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.
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