Krishnamacharya was born in India in 1888 into a family that practiced yoga. He later went to Banaras and learned yoga from some of India’s best teachers and then to Bengal to study Ayurvedic medicine, the Indian system of healing. As an Ayurvedic doctor, he used yoga in his practice, prescribing yoga on an individual basis. He is considered the foremost source regarding yoga theory and application, and he practiced yoga until his death in 1989. He is credited with developing four different branches of yoga in his lifetime and teaching some of the great yoga teachers. Several of Krishnamacharya’s students incorporated his teachings into their methods and carried them to the West.
Annie McQuid managed a yoga studio in Portland, Oregon, where she taught different styles of yoga. When she moved to San Francisco to manage and teach at Shala Yoga, someone suggested she take an ashtanga yoga class. ”I had been teaching prenatal yoga, which is pretty low key. I wasn’t sure I would resonate with ashtanga; now I’ve incorporated it into my teaching.”