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May 31

Who was Acharya T. Krishnamacharya

By admin | Yoga Therapy

Who was Acharya T. Krishnamacharya?

Every era goes through a period of high and then the period of low and this influences the culture and the knowledge systems that are connected to that culture and time and again when things go very bad there comes a pioneer who revives such a tradition such a culture back to its glory days. This in a nutshell is Acharya Shri T. Krishnamacharya for the field of Yoga.

In the beginning of the 19th century Indian culture which includes traditions like Yoga, Ayurveda were facing a great challenge because of the great invasions from the West, particularly England. England ruled India for many years and slowly the culture that was native to India was on the decline. So in this dark era for Indian culture came this genius called Acharya T. Krishnamacharya who championed the case of Yoga and resurrected it for us to benefit from it all.

He was among the few great Yogi’s at this time put together brought back yoga to relevance and greatness. Acharya T. Krishnamacharya is a great pioneer because he combined the experience of his own wisdom to build bridges between the traditional teachings of Yoga with other related teachings such as:

  • Ayurveda,
  • Vedanta philosophy and
  • other schools of Indian knowledge systems

He beautifully brought together the holistic nature of Vedic teachings and presented it through the medium of yoga for everybody to benefit. It is through his inspiring work that we have yoga to enjoy today because he inspired great students such as Indra Devi, Sri BKS Iyengar, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and most importantly his own son Sri T.K.V Desikachar, who founded Krishnamacharya Healing and Yoga Foundation to spread Viniyoga®, actually brought the entire spectrum of Acharya T.Krishnamacharya to the public domain.

So today the whole world is practicing yoga and a majority of it is coming from Acharya T. Krishnamacharya’s teachings. If you take the brave and most popular schools of yoga today and go one or two generations backwards you will have to come to Acharya T. Krishnamacharya. Such was his profound influence that is still so relevant even decades after his passing.

As yoga teachers, we all must take a moment to salute our Acharya T. Krishnamacharya for his contributions to this field and also remember some of his contemporaries who also worked very hard so that we today can enjoy the benefits of Yoga.

Dr.Kausthub DesikacharViniyoga® Teacher

May 09

How does Yoga Build Pain tolerance?

By admin | Uncategorized

Yoga Building Pain Tolerance

Out of great many benefits of Yoga, is the one that is called “dvandva sahanam” which means we are able to withstand the extremes. Now when look at concept of pain, pain is a form of suffering where we are unable to allow resources of our body to face the challenges that it receives.

Some of these challenges are coming from within us, some of these challenges are coming from outside us, some of these challenges areexpected, some of these challenges areunexpected.

Now in this conflicting environment where the dualities of life are pulling us from one side to the other if we don’t remain centered and anchored, we will eventually collapse and when we are not actually centered we suffer with pain whether it is:

  • Physical pain
  • Emotional pain
  • Psychological pain.

Yoga helps us to reconnect with our core strength in our heart and in our gutand therefore bring in the capacity to be stable even in an unstable environment and when we can remain stable when things around us are unstable we will have a great tolerance towards the dualities and therefore to pain.

That’s how yoga helps us to build tolerance towards the extremes of life which make our life often challenging.

By Dr.Kausthub Desikachar

 

Apr 26

What is Yoga?

By admin | VIniyoga

Yoga has many definitions. The one that is closest to my heart is defined by my father Shri TKV Desikachar. My father defined Yoga as a relationshipand I feel this is the best definition possible especially in today’s times.

First Yoga helps us to have a relationship with ourselves – with our body, with our breathing, with our mind, with our ego and with our potentials. Now once we stabilize this relationship with ourselves then Yoga can help us have a good relationship with others.

Second domain where yoga helps us is in the inter-personal domain. The inter-personal domain-relationship with other people, relationship with members of our family, in our working environment, in our employment, in our society. Yoga helps us nourish all these relationships because Yoga is not just about ourselves. So the second domain where yoga helps us is in the inter-personal domain.

