Sri Tirumali Krishnamacharya (1888–1989) was an Indian Hatha Yoga master, Ayuvedic doctor, pandit-scholar of Sanskrit and Vedic philosophy and culture, and an accomplished musician. Krishnamacharya studied at India’s most rigorous academic institutions and universities in Benares and Mysore. After completing his studies, Krishnamacharya sought out the accomplished yogi Rammohan Brahmachari in a Himalayan cave on the Nepal-Tibet border. Krishnamacharya spent seven years with Brahmachari, serving him, studying scriptures, in particular an ancient text known as the Yoga Karunta, and practicing asana and pranayama. After returning to Mysore, Krishnamacharya eventually began teaching where he elaborated upon the Yoga Karunta, and offered students sequences of yoga postures that were linked together with dynamic physical movements and the breath, or vinaysa. Krishnamacharya taught for over seventy years, but it was the two decades he spent teaching in Mysore, from the early 1930s to the 1950s, that have had the most significant impact on yoga as practiced today in India and around the world. His contribution to the lineage of Hatha Yoga was second to none in his lifetime, especially because of the development of his teachings as presented by K. Pattabhi Jois, B. K. S. Iyengar (his brother in-law), and T. K. V. Desikachar (his son). The Ashtanga yoga system taught by K. Pattabhi Jois is development directly from Krishnamacharya’s lineage.
Photo courtesy of Anthony Grim Hall. To learn more about Krishnamacharya visit Krishnamacharya's Original Ashtanga website.