Beginnings of the Ashtanga Yoga Method

The Ashtanga Yoga method was first described by the sage Vamana Rishi in the ancient scripture, the Yoga Korunta. This ancient text was discovered by Shri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya in the National Archives of India in the early 20th century. In 1916, Krishnamacharya traveled far into the Himalayas to seek out a yoga master. There in a cave near Nepal, he spent eight years studying Ashtanga Yoga with his guru, Shri Ramamohan Brahmachari. During this time, Krishnamacharya learned the complete Ashtanga Yoga method, including details about vinyasa, bandha and drishti. After parting with his guru in 1924, Krishnamacharya traveled around India, sharing the Ashtanga Yoga practice and teachings wherever he went. A few years later he arrived in Mysore, where he was hired by the Maharaja to open a yoga school. In 1927, at the young age of twelve, Pattabhi Jois became Krishnamacharya’s student, and remained a student of his for over 25 years. As Krishnamacharya prepared to leave Mysore in 1941, he handed over the teachings of Ashtanga Yoga to Jois, his oldest student. Respectfully addressed by his students as Guruji, Shri K. Pattabhi Jois taught Ashtanga Yoga for nearly 30 years before the first westerner came to study with him at his home in Mysore in 1964. In 1975, Guruji made his first trip to California, marking the beginning of Ashtanga Yoga in the United States and abroad. Over the years, Guruji instructed thousands of people in the Ashtanga Yoga method out of his yoga shala in Mysore. As a result of his tireless devotion to the tradition, these teachings have spread all over the world and continue to be passed on under the parampara of his daughter, Shrimati R. Saraswathi Jois, and grandson, Shri R. Sharath Jois, who is the current lineage holder and heads the K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute (KPJAYI) in Mysore, India.

To learn more about the Jois family, their life and yogic upbringing, read on HERE.

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