Embrace the Mindful living

Yoga & Motherhood: an interview with Menaka Desikachar

MenakaDesikachar is the wife of TKV Desikachar (who is the son of Sri Krishnamacharya – yogi, healer, linguist, Vedic scholar, expert in the Indian Schools of thought, researcher, author… in other words, a legend!) and has been his direct student since 1969. As a certified Yoga Therapist & Consultant, Yoga Teacher Trainer and Vedic Chant Teacher Trainer she has conducted numerous workshops and trainings in and outside India.

Menaka focuses much of her yoga therapeutical work on adolescent children, senior citizens and women and is therefore an expert in fields like arthritis, pregnancy, PCOS, menstruation and menopause.She was involved in various social service projects and has taught yoga to the under-privileged as well as to people in jails. She was also instrumental in setting upm.desikachar Vedavani (chanting division of KYM) where she became its first director.

 I feel privileged and very grateful to ask this extraordinary woman a few questions;

1.       Menaka, please can you tell me a little bit about yourself. When and where were you born, who was your mother and who was your grandmother? What is your favorite memory when growing up?

My date of birth is 07/03/1947 and place of birth Chennai.  Mothers’name : Lakshmi and the name of my Grand Mother: Seethalakshmi. My favourite memory is that of sitting with sisters and brothers in front of my house (varanda) and having a good chat (laughter) and watching passers by.

2.      Back in the day, yoga was not for women, right? How was this for you when you started your practice of yoga?

Yes, Yoga was not for women in those days. When I started practising yoga people used to say, it is like “Gymnastic”. Still I continued knowing the good out come of it, through my GURU (Sri TKV Sir)

3.      Can you explain if and how yoga was part of your life when you were pregnant and after labour?

When carrying, I had practiced yoga regularly and I had a normal delivery then after delivery and till today I am practicing yoga and I didn’t put on weight/ fat.

Still my weight is maintained 45 to 48.

4.       Many woman have problems getting pregnant nowadays, why is that? How to help them?

The main reason is: It’s due to irregular periods which leads to obesity. This indirectly leads to problems in pregnancy. The second reason: Nowadays there is more of desk jobs and no movement / exercise and also taking outside food is the major cause and also not taking food on time. And the third reason is: They should practice pranayama daily morning and evening. They should start doing simple work at home. Every day should walk for 5 minutes and at the break time or at intervals of every one hour helps in movements at the body.

  1. You were teaching yoga specializing in yoga for women’s issues, yes?     What is the most common issues you are addressing?

Issues relating to women like 1. Puberty 2. Periods ( irregular to make alright) 3. Pregnancy (for normal delivery) 4. Menopause; types and remedies and how to face menopause easily and normally.

  1. Back to your role as a mother. What has been your proudest moment?

I enjoy motherhood. I love my children (3 of them) dearly. I was proud when each of them completed their studies and were on their own. I was proud to see that and I am still proud of their acheivements.

desikachar_children_1980TKV and Menaka Desikachar’s children circa 1980 all now parents themselves with a son for Bushan (b1970) and a daughter for Kausthub (b1975) and Mekhala (b1978). Originally posted on: www.yogastudies.org

  1. How about your biggest challenge?

My challenge was to be a famous yoga teacher. Today, I am proud to be the best & famous yoga teacher of my times and I have faced the challenge of teaching yoga to many teachers who are now one of the best teachers in the world of yoga, by practicing and teaching what I taught them.

  1. What can we learn from motherLove?

Every Mother has to be first unselfish in their thoughts and actions towards their children.

  1. Who or what inspires you most and why?

Before marriage I never knew what yoga was. After marriage, my husband – Shri T.K.V Desikachar was my INSPIRATION. Through his inspiration I taught yoga for the world and to teach the world different yogas for living in the modern era. I wanted to be a doctor but this also was granted to me in the form of Healing by yoga – thru my Guru and teacher – Shri T.K.V. Desikachar.

  1. What insight is most important to share with the busy mother anno     2013?

As a mother, we should give first priority to family needs. In leisure time, we should share our skills positively to others.

  1. Would you please share your favorite (Vedic) chant with us?

Yes, definitely I would like to share my favourite chant – ” Srisuktam ” to all mothers. Kindly contact thru email: chantingatsky.yoga@gmail.com and I shall teach this to you through Skype.


Thank you so much Menaka! You are an inspiration. Thanks for offering the opportunity to teach me – and us – the Srisuktam chant through Skype and I hope to meet you in person someday.

If you are interested in Yoga, Ayurveda and the pregnant woman – I would like to point out the opportunity Menaka’s son Kausthub is offering in his online course called ‘Garbhini’ (pregnant woman). Click here to more information and to apply.


One comment on “Yoga & Motherhood: an interview with Menaka Desikachar

  1. Pingback: Weekend inspiration >>> Don’t miss these in 2013! |

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