Upāsana: Classic Yoga Meditation, was the Seminar taught by Kausthub Desikachar in mid-April in Buenos Aires, organised by Vanesa Sacca, a KHYF Teacher Trainer and Yoga Therapist.

The seminar took place during four days and it was the first time that Kausthub was in Buenos Aires since 2012.  The assistants were a mix of KHYF teachers, teacher trainers, yoga therapists and practitioners, plus teachers and students of other traditions.

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The Power of Yoga, NZ 2016 | Testimonial by Ines Piroth

The Power of Yoga, NZ 2016 | Testimonial by Ines Piroth

Nach meinem ersten Seminar von Kausthub in Auckland, Neuseeland im Jahr 2005 war ich derart von ihm ueberzeugt, dass ich ein Gebet an mein Ego schickte um nie wieder nach Ausfluechten zu suchen, ein Seminar von ihm nicht zu besuchen. Anscheinend ist dieses Gebet am richtigen Platz angekommen, denn diesem Vorsatz bin ich bis heute gefolgt und habe jedes seiner folgenden Seminare in Neuseeland besucht.

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Garbhini | Yoga for Pregnancy

I found every session of the Garbhini course really fascinating. Covering each stage of pregnancy from preconception to the last semester, it gave me access to both the philosophy and the tools of yoga to inspire and support this special time in a woman’s life. I loved the way each session systematically included not only the physical but also the emotional challenges that can be encountered; and that the tools of yoga we studied included not just asanas but also mantras, meditation and more. I feel I was able to acquire a more integral, rather than partial, perspective on this topic.

Kausthub’s knowledge is vast, to say the least, and his delivery style is extremely articulate – even on Skype. I appreciated the way the calls were managed, with perfect timekeeping, minimal disruptions, and sufficient space for questions from participants.

I would definitely recommend this course to yoga teachers seeking to more skilfully support pregnant students. I also found it very inspiring to take before I became pregnant myself. If you are pregnant or intending to be, I would also definitely recommend Kausthub’s therapy classes to receive customised practices.    

Marie-Gabrielle Amadieu | Yoga Teacher & Integral Master Coach™ | France / Belgium

Mantra Yoga | Linking with Sacred Sounds

Several months back I completed the nine month long online classes on “Mantra Yoga - Linking with Sacred Sounds, An Experiential Immersion Course” with Kausthub Desikachar.  The reason for signing on was primarily to unfold within the power mantras have for bringing about  radical transformation of body, mind and consciousness.  Mantras are powerful tools used since ancient times in all cultures for various purposes.

Aside from what was stated in the brochure, I came into this program with a clean slate.  Why this one offered by Kausthub Desikachar?  For two reasons alone - I read his CV on his website.  More importantly, he was Acharya T Krishnamacharya’s grandson and Sri T K V Desikachar’s son - lineage is important to me; authenticity was of paramount consideration.  As a child growing up, my Grandfather’s injunction was always - “go to the source”.   So, I had to experience these first hand.  These days commercialization of such practices is rampant - dilution, misinterpretation, inaccuracies prevail and authoritative instruction is singularly sparse - as they say “Anything Goes”. 

As I look back, beginning my studies with Kausthub Desikachar, the  MantraYoga Program became pivotal to my other studies with him.  The clarity with which he covered the various topics beginning with the concept, definition, purpose of Mantras, he put in place a solid foundation for the practice that followed every session.  As we moved along, the potency of the Abhyasa Krama in the  practice became profound - we delved into its components, its application in Therapy, in Asanas , Pranayama,  Spiritiual pursuits and so on.  We worked with different mantras understanding its meanings, special references and vibrational qualities by experiencing them first hand through personal practice.  

The journey has been enlightening - and it continues - with my extensive studies with him. Mantra practice opens up the space within our consciousness which is so filled with stuff that is dysfunctional.  It cleanses, purifies, energizes, reveals dimensions and potential within us previously hidden or dormant - making difference one person at a time.

Jyoti | Yoga Teacher | USA

The 7 Cakras | Exploring the Energy Centres

The course on the Cakras was fascinating. As always when learning in this tradition, different strands of knowledge were brought skilfully together, enhancing and shedding light on each other, so that I feel my understanding has deepened and is more coherent. 

These strands were not only from different parts of the yoga canon, but also from modern ideas on psychology, trauma and healing; not only theoretical, but deeply practical. It was so interesting to see the practices that you gave us for each cakra and come to an understanding of them - and even more, to practise them.

I appreciated the structure of the course, going through each cakra in turn after the initial introduction. The handouts too were a great help - clear, beautiful and comprehensive. I would recommend the course to all teachers and students who want to understand better this fascinating aspect of yoga.

