Krishnamacharya resource page

On this page, some Krishnamacharya Resources

First up is my book Early Krishnamacharya Ashtanga Practice Resource which contains a number of posts on exploring, through practice, Krishnamacharya's early writings.

that's followed by free downloads to Krishnamacharya's Books, 


more to come.....

Works by Krishnamacharya 
  1. Yoga Makaranda
  2. Yogaasanagalu
  3. Yoga Rahasya
  4. Yogavalli
Other works (essays and poetic compositions):
  1. “Yogaanjalisaaram”
  2. “Disciplines of Yoga”
  3. “Effect of Yoga Practice”
  4. “Importance of Food and Yoga in Maintaining Health”
  5. “Verses on Methods of Yoga Practice”
  6. “Essay on Asana and Pranayama”
  7. “Madhumeha (Diabetes)”
  8. “Why Yoga as a Therapy Is Not Rising”
  9. Bhagavad Gita as a Health Science”
  10. “Ayurveda and Yoga: An Introduction”
  11. “Questions and Answers on Yoga” (with students in July 1973)
  12. “Yoga: The Best Way to Remove Laziness”
  13. “Dhyana (Meditation) in Verses”
  14. “What Is a Sutra?”
  15. “Kundalini: Essay on What Kundalini Is and Kundalini Arousal (sakti calana) Based on Texts Like the Hatha Yoga PradipikaGheranda Samhita, and Yoga Yajnavalkya
  16. “Extracts from Raja Yoga Ratnakara”
  17. “Need for a Teacher”
  18. “Satvika Marga” (“The Sattvic Way”; philosophy/spiritual/yoga)
  19. “Reference in Vedas to Support Vedic Chanting for Women” (philosophy/technical)
  20. “Fourteen Important Dharmas” (philosophy)
  21. “Cit Acit Tatva Mimamsa” (philosophy)
  22. “Sandhya-saaram” (ritual)
  23. “Catushloki” (four verses on Sankaracharya)
  24. “Kumbhakonam Address” (catalog)
  25. “Sixteen Samskaras” (rituals)
  26. “Mantra Padartha Tatva Nirnaya” (rituals)
  27. “Ahnika Bhaskaram” (rituals)
  28. “Shastreeya Yajnam” (rituals)
  29. “Vivaaha” (marriage rituals)
  30. “Asparsha Pariharam” (rituals)
  31. “Videsavaasi Upakarma Nirnaya” (rituals)
  32. “Sudarshana Dundubhi” (devotional)
  33. “Bhagavat Prasadam” (devotional)
  34. “Narayana Paratva” (devotional)
  35. “About Madras” (miscellaneous)

For some reason the earlier post where I introduced my Krishnamacharya Resource book has gone a little strange, the right side of the post seems to be missing.

So here it is again but this time with chapter previews.

I put the book through a Creative Space format that I'd been saving for the print version of my Vinyasa Krama Practice Book, but still haven't gotten around to doing it. I think it works quite well, where before I was a little embarrassed to put this up, now I'm feeling a little more pleased with it.
Link to Amazon

Update; New Book just published

Available here
I'd brought together a bunch of my Krishnamacharya posts in preparation for a couple of workshops I'd been invited to present and have been reading through them, I think I still agree with most of it.

I still need to do some work editing the whole thing, getting rid of some of it's bloggyness and well as improve the layout but, for now, it's something to be going on with.

Here's the link to the epub version which is ideal for the iPad

and this is a regular pdf version

Below are the first pages of most of the chapters/articles/ex posts

Many of the 'chapters' first appeared on my Krishnamacharya blog 9click on the title for the link to the original blog post


Screenshots of first page of each (most) chapters....

1. Yogasanagalu's (1941) 'Original' Ashtanga Primary Group/Series in Yoga Makaranda (1934)

12. In 1937 "Guruji was teaching a 4 year course in yoga... the same course outline (1974) that you received from Nancy" Eddie Sterne.

19. Krishnamacharya and headstands, also Ramaswami's Inverted sequence and the Ashtanga ‘seven deadlies’.

24. Krishnamacharya’s Interpretation of YS II-47 : “By making the breath smooth (and long), and by concentration or focussing the mind on the breath, the perfection of the posture is obtained”.

25. Notes on practicing Krishnamacharya’s yogasanagalu.


Free Downloads

Krishnamacharya's Yogasanagalu pdf double page view Medium file

(Out of print, poor quality photocopy passed to me and made available for personal study)

The 1938 Black and White documentary footage shot in Mysore
the first video is a tribute to krishnamacharya and has been turned into colour.

The second is the full video which includes Iyengar Ashtanga demonstration.

See at the end of this post for screenshots from the movies

See also My review of Breath of The Gods, the recent documentary on Krishnamacharya's teaching. Post includes Krishnamacharya's 'Life Saving practice'

Link To Ramaswami's Namarupa article on his studies with Krishnamacharya

The video below produced by AG Mohan

Krishnamacharya was unique in many ways — as a master of yoga, as a teacher, as an Ayurvedic physician and as a scholar.  
In the West, Krishnamacharya is mostly known for his contribution to the revival of the more physically oriented disciplines and practices of hatha yoga.  Therefore, he is often referred to as “the father of modern yoga.”  

The notion that Krishnamacharya practiced and taught yoga that was somehow “new” or “modern” is primarily due to the many distortions or misunderstandings about the link between the physical practices of hatha yoga and the meditational practices of raja yoga.   He was the conservator of the ancient teachings of raja yoga.

As a master of yoga and a great scholar, he practiced and linked the physical practices of hatha yoga with the mental states of samadhi described in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.    Let us listen to the great master on what is yoga.  