Now we have a good relationship with ourselves and with others, Thirdly, yoga also helps us to transcend these into the trans-personal domain – the domain of spirituality, the domain of the divine. Thus yoga can also help us have a good relationship with the divine.

That’s why I feel my father very simply put it as yoga is a relationship and I feel in conclusion this is the best definition that we can have in modern times. Yoga is a relationship

  • with ourselves,
  • with others,
  • with the divine.

This is consistent with the message of the root meaning of Yoga – Yuj: to link, to connect, which is the basis of every relationship; so Yoga is a relationship.

By Dr.Kausthub Desikachar – Viniyoga Teacher

 

Apr 12

The Pillars of Practice

By admin | Yoga Therapy

Part 01

Yoga is about changing patterns – of the body, of the breath and of the mind. Our life changes all the time, and patterns or habits that were once helpful become less so, even constricting or harmful – yet, because they are familiar, we cling onto them, often completely unconsciously. They become part of us, part of our self-identity. So the first step to being able to change is becoming aware, aware of those habits and patterns which we can see are now unhelpful to us and our current path.

However, Patanjali tells us that patterns or habits can never be destroyed; the only way of changing them is by building newer, ultimately stronger ones, always recognising that the old ones will still be there. And the only way of creating new habits is through repetition, painstaking repetition. This is why so much emphasis is put on practice in yoga. When we do our practice, we are, over time, creating new patterns of movement, posture, breathing and thinking.

So, if practice is so important, why do most of us find it so difficult to do? Why, even when we enjoy it, do we keep finding reasons not to do it? Most of us who have managed to do it fairly regularly for a time have found that we feel healthier, we have more energy, we think more clearly so that we can sort out priorities and solve problems better; our often negative thinking is replaced by a more positive outlook… but still it gets crowded out. How can we help ourselves to find a regular place for it in our busy lives?

Perhaps a very important first step is to be realistic about our life as it is at the moment. It is absolutely no good planning on doing a 75 minute practice if we are being woken up four times a night by a baby who then demands our attention throughout the day as well. Our changing needs and life style was accepted away back in ancient times, and in modern times was elaborated by T Krishnamacharya and TKV Desikachar. They taught of the possibility for challenging physical practices for children, teenagers and young adults; of the necessity for practices that would maintain, support and energise, in the busiest midlife years, and that would help in the spiritual journey of people who are older and at last less busy.

The next step can be to look at our life and try to work out a way that a practice could become part of our routine – ‘making’ time for it, rather than hoping to ‘find’ time. This could be in the morning, the traditional time, but certainly does not have to be.

Then, it can really help to think about the attitudes we have towards our practice. Are we regarding it as something that we ‘ought’ to do, because others tell us that it is a good thing – or have we fully embraced the idea that it is something that WE have decided that we want to do? Patanjali gives us many ideas of attitudes that, if we cultivate them, will help us both in our life and in our practice, and in this series of short articles we shall look at some of them.

By Dr. Kausthub Desikachar and Sarah Ryan

Mar 15

The guruparaṁpara

By admin | Yoga Therapy

Is Yoga only techniques ?

So many Yoga techniques are available nowadays, but so often we move nowadays in our spiritual path like if we were walking on speedwalk in a fitness class ; using our energy rather than getting some light. Why is this so ? As the west is getting more and more interested in Yoga, it takes the part of Yoga that is fiting with its own culture, and let away the rest. Like when we do shopping, we take a little bit of posture, breathing, and we let the mantra and the deep and intimate relationship with the teacher considering even that guru is a bad word.

What is a teacher ?

A guru is the one who will burn -ru- our heaviness -gu-. Instead of taking away our power, he will greatly empower us into our life through an appropriate relationship and practise that will burn our ego, fear, etc. Inded, the practises are traditionally done under the safe guidance of a good teacher (sadguru) in a very safe, private and intimate relationship (gopanīyam).

