Yoga as Therapy in the Tradition of T. Krishnamacharya
Professor T. Krishnamacharya was a pioneer in the revival of the ancient teachings of Yoga and in preserving their relevance for the modern world. He strongly advocated an intelligent approach to Yoga, whereby Yoga’s tools and techniques are adapted to respect the needs, abilities and requirements of each individual. The popularity and appeal of his 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 masters of the modern era.
TKV Desikachar, son and longest standing student of Krishnamacharya, continues to carry this tradition into the 21st century. He has been instrumental in building bridges between Yoga and other healing modalities, inspiring thousands of yoga practitioners worldwide.
In 1976 TKV Desikachar founded the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram (KYM)in honor of his father and in 2006 was co-founder, along with his son, Kausthub Desikachar of the Krishnamacharya Healing and Yoga Foundation (KHYF). Dr. Kausthub Desikachar is the current Managing Trustee of the KYM.
The KYM is dedicated to making the benefits of Krishnamacharya’s Yoga methodology and teachings available to everyone, regardless of gender, race, religion, and nationality.
The KYM has been providing yoga therapy services to the local and international communities for over thirty years, and physicians frequently refer patients to the KYM for help managing their medical conditions. At the KYM, more than 50 teachers and consultants, along with an administrative staff of 30, offer therapeutic yoga in a professional, caring setting. The center is noted for teaching healing techniques to people with epilepsy, gynecological problems, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, anxiety, and other mental and physical conditions. The KYM’s client-base also includes people seeking to improve their general health and athletic performance, as well as those who want to deepen their personal, spiritual practice.
The KYM is recognized by the Health and Family Welfare Department, Government of Tamilnadu. The KYM functions as a non-profit charitable trust and recently received the ISO 9001:2000 certification recognizing that it has established and maintains a Quality Management System for providing services related to yoga teaching and yoga therapy.
The Krishnamacharya Healing and Yoga Foundation (KHYF)
The KHYF is the umbrella organization representing the complete Yoga tradition of T. Krishnamacharya. It provides unique, in-depth training of the highest standards in Yoga and Yoga Therapy, as well as support for its accredited teachers and therapists. The KHYF’s objectives include:
- Increasing awareness of yoga and its many applications.
- Promoting and sharing yoga as an alternate healing methodology.
- Providing the highest standards of education in yoga and yoga therapy.
- Collaboration with professionals from other modalities to create new paradigms in healing.
- Creating and sharing educational resources that support the understanding and study of yoga.
- Support for a network of professional teachers and therapist through mentoring and continuing education.
- Maintaining the authenticity of yoga, while making it relevant for contemporary society.
- Developing research studies that scientifically evaluate the role of yoga in addressing different needs.
The following practices and principles are unique to Yoga as taught in the tradition of T. Krishnamacharya:
- The entire range of Yoga’s tools are utilized in a practical and experiential manner
- In individual settings, personalized Yoga programs are evolved for therapy or general needs
- Group classes are taught with a specific focus that provides individual attention
- Yoga therapy utilizes an individual approach that is complementary to other healing modalities
- The teachers/therapists are constantly growing and learning through mentoring, personal practice and continuing education programs
Some of the tools used in this 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 (mudra), and guided self-inquiry (svadhyaya).
The KHYF Network
The network of KHYF members consists of certified yoga teachers, yoga teacher trainers, yoga therapists and yoga therapist trainers who have undergone or are currently engaged in comprehensive training with the KHYF. Every member is matched with a mentor who provides him/her with guidance and support in achieving educational objectives.
A KHYF Yoga Teacher is certified to teach group classes and general (non-therapy) individual classes. They can also teach personalized yoga therapy practices under the guidance and supervision of a Yoga Therapist. You can expect a KHYF Yoga Teacher to have completed 500-750 hours of training.
A KHYF Yoga Teacher Trainer is a Yoga Teacher, who is also certified to train others to become Yoga Teachers. You can expect a KHYF Yoga Teacher Trainer to have completed a cumulative minimum of 1500 hours of training and at least five years of teaching experience.
A KHYF Yoga Therapist is a Yoga Teacher, who is also trained to teach and develop personalized yoga therapy programs. You can expect a KHYF Yoga Therapist to have at least 7 years of yoga teaching experience and a cumulative minimum of 2000 hours of training, including a minimum 100 hours of internship practice at our primary affiliate center, the KYM.
A KHYF Yoga Therapist Trainer is a Yoga Therapist, who is also certified to train others to become Yoga Therapists. You can expect a KHYF Yoga Therapist Trainer to have at least 5 years of yoga therapy practice and a cumulative minimum of 3000 hours of training, including internship practice.
The KHYF in your life:
You can begin to benefit from this tradition of yoga by:
- Beginning yoga/yoga therapy classes with any of their qualified members.
- Participating in any of their worldwide training programs that are suitable for you.
- Visiting the affiliate centers in India or other areas of the world.
- Reading the publications and resource materials offered through their website.
- Attending seminars and conferences offered by the KHYF and its members.
- Collaborating with the KHYF and its members to develop a customized program that suits your needs or the needs of your organization.
To find a yoga teacher or therapist certified by the KHYF visit http://www.KHYF.net