Krishnamacharya:  Yoga is an awareness, a type of knowing.  Yoga will end in awareness. Yoga is arresting the fluctuations of the mind as said in the Yoga  Sutras (of Patanjali): citta vritti nirodha.  When the mind is without any movement, maybe for a quarter of an hour, or even quarter of a minute, you will realize that yoga is of the nature of infinite awareness, infinite knowing.  There is no other object there.”

During my interview of Krishnamacharya in 1988, he continued to expand on his personal experience of this yogic state of samadhi.  

This state of samadhi — the pinnacle of sustained mental focus and the goal of classical yoga — can be reached through pranayama.  Krishnamacharya used to say that pranayama is critical among the eight limbs of yoga.  The practice of pranayama is preceded by the practice of the mudras and the practice of asanas.  These are truly amazing photos of the great master.  

In addition to his mastery of asanas, Krishnamacharya was able to bring the involuntary functions of the body — like the heartbeat — under voluntary control.  

He was not only a master of yoga but also had titles equivalent to doctoral degrees in all the six Vedic darshanas.  

Krishnamacharya taught yoga for nearly seven decades.  He started teaching yoga under the patronage of the Maharaja of Mysore in the 1930s.  Indra Devi, B.K.S. Iyengar, and Pattabhi Jois studied with him during this period.  

What was Krishnamacharya teaching during the 1930s?  The silent film from 1938 contains the yoga practice of Krishnamacharya, his wife and children, and B.K.S. Iyengar, who was also the brother of his wife.  

An analysis of this 1938 video will reveal that Krishnamacharya’s teaching was based on this principle — “Teach what is appropriate for each individual.”

Video of Krishnamacharya’s children – 5 to 7 years old
He taught jumping asanas to his children, who were 5 to 7 years old. 

In an interview, B. K. S. Iyengar recalled that Krishnamacharya taught vigorous jumping movements to him.  

B.K.S. Iyengar:  “Well, you know it is very difficult for a boy of 14-15 years to analyze what my Guruji was teaching, what type of yoga was teaching, or something like that, you know?  Well, I can say it’s like a drill system to a very great extent… So, naturally my Guruji  must have thought that for these martial people, like martial art, yoga has to become a martial art to train them. So there were vigorous, rigorous movements what you call today ‘vinyasa,’ which is jumping movements from asana to asana which you have seen in my 1938 film.  So, that was the way he was teaching.”

Let’s see that. 
Video of Iyengar – 20 years old

Video of Krishnamacharya’s wife – 24 years old 
The Acharya taught differently to his wife to strengthen the organs in the lower abdomen.  Although his wife and Iyengar were almost the same age, Krishnamacharya taught them very differently.  He did not teach deep backbends to his wife.

Video of Krishnamacharya – 50 years old 
Now, watch the practice of Krishnamacharya when he was 50 years old.  Although it appears as if he is doing just head stand, he was actually practicing the viparita karani mudra, which involves long, deep breathing and suspension of breath and bandhas with mental focus.

Krishnamacharya wrote a book called Yoga Makaranda in 1934.  Part I of this book was published by the then-Maharaja of Mysore.  Part II was not published. This is the file cover of the original type written manuscript of Part II.  His son, Desikachar, and myself had classes together on some texts like the Yoga Sutras.  During the 1970s, we reflected on and attempted to edit this manuscript but its publication did not come to fruition.  

In Yoga Makaranda Part II, the Acharya not only details the methodology for each asana but also cautions against the use of force in the practice of asana.  

Currently, there are several misconceptions and confusions regarding the teaching of the Acharya.  There is a notion, for instance, that he was innovating his teachings over a period of time.  He did not.  He always taught what was appropriate for each individual.  The purpose and the capability of the person determined the practice.  He always designed the practice depending on the person and the purpose.

To a question on “Should the asana practice be done fast and why not?”, Krishnamacharya replied that fast movements, and in turn, fast breathing will disturb the flow of prana and will result in imbalances.  Slow movements with long inhale and exhale will help with proper prana flow and mental focus.  

His personal practice was always with long deep breathing and mental focus. Observe the position of his head, the lower abdomen and his mental focus.  He was always concentrated on the inner alignment through breath.

According to Krishnamacharya, practice and knowledge must always go together.  He used to say, practice without right knowledge of theory is blind.  This is also because without right knowledge, one can mindfully do a wrong practice. 

He also did not mix up yoga and religion.  As a Vaishnavite, he kept the wooden sandals of his religious guru.  He did not keep the sandals of his yoga guru, Ramamohana Brahmachari, and never asked his students to pay homage to his Vaishnavite lineage or the padukas.

There is only one yoga, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. This is also known as raja yoga.  Hatha yoga, laya yoga, and mantra yoga each have four steps.   They involve the practice of some of the eight limbs of the Yoga Sutras, like the yamas and niyamas.  They merge into the sixth limb of yoga, dharana, which leads to samadhi. Krishnamacharya with his depth of knowledge and practice was clear about these connections.

In the 1930s, Krishnamacharya tried to resolve the prevailing confusions among the then-yoga luminaries. He later recalled: 

“In 1933 through 1937, some people were talking about different varieties of yoga, like hatha yoga, raja yoga, and kundalini yoga.  Some said that the kriyas were the most important, and that that was (true) yoga.  I was in the yoga school in Mysore, under the patronage of the king.  I wrote letters to well-known yoga teachers like Paramahamsa Yogananda, Kuvalayananda, and Yogindra, saying that we should have a meeting and resolve such confusion.  Eventually, however, no meeting took place and nothing came out of the correspondence.”
Currently, the confusions have become manifold with the addition of brands, labels, traditions, and lineages.  

