I am very impressed by what you said about your father giving some……

Desikachar_France_1999

Viniyoga in Italia:
I am very impressed by what you said about your father giving some students an oil bath. Do you think that sometimes a Yoga teacher needs to give a massage or has to touch the student?
TKV Desikachar:
Well, if a person comes with a backache, you have to examine him or her. You have to touch the person and feel the person. As a part of observation, we need to do that. Sometimes as a part of encouragement we can do that. At times, I take the pulse, so they feel that I care. But I have not and I don’t like to massage our students. I always ask the family to do that.
Viniyoga in Italia:
It could also create a dependence.
TKV Desikachar:
Not only that, but if you do it for one, you will have to do it for others. I want the students to be on their own. It is an education in Svastha.
TKV Desikachar from an interview in the Journal Viniyoga Italia on Yoga and Well Being.

Do you think it is important for Yoga teachers to mention diet and……

TKV_5

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.

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In this context what about Āyurveda?

TKV_5

Viniyoga in Italia: In this context what about Āyurveda?

TKV Desikachar: Āyurveda, is, in my opinion, the most complete system of life God ever created, because it encompasses everything in nature. And it is a positive system of health. It is called Āyurveda, or knowledge of life. I have no hesitation to say that this system takes into account every aspect, it is not only medicine, not only food, not only life-style, but it is also the philosophy, the religion and the mantra-recitation. I have never come across a system that is so complete for the health of the body as Āyurveda. Unfortunately, it is nearly dead. We don’t have many people. Because Āyurveda is so complete and vast that a doctor would need an enormous experience.

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Today in Europe there is a going back to what is called alternative……

TKV_5

Viniyoga in Italia: Today in Europe there is a going back to what is called alternative medicines, like herbal treatment and the traditional dietary laws, thermal baths and other traditional treatments. Do you think these traditional approaches have a relevance in today’s world?

TKV Desikachar: Today these are even more relevant than before. Because we are becoming like machines. My mother used to give baths to my children. The love and care of the grandmother was there for the child. My father used to give baths to some of his students. He was giving oil-baths to his students, that is how he knew exactly what was happening to their body. He would massage and thus know. Today everything is mechanized. Today, when people take a bath, they have the phone, the radio, the television. Are they really bathing? Mostly it is just the bathtub that is having a bath.

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TKV Desikachar interviewed by Leslie Kaminoff in October 1992.

Originally posted to e-Sutra on April 24, 1999. Now available on-line through Leslie Kaminoff’s Teaching Organisation Yoga Anatomy.