About Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya

Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, often referred to as the “Father of Modern Yoga,” was a renowned yoga master, scholar and healer who played a pivotal role in reviving and popularizing yoga in the 20th century. His profound teachings and innovative approach to yoga continue to inspire practitioners worldwide.

Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya is widely recognized for his immense contributions to the field of yoga, particularly in terms of its modern revival. He is known for his ability to adapt and customize yoga practices to suit the needs of individual students, making yoga accessible to a wide range of people. Sri Krishnamacharya’s teachings emphasized the integration of breath, movement and spiritual awareness, paving the way for the evolution of modern yoga.

Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya had a diverse range of students, including some of the most influential figures in modern yoga, such as Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar, Guruji K. Pattabhi Jois, and Sri T.K.V. Desikachar.

History of Sri
Tirumalai Krishnamacharya:

Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya was born on November 18, 1888, in the village of Muchukundapuram in the Chitradurga district of Karnataka, India. He received a traditional education in yoga, Vedanta and Sanskrit, studying under renowned masters. Sri Krishnamacharya’s journey led him to travel extensively across India, deepening his knowledge and understanding of various yogic traditions. He was a scholar of the ancient texts and possessed a profound understanding of yoga philosophy.


Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya’s teachings encompassed a comprehensive approach to yoga, embracing the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of the practice. He is best known for developing what is known as Viniyoga, a personalized approach to yoga that tailors the practice to the individual’s specific needs, abilities and goals. Viniyoga places emphasis on adapting the practice to suit the practitioner, taking into consideration their physical condition, age, health concerns and personal aspirations.

Incorporation of Props and Pranayama:

Sri Krishnamacharya’s teachings and practice did not specifically emphasize the use of props. However, he recognized the value of using props, such as belts, blocks and blankets, to assist practitioners in achieving proper alignment and making yoga postures accessible to individuals with varying levels of flexibility and strength. Props were used judiciously, with the aim of supporting and enhancing the practice.


Pranayama, the practice of breath control, held great significance in Sri Krishnamacharya’s teachings. He believed that the breath was a powerful tool for regulating the body and mind, and that the practice of pranayama could lead to profound physical and mental transformations. Sri Krishnamacharya taught various pranayama techniques, emphasizing the importance of proper breath control, coordination and awareness to enhance the benefits of yoga practice.

Books by Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya:

While Sri Krishnamacharya did not write extensively, his teachings were disseminated through his direct disciples, who later authored books based on their training with him. Notable among these books is “Yoga Makaranda,” written by Sri T.K.V. Desikachar, Sri Krishnamacharya’s son and one of his foremost students. This book offers a comprehensive guide to Sri Krishnamacharya’s teachings, including asanas, pranayama and philosophy. Other notable books influenced by Sri Krishnamacharya’s teachings include “The Heart of Yoga” by Sri T.K.V. Desikachar and “Krishnamacharya: His Life and Teachings” by A.G. Mohan.


Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya’s influence on the modern yoga landscape is immeasurable. He is revered for his role in reviving and popularizing yoga in the 20th century, as well as for his emphasis on adapting the practice to suit the needs of individual practitioners. Sri Krishnamacharya’s teachings have influenced generations of yoga practitioners, including many prominent teachers who went on to establish their own styles and lineages.


Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya’s teachings and innovative approach to yoga have had a lasting impact on the practice and understanding of yoga worldwide. His emphasis on individualization, adaptability and the integration of breath and movement paved the way for the evolution of modern yoga. Sri Krishnamacharya’s teachings continue to inspire yoga practitioners and teachers, promoting a deeper connection with the body, mind and spirit. His contributions to the revival and popularization of yoga, coupled with his profound understanding of yoga philosophy, make him a pivotal figure in the history of Yoga.

Sri Krishnamacharya’s contributions to the world of yoga were recognized posthumously and he is now considered one of the most influential yoga teachers of the modern era.

Scroll to Top