Krishnamacharya, father of Modern Yoga
Regarded as one of the most influential yoga teachers of the 20th century, Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya is considered the architect of Vinyasa Krama, a practice which combines breathing with movement. Underlying all of Krishnamacharya’s teachings was the principle of “teaching what is appropriate for an individual.” For over 30 years Krishnamacharya passed on his knowledge of the Vinyasa Krama asanas, vedic chantings, and yogic philosophies to Srivatsa Ramaswami. Ramaswami is not only Krishnamacharya’s longest standing student but he has also shared his wisdom with Pam Johnson (owner and teacher at Heights School of Yoga) for over 20 years.
Interested in working One-on-One with Pam?
Preserving Time Tested Wisdom
Krishnamacharya was a savant and master of many topics. For 20th century Yoga he is known as the master yogi who actualized notions of the practice that were progressively altered or lost in India. Having studied extensively for 7 years with the Naths at Mount Kailash, he understood perfectly the most ancient traditions but as an audacious renovator Krishnamacharya adapted many of these techniques for healing, including asana assigned for individual cases, in conjunction to mental attitudes that re-enforce its efficacy, constituting a veritable “surgery” without instruments: breathing being the function of “a scalpel” bringing about a more harmonious re-distribution of vital fluids for establishing better health, mental clarity, and spiritual growth.
He taught each student differently and created an understanding of yoga for a broad spectrum of students. By integrating the ancient teachings of Yoga and Indian philosophy with modern-day requirements, Krishnamacharya created yoga practices that are as accurate and powerful as they are practical and relevant. His teachings in Vinyasa Krama combined a flowing series of repetitive postures linking sequences of movements matched precisely to the inhalation and exhalation of the breath.
Click here to learn more about this legendary teacher, healer, and scholar
Yoga : One of Sixty-Four Art Forms of India
Today around the world tens of millions of people are practicing yoga. Yoga as we know it today originated in the early 20th century from T.Krishnamacharya, an audacious renovator of the ancient oral tradition that stems from the higher wisdom teachings at Mount Kailash.
In Vinyasa Krama the body, breath and mind are integrated to attain a unified state of harmony and attention. Vinyasa also means variation. Vinyasa Krama uses numerous variations of each posture to fully explore the possibilities of the body and attain the classical goals of Yoga, steadiness and comfort.
Synchronizing one’s breath and aesthetic movement will help train the mind to focus. Harnessing the breath will form a union of mind and body that will allow each student to ease into a steadiness within each posture.
Breath of the Gods
The yogis knew that their practices represented more than a system of exercises. By opening themselves to the waves of energy within and around them, they fueled – as we do now – the relationship with the divine soul. The ultimate goal of every yoga practice is to become a vessel able to sail into the infinite cosmic source. The ancient yogis recognized the importance of storing the analytical mind and resonating with the senses, both inward and outward, to explore the infinite properties of light and dark, breath and silence, movement and stillness, to infuse the brain and heart with light and love.
In India, these teachings have been passed down for many centuries, preserving the time-tested aspect of inherent trust in absolute truths.
Ramaswami, has studied yoga, Vedic chanting and yogic philosophies with the legendary Sri T. Krishnamacharya for more than 30 years. He has been teaching for more than 25 years and is recognized as an Institution of National Importance by the Govt. of India, Ramachandra Medical University and Yoga Brotherhood.
He has taught workshops and Teacher Training programs in the US at the Esalen Institute, Loyola Marymount University, Yoga Works, the Himalayan Institute, Chicago Yoga Center and many others. He is a registered Yoga Teacher with the Yoga Alliance at the E-RYT 500 (500 hour) level – this is the highest level of certification the Yoga Alliance offers.
Ramawami has mentored Pam Johnson for over 20 years and remains her teacher today.
Revered Yogacharya, Vedic Chant Master, and Author
Sri Srivatsa Ramaswami studied yoga,Vedic chanting and yogic philosophies with the legendary Sri T. Krishnamacharya for more than 30 years. Ramaswami has written four books on various yogic topics and continues to teach
For the past 30 years Ramaswami has been teaching with the focus on the needs of the individual just as his Guru “Teach what is inside you, not as it applies to you, but as it applies to the other”
The beauty and efficacy of yoga is eloquently brought out by Vinyasa Krama.
See the video below for impressions from teachers and students of the Vinyasa Krama Yoga Teacher Training Program with Srivatsa Ramaswami at Loyola Marymount University, CA, summer 2011.
Yoga Master Pam Johnson
“I have known Pam Johnson for several years now as a Senior student. Pam studied with me, in considerable depth, the Vinyasa Krama method of yoga practice, which I learned from my Guru Sri T. Krishnamacharya. She has been very diligent and an exceptional student.
Some of her exquisite pictures doing very important asana vinyasa sequences appear in my book, “Yoga for the Three Stages of Life”. She has also helped me with skillful demonstration of many asana sequences in conferences and workshops. I wish her well in her efforts to deepen her own study, and practice, while teaching and propagating the traditional Vinyasa Krama method of yogasana.” – Srivatsa Ramaswami
Yoga Educator, Breath Coach, and Healer
“By teaching yoga for the past 20 years, I’ve come to realize that each class is a unique exchange of prana (life force) between teacher and student. Some of my students have experienced visible changes and most importantly, opened their minds to this ancient healing art called yoga. I’ve witnessed the veritable surgical scalpel of the breath become the ultimate tool that inspires and heals them.
I understand that yoga has an avenue of wellness to fit any situation and that the real truth is that they are my teacher. These days I teach mostly one-on-one classes where the application of the teaching is re-enforced on a personal level. This is where the most remarkable effects of yoga are witnessed – it is with passion and service that I share this knowledge and I give gratitude to my teachers as well as my students” – Pam Johnson