Guru-ji was really big on that message. "99% practice, 1% theory."
It was a big deal for him. In Bhagavad Gita also there is a big emphasis on the value of "action." That we must take action in order to learn.
It does not mean that theory, or knowledge, or study is not important!!! In fact they are the "Center of the Bull's Eye!"
Without the proper direction, and the right effort, our practice is of no use!
The "direction" must be towards Sama! The method is "Vinyasa." We use Breath, Roots and Core to focus our efforts.
Guru-ji often mentioned the idea of "Trishtana," or three principals, or pillars of practice. His description of that was Pranayama, Asana, and Drishti.
Pranayama is not only about air coming and going out. It is Life-Force and Consciousness! Breath becomes the shorthand trigger to remind us of this depth of the meaning of Prana. The shorthand key, or trigger for the mind I use is simply "Breath."
Asana is not merely doing funny postures! He was keen to repeat the statement "This is NOT physical exercise!" He used to say it all the time! Asana needs to be practiced, not with the focus on the end of the pose! This is ego-based grasping. Not recommended by the yogis! Instead, we need to find our way closer to the Beginning, to the mature form of practice known as "Beginner's Mind!"
The shorthand key, or trigger for this concept that I use is "Root."
Drishti means the place where the mind goes, as a result of where the eyes go! The place, from the yogic perspective, where the mind is to go is Inwards! Yoga is an introspective practice. We need to go in. We work from the known to the unknown, from the periphery to the center, to uncover the truth of who we are inside and then letting that express itself outwards.
The key word, or trigger I like to use for this is "Core." Not in only the physical sense, but in all ways.
Core as Heart, corizone, kokoro, center, spirit, soul... And the yoga teachings are telling us that our individual spirit is also the universal spirit. They are one.
This is Sama! Use the idea well... let it guide us in... in love and in truth... "The Truth lays within!"