About Krishnamacharya

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.

TK teaching SR

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:

Krishnamacharya believed that Yoga was India’s greatest gift to the world. While he was an orthodox man immersed in the ancient traditions, he also adapted Yoga to make it applicable to contemporary life.
Krishnamacharya was well known as a celebrated healer and he applied Yoga and Ayurveda to help students recover from illness and cultivate good health.
He refined and demonstrated the techniques of Yoga that would give mental health and clarity of mind, even in the midst of hectic modern routines.
Beyond healing and health Krishnamacharya saw a greater benefit of Yoga.
“The true purpose of Krishnamacharya’s teaching was to bring Man into contact with something beyond himself, and far greater.”
T.K.V. Desikachar in Health, Healing and Beyond

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

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