Inspired by T.K.V. Desikachar: We Are The Lineage


  • Private Facebook group
  • Flickr set of photos:
    You are welcome to use any of these photos for non-commercial purposes without modification as long as you include the following: Photo: Lydia Mann. On social media please use: Photo: @lydiamann and hashtags: #celebratingdesikachar #desikachar80

Presenter contacts:

3 comments on “Inspired by T.K.V. Desikachar: We Are The Lineage

  1. I did not have the time and space on the sticky note to properly share my story on the wall of remembrance at the event, so I am sharing it here with the hopes it can be used somehow.

    I took Leslie Kaminoff’s Yoga Anatomy class at least 5 times, over my years of doing work-study, and then managing The Breathing Project starting in 2005. I saw Leslie working with countless curious yoga teachers, as well as “civilians” with pain that came in for help when the medical world had failed them.

    I saw over and over how Leslie would sit them down on the small podium at the front of the room to chat. Sometimes they would chat a long time, and the conversation would get very personal, even with the whole Anatomy class watching.

    I think somewhere in the back of my head I always thought that the length of time this chat inevitably took was a “Leslie thing,” because he was an extrovert and that’s just the way he is. Being an introvert, I was never good at small talk and didn’t quite get how talking for an hour to a stranger and not even getting around to the sore hip he came in for about was “yoga.”

    I heard him say over and over, yoga was about RELATIONSHIP, but I didn’t honestly believe it. Or perhaps, I just didn’t believe I could do it.

    It wasn’t until I visited the KYM in 2008 (with the help of Leslie recommending me for a scholarship for a three week introduction to yoga therapy) that I began to understand. We got to see “Sir” just once in our training, when he came in for an hour to work with three of our trainees in the front of the room. With each one, he chatted amicably and found out more about them in 15 minutes than I had found out in several weeks of sitting next to them. He tailored their practice to their exact needs, whittling away the unnecessary work to come up with three postures that would serve them best based on their lifestyle and circumstances. I finally got it. I finally saw what Leslie meant.

    I am very grateful this learning, for Leslie and all that I learned at The Breathing Project, and all that was passed down to me from this tradition. Now when I teach teachers and I get questions about what to do for osteoporosis or knee surgery, I gently remind them to connect with the person who happens to have the condition, and go from there. I don’t give the easy answer, the one that prescribes the What, How and Why of asana, but rather focus first and foremost on the Who (the client) and the Who With (the teacher).

    Thank you Leslie, Lydia, and all the amazing presenters from near and far, for this important event! It was a wonderful weekend of reconnecting and relationship!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.