kausthub desikachar breaks silence, hopes for “possibility of positive change”

Kausthub Desikachar & his father, TKV Desikachar (image via ascentmagazine.com)

Kausthub Desikachar & his father, TKV Desikachar (image via ascentmagazine.com)

It’s been four months since allegations of Kausthub Desikachar’s (son of TKV Desikachar, grandson of Krishnamacharya) sexual, physical and emotional conduct were revealed to the yoga community. But other than a few statements from the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram and letters from a senior teacher, there has been a cloak of silence around the developments.

The silence was broken on January 16, when Desikachar sent an unassuming email to his students (one student of a student forwarded this to IAYB). It appears that he’s been taking the time to heal and plans on returning to teaching.

Hello Friends

Greetings from Chennai where we are approaching a very propitious time of year – Pongal – the festival of thanksgiving to nature, especially the Sun. It is at this auspicious time that I write to you with the purpose of breaking the silence of the past four months.  My thanksgiving is for the possibility of positive change as reflected by our seasons.

These months of being still, away from teaching, have been some of the hardest of my life. This time has given me the much needed opportunity to reflect on what went so horribly wrong and to begin to transform myself as a person. There is no way of changing this past. I sincerely regret for what has happened.

In this time, some people have taken advantage of my silence and spread inaccurate and exaggerated information. Perhaps, we each need to be careful not only to listen to the loudest voices.

Through a journey that embraced both professional and traditional methods, I have  been able to go deep into a healing and self-enquiry process. I am continuing to make every effort to shift patterns to improve myself on all domains. I take responsibility for my actions and embrace the fact that there is no one other than me to blame for the disturbing changes that occurred.

From this quiet place, I hope to emerge a better person. Personally and professionally, I am looking to take small steps to create an appropriate and healthy foundation for future teaching. In this, I would ask you to judge me not by my words – even by this email – but rather by my future actions in offering teachings from a tradition that holds the strength to transform darkness into light in the hearts of all of us.

With respect and in good faith
Kausthub Desikachar

  1. Yes, I also was one of the many students (now former) who received this mail last week. I have since been slightly processing it, and ponder on taking a tidbit of action.
    I really just wanted to express myself, as my suspicion is that they’re aren’t many responses to his mail. Although I could be wrong.
    I wonder how this letter slipped through the passive administration cracks (gaps).
    I sure hope he is healing…..but what about all those women? He seems to express no apology, yet only speak on himself. I feel like he assumes the apology is expressed through his regret and efforts to heal. However, I bet those women really need to hear a more literal statement of apology. Where is that?
    Healing is forgiveness, forgiveness is healing. The women can forgive him in their time, and he can forgive himself….however part of that process is saying “sorry” in order for both parties to move on.

    What does anyone think about him teaching ever again? I feel like its not something he should be bringing up so soon. I can’t really imagine him teaching again unless it is related to what he has recovered from ie: Sex addicts anonymous.


    • One wonders why Sriram is so aggressively pursuing Kaustub.

    • In ancient times, a person who sinned had to undergo prayaschitta[ atonement].
      I don’t think a letter like this is atonement enough.

  2. interesting because just today I received an email from a “new” yoga school located in the same area where KYM is.

  3. Does anyone know what this Sannidhi of Krishnamacharya Yoga is? Did Kausthub’s school go belly up? Well his letter was less then convincing and a bit arrogant that he can use these ‘professional and traditional’ methods to heal…are those the same ones he used to manipulate his students? This is a sorry attempt at him ‘breaking silence’…sounds like so many of our politicians doesn’t it?

  4. “Does anyone know what this Sannidhi of Krishnamacharya Yoga is?”

    I have received information that this Kausthub’s new yoga school. He will begin teaching again. When, I don’t know.

