Three very old videos have surfaced on YouTube.com, the main site for video sharing on the internet. Apparently, they were shot in 1938, and MCPetruk, who uploaded them, told me via email that he obtained them as part of the footage from an Iyengar Institute VHS.
Thank you to Dipita for the tip and to MCPetruk for sharing.
Links to the 3 films (one of the actual films is at the end of this post):
- Krishnamacharya in inversions, nauli and various advanced pranayama techniques (4:32)
- BKS Iyengar part 1 (3:11)
- BKS Iyengar part 2 (3:26)
After hearing and reading so much about him,
it is amazing to see Krishnamacharya on film. And what a film it is. In these short 4 minutes, you get a glimpse of a total mastery of the body, the postures and the breathing. The stories about Krishnamacharya stopping his heart become much more believable. His legendary strictness is apparent, too.
I tried to remind myself as I was watching that Krishnamacharya was 50 years old when the film was shot. He does not look a day over 30.
Iyengar is also very impressive doing what seems to be a modified version of the Advanced A Series of Ashtanga. He is actually doing vinyasas! He must have been around 20 years old during that time, before he decided that vinyasas were “too much jumping”.