T. K. V. Desikachar

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Tirumalai Krishnamacharya Venkata Desikachar (21 June 1938 – 8 August 2016), better known as T. K. V. Desikachar, was a yoga teacher, son of the pioneer of modern yoga as exercise, Tirumalai Krishnamacharya. The style that he taught was initially called Viniyoga although he later abandoned that name and asked for the methods he taught to be called "yoga" without special qualification.[1][2][3]

T. K. V. Desikachar
Born(1938-06-21)21 June 1938
Died8 August 2016(2016-08-08) (aged 78)
OccupationYoga teacher, author
Known forViniyoga
Spouse(s)Menaka Desikachar
ChildrenSons Bushan (b1970) & Kausthub (b1975) and a daughter Mekhala (b1978)


Desikachar was born in Mysore and moved to Madras (now Chennai) in the early 1960s. He had trained as an engineer, but, inspired by his father's teachings, he studied under his father in the 1960s, and from the 1970s he taught in many parts of the world. He published many books, especially the 1995 The Heart of Yoga. During his thirty years of study, Desikachar learned the practice and application of yoga techniques and texts, for therapeutic, exercise, and spiritual purposes.[4][5][6]

Desikachar developed Viniyoga,[7] a term from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. This approach is claimed to be holistic and aligned with the Yoga Sutras.[7]

In 1976 Desikachar and A. G. Mohan founded the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram (KYM), a yoga therapy clinic and yoga center in Madras, India, as a non-profit public charitable trust. Under Desikachar’s leadership, it offered teacher training and individual instruction in asana, pranayama, meditation, yoga philosophy, and Vedic chanting. It conducted research into the impact of yoga on people suffering from schizophrenia, diabetes, asthma, and depression. It has been recognised by the Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation of the Department for Scientific and Industrial Research, Government of India. The institution is a public registered charity, identified by the Department of Family Health and Welfare of the Government of Tamil Nadu.[6]


His wife, Menaka Desikachar, teaches yoga and Vedic chanting at KHYF. Bushan Desikachar, Dr. Kausthub Desikachar and Mekhala Desikachar are his three children. Kausthub is the Chief Executive and a senior teacher and yoga therapy consultant at KHYF. He was the Executive Trustee of the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram till 2012. TKV Desikachar was a founder and director of the institute.[8] In 2012, Kausthub Desikachar stepped down from Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram after sexual misconduct allegations.[9]


Desikachar died on 8 August 2016 in Chennai, India at the age of 78.[10]


  1. ^ Shearer, Alistair (2020). The Story of Yoga from Ancient India to the Modern West. London: Hurst. pp. 161–165. ISBN 978-1787381926.
  2. ^ Singleton, Mark; Fraser, Tara (2014). Singleton, Mark; Goldberg, Ellen (eds.). Gurus of Modern Yoga. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 83–92. ISBN 978-0199938728.
  3. ^ Jain, Andrea R. (2015). Selling Yoga. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 76, 88, 96. ISBN 978-0199390243. Krishnamacharya ... his students, most notably Iyengar, K Pattabhi Jois, and T.K.V. Desikachar, who constructed yoga brands and most successfully marketed those brands to the general populace ...
  4. ^ "Poses and postures". The Hindu News. 2010. Retrieved 20 April 2010.
  5. ^ "Pioneering work in the area of wellness through Yoga". KYM. 2016. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
  6. ^ a b "A Residential Yoga Retreat at Swami Dayananda Ashram - Rishikesh". Dayanand.org. 2017. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  7. ^ a b Ricci, Jeanne (28 August 2007). "T.K.V. Desikachar Developed Viniyoga to Fit Each Individual Student". Yoga Journal. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  8. ^ "An Interview with T.K.V. Desikachar and his family following the Krishnamacharya Yoga Festival in San Francisco". Scott Peck. 2004. Retrieved 2 February 2004.
  9. ^ "Kausthub Desikachar Faces Abuse Allegations". Yoga Journal. 2012. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  10. ^ "Yoga guru T.K.V. Desikachar no more". The Hindu. 2016. Retrieved 9 August 2016.