sir! "He stipulated immediately afterwards" If you want to work, do not eat eggs or meat or fish! "... Then he asked me what I could do ... So then I started to do anything; arch on the side ... I was in shape! (Laughs) He looked at me and dropped: "You know nothing! You do not breathe! You sautillez like a bird! You have everything to learn. Come back tomorrow for five hours! "Thus began nine months of work, almost daily sessions, lasting an hour ... Except when it canceled by one here and there at the last minute ... This is a testing classic!
FB: What were the practice in which he emphasized in particular?
YM: The length of expiration. A reason many lessons per week, it began with simple postures. I had to combine breath and movement, breathing governs the speed at which stood the arm, for example, was the breath slower, so slow was the gesture. Then he taught me the glottal to be in the cavum, cavity which lies behind the nasal and seek a slight vibration inside the head, jaw and tongue relaxed ... It is when you do that!
Each asana is supported by deep breathing, whether static or dynamic. There is no exception should feel the movement to perform according to the possible slow breath. For example, any rotation of the torso is exhale, we breathe by reducing the bust to the starting position. Inhale and exhale are acts of nature, but by inserting downtime, everything changes, the control seems to be an affirmation of life, and gives the impression to exist better managing the two main functions of breathing Traffic, which depend on each other. I liked that it was in Pranayama and Nadi Shodana Pratiloma. The delicacy of breath asked full attention, being aware of emptiness "inside the sight" ... I can not describe what I've learned, but I've never forgotten!
After a moment, he trusted me enough to suggest me to use the word "Narayana", another name for Vishnu, during Pranayama. He gave accentuating the letter "r", which must roll and made me repeat after him, until he was satisfied with my pronunciation ... He added, "This sacred name belongs my tradition, you have to find your own culture in the name that you should speak to your deepest self "... He left me free of any influence, I could only thank him ...
After some postures, he explained the role of cons-poses, designed to erase some negative effects of asana last long.
I could also start the easiest Pranayama, Ujjayi and Anuloma Viloma Ujjayi.
Krishnamachrya often told me "high up the chest" that I begin to breathe in raising the chest by sending the airflow to the base of the lungs. He then insisted on expiration, using the abdominal muscles and those of the perineum, the levator ani.
FB: What was it for the purpose of asana?
YM: Entering through attention to areas which were not accessible. In the postures, he insisted on finding specific sensations refined, such as exhaling slowly turn to feel the role of the last ribs, for example. Asana allows you to reach all parts of the body by different combinations. There was also a lot that posture could be improved by a relaxed attitude, and constantly had to be supported by breathing into four phases, inspiration, full suspension, expiration, suspension empty.
He attached great importance to the concept of viniyasa, meeting with a "top", a main posture. He loved to climb slowly things difficult, wait to get the full benefit.
He made me do postures that I do not know, I never impose Sanskrit names ... When he could, he used English, "bed pose, pose hill, standing shoulder, head standing against ... By I learned all the Sanskrit names of Pranayama. After a time, he made me take my pulse before the lesson, and after the awkward postures at the end of the course. I should not exceed 65 beats per minute and he made sure that my breathing was perfectly accompanied the effort.
FB Did you feel that was inventive?
YM: Absolutely, he sought out lessons too rigid.
FB: In his youth, Krishnamacharya left foot, Mysore to the foothills of the Himalayas, to join a master with whom he lived more than seven years ... Can we say that, finally, the "Yoga Madras "is more Tibetan than in southern India?
YM: Why ask? Yoga is unique, it does not need labels!
If there was a distinction, it is rather on the side of the masters! There's good, there's bad! Krishnamacharya never spoke nor his master, nor his learning, at least this time.
FB: The spiritual aspect of yoga was there a place in your initial approach, or did you discover this dimension with Krishnamacharya?
YM: It's very strange things happened that I have neither sought nor forced, and that made me discover and understand the spiritual aspect that could take a job on the body. I understood afterwards. I asked nothing, I did not know what would happen to me .... and I received. I had already begun to receive before my departure, because it is thanks to the generosity of my students that I could have this experience. It also counted.
FB: Were there any meditation?
YM: There were stops, I was carried by his breath, for he felt himself ... Sometimes I open my eyes and see before me like a flame ... There was a communication without words of great power .... But he did not use the word meditation. He spoke of concentration ... Do not look, do not want something, do not wait. I was rather disappointed with my previous experiences, and what I wanted was to learn ... I was without a priori, in total confidence, it was a good ground for entertaining!
FB: This is the vocation you were called!
YM Maybe ...
FB: The relationship guru / disciple is intimate and friendly at the same time, it is coded intransportable West. "Guru and disciple one must stand close to each other, and to interview," he said.
