1. Is Viniyoga a new style of Yoga?
    • Viniyoga is a tradition of Yoga that traces its origins back thousands of years.  This is not to say that Viniyoga is antiquated.  Because the tradition is founded on the idea that the needs and strengths of an individual determine what type of practice is appropriate, Viniyoga practices can look quite modern and certainly take present day needs and tools into consideration.


  1. Do we need to have any religious affiliation to study in the Viniyoga tradition?
    • Not at all.  The Viniyoga tradition is open to all and can benefit everyone, regardless of religious affiliation.  This tradition is founded strongly in the Yoga Sutras of Patañjali, which themselves are universal.  More important, the practices in Viniyoga can be customized to meet the needs of devout religious practitioners and atheists alike.


  1. Why have I never heard of Krishamacharya Yoga or Viniyoga before?
    • Sri T. Krishnamacharya was never interested in fame, but rather in advancing the teachings with which he’d been entrusted.  In his time, there was no Facebook, or Instagram, and the concept of marketing your services as a Yoga teacher were contrary to the values in India at the time.  Krishnamacharya was less concerned about trying to reach as many students as possible and much more concerned with maintaining the integrity of the Yoga teachings and contributing something meaningful to them by working with students who were ready to receive these teachings.  Krishnamacharya has many well known students, including BKS Iyengar, Pattabhi Jois, and Indra Devi, all of whom went on to teach Yoga with their own focus.  Though Krishnamacharya’s name is not as well known outside of India, it is well known and revered in the cities of Mysore and Chennai, where he resided and taught for many years.


  1. Do I have to go to India to study in the Viniyoga tradition?
    • There is no requirement to visit or live in India to learn Viniyoga.  This tradition is represented by many students worldwide.  We maintain a registry of students and institutions all over the world that have received certification in teaching Yoga and in Yogatherapy and which offer trainings and workshop with resident and visiting teachers.  Additionally, the KHYF offers both recorded and live courses online that span various topics as well as mentoring sessions and programs with our senior teachers conducted via Skype and Zoom.


  1. How is Viniyoga different from other styles of Yoga?
    • Viniyoga is a tradition of Yoga, not a style.  In today’s terms, a Yoga style generally refers to an approach to Yoga that uses specific tools (vinyasa, a particular sequence of postures, etc) or which has a particular emphasis (alignment, stamina, heating the body, etc).  These are typically applied uniformly with all students, often with some adjustments or adaptations made to make the poses or approach more accessible to the student.


    • In the Viniyoga tradition, the person is not adapted to the Yoga technique.  Instead the Yoga technique is selected and adapted to the individual.  An important tenet of this tradition is understanding that Yoga was devised to help individuals attain their full potentials.  These potentials would differ person to person and so the technique that is appropriate would vary.  The student-teacher relationship is thus sacred in the Viniyoga tradition, because it is through this relationship that a student’s potential is identified and aided in blossoming.  One of the unique characteristics of Viniyoga is that it is more often conducted in 1-to-1 sessions rather than in group classes, since each student’s practice would be unique.


  1. Is KHYF the same as KYM?
    • The two schools share a history and inspiration but they are not the same.  KYM (the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram) was established in 1976 by TKV Desikachar, Krishnamacharya’s son and student, to honor his father.  The center was focused on serving the local community and functions only within India.  The KHYF was established by TKV Desikachar and his son Kausthub Desikachar in 2006 as an internationally focused center with a mission to take Krishnamacharya’s teachings well beyond India’s borders.


  1. Why should I consider a training in KHYF when I already a 500-hr Yoga certification?
    • KHYF trainings are focused on important knowledge and providing appropriate experiences for students to learn and benefit from the techniques and philosophy of Yoga.  Trainings thus are not designed with a certain number of hours in mind but rather with learning goals that maintain the integrity of the Viniyoga tradition and which will contribute to making students the best teachers and therapists.  Though our trainings are designed so that total beginners to Yoga can learn, many seasoned Yoga teachers from other traditions have found immense value both for their teaching and their own practice in going more deeply into Yoga study.
  1. What is the difference between a Yoga registry, certification, and license?
    • Though often used interchangeably, Yoga registries, certifications, and licenses are fundamentally different things and require different levels of proven aptitude and/or experience.  Yoga registries are the most common and least stringent of the three.  These organizations, such as Yoga Alliance, categorize registrants by the level of training they have received and the amount of teaching experience the individual has (both expressed in hours).  There is no exam to qualify for registration, and the requirement needed to be listed in the registry with a designated title is that the training hours and teaching hours for that designation be met, more often than not through a registered school.  Since Yoga registries are very inclusive to Yoga styles and traditions, a particular designation will have variable representation of aptitude and skill.


