In the yogic tradition much signifigance is given to the connection between teacher and student, or guru and chela in Sanskrit.It is recognised that this is not just a passing on of information, or techniques but that it is also a transmission of a more subtle type, where the experience, state of yoga is transmitted from one onto the other.
Subsequently we can easily observe many different traditions in India, with generation after generation of guru,chela, guru.In contemporary India, many of these teachers have millions of followers, some have regular TV programmes, their images often adorning everything from pendants in taxis to t shirts. But there is one who’s image is not so prevalent, yet it could be suggested that he made the most major impact on the worlds current experience of yoga, especially in the west.
That person was TKV Krishnamacharya, often referred to as the father of modern yoga. it is widely recognised that he was instrumental in the revival of Hatha Yoga practices and its spread across the globe. Born in November 1888 in southern India, within a family which has a lineage in Yoga stretching back over centuries. As is the norm in such cases, he began to learn yoga and the Vedic sciences from childhood. Studying all six Vedic philosophies at University in Varanasi, and gaining a degree in each of these, as well as studying Ayurveda and the vena.
Having learnt Yoga from childhood with his father, he made a pilgrimage to the Himalayas, after walking for 2 1/2 months, he travelled into Tibet arriving at the home of the man who would become his Guru at the base of Mount Kailash, the holy mountain upon which Shiva is said to sit in permanent meditation.Here he spent 7 1/2 years learning Hatha and raja Yoga and Yoga Chikitsa.
Returning to India he began to teach Yoga, firstly in Mysore at the palace of the maharaja of Mysore. Teaching innumerable students over the years, many of whom would become influential propagators of Yoga themselves. Even though he did not court the limelight his students and his own children went on to disseminate his teachings widely and eventually across the globe. Mainly teaching one to one sessions, his days were filled with a steady stream of students from early in the morning. Teaching until just a few weeks before his death at 100.
While I was doing my first teacher training with the YTTC, one of the books on the reading list was the heart of Yoga, which outlined his amazing life. Years later I was fortunate enough to meet and study with its editor Mark whitwell, direct student of Krishnamacharya. Having also studied with Srivatsa Ramaswami, AG and Indra Mohan, all direct, long term students of Krihnamacharya, I feel very blessed and fortunate to have had such a close connection with this lineage.
In all this study I can confirm that it is not just a passing on of technique, but also a transmission of YOGA, a direct experience of this, transmitted just as a radio signal can be transmitted from transmitter to receiver and then passed on to another receiver. And I hope that as I teach that I can continue to do this justice, passing this onto those who come to practice Yoga with me. Krishnamacharya, was told by his teacher that he would be responsible for spreading Yoga across the world, He himself said that the world needed Yoga, and that for all people there had to be a Yoga, a way to connect with this amazing life that is happening as us and around us, a way for us to find harmony within ourselves and with the rest of live.