Sarah Ryan | Yoga Therapist, Yoga Teacher Trainer & Vedic Chant Teacher | United Kingdom

Maha Prana | Pranayama & The Power of Yoga

For seven months now I have been studying the Maha Prana on-line seminar with Dr. Kausthub Desikachar.

I have been a yoga teacher for 15 years and in my instructing of students I found more and more that the breath is such an important tool of yoga and that most students don’t really know much about it. Of course Pranayama has been part of my training but I wanted to deepen my knowledge and understanding - hence I signed up to Kausthub [Desikachar]'s course.

I find the course extremely well structured. It’s a combination of explaining the history and philosophy, going back to the source, so to speak, practical instructions and explanations of the different Pranayama methods and applications such as ratios as well as hands on practices for us to explore in between sessions. Kausthub's instructions are clear well presented and his handouts prior to the session and the recordings after a session are valuable records for future reference.

My understanding of Pranayama has definitely deepened and I am able to apply of what I have learnt so far to my students in private tuition as well as classes. Pranayama is not just “a” tool it’s part of a holistic approach that respects the entire make up of the student in front of you
physically, psychologically and emotionally. Learning the philosophy and history of the different methods has made a big difference in my teaching of pranayama. Even though the topics we have covered so far are not new I feel as if I am moving to university level with the depth of the material being presented by Kausthub.

Pranayama has always been a part of my practice and since I have started the course I gained a lot more insights and understanding from where “it all comes from” . Pranayama for me is the gateway to my inner world seeing enquiring and exploring my actions and reactions.

I would recommend this course to anyone who is serious about yoga and its teachings who understands that “Yoga is not just a posture” or to quote T. Krishnamacharya: “BREATH IS CENTRAL TO YOGA, BECAUSE IT IS CENTRAL TO LIFE —- AND YOGA IS ABOUT LIFE”

Irene Metzger | Yoga Teacher Trainer | Australia


Maha Prana | Pranayama & The Power of Yoga

Maha Prana course that is offered online by Dr Kausthub Desikachar  has a very organised and relevant structure. Each module is provided with handouts that has detailed explanation of each pranayama technique that can be applied to teaching and therapy classes. Each module is also provided with a practice of the technique discussed that not only allowed me to experience the pranayama technique but also helped in providing to see how the technique can be structured into a yoga course. The material was taught very professionally and each session was held promptly and on time. Recording was sent after for our reference and catch up which proved to be extremely useful as there were number of times I could not attend the class due to my daughters being on school holiday. 

I have been able to use the content easily into my teaching and some of the pranayama concepts that were not very clear have now been polished. I am also able to correctly apply these concepts into my practice as the theory behind the technique was explained very well. 

If anyone is interested to seriously dive into the theory and practical aspects of pranayama component of 8 limbs of yoga, I would highly recommend this course. It is online, well paced and detailed course that can and has enhanced my knowledge of yoga and one if its very valuable tool-pranayama. 

Vidhi Sadana | Yoga Teacher & Yoga Therapist | United Kingdom


Garbhini | Yoga & Pregnancy

I loved the Garbhini (Yoga & Pregnancy) course. Before I did this course I was not very confident about teaching students that where pregnant. I felt it was such an enormous responsibility to have not only the well-being of the mother but also a precious child in my hands. I guess I just didn’t feel I had enough knowledge to be really comfortable in this situation.

I was really happy when the Garbhini course was advertised as it was exactly what I needed and as it was to be conducted via Skype it really suited my circumstances at the time. Handouts where sent prior to each classes and audio recordings of the class following each class. Having these recordings is really valuable as a reference point. I have on a number of occasions since completing the course listened again to refresh my knowledge.

The course consisted of five modules each three hours long and covered all the stages of pregnancy starting with pre-conception and continuing through the trimesters and concluding with the post-partum stage.   

The classes where conducted by Dr Kausthub Desikachar. As always his classes were fascinating and the depth of knowledge shared was extraordinary as is his ability to teach in a way that not only helps you to understand the subject but also makes it relevant. 

The material covered was really thorough. It included how the mother can prepare for each stage, what changes she can expect and what actually occurs to her not only physiologically but also emotionally and mentally as well as discussing the development of the child through each stage.

Each module went through the recommended tools of Yoga available to address the needs of the mother depending on her circumstances to ensure the continued health and well- being of mother and child. It addresses the challenges the mother may have with her changing body and how to best manage these so the child continues to have a loving and nurturing environment in which to develop.

