Category Archives for "Yoga Therapy"

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

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

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/