The guide in the path

The reason is the following : the teacher has followed the path, he knows the way and can lead us throught the difficulties we will face. Having practised a lot under a guidance himself, he understands the needs of a student and built a proper practise to help him to remove and attenuate his own obstacles. To understand better this essential point, I would like to give a metaphor. Yoga practises are like a car. Having a car alone doesn’t allow us to go where we want, unless we have a good guide who knows the way and how to deal with the Indian Road, where to stop to eat, where to reach a place, etc.

From an unbroken lineage

The beauty of the Indian tradition is that the lineage has been unbroken since the Antiquity, when the Yogic kowledge was born, until now. This is as amazing as imagining some Egyptian priest showing you the secret of the pyramids. This lineage is acknowledged many time in the haṭha-yoga-pradīpika, the yoga-sūtras and all the old text. Sankrit language have a special word to describe a teacher, he is the one that has gone through to the end (antevasin) of the way and then can lead other: an ācārya. He stayed a long time with his teacher and is now able to teach.

Current Times

Nowadays, I met many students of Yoga who were practising Yoga techniques since a long time who came in India to meet Dr. Kausthub Desikachar in order to improve their yogic knowledge. Most of them are so happy as they are understanding that a very big part of their path was missing without a proper teacher. They now progress in their Yoga practises as well as in their own personnal and professionnal life and even have the strenght to fulfill some of their old challenges. This is only possible throught the contact of a person who, in the framework of the relationship, let go of his own ego open his heart and help the student to connect with that beautiful space inside the heart that we call nowadays love and allow us to thrive in our full potential.

The uniqueness of the Viniyoga® tradition of T Krishnamacharya and TKV Desikachar, is that the tradition is very anchored in the Guru-Paramapara for over twelve centuries. When a tradition is anchored for so long, it sure is a sign that the heart connection is indeed strong. And this is indeed the potent power of the Guru Parampara, which is so strongly visible in the Viniyoga tradition.

Kausthub Desikachar and Philip Rigo

Aug 14

WHY CHANTING THE VEDAS CAN IMPROVE YOUR LIFE

By admin | Uncategorized


Article by Evelyn Einhaeuser

Anyone can do it
Whether you are young or old, fit or unfit, religious or atheist, anybody can benefit from the practice of mantras. Even people with impaired speech can recite mantras mentally. Those that fear religious content can always use mantras that are connected with forces of nature (sun, moon, stars, the forest, etc) or use mantras that stress certain themes (removal of fear, faith in oneself, compassion, etc). Mantra practices will make us feel lighter and connected and they can be chanted everywhere and by everybody.

You connect to the roots of Yoga
The Vedic mantraswere not written by human beings, they are apaurusheya, meaning they were received from divine source in deep states of meditation. There is no authorship with Vedic mantras. The way and ritual in which the mantras were recited in the past connected you to the Rishi who first received the mantra as well as to the seed syllables within the mantras and to what we call as it’s Shakti- it’s inherent power. Therefore when reciting mantras you directly connect back to the Yogic tradition and the distinct divine energy that is revealed through the vibration of the mantra. Like this, you are linking yourself back to the very roots of Yoga and tap into something that is incredibly ancient, pure and powerful.

You create a new positive pattern of vibration within you
Sound is known as the most fundamental part of matter and therefore the most fundamental part of you! In Yoga and Samkhya philosophy, this most fundamental part of matter is called ?abda tanmatra. According to these two Vedic philosophies, all elements as well as our senses are made up of this subtlemost part of matter. From a modern perspective, if we look at the human being in it’s atomic structure, we understand that we are nothing else than vibrating atoms. Albert Einstein confirmed this by saying: „Everything in life is vibration“. Depending on the speed of atoms, objects appear in our eye as solid, liquid or gas. Vedic Chanting introduces pure and high frequency sounds to our system that can change our overall vibration. Dis-eases can be altered and negative thought patterns (which reflect nothing else than also a vibration) can be changed.

