Biography of Tirumalai Krishnamacharya

The credit for bringing yoga into the 20th century belongs to Tirumalai Krishnamacharya known as "the father of modern yoga" or India’s first modern guru. He was born on the November 18 1888 in the village of Muchukunda Puram, situated in the Chitradurga district, and died on February 28, 1989. Tirumalai Krishnamacharya was an Indian yoga teacher, ayurvedic healer and scholar and most influential yoga teacher of the 20th century, he contributed to the revival of hatha yoga and held degrees in all six vedic darshans.

Tirumalai Krishnamacharya was provided with the financial support of Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV, king of Mysore which gave him access to travel around India to promote yoga and Ayurveda. Also widely known as an inventor of Viniyoga, this yoga teaching is all about pairing movement with the breaths.

He is respected in other parts of the world as a yogi but in India he is well known as a healer, healing various illnesses and helping people to recover their health and fitness.

Childhood of Tirumalai Krishnamacharya in Muchukunda Puram

Tirumalai Krishnamacharya was born in Muchukunda Puram to an Iyengar family. He lived with his mother Shrimati Ranganayakiammar, his father Sri Tirumalai Srinivasa Tatacharya who was a renowned teacher of Vedas and five brothers and sisters.

At around the age of six, he started learning Sanskrit and chanting Vedas under the guidance of his father. His father died when he was ten years old, due to this mishappening they moved to Mysore where Krishnamcharya's great grandfather was living.

What was Tirumalai Krishnamacharya's Yoga Teaching Based on?

Tirumalai Krishnamacharya yoga teachings are based on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and the Yoga Yajnavalkya which he learned from Ramamohana Brahmachari, his guru.

"Teach what is appropriate for an individual." Was the principle behind his teachings.

What Is Tirumalai Krishnamacharya's Contribution to yoga?

Tirumalai Krishnamacharya's every form or style of yoga practised today stems directly or indirectly from Krishnamacharya and is deeply integrated into yoga. He transformed hatha yoga into a modern yoga for western people. He is mainly responsible for the modern emphasis on Sirsasana (Headstand) and Sarvangasana (Shoulder-stand) .

He refined many postures and defined the therapeutic value to some asanas and by combining pranayama and asana he made postures an integral part of meditation.

Why Tirumalai Krishnamacharya is also known as a scholar apart from yoga guru?

Tirumalai Krishnamacharya is very well known as a scholar. He travelled all around India learning the darshanas of Indian philosophies. He earned the title of Veda-Kesari after his scholarship in six darshanas. He had a deep knowledge of Hindu rituals. Krishnamacharya left Mysore when he was eighteen and went to Varanasi where he studied Sanskrit and logic. He earned a number of teaching certificates when he again went Varanasi to attend classes at Queens College

After leaving Queens College he went to Patna University, in Bihar to learn the six darshanas where he received a scholarship to study Ayurveda under Vaidya Krishnakumar of Bengal. It was after he cleared the Samkhya Yoga Examination of Patna he got well-known recognition

Most influential and renowned students of Tirumalai Krishnamacharya

B. K. S. Iyengar was the founder of Iyengar Yoga and a student of Tirumalai Krishnamacharya. B. K. S. Iyengar is one of the most inspiring and influential teachers of all time.

Some more students who influenced the world were Indra Devi, Srivatsa Ramaswami and Pattabhi Jois.

Books Written By Tirumalai Krishnamacharya

Tirumalai Krishnamacharya has written four books on yoga namely Yoga Makaranda, Mantra Mala: A Compilation Of Mantra-S, yoga sanagalu, Yoga Rahasya, the complete book of vinyasa yoga and Yogavalli