• Early Poses Of Krishnamacharya, I, BLOG DECEMBER 2012

    Posted in Blog by Eric Shaw
    .
    .
    .
    There are a number of image-sets of Krishnamacharya doing poses, as well as a short film that shows him in yogic movement.
    These images here are from a digital edition of his 1941 composition,  Yoganasalu.
    —–
    Another rather full set from a later period can be found in both his biography, published by Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram in 1997 titled, Sri Krishnamacharya the Purnacharya, and Desikachar’s 1995, The Heart of Yoga. Those images are clearer and more numerous than these.
    —–
    A number of the images you see here can also be found in the 2011 English edition of his Yoga Makaranda (Originally published in the Kannada language in 1934). They are better printed there and there is more of them (as well as some shots of K’s students).
    —–
    It is telling to compare his posework with those yogis who came after K and who benefited from Iyengar’s alignment system.
    —–
    Iyengar used the laboratory of his own body over 40 years of stage performance, teaching, and 10-hour-a-day work (by his own claim!) to discover the language of yogic alignment, i.e. when bhava (energy) and straight lines of a type specific to each pose are expressed in the body along with other isometric actions and attentive foci, the mind more readily finds freedom from relative concerns (the non-local state), and the physiological platform for a greater flow of prana is created.
    —–
    Iyengar first writes about alignment in 1975, but he traces the insight to a train of thought that began in 1937–his third year of practicing asana and last year of living with Krishnamacharya (See Iyengar, His Life and Work, p. 197 and B. K. S. Iyengar: Yoga Wisdom and Practice, p. 28-9).
    —–
    When we look at these photos of Krishnamacharya (probably shot in the mid-1930s), we can guess that he understood some part of this, but his knowledge is far from what Iyengar would later learn. Krishnamacharya’s orientation of specific areas of his body (e.g. legs, torso, bellly foot) do not reveal an awareness of precision placement that similar photos of Iyengar do.
    —–
    In all of Krishnamacharya writings, we do not come across the word “alignment,” nor do we encounter detailed discussions of the effects of posework that could parallel such discussions found in the writings and oral teaching of Iyengar.
    —–
    Krishnamacharya was good at poses.  He understood their therapeutic and existential effects, but he didn’t know alignment science. It fell to his most famous student to discover and articulate it.
    —–

     

  • There are no responses so far.

    Leave your response

Share This