One of the vital attributes for a good yoga teacher is to be awake to both the science and the art of practice. I was lucky enough to have such a teacher in Paul Harvey. Someone who reads and understands the instructions as well as having the flair to think outside the flat pack box.
His teacher of many years, T K V Desikachar, died last week at the age of 78.
I only met Desikachar, a few times, when I was one of a large group of students enjoying his teaching during his visits to the UK in the time I was working with Paul. Perhaps because my Dad was a civil engineer like Desikachar, I felt immediately comfortable. He was straightforward, unassuming, quietly and precisely spoken. Also, like my Dad, he had an unmistakable warmth.
Those of us who practise yoga in this tradition, have Paul to thank for introducing Desikachar’s approach to the UK. We have access to the detail of Desikachar’s teaching and his interpretation of his father’s teaching, through Paul. And it has been through Paul and his students over the years, that Desikachar has become a living influence on our mats, in our studios and at the heart of our understanding and enjoyment of yoga.
These are our roots – and I am grateful beyond words to have had them established – allowing a flourishing now of creative, expansive, transformative practices offered by teachers whose roots are well nourished by this tradition of yoga.