Śrī Thirumalai Krishnamacharya, who lived to be over 100 years old, was one of the greatest Yogi-s of the modern era. Elements of Krishnamacharya’s teaching have become well known around the world through the work of B.K.S Iyengar, Pattabhi Jois, and Indra Devi, who all studied with Krishnamacharya in their early years. Krishnamacharya’s son TKV Desikachar lived and studied with his father all his life and taught the full spectrum of Krishnamacharya’s fundamental principle: the practices must be continually adapted to the individual’s changing needs in order to achieve the maximum therapeutic value.
In The Heart of Yoga TKV Desikachar offers a distillation of his father’s system as well as the essence of his own practical approach, which he describes as “basically a program for the spine at every level-physical, mental, and spiritual.” This is the first Yoga text that outlines a step-by-step sequence for developing a complete practice according to the age-old principles of Yoga, Desikachar discusses all the elements of Yoga – poses and counterposes, conscious breathing, meditation, and philosophy – and shows how the Yoga student may develop a practice tailored to his or her current state of health, age, occupation, and lifestyle.
Krishnamacharya based his teachings on a number of scriptural sources, but he placed the highest value on Patañjali’s Yogasūtra. Part three of The Heart of Yoga includes the complete text of the Sūtra – including the Sanskrit – with a translation and commentary by Desikachar that includes insights and tradition passed to him by his father. Combining a clear logical presentation of practical Yoga techniques with a profound exposition of the roots of Yoga philosophy, this book is sure to be a milestone in the transmission of Yoga from the ancient masters to the modern world, the path to what Patañjali called Kaivalya – freedom.