Tirumalai Krishnamacharya father of yoga

Tirumalai Krishnamacharya (November 18, 1888 – February 28, 1989) was an Indian yoga teacher, ayurvedic healer and scholar. Often referred to as “The Father of Modern Yoga,” Krishnamacharya is widely regarded as one of the most influential yoga teachers of the 20th century and is credited with the revival of hatha yoga.

Krishnamacharya held degrees in all the six Vedic darśanas, or Indian philosophies. While under the patronage of the King of Mysore, Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV, Krishnamacharya traveled around India giving lectures and demonstrations to promote yoga, including such feats as stopping his heartbeat. He is widely considered as the architect of vinyāsa, in the sense of combining breathing with movement. Underlying all of Krishnamacharya’s teachings was the principle “Teach what is appropriate for an individual.” While he is revered in other parts of the world as a yogi, in India Krishnamacharya is mainly known as a healer who drew from both ayurvedic and yogic traditions to restore health and well-being to those he treated. He authored four books on yoga—Yoga Makaranda (1934), Yogaasanagalu (c. 1941), Yoga Rahasya, and Yogavalli (Chapter 1 – 1988)—as well as several essays and poetic compositions.

Krihsnamacharya yoga pose


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  1. cspace1234nz says:

    Ahhhh, yes, Krisnamacharya, probably the modern-day “father” of what we know to be the absolutely bastardised yoga gymnastics we see on every second street these days.

    Now for suggesting this I suppose all you pseudo-spiritual party-trick yoga performers out there will give me the thumbs down….but before you do, know that I am a long-term yoga teacher in both the Astanga and Iyengar traditions, so what would I be saying this do you think ??

  2. shimgumdo says:

    Can you elaborate?

  3. shimgumdo says:

    I was curious about your contention that Krishnamacharya might be the father of “absolutely bastardised yoga gymnastics…”, and wondered if you meant that the two schools that emanated from his shala – those of Iyengar and Jois – were a basterdised form of a more pure form of the practice. If indeed this is what you meant, I’d love to know what that form is (or was). Your implication is that Krishnamcharya himself is the source the denegration. Not defensive here – just hoping to dig deeper.

  4. cspace1234nz says:

    Well my personal views of course and it’s sure hard to write a reasonable answer to your questions in such a short space but here is a question for you for a start….where did you get the word “shala” from ?

    In short it’s my view that Krisnamacharya started the ball rolling with the focus on gymnastics and it snowballed from there with the two main schools as you mentioned and to possibly a lesser degree with his son. As soon as they married these styles with the US dollar….well ???

  5. AsleepOnTheBeach says:

    I agree with cspace. It’s to bad most of the Yoga taught here roots with him. At the time, (20’s to 40’s) yoga was in a sorry state in India. Under British rule yoga had become unpopular and many of the Yoga families disappeared. If you can find a Yoga studio not in the Krisnamacharya tradition go take classes. I’ve been lucky enough to find a Yoga Center like this with a teacher from India who come from a “Yoga” family. The differences are useful.

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  7. cspace1234nz says:

    True, and the other interesting thing is that yoga was traditionally taught one on one, not in “classes” and workshops, it was a personal and intimate thing between a teacher and student.

    The major focus came onto asana when it became apparent just how much money could be made by leveraging your time and teaching in multiples.

    “Functional creep” as I call it is when slowly but surely the original purity of intent is broken down until it has been pretty much lost altogether.

  8. kwarrior101 says:

    i think there was an alien hiding in the woods

  9. honeygrovebee says:

    aliens? oh no.

  10. i have a very stupid question . i know in west both women and men practice but in India why only men practice it ?

  11. woodentops says:

    amazing piece of film. from another time, a chance to see. so un self conscious because film so rare there and then. almost cellular body control. like the chinese masters vintage rare films too. another world. cool its silent. fit old ‘ns with an energetic attitude to life.. rule! male + female.. There’s one guy didnt know we’d be watching him so many years later.
    wish you a great 2010.!

  12. SinaTirsiaWali says:

    its hard to believe that ANY yoga practitioner would talk that way… long time huh?

  13. georgeseli says:

    silence i kill you!!!

  14. i386kernel says:

    yoga is 6000 years old practice….Its was not usually practiced by women. Only Men used to do that……However, now very few Indian women do simple yoga

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  16. chebf1231 says:

    what’s the purpose of it?

  17. cspace1234nz says:

    Remind me again….where is the rule book that dictates how anyone should speak ??

  18. yogidiego says:

    vous pouvez pas parler français non!!!

  19. schorpioen450 says:

    vous n´avez jamais appris d autres langues? c est un peu stupide, non

  20. elliottfamily07 says:

    I wish I could move my body that way. I’d feel great.

  21. mauicoconuts says:

    To balance the side of your mind that asks the purpose of things.

  22. fridaysabtu says:

    Watch my video. Stunning, breathtaking, strong and deep images. Thanks!

  23. superterrifichappy says:

    That was awesome. His stomach was crazy and his face was hilarious and kind of evil lookin.

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