As we mourn the death of yet another of modern yoga’s founding fathers, we’d like to take the opportunity to share at least a few of T.K.V. Desikachar’s many wise words.
Influential yoga master T.K.V. Desikachar, 78, died August 8, 2016, after a few years of reportedly declining health. The son of T. Krishnamacharya, who was widely recognized as the father of modern yoga and guru to B.K.S. Iyengar and K. Pattabhi Jois, followed his father on the yoga teaching path after first pursuing a career in engineering.
Desikachar became known for a pure and individualized approach to asana practice. One of his students writes, “When I opened my yoga school at Delhi many years ago, I called Sir for his blessings and to ask him how I could identify the type of yoga we taught, and his firm advice to me was to just call it yoga, at most Patanjali yoga, and no more. He clearly saw branding or even standardisation of style as antithetical to yoga, the very nature of which was fluid in his view.”
Many of Desikachar’s students went on to become influential yoga teachers in the U.S., including Yoga Journal LIVE! presenters Leslie Kaminoff and Gary Kraftsow. Kraftsow took Desikachar’s highly individualized approach to the practice and developed Viniyoga. But Desikachar could be said to have played a role in training the vast majority of 200-hour certified teachers in the West, as his classic book The Heart of Yoga is included in the curriculum of so many programs today.
As we mourn the death of another one of modern yoga’s founding fathers, we’d like to take the opportunity to share and remember him by at least a few of his many wise words and contributions to yoga as we now know it.
See also A Tribute to B.K.S. Iyengar