You will feel more healthy
The Vedic tradition offers a multitude of different mantras, which also include healing mantras. Some of them address ailments in the body, some of them address diseases in the emotions or the mind. Mantras also help us to feel more calm and at peace, more centered and less stressed.

You learn some of the most powerful chants of the Vedic tradition
In ancient times mantras were referred to as „ Vedabhede guhyavade mantrakhya? “, which means secret words from the cave in the heart. It reflects that for many centuries the transmission of these mantras was done in secret to keep their powerful impact to selected few. There are many mantras in the world, but Vedic mantras were for centuries only recited and learnt by male Brahmins as they are considered sacred and divine. We are fortunate that our acharya T. Krishnamacharya opened the doors of Vedic Chanting to everyone, so that mantras can be learnt by all sincere seekers, independent of gender, caste or nationality, today.

Mantras are timeless
Before hours and seconds existed, Yogic practitioners had to find a measurement for the duration of their ?sana or pr???y?ma or meditation practice. Remember that in the times we talk of, watches and clocks did not yet exist. So the Yogis used mantras to measure the duration. While inhaling they were reciting a mantra, while exhaling they were reciting a mantra. In meditation they would repeat a mantra (mantra japa). Additionally, our acharya T.Krishnamacharya stressed that any Yoga practice should be practiced samantraka, which means with mantra, as it accentuates and strengthens the effect of any Yogic practice.

You will feel energized
According to the old scriptures, mantras are the only tool that is actually able to generate life force, pr??a, and can manifest matter into being. In our modern times when many people suffer from burn-out and chronic fatigue, mantras create new ways of energy distribution and can help create energy. Many of our trainees from the Vedic Chant training tell us how even their appetite was strongly affected by chanting every day (you feel you can suddenly eat like an elephant!) and how much their digestion and general energy improved.

You will connect to yourself and others
One of the most remarkable experiences in any of our training programs is that it connects you to people from around the world who also enjoy delving deeply into the Yogic teachings. But Vedic Chanting offers even more than that. In Sanskrit Vedic Chanting is referred to as Adhyayanam, which literally means a journey back to the Self. What it reveals is a journey back to your soul, the innermost and eternal part of yourself. It’s a journey to the essence of your own sound, the symphony of your soul. It’s the journey all Yogis strive for in their life and chanting will accompany and softly lead you on that journey back into your own heart.

Our VEDIC CHANT TEACHER TRAINING commences on 4th February 2019 in Chennai, India. For more information on how to join this course, kindly contact: courses@khyf.net

 

Jul 26

UNDERSTANDING THE DOṢA-S IN YOGA

By admin | Uncategorized

Article by Evelyn Einhaeuser

When we want to give an adequate and resonating Yoga or Yoga Therapy practice to an individual, an important part to consider is our student’s constitution (do?a), as this reflects in their body, emotions, mindset and also in the manifestation of potential diseases or problems in life and even in what happens to them on their spiritual path. These constitutions reflect the energetic make-up of the five elements within our body. Depending on the combination of elements and their distribution within an individual, the do?a changes. In Yoga and Ayurveda, all illnesses as well as negative thought patterns or emotions can be categorized under a specific do?a. Our acharya T. Krishnamacharya was a polymath, and therefore an expert not just in Yoga, but also in Ayurveda and other disciplines that find their origins in the Vedas and he was even able to mix Ayurvedic medicines by himself. In the times in which he lived, people understood that all these vedic disciplines work synergistically and complementary. Those were times in which people drew on knowledge from different complementary fields to increase efficiency and healing strength.

Yoga practices can address when one of these three bodily humours or bioenergies has become aggravated and harmonizes our body, emotions and mindset back into balance. Therefore Yoga and Ayurveda go hand in hand because the Ayurvedic model in turn helps us to better understand what is happening inside a person’s body (and mind!).

