Becoming a Yoga Teacher

in the Tradition of T Krishnamacharya & TKV Desikachar

by Dr. Kausthub Desikachar

अात्मिक दैहिक मानसभेदात् त्रिविधं विहितं योगाभ्यसनम् । सकलं यच्छति वाञ्छितसुफलं नहि नहि योगाभ्यसनं विफलम् ।

"Yoga practice can help alleviate spiritual, physical and emotional afflictions. It is indeed beneficial to the [sincere] practitioner and offers fruits according to what one seeks."  - Yogacharya T Krishnamacharya

Are you searching for deeper meaning in your life? Are you looking for tools to connect with yourself? Do you want to understand how your body, breath and mind work in an inter-connected manner?  Do you seek to understand your connection with the universe? Do you want to embark on a journey of personal and spiritual transformation?  Do you want to help others in this journey as well?

Think no further, engaging in a holistic Yoga Teacher Training can help you fulfil these objectives. 

Becoming a Yoga teacher can be a very profound experience. It gives us an opportunity to learn about one of the most ancient disciplines that is both inspiring in its philosophy, yet very practical to implement.

Yoga is one of the six main philosophies to have originated from India, and offers a holistic path to health, well-being and spiritual transformation. By understanding this integrative approach that links body, mind and spirit, we can have the opportunity to discover ourselves both at the conscious and unconscious domains.

We can also offer ourselves the gift of self-empowerment to harness our inherent potentials and express them with freedom and a sense of social responsibility. Yoga being a powerful healing tool can also help alleviate our illness, both physiological and psychological, and offer insight into how to evolve and maintain a better state of well-being.

The process of Yoga is also a way to embark on a pilgrimage to our heart, the source of wisdom and light. In this journey Yoga also brings out our own uniqueness and encourages us to celebrate it. It thus offers us a means to connect with our own source of strength and creativity.

By going through such an intimate journey of healing, self-empowerment and self-awareness, we can learn to respect ourselves and therefore others. Consequently, through becoming a teacher of Yoga, we can facilitate others in their own journey.

Despite honoring our differences, Yoga also teaches a very profound lesson in being connected to ourselves, others and the wonderful eco-system that we inhabit. Thus it teaches us not only to become unique jewels, but also to link with each other and form a precious garland, united by the universal spirit. 

There are many traditions of Yoga teaching that are popular in the world today. Many of them trace their origins to one man, the legendary T Krishnamacharya. Whether it is the classical aligment method of Sri BKS Iyengar, or the vinyasa style of Sri Pattabhi Jois or the gentle spiritual approach of Mataji Indra Devi, or the individualized approach of Sri TKV Desikachar, they all owe their Yoga education to this south Indian brahmin who revolutionized Yoga in the 1900’s and revived this ancient art.

The popularity and appeal of his four-most students, including Indra Devi, Pattabhi Jois, BKS Iyengar and particularly, TKV Desikachar, testify to the significance of his life’s work and teachings and to his position as one of the most influential Yoga master of the modern era. 

TKV Desikachar, son and longest standing student of Krishnamacharya, continued to carry this tradition into the 21st century. He has been instrumental in building bridges between Yoga and other healing modalities, inspiring thousands. 

The following practices and principles are unique to Yoga as taught in the tradition of Krishnamacharya and TKV Desikachar

  • The entire range of Yoga’s tools is utilized in a practical, experiential and holistic manner.
  • All tools of Yoga are not only understood in the classical format, but also implemented with variations and modifications to suit individual needs and capacities.
  • A Breath centered approach is taken while implementing all the tools of Yoga, consistent with the classical teachings of the Yogis, for whom Prana (life energy / breath) was the most important ingredient of Yoga.
  • In individual settings, personalized Yoga programs are evolved for therapy or general needs.
  • Group classes are taught with a specific focus that provide individual attention and care.
  • Yoga Therapy utilizes an integrative approach that is complementary to other healing modalities.
  • The teachings are based on tradition, yet adapting itself to the modern contemporary times that we are living in.
  • The teachers/therapists are constantly growing and learning through mentoring, personal practice and continuing education programs. 

Some of the tools used in this teaching tradition include (but are not limited to) postures (asana), breath regulation (pranayama), meditation (dhyanam), dietary recommendations (ahara-niyama), lifestyle suggestions (vihara-niyama), chanting (mantra), visualizations / affirmations (bhavana), gestures (nyasa & mudra), and guided self-inquiry (svadhyaya). 

Graduates of the KHYF Yoga Teacher Training Program will learn all of these above principles in great detail, and will not only be able to teach a wide range of group classes, but will also be able to handle one-to-one teaching respecting the needs and abilities of the each student. They will learn the classical methods of practice of the entire range of Yoga's tools, and not just limited to Asana practice. Vital teachings from classical disciplines such as Ayurveda, and those from modern health paradigms such as Allopathy and Western Psychology will also form important ingredients in the training. Graduates will also be mentored by a trained Yoga Teacher Trainer, so that they can also experience one-to-one practice that is suitable for them, and evolve into their own best potential.