Usha Devi has been living in India since 1985. 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 Pune.
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 Yoga Rahasya. 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 successful 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:
Swiss-born 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.”