About Yoga
About Yoga
Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya at 100 years of age.
About Yoga
T.K.V. Desikachar.
About Yoga
B.K.S. Iyengar and K. Pattabhi Jois.
About Yoga
Indra Devi

“Yoga is one, it is for our convenience we divide it, (and) give it names.” Geeta Iyengar

When people inquire about Upper West Side Yoga and Wellness, the most common question we hear is: “What kind of yoga do you offer?” First, we must acknowledge that there is a frequent misunderstanding that yoga only refers to physical postures (asana). There is much more to it. We teach hatha yoga. Since words are important to us, but without getting into a lengthy study of Sanskrit, for now let’s agree that yoga means “union-method” and hatha, “forceful, violent” (due to the struggles of what we could call the universe’s complementary and opposing forces, “ha/sun” and “tha/moon”), or, in the context of a yoga class, hatha could also mean “appropriate” (Richard Rosen, Original Yoga). So then, one might ask: “What is our style of this ‘appropriate union-method’?” Our response is: “How far back do you want to go?”

Our teachers are the “grandchildren” of Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, a five-foot, two-inch, Indian-born Brahmin (b. 11-18-1888, d. 2-28-1989). He was said to have had an amazing capacity for learning, having mastered the major philosophical schools of the Vedas before seeking out his yoga teacher in the mountains of Tibet on Lake Manasarovar (Kausthub Desikachar, The Yoga of the Yogi). It should be noted that Krishnamacharya was not the only yogi of his time. There are many different lineages in yoga today whose roots are with other master teachers. However, Krishnamacharya is widely considered the grandfather of modern hatha yoga, having taught T.K.V. Desikachar (his son, b. 6-21-1938), B.K.S. Iyengar (his brother-in-law, b. 12-14-1918, d. 8-20-2014), K. Pattabhi Jois (who discovered him when he was 12, b. 7-26-1915, d. 5-18-2009) and Indra Devi (his first female student, from Latvia, of all places, b. 5-12-1899, d. 4-25-2002), among countless others (are you noticing how long-lived they all are?). Most of the popular modern styles of yoga today (Iyengar, Ashtanga, Viniyoga, Jivamukti, Anusara, power yoga and flow) originate from or are inspired by these four teachers.

At Upper West Side Yoga and Wellness, our style is our interpretation of these teachings as they have been and are being taught to us by our teachers. We attempt to convey the synergy of breath, alignment, movement and awareness as they relate to each of us in our personal practice, beginner to advanced student.

Any insight and learning facilitated here at the studio is by virtue of our teachers, any misinterpretation or mistakes are ours alone.

“Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.”
B.K.S. Iyengar

“Yoga is 99% practice and 1% theory.” “Practice and all is coming.” …K. Pattabhi Jois