Prashantji’s random problem generator

While we were all sleeping, Prashant Iyengar has emerged into cyberspace. He now has his own Facebook page and on it there are plenty of his teaching gems. As his students know, he takes words and turns them into a literal “sri yantra” of multiple meanings, mind-blowing statements, and just pure poetry regarding practice. He has teamed up with his nephew Shrineet to create “Prashnayantra: a Yogasana Problem Statement Generator.

Prashant says that in this simple app, “teachers may use these problem statements for their own study from a teaching point of view, or even just to help come up with a topic to cover in their next class; classes could use this to put up on a ‘ Thought for the Week ‘ type notice board; It’d be great to have a community of students that work on these problem statements, share their notes, and learn together. Maybe an online community too.”

For me, clicking on the “Get me a problem statement” tab is like opening a fortune cookie with penetrative statements and queries to take into my personal practice, or when designing a class theme. Here are a few of the “problem statements”:

Pay attention to Breath with a Consonant Soundform and an associated vowel (a, aa, i, ee, u, oo, ae, ai, o, au) Inhalation first in Back Bends, and then again in Sarvangasana. Study the key differences between the two cases 

Closely study the impact and tuning of weight/gravity distribution, in Prasarita Padottanasana

Study turning the Eye-sense inward, when doing Trikonasana

One can do a whole month of practice around these concepts, and these are just a small sampling.

I have been using some of these statements in my personal practice. When practicing and meditating on these concepts much like contemplating a Buddhist Koan, many subtle answers are revealed.

My mentoring teacher was generous to lend me his audio courses from Prashantji, and I have to say my practice has never been the same. The interesting thing about Prashant’s teaching is that he does not really correct poses or give any major instructions. His teaching comes when the student is in the pose. Then he gives a whole discourse on body-mind-breath, subtle body phenomena, and esoteric physiology. In essence, his teaching is beyond the annamayakosa, and more into the prana/mano/vijnana/anandamayakosa layers of instruction. That doesn’t mean he tolerates sloppy asana-s. He expects them to be near perfection when taking his classes, so he can move on to the higher teachings.

I have often touted Prashantji’s classic “Alpha and Omega of Trikonasana” as a deeper way to approach “simple” poses. He takes trikonasana and moves through all the different layers, chakras, physical points of emphasis and beyond. In the end, no asana is simple.

All above “problem statements” courtesy of Prashnayantra http://prashnayantra.appspot.com

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8 thoughts on “Prashantji’s random problem generator

  1. So...

    Thank you for sharing. I find Prashantji’s thoughts very intriguing, they force you to be present to yourself. Most of it is way beyond my level of practice but I hope some of it makes itself available as I stumble along. I saw the Trikonasana book and was quite tempted to get it but decided I better practise some more first.🙂Maybe someday I can attend his classes…

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    1. yogibattle Post author

      LOL, Sonia you are far beyond what you think. On a side note, I am looking at the Chinmaya Mission Vedanta online courses. Do you think they would be worth it? I am enjoying his translations of the Upanisads.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. So...

        😊 I love Swami Chinmayananda’s interpretations, there is a fiery spirit about them. I reckon the course would be well worth it if you can devote the time it requires. One of the things I would like to do is spend some time in the centre in Kerala and study Sanskrit there. But that is a long way from now.
        His commentary on the Geeta is excellent as well. You may like it

        Liked by 1 person

  2. babycrow

    Well I am simply gobsmacked at the notion of someone writing a whole book (even a slim one) on a single āsana. Especially the one I hate so much!
    The random problem generator is way above my level too — but most intriguing for the glimpse it gives into how the practice could evolve. But probably not in this lifetime! thank you for sharing this, yb.

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