Learning about the different constitutions as well as accessing Yoga practices and teachniques in the scope of these constitutions is therefore a big part of our KHYF teacher training as well as our KHYF therapy training. In the teacher training these constitutions will be explained so that they can be used for designing practices. In the therapy training apart from understanding the three different humours in depth, illnesses will be discussed and categorized with the Ayurvedic model in mind and you will learn how to read the pulse of a student, one of the things that our teacher TKV Desikachar was an absolute expert in. He could see and feel deeply into a person from reading their pulse, he would know what kind of diseases they have or had, what emotions were bothering them and even know if a person was pregnant and if so, which gender the child had!

If you are interested in delving deeper into the Yogic understanding of the constitutions, here are several beautiful options for upcoming seminars and training programs in which you can deepen your knowledge to better facilitate your students journeys:

PITTA PRAKOPA CIKITSA| Understanding and Alleviating Pitta Disorders. Sept 8th to Sept 10th, 2017. Seminar in San Sebastian, Spain. For more information kindly visit: http://www.khyf.net/programs-and-events/2017/9/8/pitta-prakopa-cikitsa-understanding-and-alleviating-pitta-disorders

YOGA TEACHER TRAINING, Module 1 commenced on January 15th 2018 in Chennai, India. For more information, on further modules and how to join this course, kindly contact: courses@khyf.net

Register for HOLISTIC YOGA THERAPY TRAINING, starting 13th September 2018 in Lauingen, Germany.

Jul 18

7 REASONS TO ENGAGE IN THE KHYF YOGA THERAPY TRAINING

By admin | Yoga Therapy

It is Classical Yoga
The training will present Yoga Therapy based on Yoga’s classical understanding of the Human body, in conjunction with traditional Vedic sciences like Ayurveda and Samkhya philosophy. Hence the depth of learning will be profound especially in trying to understand the tools of Yoga through subtle perspectives. This apart, consistent with the classical foundation of Yoga, each participant will also be mentored individually by a qualified mentor. Thus personal attention in the student’s learning will also form a key part of the training.

It is Holistic
Participants in this training program will learn the entire range of Yoga’s potent tools. This includes not just Asana-s, but also Pranayama, Mudra, Bandha, Mantra, Nyasa, Ahara (Nutrition), Vihara (Lifestyle) and other important tools of Yoga Therapy in a detailed and structured manner. Assistive handouts will be provided throughout the training so that it serves as an important aid in the learning process.

It is Immersive
The training will be a deep immersion for participants to not only learn in-depth the theoretical frameworks of the tools of Yoga Therapy, but also how to practically apply it to themselves and to their students through practicum and supervised teaching.

It is Useful
In today’s context, where it is increasingly becoming important for Yoga teachers to be careful when teaching Yoga classes even in group settings, trainees will find this program immensely useful to gain deep insights into how to offer modifications and adaptations that are safe and respectful to the needs of their students. Teaching will include how to observe limitations in students, which variations to offer, and how to offer them in an intelligent and interesting manner.

It is Transformational
The training will not only be an amazing opportunity to learn in depth tools of Yoga Therapy, but also to apply them practically for oneself in a profound process of self transformation. Guidance on self-observation tools will be continually provided as well as spiritual mentoring so that participants not only evolve themselves in a positive manner, but also bring out their best abilities as a future care provider.

It is International
You will be part of an amazing cosmopolitan set of participants coming from many countries and cultures and hence sharing experiences will be truly meaningful and diverse. The training is non-dogmatic and is open to all those who are sincerely interested in the discipline of Yoga Therapy. There is no discrimination made of any kind, as long as all participants are emotionally stable and deeply committed to the learning process.

It is Fun
The KHYF Yoga Therapy Training is absolutely awesome. You will learn in a friendly and joyful environment that makes the educational process enjoyable and fulfilling. An ambience of openness and positivity will be created to welcome all trainees so that the learning is as much fun, as it is profound.

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To be part of our awesome KHYF Yoga Therapy Training 2018 – 2020, beginning in September 2018 in Germany, kindly click here – www.khyf.net/programs/training/1000-hours-viniyoga/