The goal of the physical practices of hatha yoga is to lead to the mental states of samadhi described in the Yoga Sutras.  Absence of knowledge of the connections and the practice has resulted in many confusions and distortions. The discernment that Krishnamacharya spoke of so many decades ago is even more important now.

On November 18th, we celebrate his 125th birth anniversary.  I vividly remember this day, 25 years ago on his 100th birthday, as I was the convener of his centenary celebrations.  Krishnamacharya would have been extremely happy that his tireless perseverance in propagating yoga has resulted in millions of people now practicing yoga around the world.  He would want all of us to carry on the ancient and authentic teachings of yoga as they have been conveyed to us by the sages.  
Let the message not be lost.  

To download Yoga Makaranda (Part II), click here.

Krishanamacharya. The Teacher's Teacher
from Paul Harvey's Centre for Yoga Studies

Śrī T Krishnamacharya – The Source

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives
Click the links for pages in Dharma Downloads and cYs Journal to view or download Articles, Interviews and Videos around the life and work of T Krishnamacharya, TKV Desikachar, Srivatsa Ramaswami and other students.
Śrī Tirumalai Krishnamacharya was one of India’s most respected authorities on the Vedic tradition and Yoga Teachings and practice.
He was born in Karnataka State in South India on November 18th 1888 and belonged to a family of distinguished ancestry. Among his forebears was the 9th century teacher and sage Nathamuni. Śrī Nathamuni was a great Teacher who created remarkable works, such as the Nyaya Tattva.
T Krishnamacharya began his formal education at the age of six, at the Parakala Math in Mysore. His first Yoga teacher was his father until his untimely death. His next recorded teacher was Śrī Babu Bhagwan Das. His thirst for knowledge gave him the opportunity to travel widely and seek all aspects of the Vedic tradition from the best teachers across India. His formal education, largely in Sanskrit, included degrees from several universities in North India.
He in turn studied and mastered these systems and was bestowed with titles such as Samkhya Yoga Sikhamani, Mimamsa Tirtha, Nyayacarya, Vedanta Vagisa and Veda Kesari. He was also a master of Ayurveda (the ancient Indian system of healing) and Sanskrit.
At the age of twenty-eight, he trekked over 200 miles to Lake Manosarovar at the foot of Mt. Kailash in the Himalayas in Western Tibet, to learn Yoga from Ram Mohana Brahmacari. He stayed for over seven years returning on his teacher’s instructions to South India to teach. Being a master in many subjects, Krishnamacharya was offered high scholastic positions in great institutes of learning. Instead he chose to be a Yoga teacher to fulfil the promise he made to his own teacher in Tibet. Eventually he came to establish a school of yoga in the palace of the Maharajah of Mysore.
On many occasions he demonstrated the great potentials of yoga in different areas of health and self-control over oneself. The most prominent among them was being able to stop the heart beat for more than two minutes, using yogic practices. With his vast learning in yoga as well as other systems of Indian Philosophy, he emphasized that the practice of yoga must be adapted to the individual, and not the individual to yoga. This was probably one of his most significant contributions in the field of health and healing through yoga. Some of his early students, such as Pattabhi JoisBKS Iyengar and the lateIndra Devi, became renowned teachers themselves.
After Independence and the closing of the school he moved to Madras where he became wellknown for his therapeutic use of yoga. He was married (in 1925 to BKS Iyengar’s sister Namagririammal) and had six children, sons TK Srinivasan, TKV Desikachar, TK Sribhashyam and daughters Srimathi Pundarikavalli, Srimathi T Alamelu Sheshadri and Srimathi Shubha Mohan Kumar.
Śrī Krishnamacharya is now recognised the world over as an accomplished exponent of Yoga, and a major influence in shaping what we see as Yoga in the West. He was also a visionary who had a sense of the atrophy that Vedic study would face in modern times. He made it his lifetime work to nurture Vedic culture by teaching Yoga, Sanskrit and the Vedas, to one and all who sought him. Tracing the genesis of Vedavani, a center for teaching Vedic chanting, which was inaugurated in 1999 under the auspices of the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram, TKV Desikachar linked its roots to his father’s conviction that teaching of the Vedas had to be kept alive at all costs.
Undaunted by the criticism that the Vedas cannot be chanted by everyone, he taught the Vedas, on the authority of the scriptures that such stringent regulations could be set aside at times when there was threat to dharma (Apadkala), which was true of this age. Even though it may not be possible to follow the same system of teaching in such an institution, it was more important to retain the spirit of the tradition, said Desikachar, in an address at the inaugural function of Vedavani, a centre established solely to teach Vedic Chanting.
His death in 1989, at the age of 100, marked the passing of a great sage and teacher.
Click the links for pages in Dharma Downloads and cYs Journal to view or download Articles, Interviews and Videos around the life and work of T Krishnamacharya, TKV Desikachar and their students.

Category Archives: Material around Krishnamacharya

Krishnamacharya answers his students……

Questions to and Responses from T Krishnamacharya - KYM Darśanam - May 1994

Independent Spirit

Interview with TKV Desikachar - by Fit Yoga Magazine April 2008

The King and the Young Man

Article about T Krishnamacharya - Translated by Bert Franklin with S Venkataraman

My Father’s Yoga

Article about T Krishnamacharya - Lecture by TKV Desikachar 1988

TKV Desikachar A Tribute

Downloadable Book on Krishnamacharya's son - Publication by the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram

About Sri T Krishnamacharya, my Guru

Article by S Ramaswami - Published whilst he was trustee of the KYM

My Studies with Sri Krishnamacharya

Courtesy of Namarupa Magazine - Article by S Ramaswami

3 Gurus 48 Questions

Courtesy of Namarupa Magazine - Interviews by R Alexander Medin

Masters in Focus

Courtesy of Namarupa Magazine - An interview with Kausthub Desikachar by Rachael Stark

Meeting Krishnmacharya

Article about meeting T Krishnamacharya - From The Viniyoga Letter 1989 by Sonia Nelson

Visit The ongoing Yogasanagalu (1941) Translation Project page for the translation we have so far.

