Inspiration To Modern Day Yoga
Tirumalai Krishnamacharya was Born in 1888 in and lived to be over hundred years old.
Some of the most recognized Hatha Yoga teachers in the West were students of Krishnamacharya. B.K.S. Iyengar (Iyenger Yoga) and Pattabhi Jois (Ashtanga Yoga) are 2 of his most influential students and have helped inspire the yoga movement as we know it today. Some of students that are less recognized are Indra Devi and of course his son T.K.V. Desikachar who helped influence Viniyoga.
When he was a little older the Swami of Sringeri Math taught him his 24 asanas which was some of the first yoga postures he learned.
At the age of 16 he made a pilgrimage Nathamuni's shrine at Alvar Tirunagari. He collapsed with exhaustion. It was then he encountered a vision from 3 ancestrial yogis in which they sang him versus of a one thousand year old yoga text called Yogarahasya meaning The Essence of Yoga. It is said in the vision he was also taught the therapeutic aspects of the Headstand and Shoulderstand.
Some say he invented Sirsasana (Headstand) and Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand) into yoga flows after this vision. Throughout his life he performed sequences early every morning with them and many of their variations.
He spent much of his early life learning classical Indian disciplines such as Sanskrit, law and Ayurvedic medicine. While in
He was told to seek out a Hatha Yoga master called Sri Ramamohan Brahmachari who lived in a remote cave in Tibet. When he eventually found the great Hatha Yoga master he was taught the art of yoga for the next 7 years. He is said to have learned 3000 yoga postures from the old yoga master and other magical skills such as stopping his heart for long periods of time (something he always refused to teach). He learned much of his yoga asana, pranayama, meditation and old yogis text there.
Being indebted to his yoga teacher Krishnamacharya wished to give him payment but he refused. In return for his years of teaching all he asked of Krishnamacharya was that he remain a yoga teacher throughout his life and teach the arts he had been taught.
There was also one more strange request coming from Sri Ramamohan Brahmachari. He was also asked to have a family which was something that Yoga practitioners usually renounced.
In the 1920 teaching yoga wasn't profitable but he honored the request of Ramamohan which was to teach throughout his life. For this reason he lived in poverty for a long time. There is not many yoga teachers in this day and age who teach yoga without thinking of financial gain and some kind of recognition. He was almost 50 years old before he found himself in a place where he could earn a decent living teaching yoga when he received an invitation to teach at the Sanskrit College in Mysore.
Krishnamacharya began his teaching career by perfecting Hatha yoga. He was a pioneer in yoga sequences and yoga postures combining yoga breathing with vinyasa yoga flows. He continually promoted yoga by demonstrating as much as he could in order to spark interest in this old art which at the time had been forgotton but by a handful of yogis in India. These days it's hard to believe.
He was known to be a very strict yoga teacher in his early life but later loosing some of this fierceness to become a calmer teacher of the art.
Much about Krishnamacharya remains a mystery as he rarely wrote about himself and often refused to talk if his past renouncing everything to do with ego even to his family.
Only God knows how much he created in modern day yoga but will never be credited with but we can assume it is as vast as the ocean.