Yoga Paramparas Revealed

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Daaji’s Message from Kanha! 

Heartfulness proposes meditation on the heart with an aim of attaining subtler levels of consciousness. The heart is not merely a pump for blood circulation – its role goes far beyond that. References in ancient Indian literature on Yoga, especially that from Sages like Patanjali,…



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30 Nov 2021

Yogavani

Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram (KYM) Chennai
Legacy Series

Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram (KYM) Chennai 

A True Master and a Complete Teacher– Sri T Krishnamacharya

If there is one name that can be considered pretty much synonymous with contemporary yoga, it is T Krishnamacharya who is well known the world over as the yoga guru of legendary masters such as Indra Devi, BKS Iyengar, Pattabhi Jois and TKV Desikachar. Among most contemporary styles of yoga, several trace their roots back to this legend, whose teachings remain the inspiration for thousands of yoga practitioners around the world. Be it fitness, healing or a spiritual quest, T Krishnamacharya is among the few legendary yoga gurus who managed to give every seeker of yoga and yoga therapy exactly what they sought. With a proven ability to stop his heartbeat, being a teacher to none less than the King of Mysore, a ram-rod straight posture even as he neared a hundred years of age, a devoted bhakta who stood by his faith and yet encouraged others to seek and find their own anchor…in every way T Krishnamacharya was a remarkable man. He was an acclaimed master of asana, pranayama and dhyanam techniques, a seeker of knowledge, a prolific writer and orator, one of the pioneers of adapting yoga techniques for therapy, and an adept in Vedic chanting.

While Sri T Krishnamacharya was a great scholar in all the darsana-s and sastra-s, he received in-depth training in yoga in the region of Kailash-Mansarovar in Tibet where he lived and studied with his yoga teacher, Sri Rama Mohana Brahmachari for over 7 years in the early 20th century. Upon his return to his native village near Mysore in Karnataka, at the behest of the then Maharaja of Mysore, Sri T Krishnamacharya established a yogashala at the Mysore palace where he taught not only members of the kings family and visiting dignitaries but also the kings guards and their families. Over a decade later after the yogashala was shut down following changes in the political scenario, T Krishnamacharya shifted his base to Chennai where he lived and taught till he passed on in 1989.

Sri T Krishnamacharya who lived to be over hundred years old was one of the greatest yogi-s of the modern era. If today, yoga is an inherent part of the everyday lives of millions of people across the world, it is due in large measure to the pioneering efforts of Sri T Krishnamacharya, among other notable legends, who revived yoga in the early twentieth century. While preserving ancient wisdom and reviving lost teachings, Sri Krishnamacharya was also a revolutionary innova¬tor who developed and adapted yoga practices that suited the needs of individuals. Sri Krishnamacharya’s knowledge of yoga was so vast that he taught each student differently. In refusing to standardize the prac¬tice and teaching methodology, Sri Krishnamacharya created an understanding of yoga relevant for a broad spectrum of students. By integrating the ancient teachings of Yoga and Indian philosophy with modern-day requirements, Sri Krishnamacharya created yoga practices that are as accurate and powerful as they are practical and relevant.

Our Founder – Sri TKV Desikachar

Son and student of T Krishnamacharya, TKV Desikachar is known for his inimitable ability of demystifying yoga philosophy and for his pioneering work in the area of wellness and yoga therapy. As a diagnostician and yoga therapist, TKV Desikachar’s skills were legendary and all his students will stand testimony to his mastery as healer and spiritual guide. His no-nonsense teaching style continues to resonate in the minds of his students and to him goes the credit of creating the representational stick figures that are so widely used by students and teachers of yoga the world over. Known for his generosity of teaching and sharing, TKV Desikachar’s landmark book, “The Heart of Yoga,” till today remains a bestseller and even a comprehensive reference book for yoga enthusiasts. In fact, the stick diagrams that are so commonly used today to illustrate practice sequences were his innovative contribution.

Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram

The Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram represents the teaching tradition of Yogacharya, T Krishnamacharya, as taught by his son and long-time disciple, Sri. TKV Desikachar. The Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram was founded by Sri T Krishnamacharya’s son and student Sri TKV Desikachar in the year 1976, both as a tribute to his father and as a means of preserving and propagating his valuable teachings on yoga. The KYM is a Public Charitable Trust and also holds the distinction of being ISO 9001:2015 certified.

KYM has been recognized as one of the Leading Yoga Institutions in India, by the Morarji Desai National institute of Yoga (MDNIY), New Delhi, an apex regulatory body for Yoga in India, under the Department of AYUSH, Ministry of Health, Government of India and is also one of the founding Member Organisations of the Indian Yoga Association (IYA).

