“Krishnamacharya’s yoga is based on absolute respect for the individual, absolute devotion to the infinite potential that lies within each of us”, TKV Desikachar, “it is a yoga that is always practical in matters of body, mind and spirit”
Yoga is one of India’s greatest contributions to mankind. It is a way of seeing the world and of reducing unnecessary suffering for ourselves and others. The grounding of the teachings has as its foundation the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and in this tradition, adapting the teachings of yoga to each individual, viniyoga.
Yoga can be used to link the body and the mind. It is the ability to achieve something through physical and mental effort. It can be used as a means to cultivate and maintain a state of concentration or to develop the body and the breath through refinement of various postures and breathing techniques. Traditionally this aspect is only a means towards a more important goal.
Yoga can also be used to deepen our understanding of ourselves by inquiring both into and beyond what we view as the everyday self, its actions and its motives. Yoga can help us to appreciate and sustain a quality of attention. This attention offers a space that can allow our actions or especially reactions to be less influenced by the habitual patterns within the mind. With more awareness and mindful attention we can lessen the effects of our conditioning, thereby experiencing a deeper sense of well being in all aspects of our lives and relationships with others.
The reality of life is that we all feel unwell or out of balance at times. Yoga, as a restorative support and preventative healthcare support, can be a healing therapy to help us work at changing or anticipating the effects of problems and illness in our lives. An individualized approach is necessary here, as our potential to practice Yoga will be affected by the problem, or the problem by our attitude towards working with it. For chronic diseases, Yoga can be used as a support alongside other forms of treatment. Utilizing Yoga concepts it is possible, within a careful Individual Yoga teaching or, within certain situations Group Yoga classes, to introduce practices that both respect the problems or illness and support our intention to reduce their negative effects in the future. However, practicing Yoga as a therapy also presumes that we are willing to accept responsibility for making changes within our own situation.
These three aspects of Yoga are mutually supportive in helping to maintain physical health, psychological vitality and spiritual purpose within the commitment and challenges of life, work and relationships.