Remembering TKV Desikachar 1938-2016

TKV Desikachar
Photo by Krishnamacharya Healing and Yoga Foundation

TKV Desikachar has been one the most influential and beloved masters in the yoga community. Son of T. Krishnamacharya (known as the father of modern yoga), TKV Desikachar was an integral figure in the rise and spread of hatha yoga in the West. He passed in Chennai, India, on Monday, August 8th at age 78 and will be remembered by many as a bright light in the practice and evolution of modern yoga.

In the 1960s TKV Desikachar quit his job as an engineer and dedicated his life to the practice and teaching of yoga. He studied under his own father until Krishnamacharya’s passing in 1989. TKV Desikachar believed in making yoga accessible to all and in 1976 founded Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram (KYM) to help share the power of yoga with a wider audience.

TKV Desikachar’s yoga was revolutionary because he broke from the rigid sequences many teachers were practicing at the time and instead opted for a personalized practice. Every time he taught yoga, he catered the teachings to the student at hand, designing a truly powerful practice for everyone who came to his door.

In 1995, TKV Desikachar published his seminal text, The Heart of Yoga. Thousands of yogis have turned to this book to better understand yoga and create a personal yoga practice in their lives. TKV is one of the last students to have practiced directly under T. Krishnamacharya.

Though the details of his death are yet unknown, we do know that near the end of his life TKV Desikachar suffered from dementia and declining physical health. His family is arranging a traditional Indian funeral and an international memorial to be held later this year. While TKV Desikachar will be sorely missed, his wisdom will continue to guide yogis around the world. We leave you with the wise words of our beloved teacher, “The success of yoga does not lie in the ability to perform postures but in how it positively changes the way we live our life and our relationships.”

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