Krsnamacharya: Who was he and what were his contributions to yoga?

Krsnamacharya
Krsnamacharya

Krsnamacharya is credited as the ‘father of modern yoga’ and known for being the architect of Vinyasa yoga. He held 6 degrees in Indian philosophy, was an ayurvedic healer, and yoga teacher.

In parallel to how we practice vinyasa yoga today, Krishnamacharya touted the importance of combining pranayama or breath with the postures of yoga in addition to meditation.

According to Michael Stone’s Inner Tradition of Yoga, Krsnamacharya went to Tibet to search for how to get Tantra, or energies of the mind, back into the postures of yoga. He sought help to find the “psychological dimensions” to go along with the physical practice of yoga. Krishnamacharya was convinced that yoga could be a means of physical healing and also a spiritual method.

Krsnamacharya’s teachings are based on Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras and the Yajnavalkya, a story of a vedic sage from hindu tradition. His teaching instruction took into consideration that the path of yoga would mean different things to different people and that each person should be directed aout yoga in a way that makes sense to them relatively.

Krsnamacharya would travel to give Yoga lectures and supposedly displayed feats like stopping his own heartbeat. He may also be the person who had popularized the Yoga headstand. Krsnamacharya began yoga at the age of 5 per his father and by the end of his career authored 4 of his own books of Yogic and healing literature.

Krsnamacharya was born in 1888 and passed away over 100 years of age, in 1989.