About Pattabhi Jois

Sri K. Pattabhi Jois

K. Pattabhi Jois, affectionately known to his students as “Guruji”, began practicing yoga in 1927 at the age of twelve with the great yoga master T. Krishnamacharya. At the age of 15, Guruji ran away from home to continue his studies with Krishnamacharya in Mysore, India. In 1937, Guruji was granted a position as yoga teacher at the Sanskrit College by the Maharajah of Mysore. Guruji continued to teach at the Mysore Sanskrit College until his retirement in 1973.

With the intention of exploring the curative powers of yoga, Guruji opened the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute at his home in Lakshmipuram in 1948. Over the years, Guruji successfully treated cases of diabetes, asthma, polio, heart disease and even leprosy with yoga therapy.

In the early 1970’s, the first western students began to arrive in Mysore to study with Guruji in his small yoga shala. One of his students, David Williams, invited Guruji to Encinitas, California in 1975. He made fifteen subsequent trips to the U.S. over the next thirty years as Ashtanga yoga evolved from a little known counterculture activity to a popular practice done by thousands of people all over the world.

Guruji taught yoga with great passion, joy, humor and wisdom for 70 years, retiring due to ill health in 2007, two years before his passing. He was, without a doubt, one of the most knowledgeable and influential yoga teachers of the last century. His teaching has inspired and influenced the way yoga is taught and practiced all over the world.

As a celebration of Guruji’s legacy, we have gathered together some of his senior western students for the Ashtanga Yoga Confluence. Each of these teachers has received a thorough transmission of the Ashtanga yoga lineage from Guruji, filtered it through their own experience and developed a unique way of transmitting his teaching, like different streams from the same source.