  5. I hold my profession of being a yoga teacher in high esteem. Maybe even more so then a doctor or lawyer or other professional would.
    We too pledge an oath to heal and help our students. So how come that when a lawyer violates the code, he will not be able to practice again under the Bar Association. When a doctor violates the Hippocratic Oath, he will never practice medicine again formally.
    But as a yoga teacher you can just come back after 4 month, like nothing happened? It does not make sense to me and I feel like Kausthubs actions in this regard diminishes our profession as a whole.

  6. For those of you who received the Sannidhi of Krishnamacharya email, notice that it says that TKV Desikachar along with Menaka are running it. That in and of itself is incredibilty deceptive (where’s satya?) In case you are not aware, TKV Desikachar is suffering with severe dementia and is in no position to recognize his students, much less start a new project. I have no doubt in my mind that Kausthub is behind this.

  7. I can can truly and honesty signed up under this article after attended workshop of Yoga Therapy in Dublin 2012 when Kausthub’s attitude was not like a yoga or any teacher should be.

    “Kausthub has systematically intimidated them into believing that they are unwell and need his help and then sexually harassed them. If they did not comply, he has been abusive towards them and tried to instill greater fear into them regarding their own health and welfare or that of those close to them. He has been using tools that are absolutely not in the realm of yoga, surely not in that of his father or his grandfather. He has used them in a way which completely lacks any sense of decorum for a yoga-teacher, which the two great masters have stood for. He has used the reputation of his father and his grandfather not only to entice women against their will into submitting to him sexually, but also to propagate wrong information”. http://yogadork.com/2012/10/17/update-sad-details-of-kausthub-desikachars-psychopathic-abuse-of-power-sexual-misconduct-and-the-preserving-his-familys-legacy/

    At first I was shocked that yoga teacher had difficulties to bend himself forward to reach a marker from the floor or sit straight on the chair, not even ability to sit on the floor in Padmasana, no way. His body, the huge belly and fat doesn’t let him to even do any stretching poses. Body is example of our senses. No able to control senses that was my first expression of Kausthub. But I said to myself do not judge, listen his lecture. His knowledge soon after appeared only as a theory. During first break he slap my bum. I was shocked…even guys in the clubs where I go to dance sometimes, don’t do that kind of things. I was furious but didn’t do anything…what is unusual to my personality and reacting fast to anything what is going in my life, even sometimes too fast…that’s why I do yoga too…Soon after he asked me about my personal life, family, any problems, relationship. I was shocked again and asked how did he dare. In the same time I was wondering how does he know if there is anything what I would like to say. During workshop he chosen me few times to present his “therapy techniques” and it was not a teaching theory, it was showing himself on the position of higher than everyone else in the room. His sexuality sense of humor was a part of show. It was not so many people, around maybe 25 and many people just didn’t know what to say. During lunch which we had together with almost all students he asked me about my relationship and soon after proposed the date. Off course I refused. At first not my type. At the second he is just using his position to be so proud who he was. I started laugh and that time I said clearly that I am not interested. I didn’t go to all workshop. I had enough to listen and watch this BS. I didn’t even know anything about his life, his family, wife etc. That time I just read one his book Heart of Yoga and nothing else. I was just wondering how very flexible, firm one of my yoga mate from the same yoga teaching training could be so dedicated to him and arranged him this workshop, place. She was already student of yoga therapy in Austria. Just after few days I got invitation on facebook from Kausthub and that time I had just enough…Is this a good example of teaching not at all.

    It is very sad that so many people spend so many hours of them life, including mine to read his books, listen his lecture and attend his workshop. Pay huge money, 350 euro per workshop in Dublin and what we can see now, another sick leader, just like thousands of them. Made themselves guru. Only what I can say that I had my inner voice since the first time I saw him. Before I just read one book recommended on my yoga teaching training and didn’t watch or read any online articles. I jumped on the workshop and his attitude was so much different than his words in the book.
    His ancestry feel shame of him.

    • heart of yoga was written by kautshub’s father, tkv desikachar and is probable the best yoga book ever

Trackbacks for this post

  1. there’s something happening here « linda's yoga journey
  2. the privilege of lineage: kausthub desikachar's continued silence