Everyone has heard of Sri Pattabhi Jois and the late Sri B K S Iyengar, internationally reputed Hatha Yoga teachers; but few know of their guru Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya. Sri Krishnamacharya was born on November 18, 1888 in Muchukundapura, in the district of Chitradurga of Karnataka. Having been raised in an orthodox Iyengar family he underwent schooling in Sanskrit, the Veda and the shad-darshanas. It was his father, Sri Tirumalai Srinivasa Tatacharya who taught him his first lessons in Asana and Pranayama.

After a long journey as a student of various Indian arts and sciences, including Ayurveda and Tarka, he found himself on a quest to find a Yoga-guru at the age of 31. Having befriended Lord Irwin and having earned favour from him through his ayurvedic and healing influence on the Viceroy, Sri Krishnamacharya was able to enter deep into the Himalayas into Tibet with the Viceroy’s help. After two and a half months of walking, he found his guru to-be, Sri Ramamohana Brahmachari at a cave at the foot of Kailasha. Eventually, after years of abhyasa and tapasya, Sri Krishnamacharya returned to pass on the knowledge he had acquired at his guru’s feet.

He lived to be a hundred years old and left his body in 1989. Below are some very old photos of the yogi demonstrating some yogasanas.

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