'Therefore, how many vinysas for asanas? Asana position comes at which vinyasa count?  When do you perform rechanka and puraka?  When to do antah kumbhaka and bahya kumbhaka?  What are its benefits?  For yoga practitioners information, it is listed in the table below'.

Yogasanagalu Asana table

Download the table in pdf here


Antah kumbhaka (purakha kumbhaka) = retention of the breath after inhalation
Bahya kumbhaka (recaka kumbhaka= retention of the breath after exhalation
Ubhya kumbhaka = retention of the breath after both inhalation and exhalation

*In the Primary group above kumbhaka is indicated explicitly in only three postures, baddha padmasana, uttanasana and sethubandasana. In the earlier Yoga Makaranda (1934) however, kumbhaka is indicated other primary postures. This may be that while learning the Primary asana we may forgo kumbhaka in most of the primary postures until gaining familiarity and a degree of proficiency with those asana when we would then begin to work in the kumbhaka. this may be made clearer as the translation continues.

Kumbhaka (mentioned explicitly) in the Yoga Makaranda Primary asana
Tadasana (here implies samasthiti )- purakha kumbhaka
Uttanasana -purakha kumbhaka (we can perhaps presume that all the uttanasana variations would also include antha kumbhaka EG. padahastasana, parsvauttanasa
na, prasaritapadauttanasana.
Ardha baddha padma uttanasana - recaka kumbhaka
Urdhavamukhssvanasana - puraka kumbhaka
Adhomukhssvandasana - recaka kumbhaka
Paschimottanasana - purkha kumbhaka (recaka kumbhaka implied ?)
janusirsasana - purka kumbhaka & Rechaka kumbhaka
Upavistakonasana "recaka kumbhaka is the central principle for this posture"
badhakonasana - recaka kumbhaka
Suptapaddangusthasana- recaka kumbhaka
utthitahastapadangusthasana - recaka kumbhaka
Bhujapidasana - recaka kumbhaka
marichiyasana - recaka kumbhaka ?

Pictorial representation of the table (made up of my old file pictures ).

Krishnamacharya's Primary group (Incomplete ; made up of pictures from his Yoga Makaranada).
Original table

Asana screenshots from Krishnamacharya / Iyengar 1938 documentary film footage

This relates to Krishnamacharya'sYoagasanagalu asana table from yesterday's post.

I find it useful to look at Krishnamacharya's Yoga Makaranda (1934, 2nd edition 1938 ) the Krishnamacharya/Iyengar documentary footage (1938) and Krishnamacharya's Yogasanagalu (1941) together.

In Yoga Makaranda we have 40+ asana described in detail

Yogasanagalu has 25 asana described in detail but these seem to be the same as those in the Yoga Makaranda.

Yogasanagalu has the table (see yesterdays post) listing 200 asana, their vinyasas and the focus of the breath in the posture

The table is divided into Primary, Middle and Proficient groups of asana.

The Primary and Middle groups correspond closely to the current Ashtanga Primary and Intermediate Ashtanga series ( the Primary group also corresponds closely with the order in which the asana are described in the earlier Yoga Makaranda). The Proficient group contain many if not most of the Asana from Advanced A and B ( now subdivided again into 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th series).

Perhaps the most striking difference between Krishnamacharya's 'original' Ashtanga and current practice is that the Proficient (Advanced) postures don't seem to have been turned into a recognisable series in the 30's and 40's but are rather jumbled together as we find in the list.

While the Primary and Middle groups are not described as a series it does seem reasonable to assume that they were practiced in the rough framework of a series, this is suggested by the similarities in the order in which they are described in Yoga Makaranda (1934), listed in Yogasanagalu (1941) and found later in Pattabhi Jois' Yoga Mala, there seems to be consistency.

The proficient group of asana were perhaps then learned and practiced as extensions to the postures in the Primary and Middle group and this would reflect how Ramaswami was taught by Krishnamacharya in the 50's-80's, E.G. janusirsasana moving through akarna dhanurasana to eka pada sirsasana and on into kasyapasana, skandasana and durvasana.

Michael Gannon relates in his DVD ( Heaven and Earth) that Pattabhi Jois told him the Primary series was for everyday, the Intermediate series for teachers and the Advanced postures for demonstration.

In the 1938 documentary film footage below we find Krishnamacharya and his family, including Iyengar demonstrating asana. Krishnamacharya is mainly seen demonstrating the shoulder stand and headstand variations almost exactly as I was taught them by Ramaswami suggesting a continuity and consistency of practice that stretches back further than when Ramaswami was taught them in the 50's-80's but back at least as far  as the 30's, the Mysore palace years.

Iyengar is mostly demonstrating the Proficient group of postures most of which we find in the list from Yogasanagalu but with some others that have been overlooked or deliberately left out. Kandasana for example is not in the list but Iyengar relates how Krishnamacharya asked him to perform it for the first time in a demonstration in 1938 (same year as the movie), "Bring both feet together towards the chest, as if you were doing namaskar a with the feet". (from My yoga journey in Vol 1 of Astadala Yogamala).

The 1938 demonstration, then, gives us a look at how the proficient postures were approached in demonstration in this period and shows us that there were many more postures that Krishnamacharya was teaching at that time that did not appear in the Yogasanagalu table of asana.

