Yoga Dimensions teaches in the Hatha Yoga tradition of Sri Krishnamacharya. Born in India in 1888 Krishnamacharya lived to be over 100 years old and is acknowledged as being the grandfather of modern yoga. He was born into a family that practiced yoga and he, himself studied yoga with distinguished yogi masters. He also studied ayurvedic medicine and the therapeutic use of asanas and pranayama. Krishnamacharya became an ayurvedic doctor who prescribed yoga to his patients, modifying it to meet their special needs. He would encourage those who studied under him to “teach what is inside of you, not as it applies to yourself but as it applies to others”
One of his most profound contributions was the belief that yoga should be adapted to fit the person rather than adapting the person to fit yoga. He refused to standardize the practice and teaching methodology of yoga so that it could be easily accessible and understood by a wide range of students.
Krishnamacharya’s philosophy and innovative approach helped to shape the development of yoga in the west. His own strength laid in his ability to bridge his knowledge of traditional yoga with the changing values and practices of modern day life. Krishnamacharya’s genius can be seen in his ability to help others adapt yoga to fit their very own unique interests and lifestyle.
His philosophies and style of teaching empowered students to also develop their own distinct forms of yoga which they brought to the west. T.K.V Desikachar, Krishnamacharya’s son created viniyoga. Viniyoga involves building an individualized practice for a student incorporating the use of pranayama, asana, mantras, and meditation. B.K.S. Iyengar was another student of Krishnamacharya. Iyengar yoga uses fewer poses than any other style but places emphasis on alignment. The Iyengar style uses props such as straps, blocks, bolsters and other tools designed to make poses more accessible. Another student, Pattabhi Jois, developed the physically challenging style of ashtanga yoga. Ashtanga yoga is distinguished from other forms of yoga by its unique system of sequential movement through poses and breath.
Krishnamacharya’s work is a wonderful example of how yoga can be innovated to fit the needs of our modern world. It is this commitment that Yoga Dimensions is proud to carry forward, meeting the many and varied needs of the individual through class instruction.
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