For those who have studied in the Krishnamacharya/Desikachar Yoga tradition or for those who are wondering about it, June 2018 will give you a good opportunity to experience what that tradition is all about and you don’t have to go to India.
Leslie Kaminoff has put together a weekend in tribute to T.K.V. Desikachar at Kripalu, June 21-24. Presenters include Leslie, Navtej Johar, Gary Kraftsow, Mirka Kraftsow, Richard Miller, Larry Payne, R. Sriram, and Mark Whitwell. You can see all the teachers’ information and register on the Kripalu website. My flight tix are bought and I am registered but I can tell you that most of the private rooms with private baths are gone. The site is also very buggy and gets hung up (no matter what browser I used) so it is best to call to register.
For the last three years I haven’t done any major yoga things so I’m excited to attend as I’ve never been to Kripalu. If you go and want to share the cost of a car from the Albany airport to Kripalu, contact me.
If you are not familiar with the Krishnamacharya/Desikachar Yoga tradition this is a heartfelt piece written by Gary Kraftsow. Yes, there are still teachers who have never heard of Krishnamacharya or Desikachar. I met a Canadian yoga teacher during my trip to India last year who had no idea who they were.
This part of Gary’s piece rings so true for me:
“From the beginning, he emphasized what his father had told him: “The teaching is for the student, not the teacher.” He taught me that I was not teaching students to do yoga techniques correctly, but that I was teaching them how to use yoga techniques to help them understand and transform themselves. My job, he told me, was to see the student’s needs and interests, meet them where they were, and provide appropriate and accessible tools to help them move from where they were to where they wanted to go. He said that my real goal with students should be to inspire and empower them to deepen their own understanding of yoga and to commit to a personal practice.”
I have recently started mentoring a young yoga teacher and we did not talk about one asana for the entire weekend. We talked about personal transformation because she wanted to know how to incorporate that idea into her classes, how to move beyond the physical practice.
While I studied directly with Desikachar in only my first two trainings at KYM, every teacher there who studied with him and were teaching us always imparted that as teachers we are teaching students “how to use yoga techniques to help them understand and transform themselves.” I remember how nervous I was to chant a few lines of the Gayatri Mantra for Sir (as we called him) during my second visit. He said “Good” when I finished and that was all I needed to hear. 🙂
Every year for 10 yrs, from 2005-2015, I was immersed in the idea of YOGA AS TRANSFORMATION via the trainings and the personal one-on-one classes I took with Desikachar’s senior teachers. At the same time from 2012-2014 I also studied with Ganesh Mohan, son of A.G. Mohan, in his yoga therapy program. I’ve always said that “Yoga cooks us” so I was definitely getting cooked! 😀 I am so very grateful to Srivatsa Ramaswami for introducing me to the tradition in 2004 on his first visit to Chicago.
While I will never be a well-known teacher like Leslie Kaminoff, Mark Whitwell, Gary Kraftsow, Erich Schiffmann or other famous students of Desikachar, sharing the wisdom to thousands of students a year as they do, I am glad I can impart my small pieces of Krishnamacharya Yoga tradition in my tiny yoga space in suburban Chicago, one student at a time — Yoga as it is meant to be taught, in my opinion. My mentee has already started taking it out into her yoga world in Indianapolis and that does my heart good.
I am sure this will be great weekend.
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