It's cold in Dharamshala, and waking up to silence is startling. The unassuming rolling hills give way to a backdrop of mountains that sit heavy, their peaks masked by clouds. After a month in the bustling and sometimes confronting city of Chennai, this small town in the foothills of the Himalayas is a welcome change of pace.
Chennai was not high on my list of places to see in India. But just as my teacher in Mysore is from the Krishnamacharya lineage, so is the center in Chennai that is dedicated to passing on his teachings. The Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram was founded by its namesake's son, Desikachar, and it operates mostly as a healthcare center. Students are typically seen one-on-one after being referred to yoga therapy by a medical provider. In Krishnamacharya's later years he emphasized that this direct approach was the most effective way to teach all aspects of yoga: physical, breath work, chanting, and meditation.