desikachar allegations: krishnamacharya yoga mandiram expresses “deep condemnation”

After weeks of silence, the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram (KYM), the non-profit yoga and healing centre founded by TKV Desikachar in Chennai, India, has made its first public statement on the allegations against Kausthub Desikachar, which include physical, sexual and emotional abuse.

In the letter below, the KYM outlines their current and expected relationship with Desikachar and the KHYF (Krishnamacharya Healing and Yoga Foundation). Desikachar stepped down from his position head of the KHYF in September after allegations of abuse from five women in a teacher training program in Austria. Since news of the allegations became public, both the KYM and the KHYF have been quiet. Last week, longtime student of TKV Desikachar, Sriram, sent out a letter with some details of the allegations and a call for a boycott of the KHYF. As well, letters from as far back as 2007 describing Kausthub Desikachar’s misconduct have been circulating through the blogosphere.

This is what the KYM has to say:

Dear Friends, Colleagues, Patrons and Well-Wishers.

Warm Greetings from Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, Staff and Teachers of the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram, I wish to express KYM’s deep condemnation of the alleged misbehavior of Mr. Kausthub Desikachar. Our deepest sympathies lie with all the women who have been affected in this issue. Since these allegations have been brought to light, the Board of Trustees has obtained Mr. Kausthub Desikachar’s resignation from the Board and severed all ties with him.

We wish to reiterate that the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram, since its inception in 1976 has been functioning as a Public Charitable Trust under the direct supervision of not any one individual but a board of carefully selected trustees who are each distinguished professionals in their own right and most of whom are direct students of Yogacarya T Krishnamacharya and/or our founder, TKV Desikachar.

The Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram has never had and never will have any involvement with any activities of the KHYF.

Every one of the Trustees is deeply committed to taking forth the valuable teaching legacy of T Krishnamacharya as handed down to several generations of teachers by his son, TKV Desikachar. The Board of Trustees firmly believes that the institution and the teachings themselves are far greater than any individual and all efforts will be made to ensure the transmission of these teachings as envisoned by our founder, TKV Desikachar.

In the context of the current situation, it is our deepest wish to carry forth the commendable work, especially in the realms of health and healing, done by the teachers of the KYM over the years. Hence, we are giving the greatest impetus to the uninterrupted transmission of these precious teachings and will ensure that all our activities – yoga studies programmes, teacher training programmes, chanting programs with a thrust on health and healing, individual therapy sessions, individual yoga studies lessons and individual chanting sessions will proceed as before.

Several new programmes will also be announced shortly on our website. We shall also establish a strong support network of old students of T Krishnamacharya and TKV Desikachar who have expressed their willingness to sharing their invaluable knowledge, so that there is continuity and growth in learning for students of this tradition worldwide.

As always we seek your continued support and patronage. We value your feedback and suggestions so that we may carry on our work of spreading the healing message of T Krishnamacharya in a transparent and positive manner.

Best Regards

Dr. Latha Satish
Managing Trustee