Yoga Master: Krishnamacharya

by Lee

Who is Master Krishnamacharya

Regarded as the Grandfather of Modern Yoga

Among the many yogis who are credited with bringing yoga to the west, the influence of Professor T. Krishnamacharya is probably the most profound. He is today recognized as one of the main contributors to the modern teachings of yoga.

Born in Mysore, India in 1888 in a family where yoga was an important discipline, T. Krishnamacharya began very young to learn yoga as traditionally transmitted from father to son. The young pupil starts very early to be interested in the study of Indian philosophy, and he rapidly masters ancient texts in their original language.

After completing his studies at the Royal College of Mysore, he left for the mountains in Tibet, Mount Kailash, where he went to meet his teacher, Sri Ramamohan Brahmachari, from which he learned yoga and lived as a member of the family for more than 7 years. This master then asked Krishnamacharya to go back to his country, to marry and have a family, and continue the teaching of yoga according to the principles that he had learned.

Being very capable and intelligent, T.Krishnamacharya started to teach, and his talent soon brought him to become a teacher and yoga advisor at the Royal Palace of Mysore (1924). The particularity of his yoga is to offer a new vision of yoga applications. He also opens the doors of this teaching to a larger public: women, non-Hindus, and also strangers from western countries, people who did not traditionally practice yoga.

Regarded as the grandfather of modern yoga, his teaching has reached countless yoga enthusiasts mainly through his students B.K.S. Iyengar, Indra Devi, K. Pattabhi Jois, and T.K.V. Desikachar. Professor T. Krishnamacharya has taught until his last days, he died in 1989 at the age of 101.

T.K.V. Desikachar qualified the work of his father in the following words: “The way yoga is being taught today often gives the impression that there is one treatment for all diseases. What makes my father’s teaching unique, it is the possibility to adapt yoga to every individual, respecting their particularities”.

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