The 1938 demonstration also reveals that the approaches we think of as the modern ashtanga of Pattabhi Jois (reflected in the Iyengar section of the movie)  and the Vinyasa Krama of Srivatsa Ramaswami (Krishnamacharya's own demonstration of head and shoulder stand vinyasas), and also of  the viniyoga of Desikachar (the demonstrations by Krishnamacharya's family (?)), existed side by side right from the beginning, they were, just that, differences of approach dependent on the situation, the students and the short term as well as long term goal of the practice.

This perhaps suggests that in our own practice it is not a question of switching from one style of asana practice to another but rather of bringing in other aspects of these different approaches as our practice develops. Exploring Longer inhalations and exhalation, kumbhaka (breath retention), adding or switching different variations of a posture into our practice, considering longer stays and finishing our practice with pranayama as well as perhaps a meditative practice such as chanting perhaps, japa (mantra) meditation and the study of 'appropriate' texts. For those of who practice a slower approach and a wider range rotating rather than fixed asana, perhaps occasionally narrowing the range of asana, fixing a framework and practicing with equal inhalation and exhalation for shorter stays may also be an option to explore.

Screenshots from the Krishnamacharya documentary footage of 1938 

List of above asana (asterisk indicates found in Yogasanagalu list)
*Ekapadasirsasana A. *Eka pada sirsasana B. *Kasyapasana. *Bhairavasana.Chakorasana. *Durvasana.Skandasana.*Astavakrasana.*Aandha bherundasana B.Ghandha berundasana C.*Ekapada viparita dandasana. Koundinyasana A. Koundinyasana B. *Urdhava kukkutasana. Pingu kukkutasana. *Eka pada bakasana B. *Bakasana. Supta bhekasana. Kandasana. *Vashitasana. *Viswamitrasana.* Kukkutasana.Gandha pindasana. Ardha badha padma kapotasana. *Yogapitha. *Dhanurasana. *Parsva dhanurasana. Padangusthasana dhaurasana A. Padangusthasana dhaurasana B .Ardha vashitasana. *Hanumanasana. *Supta trivikramasana. *Natajarasana. Parivritta natajarasana. Supra hasta padangustasana. *Viparita dandasana. Parivritta eka pada dhanurasana. Eka pada dhanurasana. Bakasana variation. *Mayurasana (from sirsasana). Parivritasana. *Pincha mayurasana. *Vrishikasana. Eka pada vrishikasana. Urdhva dandasana. *Vatayanasana.

Krishnamacharya, Headstand and Shoulder stand vinyasas
see Supine Vinyasa Krama practice sheets HERE  and Inverted practice sheets HERE for similarities

Interview With Krishnamacharya

from Yogacarya Krishnamacharya - The Purnacarya. Edited by Mala Srivatsan
The first biography of Krishnamacharya

Unfortunately long out of print

"Q: What does the bhakti mean to a person who has no belief in Isvara?

Krishnamacharya: Love is bhakti for them".


The questions.

1. What is Yogasana?

2. What is the role of the mantra in asana practice?

3. What should the duration of pranava be during recitation?

4. What is the first step in dhyana for a beginner?

5. At what age can one start practicing yogasanas?

6. How many asanas are there?

7. Can everybody do all of the asana's?

8. Should asana vary according to age?

9. Can a person practice yogasana using photographs?

10. How many times should one practice yogasana's?

11. How long should a person stay in an asana every day?

12. How long were the sages practicing yoga?

13. What must form an essential part of a person's daily practice?

14. What should be done when there is limited time available for practice?

15. When can one see the results of practice?

16. What should be the ratio of practice between asana, pranayama and dhyana?

17. Should the asana practice be done fast and why not?

18. What does jitasana (asana jay am) mean?

19. What is meant by jitsvasam?

20. How long should one stay in Sirsasana and Sarvangasana?

21. Is there a difference in the practice for men and women?

22. How should very obese people and pregnant womnen be taught?

23. What about the practice for women after child birth?

24. What is yoga?

25. How many kinds of Yoga are there?

26. Who is competent to the practice the yogabhyasa?

27. What is yogabyasa krama?

28. What is the procedure one follows for yoga?

29. Why is there the division of hatha-yoga and raja-yoga?

30.On what basis do we follow the practice of yogasana? 

40. Is there any relation between the approach to sickness in Nathamuni's school and Ayurveda?

41. Is it possible to learn pratyahara and antaranga sadhana from a teacher?

42. How many kinds of vinyasa's are there?

43. There seems to be identical verses in Sivasamhita, Gherenda Samhita and hatha yoga pradipka. Does it mean they are all based on the same text or did they have a common teacher?

44. Which is the most important yoga text today?

45. Are the techniques like viloma pranayama, anuloma pranayama, pratiloma pranayama, the different asanas and vinyasas that we use mentioned in any adhara grant (text)? or does it follow a guru parampara?