YM: It is true that it is a mode of exchange which is not applicable here. But we may well meet his master, because it is he who teaches, and love. There were times when we were all Pranayama, a communication lightness. He knew when to give, to share what he had found for himself, where he himself was.
FB: In the West, what would be the ideal mode of transmission?
YM There can not be a traditional line "the Indian", but a trainer has a duty to pass the torch to a few students with whom he has detected a particularly fine and also understanding the sincerity in a spirit of complete confidence. Pass must not be selfish, experience must be deep. Beatrice and thee, and Charlotte, and Daniel Gerard, continue to inform teaching. You understand the meaning of my work and my research, in the spirit of discipline, humility and tenderness to my heart. I think often those who have followed me faithfully until the end of my teaching, many also continue to show me affection.
FB: Krishnamacharya was an impressive figure, feared even by his wife and children ... You did he fear?
YM: Not at all! He talked a little hard, but I did not care ... It was hiding something else. A kind of familiarity has been established between us, it seemed to me he was glad to see me ... I dared to ask ... "How does a Yogi, facing the misery of the streets ...? "I saw a corpse on the ground in a street in Madras, in total disregard of pedestrians, some of which have spanned without looking ... He said:" I take care of those who are close to me, when I can respond effectively, feeding or caring man who sleeps outside my door or the wall of my house ... So I do .. For others, I pray. "
FB: His teaching Westerners differ from that he lavished the Indians?
YM: I do not think so, but I think he came to regret, of all origins, some people had the body too damaged, he probably thought it was difficult if not impossible to guide control systems ...
FB: Krishnamacharya thee he shares with other facets of his scholarship?
YM: No, never! When I arrived, he deposited the books he had on his knees and began.
FB: I've heard several times that it is the interest of the West to the Yoga that gave this renewed discipline for the Indians. What do you think?
FB: The Western adaptation did she not have its origin in the fact that in our practitioners are mostly women, and this from the beginning?
YM: We are moving towards a feminization of yoga ... yoga Avoid "plan-plan" if you breathe as it should, in the stillness. Many do not want to make the effort, or are afraid to do it wrong. You have to work a while to realize quality. It is the observation of oneself after the postures, awareness that brings out new sensations that will keep practicing on the way.
FB: What do you think of the current Western development of yoga? What do you think that this inevitable transformation does not turn drift?
YM: We are fortunate to have the Sutra of Patanjali. We must consider what this means. Squirm, everyone can! The reason of the thing - it's so beautiful! - Is in the Yoga Sutra. It would be a shame to go to a yoga most superficial of which we would have lost the juice ...
FB: What, according to you, the right attitude of the teacher in relation to the spiritual search of a student?
YM: If given the desire to find, it is ... But it did not influence ... Keep distance, do not give rise. The "spiritual coaching" can be a trap for the one as for the other.
FB: At your back, how did you develop your own style, your creativity (which was great!)
YM: (laughs) I did not mean it! That said, when you can get something good in a culture, do not miss it.
I had it decanted ... Krishnamacharya was not talking about anatomy, he evoked the elasticity of the body ... I immersed myself in books of anatomy, respiratory physiology.
And then comes the practice, it is as if we opened the doors in succession, and each time it is in another domain. There are physical action and then the effect, which emerges and which should be allowed because it leads us to a different way of acting ... It is not possible for everyone. I've never stopped trying to understand how to develop the body's sensitivity.
So I found a room and my faithful students. The first meeting was joyful, as they all wanted to talk to them in India and the Master. I decided to teach an hour and a half for after the postures, having the time to explain and comment on the study of Pranayama. We had to change the way they breathe, relax the shoulders and chest to be able to start the inspiration from the top of the cage, then exhale using the lower abdomen and the levator ani muscle, respecting the lungs empty and full stops. It was a revolution for all ... The dynamic and static postures were, what they did not know either, so that his "nose" and that of "Ujjayi".
Several months were needed to enable them to adapt to successive discoveries. I wanted that, through their work, students are more internalized, the fusion of body and mind leads them to discover in depth to be less materialistic to establish a stable, inner calm, and find out what was most important in their lives.
The work I had done under the aegis of Krishnamacharya amplified my physical and psychic sensitivity. I changed!
There were never two similar lessons. I respected the "Vinyasa" preparing a posture and then scripts. Some postures can be acquired after months of slow approach, like the lotus hips, knees and ankles are most often steep, and must be flexible with sweetness. The various difficulties encountered by students led me to find palliatives to help overcome certain obstacles and create new variations .. The great principle of "Sukha-Sthira" was our basic rule: "Ease and Firmness"! Find my students was always a joy renewed ...
FB: You've been a pioneer and explorer! There is a Chinese proverb that expresses what I feel when I think of you (and I'm probably not the only one!): "When you drink the well water, do not forget the one who dug ".
© Journal of India 200th-2010
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