The Art of Yogic Conversation

The Yogic Way

Years ago, my yogic father gave me a copy of a book that came from his guruʼs ashram. It was called “At the Feet of The Master” and had been written years prior by Sri J. Krishnamurti. The book was  a simple, direct, and practical discourse that spoke about the art of yogic conversation.

According to Krishnamurti, to live with true compassion, one must be mindful of oneʼs speech.

Before choosing to say anything, one should contemplate three questions: Is it kind? Is it truthful? Is it helpful? Should what you are about to say fail to extract a “yes” from all three of these questions, Krishnamurti stated that the yogi should choose silence instead.

And while this may all seem simple enough, in practice answering these three questions takes more mindfulness than one may realize. Let us look at an every day example:

Your spouse asks you if he/she looks good in particular outfit. How would you respond?

Suppose you werenʼt fond of the colour or cut of the outfit. Would you state they “look awful”?

Letʼs look at the first question: Is it kind? There are many ways of stating that how they appear is not perhaps what you would refer to as “well put together.” Simply saying “You look awful.” is not one of the kind ones. Consider saying, “I not sure the cut or colour is spot-on.”

Looking at the second question: Is it true? Interestingly, “You look awful.” is not actually true. A more accurate statement would be “That outfit doesnʼt appeal to me.”

Looking at the third question: Is it helpful? This is the most complex of the three questions. What you deem helpful may not been seen as such by your spouse. At times, what we deem as helpful is in fact a subjugation of anotherʼs will to our own. Allowing others their autonomy is an important parameter to actually ʻbeing helpfulʼ.

In the example given here, your spouse has asked for your opinion, so you can assume that being helpful would entail answering the question in the most kind and truthful way possible. Thus “The colour/cut of that outfit doesnʼt appeal to me personally. But it may well be appealing to others.” is possibly the kindest, most truthful, and helpful response here.

The art of yogic conversation requires, like all other aspects of the yogic path, mindful practice and contemplation.

One must be willing to pause during conversation and consider oneʼs responses and contributing conditionings. This allows one to differentiate between truth and illusion and to answer the three guiding questions posed by Krishnamurti. Willingness to be present in your speech is a foundational part of true compassionate living, and is a requirement of living the Yogic Way.



Kavita Maharaj is a yogini and Yoga Teacher Trainer. She is also the founder of Red Door Yoga and the director of the Red Door Yoga® School. She can be reached through for questions.

Just Posted

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

Retailers say they’re ready for the ban on single-use plastic checkout bags in Nanaimo when it takes effect July 1. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Retailers report they’re ready for Nanaimo’s single-use checkout bag ban

Business operators say there’s been plenty of time to plan and prepare for bylaw that kicks in July 1

Nanaimo Fire Rescue crews on scene at a boat fire near the boat ramp at Long Lake on Sunday, June 20. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Boat burns up on Nanaimo’s Long Lake, man and child unhurt

Jet skiers attempt to put out fire by circling around to spray water on burning boat

Nanaimo Track and Field Club athletes are off to a fast start this season after no competition last season due to the pandemic. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo athletes back on track, starting with club competitions

Nanaimo Track and Field Club registration filled up

A conceptual rendering of a commercial plaza at 1130 Rocky Creek Road. (Town of Ladysmith image)
Commercial plaza in north end of Ladysmith passes public hearing

Councillors debate proposed land use at 1130 Rocky Creek Rd.

Nanaimo Fire Rescue crews on scene at a boat fire near the boat ramp at Long Lake on Sunday, June 20. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Boat burns up on Nanaimo’s Long Lake, man and child unhurt

Jet skiers attempt to put out fire by circling around to spray water on burning boat

The Coquihalla Lakes washroom is getting upgrades. (Submitted)
Coquihalla to get upgrades to aging washrooms

The Ministry of Transportation is providing $1 million in funding to upgrade 3 rest areas

The Crofton trailer park home where the bodies of two people were found. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Mom still waiting for answers after daughter and her fiance found dead in Crofton

Pair discovered dead in their Crofton home in May identified as Rachel Gardner and Paul Jenkins

The Sacred Hearts church on PIB land burned Monday morning. (Theresa May Jack/Facebook)
Two churches on First Nation land in South Okanagan burn to the ground

Sacred Hearts church on Penticton Indian Band land was reduced to rubble

Tl’etinqox-lead ceremony at the site of the former St. Joseph’s Mission in Williams Lake, B.C., June 18, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
‘We are all one people’: Honouring residential school victims and survivors

Love, support and curiousity: Canadians urged to learn about residential schools and their impact

Indigenous rights and climate activists gathered outside Liberty Mutual’s office in Vancouver to pressure the insurance giant to stop covering Trans Mountain. (Photo by Andrew Larigakis)
Activists work to ensure Trans Mountain won’t get insurance

Global campaign urging insurance providers to stay away from Canadian pipeline project

In the first election with public money replacing corporate or union donations, B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau and B.C. NDP leader John Horgan take part in election debate at the University of B.C., Oct. 13, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. MLAs ponder 2022 ‘sunset’ of subsidy for political parties

NDP, B.C. Fed call for increase, B.C. Liberals have no comment

Investigators use a bucket to help recover human remains at a home burned in the Camp fire, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, in Magalia, Calif. Many of the missing in the deadly Northern California wildfire are elderly residents in Magalia, a forested town of about 11,000 north of the destroyed town of Paradise. (AP Photo/John Locher)
‘Forever War’ with fire has California battling forests instead

Five of the state’s largest-ever blazes seared California last year, as authorities tackle prevention

Most Read