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Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya

The father of modern hatha yoga

A modern exponent of Asana, Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya (November 18, 1888 – February 28, 1989) was an Indian yoga teacher, ayurvedic healer and scholar. Often referred to as "the father of modern yoga," Krishnamacharya is widely regarded as one of the most influential yoga teachers of the 20th century and is credited with the revival of hatha yoga.

Krishnamacharya held degrees in all the six Vedic darśanas, or Indian philosophies. While under the patronage of the Maharaja of Mysore, Krishnaraja Wadiyar, Krishnamacharya traveled around India giving lectures and demonstrations to promote yoga, including such feats as stopping his heartbeat. He is widely considered as the architect of vinyasa, in the sense of combining breathing with movement.

Underlying all of Krishnamacharya’s teachings was the principle “Teach what is appropriate for an individual.” While he is revered in other parts of the world as a yogi, in India Krishnamacharya is mainly known as a healer who drew from both ayurvedic and yogic traditions to restore health and well-being to those he treated. He authored four books on yoga—Yoga Makaranda, Yogaasangalu, Yoga Rahasya, and Yogavalli—as well as several essays and poetic compositions.

Some of Krishnamacharya's students include many of yoga’s most renowned teachers: his son T.K.V. Desikachar (b. 1938), Indra Devi (1900-2002), his brother-in-law B.K.S. Iyengar (b. 1918), K. Pattabhi Jois (1915-2009), and A. G. Mohan (b. 1945).

"Inhale, and God approaches you. Hold the inhalation, and God remains with you. Exhale, and you approach God. Hold the exhalation, and surrender to God" ~ Krishnamacharya

Krisnamacharya Yoga Film 1938 (silent)

Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram is one of Chennai’s most well-known yoga landmarks is Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram (KYM). Established by TKV Desikachar in 1976 as a non-profit Public Charitable Trust, KYM is among the premier centres of yoga and yoga therapy in India. This is a resource and part of Krishnamacharya's great legacy.

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