Tirumalai Krishnamacharya (1888-1989) one of India’s most respected authorities on the Vedic tradition and Yoga teachings and practice. Krishnamacharya was probably the first Yoga Master to introduce the concept of “Vinyasa”, means movement through a series of poses coordinated with breathing.
In addition to the mastery of asanas, krishnamacharya was able to bring involuntary functions of his body to voluntary control. One of his student Indra Devi who witnessed this explained that he once demonstrated his ability to stop heart beat for more than a minute.
Some of his students remember him as an exacting, volatile teacher, who is not so ill tempered and self centred and they say as a teacher his principle was to “teach what is appropriate for each individual”. His skill of diagnosis and treatment of ailments and his extraordinary Yogic powers were noteworthy. Krishnamacharya taught yoga to the Maharajah of Mysore and also many dignitaries. With the help of Maharajah, Krishnamacharya started the Yogashala at the Jaganmohan Palace, Mysore and managed it for twenty years.
Krishnamacharyas teachings were improvised and popularized by his prominent students K Pattabhi Jois, B.K.S Iyengar, Indra Devi (acharyas first female student) and his son T.K.V Desikachar. A very influential contemporary style of yoga were developed by them like Ashtanga style of yoga by Pattabhi jois, Iyengar Yoga, Indra devi – known as mother of western yoga, T.K.V’s Viniyoga, which became popular even in the west.