46. How are the texts like Goraksa Samhita and the Hathayoga pradipka compare with the approach of the Yoga Sutra?

47. Why should one do vaidika-sastriya karma?

48. Why should there be upasana of the devata?

49. But this becomes kamayam. is it desirable?

50. What is dharma? Please explain in simple terms.

51. Thare are many approaches to the word 'Yoga', Which of these have to be refuted?

52. What is Adarmika yoga?

53. Where in the Yoga Sutra is the Sadanga yoga of nathamuni mentioned?

54. What is the evidence that bhakti alone leads to multi?

55. What does the bhakti mean to a person who has no belief in Isvara?

56. What is the difference between prakrti and prapancam?

57. Prakrti that has guns-s is mentioned as acaitanyam. haow is this?

58. How can there be a samyoga between the prakrti, paramatma and the jivatma?

59. What is Jnana yoga?

60. Are bhakti and prapatti the same?

61. What is Raja yoga?

62. Does Hatha yoga mean a forceful yoga?

63. Some people describe that the kundalini goes through the susumna to the sahasrara. is it correct?

64. What happens to the kundalini when the highest of hathayoga is mastered?

65. Is dhyana, dharana, samadhi a sadhana or a siddhi?

66. Should yama and niyama, precede the practice of asana and pranayama?

67. Yoga means to join. It is like many grains together?

68. When there is samyoga, how will there be viniyoga again? Is it also an activity? If so how does it happen?

69. What does prapancam mean? is it sat yam?

70. Is there any significance attached to our dress and to the sati to which we belong?

71. Is brahmacarya practiced in grhasthasrama? What is the difference between a brahmacarya in grathasrama and a brahmacarya in a brahmacarya asrama?

72. It has been said that our mind is linked to the kind of food we eat. What about our other samaras and  sahavasam?

73. There are many texts on Yoga. Which of them are important and which are less important?

74. Where is the evidence that Visnu is sattvika devam, siva rajasika devam and sakti tamasika devam?

75. How is it that we are able to understand the suksma visaya that has been mentioned in the sastras?

76. What is the difference between sa-guna and nir-guna?

77.  What is your message to humanity?

The Answers

See also my earlier post

(Out of print, poor quality photocopy passed to me and made available for personal study)

A big thank you to Eric Shaw for sending me a copy of the book and to whoever passed the copy on to him.

Yoga Makaranda Part I and II


The Yoga Makaranda was Krishnamacharya's first book, it was written in 1932, supposedly over four days and published in the Kanada language in 1934 and later translated into Tamil. It was clearly a major influence on Krishanamacharya's student Sri K Patarbhi Jois's own book Yoga Mala and of the Ashtanga practice we know and love, as well as many of the current popular styles of Yoga.

Last Summer I was fortunate enough to study the text, line-by-line with Ramaswami, Krishnamacharya's student of over thirty years, on his 200 hour Vinyasa Krama TT course.

This book may well be considered the source, the holy grail and thanks to the generosity of Lakshmi & Nandini Ranganathan the text has now been made freely available such that we can decide for ourselves, enjoy.

'...I ask that you do not sell it but you are welcome to put it on a website for anybody to download, to email further, or to lend your manuscript to be copied by anybody. It does have typos (remember, we did this in 2006 and planned to do a final revision or new edition later) but I think it is actually otherwise reasonable (we would welcome corrections and comments). Most importantly, it will accomplish our goal that people read what Krishnamacarya had to say without interruption and without censorship. The book is powerful and wonderful and I hope any of you that reads it finds it as meaningful and relevant as we did.'
Nandini (Ranganathan).

Another version of the text has just been published by Media Garuda, I ordered a copy, which arrived this week, before I was aware of a dispute regarding their edition. The background to this dispute can be found HERE, I leave you to make up your own minds about it.

The Media Garudu edition is, it has to be said, a nicely produced book. The pictures are beautiful and it has a nice layout. At the back are a series of line drawings showing the vinyasas in and out of the postures as outlined in the text. It also has footnotes. My first impression of these were that they often seemed to seek to bring the 1930's text in line with a more recent conception of Yoga possibly held by the publishers that did not seem necessarily in keeping with the original text, but perhaps I'm being unfair.

In the next few days I'll be doing a parallel reading of the texts to see how they compare and get back to you.



Just been sent a link to this, the 'mythical' part 2 of Krishnamacharya's Yoga Makaranda

AG Mohan suggests in the Text's introduction that it was probably written in the late 1930's or 40's. (the period at which Krishnamacharya was also teaching Pattabhi Jois). The description of the asana is a little different from Yoga Makaranda Part 1, there's no passing from standing through downward dog etc. to the postures and then transitioning back to standing as in the earlier book.

However the Yoga Makaranda (1934) we're familiar with does say that pranayama will be covered in a second part and in many way part 2 is closer to Krishnamacharya's Yogasanagalu (1942) So it this may well have been written between the two but never published.

Something else that comes to mind as we begin reading it is that it's quite familiar in style and content to the lecture notes I posted here earlier, Krishnamacharya Salutations to the teacher and the Eternal one. In fact as we look further through the text it seems fair to suggest that this is the full, original text from which Salutations later derived, supposedly as lecture notes. Yoga Makaranda Part 2 consists of 139 pages, Salutations consists of 43 pages ( but smaller tighter print ). AG Mohan mentions that he saught clarification from krishnamacharya of a number of points in the text but that this is the original document without those notes. This may suggest then that Salutations is much of the original text with those notes and clarifications.

Yoga Makaranda (Part 2) -- Sri T. Krishnamacharya

And in case the plug-in above doesn't work for you, here are the first couple of pages, the cover page, introduction and contents to whet the appetite.


Here's the link again to the full 139 page document

And thank you again to AG Mohan for sharing it with us.


My pervious posts on Salutations to the Teacher and the Eternal One



I mentioned at the end of my previous post that one of the things I was hoping to do this week was take a closer look at Krishnamacharya's Yoga Makaranda ( part II), released by AG Mohan at the end of last week. I had questions...

