|What happened to all these kids, did any of them end up teaching Yoga?|
In recent posts I've been looking at the idea of 'Much more to Mysore', following Michelle's recent guest post. Michelle is studying Ashtanga with Vijay Kumar in Mysore and in yesterday's post I focused on Vijay's big brother Vinay, the former 'Yoga Champion', who teaches a vinyasa approach to Yoga in Mysore that he calls Prana Vashya Yoga
But where did Vinay and Vijay learn their Yoga, were they students of Pattabhi Jois? Vijay does teach pretty standard Ashtanga by all accounts.
Turns out that Vijay Kumar was taught by his brother Vinay, but who was Vinay's teacher?
This is what I've heard.....
"So Vijay's asana teacher is Vinay. No-one else. He started when he was 12 learning from Vinay, that was 14 years ago. Vijay's other yoga teacher (philosophy etc) is an old guy in a little village near his mother's home town of Hassan".
Had this 'old guy' also been his brother Vinay's teacher?
The old Man of Hassan
How's your Ashtanga Vinyasa history? Krishnamacharya was working for a time in a coffee plantation around 1925/26. In fact that was where the young Pattabhi Jois first saw him. Krishnamacharya was giving a demo and lecture there on yoga ('...jumping from asana to asana' according to Pattabhi Jois).
Krishnamacharya's son Desikachar mentioned in his book about his father that Krishnamacharya struggled to attract enough students in the beginning so had to take a job for a time on a coffee plantation...... in Hassan
'enough students', so Krishnamacharya was teaching yoga even back then, of course he was.
Supposedly Pattabhi Jois walked a few miles from his house to Hassan every morning, for two years, to study Yoga with Krishnamacharya ( although I believe Jois' school was actually in Hassan so he would have had to walk there anyway, still he had to get up a couple of hours earlier).
"Sri K. Pattabhi Jois began to practice astanga yoga at age 12. He had seen a demonstration and heard a speech by T. Krishnamacharya in Hassan's community hall in March of 1927, and this impacted him greatly. After intense questioning by T. Krishnamacharya, two days later K. Pattabhi Jois stood on a mat as a student (sasthaka) of Krishnamacharya and received his first Astanga Vinyasa Yoga class under his soon-to-be Guru. He came and practiced daily with him for two years.
The path of yoga is not necessarily ideal for a child living in a regular Brahmin family. Yoga used to prepare the aspirant for the life of a monk (sannyasis), living outside of society and was not of particular benefit to being part of a family. This ended up causing some conflict with his parents, and for a time he chose to hide his intense interest in the path of yoga. The 12-year-old Pattabhi Jois woke up two hours before his school-classmates, walked five kilometers along a path to Hassan, where T. Krishnamacharya's school was, did his practice while Krishnamacharya counted the vinyasas... and then went to regular school". http://www.petriraisanen.com/guruji.asp
So here's the question?
Who else did Krishnamacharya teach in Hassan?
Vinay's teacher perhaps?
If the had studied with Krishnamacharya as a boy he would have been an old man by the time Vijay and/or Vinay met him.
Speculation of course but.....
Vinay's approach to asana, which he calls Prana Vashya is a vinyasa based system, movements follow the breath. It's very similar to the Ashtanga we know and love, especially if like me ( and Manju Jois too supposedly) you do a mixture of Primary and 2nd series with a couple of advanced postures thrown in for luck.
|Prana Vashya Yoga|
Vinay teaches Kumbhaka in Asana, again, that has Krishnamacharya written all over it seem my recent post (UPDATED: Why did Krishnamacharya introduce kumbhaka (breath retention) into the practice of asana in Ashtanga?).
"A significant development of potential is experienced during the practice of kumbhakas. The use of kumbhakas helps quiet the mind and keeps the awareness on the breath/asana. The body experiences a better development in its resistance power and this helps to impart the complete effect of the asana practice without fatigue. Concentration on the bandhas isn't necessary when consciousness is on the simultaneous action of the breath and movements." Vinay Kumar
This of course would link Vinay back to the pre Mysore Krishnamacharya, one small step closer to the cave in the Himalayas perhaps and Krishnamacharya's own teacher Yogeshwara Ramamohana Brahmachari.
Of course it may well be that Vinay began practicing and teaching a vinyasa approach when he moved to Mysore and he might have read about kumbhaka in asana, just as I did, in Krishnamacharya's Yoga Makaranda, but when, I wonder, did he teach his brother Vijay, in Mysore or Hassan, and what did he teach him in the beginning a vinyasa practice not unlike Ashtanga Primary?
Speculation, complete speculation of course and perhaps in a day or two I'll hear more and the connection will turn out to be nonsense but Krishnamacharya did teach in Hassan, what happened to those kids, I do love the idea of The Mystery of The Old Man of Hassan.