Devi is the resident instructor at Patanjala Yoga Kendra. She also
manages the center and organizes the center's on-going cultural and
spiritual activities. In addition to teaching yoga, Usha Devi
manages a pre-primary school with 240 children, which has made a place
for itself within a short period of time on the educational map of
(Omkarananda Preparatory School).
She is also involved in supporting Omkarananda Educational Society
schools in the remote Himalayan hill areas of Uttarakhand. (Omkarananda
Usha Devi has been living in
since 1985, serving at Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas. In 1993, she began
to study yoga with the world famous Yoga master B.K.S. Iyengar "Guruji".
She continues to study with her renowned Yoga Guru and his daughter
Gitaji. She spends several months each year at the Iyengar Institute in
Usha Devi with Shri B.K.S. Iyengar
on Guru Poornima
In her teaching, Usha Devi is very precise and
strict. As a result, her students are often astonished by the level
of personal application and awareness that they are able to achieve
during her classes. For many, the first impression is of a
hard, demanding teacher; this is true, but students quickly realize
that Usha Devi's disciplined approach arises from a genuine love for
others and a natural selflessness which enables her to form quite a
unique relationship with the students in her classes. Under her
continual guidance, students are allowed to achieve depths of yoga
practice that they had no conception of before. Most students
who work with Usha Devi come to feel that her instruction has given
them a true understanding of the important aspects of Yoga which in
turn, gives a lifelong improvement to their practice. Her
ironic sense of humor and her forthright common sense contribute to
making her something of a legend in the Yoga community.
In 1998, Usha Devi was
involved in a serious road accident in which she suffered severe
injuries. After six months in the hospital, many operations,
and over a year confined to bed; she spent the following two years
in plaster casts, undergoing constant medical treatment. In
March 2001, Usha Devi slowly returned to limited normal activities;
and then in September of that year, she was fit enough to travel to
Pune to study with B.K.S. Iyengar personally at his Yoga Institute.
Five years later, while on the way to recovery, a second car
accident fractured both her femurs, putting her back into the
hospital for yet more operations. The full story of her
experiences can be found on the page
Usha Devi has no doubt that her recovery has occurred only with the
help of Guruji, his yoga instruction, and his blessings.
In Usha Devi's own words: "These
accidents taught me to go into my yoga practice in a very different way;
and that Yoga can work for every body. The young, the old, the extremely
aged, even the sick, the infirm, and the disabled can obtain perfection
in Yoga by constant practice. My goal is to let people know about this."
Clearly, the process of personal recovery through Yoga has given Usha
Devi a unique understanding of Yoga, and a deep empathy with her
students. As a result, she has established herself as a very
Iyengar Yoga Teacher
in Rishikesh (India),
the world capital of Yoga. Usha Devi recently traveled to Israel
to teach classes there; also conducting a workshop at the
Indian Embassy of Tel Aviv.
Usha Devi credits her recovery from her accidents to
Shri B.K.S. Iyengar "Guruji", whose personal awareness and medical
classes testify to Yoga's healing power.
In the words of a recent article in Saga Health News:
Usha Devi is clear that it was only Shri Iyengar's strict [Yoga] regimes
that prevented her from being long-term bedridden [and permanently
handicapped] . . .after two serious road accidents.'
Saga Health Magazine: December 2005