1. The similarity to Salutations the Teacher the Eternal one

2. Dating the text ( There's a mention of a book by Indra Devi)

3. Differences in style between Yoga Makaranda Part 1 and part II

4. Relation to Krishnamacharya's Yogasanagalu

5. It's relation to Krishnamacharya's later teaching, i.e. Yoga Therapy.

6. The curios order of the text that seemed to suggest to me the possibility of two texts combined

7. The lack of pictures ( although they are mentioned).

8. Who translated the text into English and when.

9. Did Krishnamacharya consider the text as Yoga Makaranda Part II

My own feeling is that as a text that AG Mohan dates originally to the late 30s early 40s, although the typewritten version he was given was from the 60's, It's focus on head and shoulder stands and pranayama make it a good candidate for the completion of original plan of Yoga Makaranda. I think that being the case it's fair to call it Yoga Makaranda (part II). I do wonder if Krishnamacharya ever referred to it as such however. The difficulties arise because it seems fair to assume that it was written a period of time after Yoga Makaranda and then typed up later still. Other material appears to have become included resulting in some of the confusion Enrique highlights below.

Last night I started going through Salutations and marking the page numbers corresponding to the new text in the margin.

Luckily for me Enrique has beaten me to it and produced a re-ordering/correction of theSalutations in the light of AG Mohan's release of Yoga Makaranda ( Part II) allowing us to better compare the two texts.  That text plus his comments today raise some interesting questions,  here they are below as a guest post, so as to bring the issues together more clearly. The dividing lines are to indicate the different comments.

This post is probably a work in progress that we can add to and will eventually end up with a page of it's own at the top of it's blog along with the previous post on Yoga Makaranda.

These questions should in no way be seen I hope as a lack of gratitude to AG Mohan for releasing the text, I know Enrique is just as appreciative as I am of this gift to the community.

A reminder : This post is made up of comments to the original MythicalYoga Makaranda (Part II) post which should explain it's abrupt and note like presentation.

UPDATE 21/11/12
I'm coming around to an earlier date for Yoga Makaranda (Part II) after all. I've just finished a ten hour practice, pranayama, a long slow Primary series and then, while the body was still loose, a six hour work through of the text of Yoga Makaranda (part II). It took so long because I was carefully following all the instructions, practicing all the variations, highlighting and taking the odd notes. And I hear Yoga Makaranda (part I) in the text, I really do. Admittedly there is no mention of the vinyasa count that characterises part I, but the focus on the breath is there, the postures where you can include retention after exhalation, those after inhalation, the exploration of the breath in Asana. In short pranayama in asana. The descriptions aren't as formal as in the Makaranda we're familiar with, they are more explanatory than descriptive, it's a teaching manual. At times though it's quite extreme, Mayurasana described just as we're familar with from Ashtanga 2nd series, but K. offers a variation where we take the legs into padmasana mayurasana while still balancing in regular mayurasana, tricky and hard on the nose. There are sequences almost exactly like Ramaswami's presentation of Vinyasa Krama, but in suptapa Angushtasana K. includes a full padmasana variation, something you can imagine him including back 1938 when that old demonstration video was short.

So although I think the texts has been worked on and added to over the years, adapted in line with projects that never bore fruition, I'm coming around to the idea that the bones of text may well have been originally  written down in the late 30's early 40's.

Watching the demonstration footage again may make you think twice about the text also.

But back to Enrique's guest post.....

Guest post by Enrique Matías Sánchez

As you already noticed, this is the original manuscript of the _Salutation to the Teacher and The Eternal One_ you posted on September 24th.

Mohan's video shows a couple of pictures of the manuscript. _KYM's Salutation_ seems to contain the typewritten text as it was, without the handwritten corrections. Mohan's file adds those corrections, which according to the video were made by Desikachar and himself.

The main difference between these two documents is the order of the contents.

I modified Mohan's file to reorder the contents in the same way as _KYM's Salutation_, so that we can easily compare them and spot the corrections.
I also added some formatting to make it easier to navigate.

This version of Salutation_ is available for download at

Besides the differente ordering, there are three sections that were not included in _KYM'm Salutation_:


Mohan's video shows that at least the first one was published as an article in KYM's magazine.


Who has the order right, Mohan or KYM? I'm afraid none of them.

It's pretty odd that Mohan's file starts with 19. Sirsasana. If that was supposed to be the beginning of the book, it should obviously have number 1 (or 43, it this was indeed the continuation of Yoga Makaranda).

It makes much more sense to start with the Yamas & Niyamas, and the Classification of Asanas, as KYM's Salutation does.

Further proof is that in page 76 of Mohan's file we read:
``A short description of each of these asanas and the distinctive curative effect of each will be given in the *following* chapters.''

But in that file all the asanas have already been explained!

What happened to the 18 sections that should precede Sirsasana? Maybe in this book Krishnamacharya explained Pranamayas (14 Bhastrika, 15 Sitkari, 17 Sitali) before the asanas?


It's clear that Mohan's file doesn't have the right order.

As we can see in Mohan's video, the typewritten pages are not numbered. It's no surprising that after so many years they got displaced.

For instance, steps 4-7 for Sarvangasana appear under Dvipada Viparitakarani (in KYM's Salutation are in the right place).

Does this mean that KYM's Salutation has the right order? I would say no.

If it did, it would not include Maha Mudra twice (pages 25 and 37).

Besides, in page 16 of KYM's document we read:

``Out of the eight steps in Yoga, the first two, YAMA and NIYAMA, deal with the cleanliness, physical and moral for maintaining proper ethical standards. The next two steps are asanas and pranayamas and *these have been dealt with in previous chapters*.''

And then goes on to explain Tadasana, Sirsasana and all the others.

While Mohan presents the asanas following their numeration, KYM's document is just reminiscient of it (this can be clearly seen in the Table of Contents of my Corrected Salutation).

It's also strange that the treatments for asthma and hernia are explained before saying which diseases are amenable for Yogic treatment. Mohan has that right.

