Tirumalai Krishnamacharya – yogi, healer, linguist, Vedic scholar, expert in the Indian Schools of thought, researcher, author… in other words, a legend. Born in 1888 in a remote Indian village, T Krishnamacharya who lived to be over hundred years old was one of the greatest yogis of the modern era. If today, yoga is an inherent part of the everyday lives of millions of people across the world, it is due in large measure to the pioneering efforts of T Krishnamacharya who revived yoga in the early twentieth century. While preserving ancient wisdom and reviving lost teachings, Krishnamacharya was also a revolutionary innovator who developed and adapted yoga practices that would offer health, mental clarity and spiritual growth to any individual in the modern-day world.
Krishnamacharya’s knowledge of yoga was so vast that he taught each student differently. In refusing to standardize the practice and teaching methodology, Krishnamacharya created an understanding of yoga relevant for a broad spectrum of students. By integrating the ancient teachings of Yoga and Indian philosophy with modern-day requirements, Krishnamacharya created yoga practices that are as accurate and powerful as they are practical and relevant.
Fernando Pages Ruiz probably summed up Krishnamacharya’s immense contribution to yoga when he wrote in an article entitled, The Legacy of Krishnamacharya,” (Yoga Journal, May/June 2001) :”You may have never have heard of him, but Tirumalai Krishnamacharya influenced or perhaps even invented your yoga. Whether you practice the dynamic series of Pattabhi Jois, the refined alignments of BKS Iyengar, the classical postures of Indra Devi, or the customized vinyasa [of Desikachar], your practice stems from one source: a five-foot, two-inch Brahmin born more than one hundred years ago in a small south Indian Village”.
- T Krishnamacharya and TKV Desikachar pioneered the adaptation of yoga techniques for therapeutic intervention.
- T Krishnamacharya's many literary works such Adiseha Astakam, Yoganjalisaram, Dhyanamalika, Sandhya Saram, Yogavalli and numerous other compositions continue to inspire students and teachers of yoga the world over.
- TKV Desikachar notated the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali to ensure uniformity of recitation of this text within this tradition
- TKV Desikachar is credited with the development of stick diagrams to represent the asana-s taught, a very useful tool for yoga teachers and practitioners across the world.
- TKV Desikachar "Heart of Yoga," continues to be among the most sought after books on the philosophy and pratice of Yoga.