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 above right) and Sri Swami Shivananda. As such, Yoga has unparalleled breadth and depth of application in today's world, especially as regards therapeutic breath-work to help us over our current crisis in many ways.
I had the great fortune to study, on many occasions, with Krishnamacharya's son, Sri T.K.V. Desikachar, pictured left. 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 Also, there is a strong bond between TSYP and the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram (KYM) founded in Chennai by Sri Desikachar in 1976. www.kym.org It is the depth and strength of our tradition that enables us to teach with flexibility and confidence, adapting our teaching to every person and situation.
Continuity is very important in our tradition; we each have a mentor and either they or their mentor will have studied with Sri Desikachar, so an unbroken link to him and his teachings is maintained. Also, we remember constantly our indebtedness to Sri Desikachar, to his legendary father and to the ancient Indian tradition which they represented. My mentor since 1994 is Gillian Lloyd and her mentor was Sri Desikachar himself.
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 can be found some way of participating and benefitting.
Last Updated: 6 December 2023