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T.K.V. Desikachar, Son Of T. Krishnamacharya, Reportedly ‘Near Comatose’

in YD News

tkv-desikacharT.K.V. Desikachar is not doing well. According to reports from those close to him, Desikachar’s condition has worsened and he is “near comatose.”

Desikachar has been battling a decline in his mental health for the past several years, and it seems his physical health is worsening as well.

Via Paul Harvey of the Centre For Yoga Studies in the UK in a facebook update:

It is with great sadness I hear that TKV Desikachar’s condition is noticeably worsening and he is now confined to bed.
He is said to be in a near comatose state and increasingly unresponsive to his surroundings.
We can but continue to dedicate Prayers and offer Mantra.

Perhaps you’re wondering who? And why should I care?

Desikachar, who just turned 78 (appropriately on June 21, International Yoga Day) is the son and student of T. Krishnamacharya, often referred to as the father of modern yoga, making Desikachar the child of modern yoga, so to speak. Desikachar also happens to be the nephew of B.K.S. Iyengar who married Krishnamacharya’s sister, and who was also, as we know, a student of Krishnamacharya and known as one of the biggest proponents of modern yoga particularly in the west. Iyengar passed away in 2014.

However, Desikachar didn’t exactly follow in his father’s yogi footsteps, not right away. Instead, he attended college and got a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. But, so the story goes, by age 30 he began to immerse himself in his father’s teachings and ended up studying with him until Krishnamacharya’s death in 1989.

Within that time Desikachar helped to found The Krishmacharya Yoga Mandiram in 1976 to continue his father’s teachings, an institute which is still functioning today. He’s authored several books including The Heart Of Yoga and Health, Healing, and Beyond: Yoga and the Living Tradition of T. Krishnamacharya, and fine-tuned his father’s teachings into his own therapeutic approach he referred to as viniyoga (which was adopted and adapted by Gary Kraftsow who founded the American Viniyoga Institute).

The spreading of Krishnamarchya’s teachings was further expanded by Desikachar’s son, Kausthaub, who established the Krishnamacharya Healing and Yoga Foundation in 2006, which took a hiatus in 2013 when multiple allegations of heinous sexual abuse and abuse of power were lobbed at Kausthaub. There were no formal charges so Kausthaub picked right back up with it in 2015 despite the shock and alarm from many closely involved and aware of the extent of the allegations.

T.K.V. Desikachar has been distanced from much of the day to day of the foundations and he has no longer been teaching due to his declining health, but his work lives on through the KYM, his books and teachings, and his worldwide influence. However, some of his students and members of the yoga community are concerned for his legacy. As one facebook commenter noted:

“Perhaps his duty is completed now and we only have to hope that his legacy is in good hands.” – Chiara Ghiron

Our thoughts are with T.K.V. Desikachar and his family at this time. We’ll keep you updated on any news.

T.K.V. Desikachar, T Krishnamacharya and Indra Devi. (source unknown)

T.K.V. Desikachar, T. Krishnamacharya and Indra Devi. (source unknown)

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9 comments… add one
  • Blessings to him and his family at this sacred time.

  • Hi YD,

    Thanks for this sensitive report on the much-respected TKV.

    Thanks, too, for the biographical sketch and dates.

    Two corrections–Desikachar began studying yoga in earnest with his father in September of 1961 when he was 23, and B. K. S. Iyengar was TKV’s uncle by dint of Krishnamacharya marrying the sister of BKS (not the other way around). Four years older than BKS, her name was Namagiriamma. She and K married in 1925.

    Thanks for your good work keeping us current with yoga,

    Eric

  • May strength be given to the members of his family. And my Desikachar’s soul keeps on traveling in peace and serenity to his due destination. We love you T.K.V.

  • May strength be given to the members of his family. And may Desikachar’s soul keeps on traveling in peace and serenity to his due destination. We love you T.K.V.

  • Kausthub Desikachar

    I kindly ask you to remove this false story. Paul Harvey is lying about this news. He has no way to know this since he has not visited my father since over a decade, nor been in direct contact through phone or email. My father is definitely not in a state of comatose like claimed by him.

    I think being involved in the Yoga field you must understand that representing the non-truth is not yogic.

    If such incorrect information are continued to be displayed on your site, serious action may be initiated false spreading rumors about one of the great teachers of our time.

    Namaste.

  • Kausthub,

    I respect your concern for the good name of Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram and your father, but you should understand that the fact of his dementia–on its own–doesn’t discolor his legacy or that of your grandfather or you.

    His condition has been reported from many sources and is obliquely confirmed by TKV’s failure to appear in public.

    Sincerely,

    Eric Shaw

  • Dear Kausthub,

    I respect your concern for the good name of Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram and your father, but you should understand that the fact of his dementia–on its own–doesn’t discolor his legacy or that of your grandfather or you.

    His condition has been reported from many sources and is obliquely confirmed by TKV’s failure to appear in public.

    Sincerely,

    Eric Shaw

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