"Master your breath, let the self be in bliss, contemplate on the sublime within you."

--Tirumalai Krishnamacharya

Let me today discuss of one great master yogi of our country.

Born on 18th November 1988 in Mysore city in the state of Karnataka, Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya was one of the greatest Yoga teachers of India. Most of the popular known senior teachers are connected with their lineage to this great master. Some among his well-known students are Pattabhi Jois the founder of Asthanga yoga, BKS Iyengar, Indra Devi, and his son Desikachar (who is the teacher of my teacher, Saraswathi Vasudevan Maa'm).

T Krishnamacharya is recognized as on of the strongest influences on establishing and developing of what yoga has become today. I am indebted to this great master, among others who have by their light kept this beautiful tradition alive.

Krishnamacharya was born in 1888 in a remote village in India. Throughout his 101 years on earth, he became a master of study in Vedic philosophy, yoga asana, pranayama, logic, Sanskrit, Ayurvedic medicine and music. He held degrees in the six Vedic darsanas, the Indian philosophies. He went to the Himalayas (Kailash Mansarovar) and learnt yoga under Yogi Rammohan Brahmachari, an evolved an established yogi.

After so much tapas, he simplified this great ancient science of yoga, and without ever travelling out of Asia awoke this love and value for the gift of Yoga.

Many such masters, Indian and otherwise have held this traditional knowing and understanding of the breath and body. This yogic science is now, more than ever a need for all of us- in all spheres of our life- be it in the homes, offices or otherwise.

It has also now, through the online medium become accessible for many inremote spaces.

Let us know that this valuable knowledge is available to all of us as an inheritance of our ancestors, let us resolve to practice NOW and not await a tomorrow. Let us resolve on IDY to practice what we know when we can. May we have the grace of this great Guru beaming on us. May we be students to this tradition for life.

Some interesting facts about T Krishnamacharya

  • Krishnamacharya came from a family tradition of pursuing academic excellence and the scriptures. As mentioned in the Heart of Yoga book by Sri Desikacharya, he was many times offered professorship in the subjects of Sanskrit. Logic, Vedanta and others, but he refused those to be a YOGA TEACHER.

  • Yoga was a spiritual journey for most people of Krishnamacharya’s time. He also used it for physical healing. There is mention by his son of a time when T Krishnamacharya was called for help by the then British governor who was suffering from diabetes. He was able to help him and then went back to Mount Kailash to continue his studies.

  • What was unique about Krishnamacharya yoga was his insistence on attending to each person individually. He respected the uniqueness of each individual and accordingly addressed the issue resulting in healing. The focus was always on the person and the yoga practice must be tailored to fit that person instead of pushing the person to accommodate to an existing structure.

  • Krishnamacharya brought out the importance of utilising the power of breath to cure illness at the physical and mental level.

  • Krishnamacharya understood the different background of his student and adapted his teachings according to the student. He would always be encouraging and patient.

Quoting something that touches me deeply, connecting the asana practice with our lived experience:

"Knowing all objects to be impermanent, let not their contact blind you, resolve again and again to be aware of the Self that is permanent."

--Tirumalai Krishnamacharya