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


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?


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……


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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In 1970, TKV Desikachar asked his father and guru, Shri T. Krishnamacharya……


In 1970, TKV Desikachar asked his father and Guru, Śrī T Krishnamacharya ten fundamental questions about Yoga. The following is an extract of one of the questions in the interview, which took place in the Kanada language.

“5A. Why are there so many different methods to hand down the teachings of a master? What are the reasons for this?
This situation comes from the absence of loyalty to only one master. The traditional method of teaching and of handing down the teaching is the Guru Paramparā. For a disciple, it consists of receiving the instructions of a master day after day, until there is enough knowledge. At the end of an assiduous study with the Teacher, the student progressively becomes a teacher himself and he starts teaching other disciples. This continuity, from teacher to student, in the same tradition, constitutes the Guru Paramparā. The high number of present methods is due to interruptions in the traditional system of handing down the teaching. It can also be due to the weakness of certain teachers.

5B. What are the consequences of these different methods?
The lowering of the average level and the weakening of the knowledge of the students of Yoga.

5C. What solutions can be proposed to mitigate this situation?
Nowadays, there is no solution to this problem.”

It is necessary to have a competent and accessible teacher.


“It is necessary to have a competent and accessible teacher.”
From study notes with TKV Desikachar England 1992

Although Krishnamacharya came from a strict Indian tradition……


T Krishnamacharya at 91

“Although Krishnamacharya came from a strict Indian tradition,
he liberated the restrictions.
He segregated his personal beliefs from his teaching
and his interest in the different texts on Yoga and Vedānta.

It isn’t necessary to be a Hindu to practice Yoga,
the Hindu text, the Brahma Sūtra refute Yoga.
In the Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali God is not emphasised.

Hindus have taken advantage of Yoga,
Brahmin rituals use Yoga breathing,
even if it is only symbolic and they use Mantra.

Krishnamacharya didn’t mix the different teachings,
he didn’t start a class with prayers when he worked with foreigners.”
From study notes with TKV Desikachar England 1992

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So if certain Yoga Sādhana have a place in another culture……


So if certain Yoga Sādhana have a place in another culture we must consider whether this symbol (Om) has a place with people who don’t understand it.”

TKV Desikachar – Lecture on September 5th 1983 in Zinal, Switzerland (Fuller notes on this lecture yet to be posted)

Rāmānuja, Yāmunācarya, Krishnamacharya and Viśiṣṭādvaita


Rāmānuja, was a disciple of Śrī Yāmunācarya. Śrī Yāmuna, composer of texts such as the Gītārtha Saṃgraha, Siddhi Traya and Stotra Ratna, was the grandson of the 9th century sage Śrī Nāthamuni and a forebear of T Krishnamacharya.

Krishnamacharya’s personal devotional philosophy and practices were grounded in the teachings that arose from these great sages and evolved into what became known as Viśiṣṭādvaita or qualified non-dualism (One of the three primary schools of Vedānta).

Rāmānuja agrees with the Advaitin that the scripture
teaches the non-twoness (Advaita) of reality.
But, he denies the Advaitan’s conclusion
that this oneness is attributeless,
pure being or consciousness and that plurality
with regard to soul and material world is falsely
imposed on this one Being due to ignorance.”
Rāmānuja on the Yoga – Dr. Robert C Lester 1976.

T Krishnamacharya – Downloadable Film from 1938


Tirumalai Krishnamacharya was 50 when the film was made in 1938. He is now seen as one of the the most influential teachers in establishing what Yoga is identified as in today’s society. His students included Pattabhi Jois, BKS Iyengar, Indra Devi, and his son TKV Desikachar.

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Yoga Makaranda by T Krishnamacharya


Yoga Makaranda

– A Book on  Āsana Practice written by T Krishnamacharya in 1934.

Translated in 2006 from the 1938 Tamil Edition
by Lakshmi and Nandini Ranganathan.
Offered as a freely distributable download.
Download the translation as an Open Source PDF

Vinyāsa Sequences filmed in the KYM‘s original building

Vinyasa sequences published by the Viniyoga Healing Foundation of India

Advanced Vinyasa Demonstration by Lara Abiesheikh – 1

Advanced Vinyasa Demonstration by Lara Abiesheikh – 2