KYM and its Work
Yoga Cikitsa (Yoga Therapy)

Customised Yoga therapy interventions for adults and children is the hallmark of the Krishnamacharya Tradition. In KYM’s approach the multiple tools of yoga are adapted to suit individual needs and capabilities, making the KYM one of the most renowned centres for yoga therapy in the world. The collective experience of KYM’s yoga therapists, many of whom have been trained by TKV Desikachar is well documented with care seekers’ record numbering nearly a 1,00,000. Yoga therapy interventions are only offered one-on-one, following the unique teaching style of TKV Desikachar. Our yoga therapists design a personal practice for each care seeker integrating multiple tools of yoga and also including specific diet and lifestyle modifications. KYM’s expertise includes musculo-skeletal issues, cardiac issues, metabolic issues, cognitive and psychological disorders, geriatric issues, auto-immune conditions, digestive disorders, depression and anxiety, neurological conditions, women’s issues and more.

Every individual care seeker is assessed by a senior yoga therapy consultant on a number of factors such as: age, demographic profile, professions, time available for practice, place of residence, current health status, expectations from the practice, ability, diet and lifestyle practices currently followed and so on apart from aphysical examination, assessment of pulse, assessment of flexibility, strength, pain, stiffness, range of movement and so on. Based on this initial assessment a courseplan is designed and taught to the student. This course plan is modified at intervals based on feedback received from the student. This one-on-one approach is a unique aspect of the KYM tradition.

KYM Institute of Yoga Studies

Founded in 1988, the KYM Institute of Yoga studies is the training and certification wing of KYM which focuses primarily on training teachers and therapists who evolve as highly competent torch-bearers of the yoga tradition of T Krishnamacharya and TKV Desikachar. The KYM Institute of Yoga studies apart from its intensive yoga teacher and yoga therapist training programs offers a number of short-term yoga intensives for Indians and international students alike on a wide range of subjects including Principles and Practice of Asana, Pranayama and Meditation, Yoga Philosophy (Yoga Sutra, Yoga Rahasya, Bhagavad Gita, Hathayoga Pradipika and many others) and Application of tools of yoga in Therapeutic and non-therapeutic contexts. A number of webinars are also being offered on various aspects of Yoga as well.

Department of Healing Chants

One of T Krishnamacharya’s most significant contributions has been the integration of healing chants from various sacred texts in his approach to yoga therapy. In the words of our founder, TKV Desikachar, “Chanting can open our hearts,” and thereby it become a potent tool in the context of health and healing. KYM’s Department of Healing chants offers indepth training in Vedic chanting and chanting from other sacred Indian texts with an emphasis on perfection. T Krishnamacharya was among those who pioneered the effort to throw open the portals of Vedic Chanting to all who were interested in learning and preserving it for posterity. The Department of Healing Chants is committed to taking his initiative further through short-term intensives and teacher training programmes.

KYM-Mitra

KYM-Mitra is KYM’s commitment to offer to the socially and economically underprivileged sections of society free and focused yoga training as a means of giving the recipients potent tools for improving health, vitality, confidence and functionality by empowering them from within.Since its inception in 2001, KYM-Mitra has worked with thousands of individuals in collaboration with several well know NGOs such as Amar Seva Sangam, The Downs Syndrome Association, ESi Hospital, The Banyan, Madhuram Narayanan Centre, Cancer Institute, Spastics Society, The Banyan and many more. One very successful project was the Yoga training for women life-term convict prisoners at Vellore Central Jail. KYM-Mitra has worked with Senior citizens, destitute women and children, tribal communities, children with special needs, children with learning disabilities, the speech, hearing and the visually challenged. The TKV Desikachar Clinic for children with special needs is another initiative in which teachers work one on one with children.

Research

Since its inception in 1976, the KYM has accumulated several thousands of care seekers’ record which provide valuable information on the role and significance of yoga interventions in the therapeutic context. The raison-d’etre of KYM’s research wing is to systematically organize and analyse the data and make this information available to the yoga community. The KYM research Department is also committed to periodically conducting seminars and workshop on yoga therapy and yoga literature with a view to creating more awareness of and interest in yoga as a viable system of complementary therapy and as a living philosophical tradition.

KYM is recognized as a Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (SIRO) by Department of Scientific and International Research (DSIR), Government of India.

KYM-Outreach

KYM also offers workshops and yoga classes at schools and colleges with a view to creating awareness among children and the youth about the importance of yoga in modern-day living. Stress-management classes using techniques of yoga are also offered in collaboration with several corporate houses for their employees.

Publications and Integrated Communications

This department focuses on bringing out the teachings of T Krishnamacharya and TKV Desikachar in different media formats with a view to preserving this very old teaching tradition and for generating awareness about yoga. A number of books on Yoga, chanting and yoga philosophy are available for sale at the KYM’s publications division. We also bring out a quarterly ejournal, “Darsanam” on Yoga and Yoga Cikitsa, in which scholarly articles from invited experts are featured. This publication is a valuable resource for students and teachers of Yoga alike.

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