Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Krisnamacharya Yoga Film 1938 (silent)

I found this video on YouTube... I continue to be amazed by the posts! Take a look and then do some research on Krisnamacharya, post five (5) things you learn about him.


Alex Halenda said...

*Krishnamacharya spent the majority of his youth traveling through India studying the six Indian philosophies: vaiśeṣika, nyāya, sāṃkhya, yoga, mīmāṃsā and vedānta.

*At 16, he had a dream in which his ancestor and legendary yogi, Sri Vaishnava saint Nathamuni directed him to go to the town of Alvar Tirunagari. He obeyed the dream and went, once he arrived he fell into a trance and realized he was in the presence of 3 sages. Krishnamacharya requested to be instructed in the Yoga Rahasya, and the sage who recited it he later identified as Nathamuni the writer of this long lost yogic treatise. Upon awakening he was able to recall each and every verse of the legendary treatise.

*He taught Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, Sri BKS Iyengar, Indra Devi, and his own sons. Krishnamacharya could thus be called the father of yoga as we practice it this day.

*Krishnamacharya taught Yoga to people of all religions, and he always took the time to understand the religion and culture of the people he taught. This served as encouragement for people to continue their practice, and also served his function as a life-long student.

*He believed yoga was India's greatest gift to the world. Krishnamacharya believed not only in the spiritual aspect of yoga, but also the healing aspect. He realized that every person is unique, and must be taught at their individual capacity at any given time. Meaning the path of yoga will mean different things for different people and each person must be taught in a manner they understand clearly.

Cris said...

*After treating a viceroy with diabetes through yoga for 6 months, he was granted permission to explore the Himalayas for Yogeshwara Ramamohan Bramachari. He found his yoga school as a cave at the foot of Mount Kailash. There he studied "Patanjali's Sutras, asana, pranayama, and the therapeutic aspects of yoga" for seven and half years.

*Payment for this seven plus years of tutelage was for Krisnamacharya to "take a wife, raise children and be a teacher of yoga."-----Why? Would this help him gain more compassion? Become a better teacher? To pass yoga through lineage? To help yoga become more popular?

*He held many demonstrations to stimulate popular interest in yoga, suspending his pulse, stopping cars with his bare hands, difficult asanas, and even lifting heavy objects with his teeth.

*Although many considered him to be a yoga master he continued to call himself a student because he felt that he was always "studying, exploring, and experimenting" with the practice. Even after fracturing a hip at 96yrs old he refused surgery adn instead designed a yoga practice to heal himself that he could do while in bed.

*Krishnamacharya studied all six philosophies. It is said that Krishnamacharya drew upon all of these bodies of knowledge to become the teacher that each student needed. Notably, he rarely taught in groups, and the famous students of his (Pattabhi Jois, B.K.S.Iyengar,Indra Devi,T.K.V. Desikachar (his son), and Srivatsa Ramaswami)all studied under him individually.

Jeff said...

It's interesting to see Krisnamacharaya do full udyadah bandah and nali kriya, especially the nali - he does it slower than what I've been experiencing / taught...

Some things I learned about him:

--> Krishnamacharya had a great deal of formal, academic education during his early years. He had a lot of study in Sanskrit in various universities in India, including Benares, Queens college and the University of Mysore. He was known to be a great scholar and studied under a variety of sanskrit masters, eventually earning teaching certificates in the subject.

--> Krishnamacharya first learned yoga as a boy and was taught by his father, also a well-known teacher of the Vedas. He eventually took a pilgrimage into the Himalayas attempting to find a yoga teacher living within the mountains of Nepal. Once he found the teacher (after 2 1/2 months of walking!), he spent 7 1/2 years studying the Pantanjali yoga sutras, learning asanas and pranayama. By tradition, his guru instructed him that payment for the teachings would be to start a family and begin teaching yoga.

--> Krishnamacharya embraced the physical aspect of yoga in as high regard as the spiritual one, believing one can grow from discomfort and illness if they practice. He also was an established sage and practitioner of Ayurvedic medicine, having a great deal of knowledge in nutrition, herbal medicine, etc.

--> Krishnamacharya could stop his heart beat voluntarily for more than 2 minutes!

--> Krishnamacharya taught people from all different backgrounds and status, and attempted to individualize the yoga he taught. He utilized 6 tools:

Srsti - "Growth", focused towards the young and developing strength, flexibility and power
siksana - "Perfection"
Raksana - "Maintanence"
Adhmatya - "Spiritual Matters"
Cikitsa - "Healing therapy"
Shakti - "Energy" (mystical parts of yoga, dealing with spiritual transcendence)

Though the west approach focuses so much on the physical aspect, Krishnamacharya incorporated all aspects where possible, and one was not held to be more important than the other.