Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Krishnamacharya Mean?

Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya (1888-1989), or Krishnamacharya for short, was an Indian Ayurvedic healer, scholar and yoga teacher. He is widely regarded as “The Father of Modern Yoga” for reviving Hatha yoga, and combining breath and movement into vinyasa.

Although he had many students, some of his that went on to become influential yoga teachers include B.K.S. Iyengar, T.K.V. Desikachar, Indra Devi and K. Pattabhi Jois.


Yogapedia Explains Krishnamacharya

Krishnamacharya's yoga teachings for his style of yoga, known as Viniyoga, were based on the "Yoga Sutras of Patanjali" and the "Yoga Yajnavalkya." He believed and taught that every individual would walk different paths of yoga, as the practice meant different things to different people at different times; however, he also believed that yoga was both a spiritual practice and a practice that led to physical healing. His underlying principle was to “teach what is appropriate to the individual.”

His father, Sri Tirumalai Srinivasa Tatacharya, began teaching him yoga at the age of five. Due to his education in Ayurveda, he emphasized the healing and therapeutic properties of the asanas, especially a practice incorporating pranayama. Many consider him to be the developer of Vinyasa yoga and also to have placed the importance on the headstand and shoulder stand that is now practiced today.

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Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya

Sri T. Krishnamacharya

T. Krishnamacharya

Tirumalai Krishnamacharya

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