Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya was born in Muchukundapuram, Karnataka State, India in November 1888. He came from a family of philosophers, was a Yogi, a scholar and a healer.
Sri T. Krishnamacharya teaching. Photograph by Dr. Radhakrishnan
Krishnamacharya spent the first part of his life studying Indian philosophy, Ayurveda and Yoga. His thirst for knowledge led him to study at the great centres of learning and to seek out teachers who could transmit the vast wisdom of the ancient sages. Hearing of a great Yoga teacher in Nepal Krishnamacharya went in search of him. Walking all the way to Mount Kailash he found the sage in his cave dwelling. Sri Ramomohan Brahmachari accepted Krishnamacharya as a student and he remained in the mountains studying Yoga for more than seven years. Sri Ramomohan requested that Krishnamacharya marry, have children and teach Yoga. After some time Krishnamacharya became the Yoga teacher of the Maharaja of Mysore and a place was also made available for Krishnamacharya to run a Yoga school. During this period Krishnamacharya taught B.K.S. Iyengar and Patabhi Jois who went on to become world famous Yoga teachers. The Yoga school was closed in 1947 and Krishnamacharya and his family moved to Chennai. Krishnamacharya continued to teach and work as a healer. During this time he taught students who have become well known Yoga teachers and authors in their own right. They are:
- Srivatsa Ramaswami
- T. K. Sribhashyam (Krishnamacharya’s son)
- T.K.V. Desikachar (Krishnamacharya’s son)
Krishnamacharya passed away in 1989 after an extraordinary life of one hundred years of devoted study and service. To read more about this great man and legendary Yoga teacher, I recommend the books, Health, Healing and Beyond by T.K.V. Desikachar with R.H. Cravens and The Teachings of Krishnamacharya by A.G. Mohan. In 1934 Sri Krishnamacharya wrote a book called Yoga Makaranda. To view a copy of this book in English translation see Yoga_Makaranda