This picture, taken 1979, with fond memories of early days with
TKV Desikachar and the KYM with co-founder AG Mohan and the faculty.
“Many years ago and not knowing my connection, a Yoga student commented around me “Don’t go to Desikachar, he has no charisma”. At the time, though saying nothing, I was reminded that this was for me an important facet around my appreciation of him, in that it was his ordinariness that I found engaging.
Furthermore, this quality was reflected throughout his life in terms of its simplicity in that it didn’t actually change over the decades that I visited and studied within lessons or spent personal time or travelled with him privately.
He lived simply even when surrounded in his later years by fame and money. He ate simply, as I know from the many times I shared lunch or supper with him and his family. He kept to his priorities around his personal practices, as well as enjoying the family dynamics around his three children and the advent of grandchildren.
He eschewed running Yoga corporations or building Yoga empires; he never evan ran a teacher training course, preferring always to remain faithful and available to the teaching priorities of his father to teach students individually.
This methodology, transmitted personally to him by Krishnamacharya, was technically known as the viniyoga of Yoga or application according to the individual. Though later generically labeled as Viniyoga, it remained at the forefront of his teaching whether for personal practice, exploring texts by delving into the commentaries of Krishnamacharya, or transmitting the professional skills required for working individually with others.
Most knew him through his public image from seminars and recordings of his lectures published as books. I knew him from my decades of sitting with him studying, chanting, observing his clinical work, walking, talking, eating and travelling. His passing reminds me of how much I have missed our sharing of space and time, before he was overtaken by the changes that went on around him, ere to the decline in his mental health.
We have lost a fine teacher and a Yoga master.”
– Written as an obituary requested by the British Wheel of Yoga for their Journal’s September issue.
For Personal reflection shortly after his death read…..
As I sit within this time of passing and remembrance……
Further posts around my studentship with TKV Desikachar……
Musings on the Student’s Relationship with the Teacher
Reflections on TKV Desikachar’s Teaching and Svatantra……
Teaching 121 lessons remained at the heart of Krishnamacharya’s and Desikachar’s priorities
For Bio on TKV Desikachar’s Life and Background…..