Yoga Korunta

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The Yoga Korunta or Yoga Kuruntha is a purported 5,000 year old[a] text on yoga, said to have been written in Sanskrit by an otherwise unknown author,[2] Vamana Rishi, allegedly discovered by Tirumalai Krishnamacharya in the National Archives of India in the early 20th century, and supposedly lost when Krishnamacharya's only copy was eaten by ants.[3][4]

Krishnamacharya also told various other stories of how he came across the Yoga Korunta; Fernando Pagés Ruiz noted in the Yoga Journal that he had heard "at least five conflicting accounts" of the supposed text.[5]

Krishnamacharya later related an oral "translation" of the text to his students, such as K. Pattabhi Jois and B. K. S. Iyengar. Jois claimed to have used that as the basis of his Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga system.[6] The original text reportedly was not preserved, and its historicity and existence has been questioned; Krishnamacharya also spoke of a Yoga Rahasya which similarly has never been seen by anyone else.[7] According to Mark Singleton's Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice, this legacy of Krishnamacharya is one of the bases for "power struggles" among competing schools of modern yoga; he notes that it is surprising that Jois or other pupils did not make copies of the valuable document, and that Krishnamacharya did not bother even to cite it in his 1934 book Yoga Makaranda.[4]

It is said to have been made up of stanzas using rhymed, metered sutras, in the manner common to texts transmitted orally in the guru-shishya tradition. The text is said to have described several lists of many different asana groupings, as well as highly original teachings on vinyasa, drishti, bandhas, mudras and general teachings.[8][9]

The name Yoga Korunta may be the Tamilized pronunciation of the Sanskrit words Yoga grantha, meaning "book about yoga". Alternatively, there may be some connection with the name of Kapālakuruṇṭaka, the author of the 18th century Haṭhābhyāsapaddhati.[10][2]


  1. ^ This would long predate any other known yoga texts, the earliest of which were written around the sixth century BC.[1]


  1. ^ Samuel, Geoffrey (2008). The Origins of Yoga and Tantra. Cambridge University Press. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-521-69534-3.
  2. ^ a b Russell, James."Yoga Korunta - Unearthing an Ashtanga Legend", Devon, 11/11/15. Retrieved on 20 September 2017.
  3. ^ Smith, Benjamin Richard (2007). "Body, mind and spirit? Towards an analysis of the practice of yoga". Body & Society. 13 (2): 25–46. doi:10.1177/1357034X07077771. S2CID 146669391.
  4. ^ a b Singleton, Mark (February 10, 2010). Yoga Body : the origins of modern posture practice. Oxford University Press. pp. 8, 184–186. ISBN 978-0195395341.
  5. ^ Ruiz, Fernando Pagés (22 May 2017). "Krishnamacharya's Legacy: Modern Yoga's Inventor". Yoga Journal (May/June 2001).
  6. ^ Kavalya, Alanna (April 28, 2012). "How We Got Here: Where Yoga Poses Come From". Huffington Post. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  7. ^ Cushman, Anne (July–August 1999). "Previously Untold Yoga History Sheds New Light | From loincloths to leotards, yoga has come a long way in 5,000 years. But is yoga as we know it really that old?". Yoga Journal (147): 46.
  8. ^ "Ashtanga Yoga Background". Retrieved 2007-08-07.
  9. ^ K. Pattabhi Jois. "Ashtanga Yoga". Ashtanga Yoga Research Center. Archived from the original on 2007-06-30. Retrieved 2007-08-07.
  10. ^ "Jacqueline Hargreaves: Hathābhyāsapaddhati- A Precursor of Modern Yoga | YogaJaya". YogaJaya. Retrieved 2018-07-11.