Maybe I'll try to put everything in a more coherent order. It's a pity Mr. Mohan didn't share all the pictures of the original typewritten manuscript, which could probably provide some clues.
I guess the original Indian manuscript would give us a definitive answer, but we don't even know whether it's still existent.

Dating the book is a bit difficult.

Indra Devi studied with T. Krishnamacarya around 1937-39. I'm not sure whether "Yoga for Americans" was her first book on Yoga.

By the way, I don't think K. thought of this writing as Yoga Makaranda part II. If he did, he would not have included again the Yamas and Niyamas, and the asanas already covered there.

I think this is a standalone work, providing a much more personal vision of Yoga.

To me, YM was written as an encyclopaedic work:
- he includes the shatkarmas, which he didn't use to teach
- the 10 yamas and 10 niyamas as per HYP, instead of the Yoga Sutras, etc.

I find the approach in Salutation different, more in line with his later teachings.

I won't dare to date it in relation to the Yogasanagalu until we have a complete translation of it.

Ah, the Yoga Gurundam is mentioned in the Sitali and Setubandhasana sections, as well in the classification of asanas. While it would describe some asanas, K doesn't mention it prescribes any predefined order for practicing them.

Shall we make a timeline?

1888: K is born in Muchukundapuram, Karnataka, India.
1914-22?: K studies for 7.5 years with Rammohan Brahmachari near Lake Manasarovar, at the foot of Mount Kailash 
1926?: K. starts teaching in the Jaganmohan Palace in Mysore
1934: Yoga Makaranda is written in the Kannada language
1938: Yoga Makaranda, Tamil edition
c. 1941: Yogasanagalu in Kannada language
1941: KPJ moves to Madras
????: Yogasanagalu, 2nd edition
1950: The Shala is closed
1954: K. moves to Chennai (Madras).
1955: Ramaswami starts studying with K.
1958: Yoga Mālā by KPJ is written in Kannada
1961: TKV Desikachar becomes interested in Yoga 
1962: Yoga Mala is published
1971: A. G. Mohan starts studying with K.
1972: Yogasanagalu, 3rd edition with new photos
1976: The Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram (KYM) is founded
1981: Yogasanagalu, 4th edition
1993-95: Extracts from Makaranda are published in Darsanam
1999: Yoga Mala is published in English
2006: Lakshmi and Nandini Ranganathan translate YM to English
2011: KHYF publishes YM as a book through Media Garuda

My take? Right now I think the Salutation might have been written in the 70s for the KYM (which focuses on Yogatherapy), after the 3rd edition of the Yogasanagalu. 

The preface to this edition lists his previous works, including the brief Yoganjali, but doesn't mention Salutation nor a forecoming part 2 of YM.

Even though he `expanded and altered many the topics regarding the practice' he might not be satisfied with the old text, and then decided to start a new one from scratch.

My 2¢.

from Grimmly20 November 2012 19:46

Enrique I have TKV Desikachar's 'Health Healing and Beyond' here which sketches K's early biography out nicely

Says here

1900  K. and family moved to Mysore do K could join the Parakala Math

1906  K attended University of Benares ( continued to practice the asanas and pranayama he had been taught by his father- Mohan)

1909  Returned to Mysore

1909-1914  Remained with the Swami of Parakala math, Mysore

1914  Returned to Banares, attended classes at Queens college, took vacations in the himalayas

1915 -1922  *Lived and studied with Rammohan Brahmachari near Lake Manasarovar, at the foot of Mount Kailash 

1922-24  Teaches yoga and Studies at Universities in Allahabad, Calcutta, Patna and Baroda

1924  Returns to Mysore

1925  Marries Shrimati Namagiriamma

1926  Maharaja of Mysore meets K. in Banares and invites K. to come and teach in Mysore.

1937 Teaches Indra Devi

1947 Indian Independence

1950 Shala closed

1950 K. moves to Madras to teach Yoga (family remains behind but joins him later)

1956 Moves to Madras permanently, to a small apartment.

( Kausthub Desikachar on page 117 of Yoga of the Yogi says he wrote Yogasanagalu there (in that small apartment), perhaps the 2nd edition? Or was this actually our Makaranda part 2. He writes interestingly,
"Literally translated Yogasanagalu means "Yoga Asanas". The book was an extension of his earlier book Yoga makaranda". p117 Yoga of the Yogi.

His description seems to be of the Yogasanagalu but perhaps Kausthub mixed them up? Either way, going by this, the text Kausthub is referring to had to be written between 1956 and 1961 because they moved house in '61. We also know that AG Mohan's text displayed in his video was typed up in 1960

1961  Moved to a larger apartment in Gopalapuram, Madras - TKV Desikachar becomes interested in yoga and begins to study with his Father

AG Mohan's original typewritten English translation of Yoga Makaranda (part II) text stamped with this address.

1964 Family move again to an even larger apartment In Mandavelipakkam, Madras.

1966 Series of asana photos taken and later included in Yogasangalu 

(Why did they take these photos now if Yogasanagalu had only just been revised, besides which the pictures taken don't correspond to the text of Yogasangalu, they are actually much closer to the asanas described in Yoga Makaranda ( part 2)

1975  Revised Yogasanagalu

Kausthub mentions too that K. revised Yogasanagalu in 1972 ( 3rd edition ) adding a section on posture modification (possibly the extra chapter that Satya is currently working on translation). the pictures in the edition we're translating here were taken 1966

*Now interestingly Mohan has K returning to Banares after studying yoga in the Himalayas with Brahmachari in 1918 and mentions that in a brocher K had printed in the 1960s he givs those seven years of study with Brahmachari 1911-1918

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