    • Yoga certifications are issued through individual schools and/or traditions and styles; they are a way of identifying students and teachers that have attained a certain level of achievement, often a level which makes them fit to teach in that tradition or style.  Within the Yoga school, the certification signifies a particular level of achievement and fitness to teach.  Across Yoga schools, certifications will have various meanings.  And so certifications are almost always honored only within the style or tradition.  Within the Viniyoga tradition, we have teacher and therapist certifications which identify students that have not only met the requirements of specific trainings but also who completed regular evaluations, passed the required exams, and/or demonstrated the necessary level of mastery via independent research.  Other Yoga schools have their own requirements for certification and certification may mean different things.



    • Yoga licenses are rarely found but some governments have started to consider the need for them.  Licensing is typically administered by a government body or by an organization acting in accordance with government requirements.  Licenses can be issued by local or national governments or by independent organizations.  The purpose of the license is to permit the individual to work in the field or role for which the license applies.  In many places, Ayurvedic practitioners, naturopaths, homeopathic doctors, massage therapists, and chiropractors require a license.  Licensing almost always involves examination and an agreed upon scope of practice and it offers a standardization of the prerequisites to work in a field.  One of the reasons a Yoga licensing body has not been developed is precisely because there are so many traditions and styles of Yoga, each with its focus and approach.


  1. Is it true that KHYF was involved in a scandal?
    • The KHYF was not involved in a scandal.  In 2012, Kausthub Desikachar, who co-leads the KHYF was accused of inappropriate conduct.  Allegations were filed in Austria and investigated.


  1. What is the status of the allegations?
    • After a preliminary investigation, no illegal conduct was found and the investigation was closed without charges being filed.


  1. Who guides the KHYF?
    • The KHYF is led by Menaka Desikachar, the most senior teacher of the institution and TKV Desikachar’s wife.  She is the spiritual head of the institute. Her son, Kausthub Desikachar, is the Chief Yoga Therapist and Trainer of this institution as well as the Chief Executive Officer. His father chose and trained him to become the lineage holder of the Viniyoga tradition with the dharma of passing it to the next generation. He is an academic doctor from the University of Madras where he made a thesis on Yoga and quality of life. Dr. Kausthub Desikachar travelled for the last two decades around the whole world to teach Viniyoga. He wrote many books on Yoga that became a reference in the world, along with his father as well as alone, which include a recent commentary of the Yoga-Sūtra of Patañjali. He is also a very talented photographer and poet.


  1. What is KHYF’s Code of Ethics?


    • Our emphasis within this tradition is to maintain the integrity of the teachings and the teacher-student relationship that helps pass them down from one generation to the next.  The safety of students is our first and foremost concern.



  1. What is the benefit of studying with KHYF?
    • The KHYF, though a relatively new institution, is helmed by the senior most teachers in the Viniyoga lineage, who represent a wealth of knowledge in Yoga in general and in the Viniyoga tradition in particular.  The tools and skills you will learn at the KHYF are powerful and adaptable, so much so that they have been used by organizations like the KHYF and KYM in therapeutic contexts to address very serious chronic conditions that are not remedied with conventional medical approaches.  Studying at the KHYF you will learn how to integrate many of these tools in your own practice and how to better serve your own students in theirs.


  1. Why is it beneficial to have a mentoring relationship?
    • Many student teachers will go to a teacher training or workshop and leave inspired with new knowledge but they won’t have ongoing support from the workshop leads.  A mentoring relationship acknowledges that all of us are on a journey.  We grow and evolve.  We change.  And these changes make us ready for more challenges experiences and enable us to receive deeper knowledge.  This readiness does not come by attending workshops, and certainly don’t typically happen during workshops.  They are the result of deep self reflection and study, and they benefit greatly from the guidance of a teacher who is further along the path.  Through mentoring, new experiences that suddenly come up can be shared, evaluated, understood, and integrated, helping the individual continue to grow and evolve.