Question to TKV Desikachar:
Do you think it is important for Yoga teachers to mention diet and lifestyle to students?
TKV Desikachar Response:
As you know, here in Madras, when people come to the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram or to me personally, they come because they have some problem. Every day they come, every day with some problem. If we have a problem, especially if it is a chronic problem, it is both in the body and in the mind, whether it manifests as asthma, diabetes, headache, or blood pressure. Thus we cannot help but talk about everything. That is why we, here in Madras, need to know something about Āyurveda, Yoga and western medical science. For these reasons our teachers are taught physiology, anatomy, Āyurveda and Yoga.
I do not know what is happening in the West. I do not know what type of people come to Yoga in the West. Somebody may come to learn the Yoga Sūtra, someone else may want to be a Yoga teacher and so they want to know something about Yoga. Here it is different. Nobody is interested in Yoga. They come because they want to get something out of it. The main occupation in the Mandiram is dealing with people with problems. We are part of the health department. Probably in Europe, you are in the spiritual department.
And yet, I do know many people in Europe who have some health problem. They don’t practice Yoga to get rid of the problem. But our teachers here, who teach Yoga, when they have a health problem, they come to us and we give them some help. Here in Madras, we need to help people who are not well. Every year we have around three thousand people coming, in this small place there are at least eight new people every day.