Thursday, 21 April 2011

Krishnamacharya's Yoga Makaranda .....at last.


The Yoga Makaranda was Krishnamacharya's first book, it was written in 1932, supposedly over four days and published in the Kanada language in 1934 and later translated into Tamil. It was clearly a major influence on Krishanamacharya's student Sri K Patarbhi Jois's own book Yoga Mala and of the Ashtanga practice we know and love, as well as many of the current popular styles of Yoga.

Last Summer I was fortunate enough to study the text, line-by-line with Ramaswami, Krishnamacharya's student of over thirty years, on his 200 hour Vinyasa Krama TT course.

This book may well be considered the source, the holy grail and thanks to the generosity of Lakshmi & Nandini Ranganathan the text has now been made freely available such that we can decide for ourselves, enjoy.



'...I ask that you do not sell it but you are welcome to put it on a website for anybody to download, to email further, or to lend your manuscript to be copied by anybody. It does have typos (remember, we did this in 2006 and planned to do a final revision or new edition later) but I think it is actually otherwise reasonable (we would welcome corrections and comments). Most importantly, it will accomplish our goal that people read what Krishnamacarya had to say without interruption and without censorship. The book is powerful and wonderful and I hope any of you that reads it finds it as meaningful and relevant as we did.'
Nandini (Ranganathan).



Another version of the text has just been published by Media Garuda, I ordered a copy, which arrived this week, before I was aware of a dispute regarding their edition. The background to this dispute can be found HERE, I leave you to make up your own minds about it.

The Media Garudu edition is, it has to be said, a nicely produced book. The pictures are beautiful and it has a nice layout. At the back are a series of line drawings showing the vinyasas in and out of the postures as outlined in the text. It also has footnotes. My first impression of these were that they often seemed to seek to bring the 1930's text in line with a more recent conception of Yoga possibly held by the publishers that did not seem necessarily in keeping with the original text, but perhaps I'm being unfair.

In the next few days I'll be doing a parallel reading of the texts to see how they compare and get back to you.

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