Question from Paul Harvey
So we as students come to Yoga. How do teachers evaluate, if from what you are saying it could be that the same symptom. If we take stress for example, similar stress could produce five different responses. One person gets blood pressure, one person will get digestive problems, another person will have headaches, and another person will get sleep problems and another person it will effect their relationship.
How do you evaluate? What are the principles on which we can evaluate in order to decide what could be helpful for a problem when there are so many variables based on the same, even on the same symptoms such as in particular stress which can produce some of the results.
Response from TKV Desikachar
First I must have the training, anybody can have good training. I can work on the computer but I must have training. I know nothing I must have training. Training includes certain knowledge of the basics of Yoga, knowledge of the human system, personal pride so that you have some conviction of what you are talking about which means personal experience, internship where we see how the more experienced teacher is doing that work she is doing. We make sure of that in our School that there is a strong internship.
Through this we know how to look at a person, we know how to look at a body; we know how to understand some data they give because medical information must be understood. In our training we have one full semester where we teach people how the Western science looks at the human body. As a part of it we also have a course on Western psychology, of course it is very important too to understand ‘ego’, so training, a comprehensive training is required.
Internship is required, then reference is required that is why some of these people will have to sit with us, more experienced people to see how we do these things, how we communicate, how we talk, how we accept. This is a preliminary requirement before we go into the study.
The most important things is that when people are coming to us they are not coming to us when they have got the disease, they come to us after they have gone to other medicines, sometimes they go to Āyurveda, sometimes they go to allopathy sometimes they go to homeopathy, many things, so we get more complicated people than medical doctors get in terms of chronic conditions.
I am not talking about simple conditions, we are the last post so we have to be more careful, so we have to have more training and make more effort. Then it is a question of, say swimming, you get into the water and you know how to swim.
– Extract from Interview with TKV Desikachar by Paul Harvey in 2000 on ‘Science, Medical Conditions and Yoga as a Therapy’.