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birth of the sanga

October 29, 2012

Sharing some interesting historical information on the humble beginnings of the sanga. The letter does explicitly mention that this is not a “show-off” or a “ego-boosting” group. But ironically it also introduces secrecy and choice of members based on undisclosed important reasons, even to the members.

Kausthub Desikachar (

12 February 2007 06:16:41

Dear Sanga

Greetings from Chennai.

Many wonderful things have happened since the formation of the Krishnamacharya Healing & Yoga Foundation in India last year. Since beginning to open the membership in June 2006, the KHYF currently has drawn close to 500 members and will probably end up having around 1000 members by the end of the year 2007. We feel this is a tremendous sign of strength to the growing family of the Krishnamacharya Tradition.

This year is also very dear to us, as it begins the first ever Yoga Therapy Program of its kind. We hope to be able to change the paradigm of yoga and yoga therapy through this program and I am sure each one of you will play a part in this change. There will be three groups of training outside India, one each in Australia – NZ, Europe, and North America. The interest in this program has been fantastic. We are full in Europe and North America, and almost full in Australia – NZ. But considering the relatively small population of Australia – NZ, the 34 participants there can be considered as a phenomenal success.

The Sanga here in India is the fourth International Batch for the Yoga Therapy Course. I am writing to give you a quick peek at what you can be prepared for when the new sanga begins this coming year.

Firstly what is the sanga?

The Sanga is a group of students who have been invited to be part of this group and who are under the mentorship of TKV Desikachar or Kausthub Desikachar. The expectation from this group is that the group takes the yoga studies very intensely, with the hope/aim of playing very important roles in the future. A key aspect of this is the strong relationship between teacher and student and this is why the group has been and will be on an invitation basis only. Each person to join the sanga have been chosen for an important reason and this will come forth as the process unfolds over the coming years.

What is expected of the Sanga? What can the Sanga Expect?

I would like to say that the most important thing that is expected from the sanga is faith in and commitment to the sanga and to the teachers. What the sanga can expect in return is the same thing. The teachers have faith in and are committed to the students as well. As I often say to my students, apart from my own family, the sanga is the most important thing in my life. A similar feeling from each of you would be well appreciated. Basically your participation in the sanga must nourish your relationship with your family, and your family relationships in return must support your role in the sanga. Basically one must not compromise the other, but actually be nourishing the other. If this is clear, then the other things which are expected from the sanga and which the sanga can expect becomes easier. I will talk about this the first day we are meeting.

The Growing Sanga

The sanga started of with only 10-11 people, when we first met in Belgium in the year 2000. Over the years its grown into a group of around 20 people. The process though has been challenging at times has been a very fruitful journey so far. As the sanga shifts its focus into yoga therapy, the time has come to expand and reorganize the family.

After careful consideration over the last six months and meeting several people my father and I have formed this new group that has close to 32-34 students. Some from the previous group have chosen to pursue the therapy programs in their local continents, while some who were pursuing their studies with me/my father in their local continents will become part of this group now. Some others were strongly considered, but because of their situations in their families, or their other local situations, wont form part of the group, just yet.

I present this list below through the attached file to introduce the new group to each other and hope that this will be the most auspicious beginning to the new process. I am still not sure about a few people and hence there may be one or two additions. Or maybe even one or two deletions.

As usual I advise discretion when talking about the sanga group in Chennai. As you know there are many who want to be part of the group, but cannot be part of it. So I don’t want bad feelings between them and you. Also the sanga is not a “show off” group or an “ego-boosting” group. Some who have been part of it in the past can vouch for how it is exactly the opposite.

Soon I will be sending out an email about how to register yourself at the KHYF website into the Sanga Batch of Yoga Therapy.

Loads of love.

Kausthub Desikachar


Kausthub Desikachar

Krishnamacharya Healing and Yoga Foundation


From → Kausthub, sanga

  1. Lolypop permalink

    Thank you for this. It is so interesting! It helps me process with a few things I found very humiliating over the past years. The point is that this “elite/sect thinking” was very present also during the seminars where K. was writing lists of people (from the attending group) who should take part to the activities planned for the free days. The other ones should stay out. I was permanently very perplex and deeply confused about this kind of “group management” as it seemed to me that it was contradicting what I was learning in the expensive seminars about yoga I had been attending to for many years with lots of commitment with this organization. In my opinion, this is one of the biggest abuse we have experienced with Dr. K. (besides the sexual abuses of course!).

  2. julia permalink

    Manipulation is very difficult to understand until you step out of the situation. We very often do not listen to our intuition because we are brainwashed to challenge our boundaries.

  3. Lolypop permalink


  4. Meggie permalink

    Thank you for your work, your analysis and the way you enhance some points that were obscure to me (to us?). Now I can see clearly the details of Dr. K.’s manipulative discourse and behaviour. It helps me a lot in processing the experiences of humilliation I went through and saw my collegues went through in the sanga. Fear and humiliation seemed to be an important part of their pedagogy (not only K. , but T.K.V. Desikachar as well).

    At that time, whwn I was in the sanga, I tried to understand all this as “cultural differences”, maybe it was the traditional way of teaching in India… We know many storys of gurus who acted in unexpected and strong ways to teach their students, so you start feeling like the priviledged one, blessed to be treated the same way, like a real shishya of old…

    I’m sad. I saw in my heart that there were many things going wrong, but I couldn’t face them completely. At least I left the group before 2007. But only now I start to see the whole picture.

  5. Lolypop permalink

    There is much more to say about the way he was manipulating! Amazing! Nothing was missing, using everything he could use, all channels (for exemple, mentor/student relationship to reach a female student he wanted to come closer..), etc., etc…taking you in a corner and telling you “You don’t like me, I can see it, you don’t like me, please..”, bla, bla, bla….

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