This course is valuable to Yoga Teachers that teach pregnant students in a group class situation as well as Yoga Therapists wishing to work with students on an individual basis. I really believe that any teacher who wants to teach students that either wish to conceive or are pregnant should participate in this course as this is a very unique and special event for any mother and child and they deserve to have a teacher that has as the knowledge and experience to further enable the experience to be a positive and healthy one.

 I would absolutely recommend this program to any teacher or therapist that wishes to work in this area, as well as anyone who wishes to conceive themselves as there is just so much information in this program that is really interesting and certainly makes you think about all the factors that can not only influence your experience but also impact your child’s well-being both during the pregnancy and after birth. We are all the result in part from our experiences so it is about giving the child the best possible start.     

Kim Gamble | Yoga Teacher | Australia

Yoga Therapy in Trauma Care

I have studied a number of courses with Dr Desikachar. They have all been excellent.  Well structured, well prepared, containing excellent information and taught in a timely fashion.  Here I write regarding a course on Trauma or Paritapa that I have studied most recently with Dr Desikachar. 

I have been a psychological trauma specialist for over 26 years.  I was interested to study this course with Dr Desikachar, as I was interested to learn about the connections between Trauma Theory with Yoga and Yoga Therapy.  Right form the outset Dr Desikachar presented several models that I had not come across previously. He built the course gradually, teaching the Definitions of Trauma and basic Trauma theory and types of trauma followed by kinds of Trauma as identified in Yoga Therapy. As this course was for Yoga students who were interested in, but whom may not have previous knowledge of trauma theory, it was necessary to go back to the basics.  The course covered symptoms of trauma both short and long term, and the causes of trauma both from a Western and Yogic perspective.  It them went into the Effects of trauma including Dissociative Disorders.

The concept of Duhkha Samyoga  (the pain trap) was discussed with reference to Modern neuroscience perspectives.  What I found most interesting was the description of the effect of trauma on the Cakra and Prana Systems which is how Yoga understands the impact on the person, and where the transformation process can ensue.  Dr Desikachar covered this in some detail.

The more I study Yoga the more I find that it is both simple and extremely complex.  I find that Dr Desikachar is an entertaining speaker who has a complete grasp of his teaching subject. He has a unique ability to synthesis complex concepts in such a way that the layperson is able to grasp the ideas and concepts.  Furthermore, Dr Desikachar has the ability to integrate Yogic concepts with Western thinking, which is particularly helpful for the Westerner.

What delighted me the most about this course was the description regarding “Re-negotiation” in treatment.  Here was a Yogic description of a treatment process I have developed in my own work, using “Re-negiotiation as a process of Smirti-Sodhana, creating new Samakara-s based on new memories.”  I would now like to follow up with a module purely on treatment.

In most of Dr Desikachar’s courses, personal practice is encouraged, but with the Trauma course this was not delved into, no doubt due to the lack of safety that could ensue if the participants were encouraged to access their own traumatic memories whilst under-going an internet study course without personal support.  Hence the material in this course was kept at the cerebral level rather than the personal. 

In short, I would highly recommend this course to students who wished to learn about Trauma seen from a Western and Yogic perspective.  It would suit students of Yoga Therapy or, Yoga Teachers who want a greater understanding of aspects of functioning their Yoga students may be dealing or struggling with.

Victoria Smith | Registered Psychotherapist | New Zealand

Yoga Therapy in Trauma Care

I am a mental health counselor, specializing in treating victims of trauma. I found Dr. Desikachar’s course on Yoga and Trauma beneficial as it has added a new dimension to my concept of trauma and its effects. I see this body of knowledge as a useful complement to the traditional western interventions for trauma, particularly psychoanalysis.

The course taught through Skype was neatly structured to fit the e-medium with each monthly segment covering a precise topic. Dr. Desikachar’s expertise in both yoga and the current western approaches was evident in the way he was able to use the DSM-IV to show the similarities and differences between the two approaches. I have found this course useful, both in understanding my own personal development and in treating my clients. I would recommend it for anyone who is a therapist or who would like to further their growth in the mind/body sciences. 

Rita Schabel, LPCA, MA, MBA | Mental Health Counselor | USA

Mudra-s & Bandha-s

All [the] programsI have done with Kausthub Desikachar have helped me to integrate yoga practise and philosophy. I can grow and continue my own studying and improve the way of transmission because of the high quality of his teaching and experiences. The structure of the program is clear and extremely rich.

All questions [I have] find more than an answer but a real experience of what is yoga and its benefits. I am grateful for all I have receive from him. I feel we are all lucky to have Kausthub Desikachar has a referent teacher and trainer in this tradition.

Isabelle Croset | Pyschotherapist & Yoga Teacher Trainer | France