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                  Our founder, Mary Louise Skelton, (right) with her teachers, 
                  Sri Krishnamacharya (center)  and T.K.V. Desikachar (left) 

Chennai/Madras 1980's ? 


Mary Louise Skelton began her study of yoga in 1969 with Sri T. Krishnamacharya (1888-1989), who knew not only yoga but also  various aspects of Indian philosophy, Ayurveda, Indian astrology, and music. Krishnamacharya was a very influential master who helped to bring yoga's remarkable healing potential into the 20th century and has left his mark on many forms of yoga taught in the West today. 

In 1974, Mary Louise became a student of Krishnamacharya's son, T.K.V. Desikachar, founder of the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram.  In 1976, she brought T.K.V. Desikachar on his first teaching trip out of India for a month long course at Colgate University. Out of that course came the book "Religiousness in Yoga: theory and practice", which was edited by Mary Louise and made these teachings known in the West. If Krishnamacarya was among those great masters who pioneered a renaissance in the practice of yoga, his son TKV Desikachar was truly a pathbreaker in making the ideals of yoga comprehensible to Westerners. In addition, Desikachar's innovative therapeutic approach continues to influence the way yoga is taught and practiced today.

Urged by TKV Desikachar to transmit the knowledge and methodology of the lineage, which at the time was known as "Viniyoga", Mary Louise founded Upstate Yoga Intitute in 1983. Mary Louise Skelton passed away in 1995, leaving behind a large following of dedicated students who continue her work in various parts of the States and in Canada.