In Yoga, we have a form of exercise, therapy and self-development that has ancient roots in India but was brought into the 20th century by such legendary Indian teachers as Sri T.Krishnamacharya (pictured on the right) and Sri Swami Shivananda. As such, Yoga has unparalleled breadth and depth of application in today's world.
I had the great fortune to study, on many occasions, with Krishnamacharya's son, Sri T.K.V. Desikachar. Both Sri Desikachar and his father were determined that Yoga should be made accessible to all who could benefit from it. Coming from an ancient lineage of Yogins, Sri Krishnamacharya was able to draw both on his deep heritage and from his studies with teachers whose like does not exist today. In the UK, an unbroken link with the teachings of Krishnamacharya and Desikachar is maintained by the Society of Yoga Practitioners (TSYP) www.tsyp.yoga.
Most of Krishnamacharya's Yoga involves the breath in some way, so befriending the breath is essential. Starting with the coordination of breath and movement, we progress through the more precise application of the breath in Asana (posture) and Pranayama (breath-work) to the more subtle Yoga practices known as Mudra and Bandha. These prepare us for Dharana and Dhyana (concentration and meditation). However, by working with the breath, these subtle qualities can appear relatively early in our practice. In our tradition, at every stage, we adapt lessons and practices to suit the needs and aspirations of the individual or class being taught. Everyone should be found some way of participating and benefitting.
Especially, many of the long-term conditions from which people suffer today can be alleviated, or made more bearable, through appropriate work with the breath. This is why I have started 'Breath for Health' classes, to apply my knowledge and 30 years' experience of practice and teaching around the breath to anyone I can help.
Facebook and so many other apps are purposely designed to be addictive. So learn to control your own mind rather than let others do it for you. Join a yoga class, put your phone on silent and make friends with your breath.
To learn about about classes, individual tuition, day seminars or residential retreats, please see the following pages or contact Michael: firstname.lastname@example.org
From your Science Correspondant: We don't need science to validate Yoga; we know that Yoga works. However, the science, as presented by Drs Stephen Porges and Susan Carter, aids our understanding of how Yoga works and can help to convince the medical profession.