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About Guruji K Pattabhi Jois

Guruji K Pattabhi Jois, affectionately known as Guruji, was a prominent yoga master who played a vital role in popularizing Ashtanga Yoga globally. His teachings and dedication to the practice of yoga have inspired countless practitioners around the world.

Guruji K Pattabhi Jois is widely recognized for his role in bringing Ashtanga Yoga to the forefront of the modern yoga movement. He is renowned for his disciplined and traditional approach to teaching, emphasizing the importance of daily practice and dedication. Guruji K Pattabhi Jois’s dynamic and physically demanding asana sequences have attracted students seeking a challenging and transformative yoga experience. His dedication to the practice and lineage of Ashtanga Yoga has left a lasting impact on the world of yoga.

Guruji was known for his joyful and enthusiastic teaching style, often exclaiming “Ekam!” (meaning “one”) to guide students during the practice.

History of Guruji
K Pattabhi Jois:

Guruji K Pattabhi Jois was born on July 26, 1915, in the village of Kowshika, Karnataka, India. He began studying yoga at the young age of 12 under the guidance of Sri T. Krishnamacharya, an esteemed yoga master. After years of dedicated practice and study, Guruji established the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute in Mysore, India, in 1948. He remained the director of the institute until his passing in 2009. Throughout his life, Guruji K Pattabhi Jois dedicated himself to preserving and sharing the traditional teachings of Ashtanga Yoga.


Guruji K Pattabhi Jois’s teachings centered on Ashtanga Yoga, an ancient system of yoga that emphasizes synchronizing breath with a progressive series of postures. Ashtanga Yoga consists of six series of asana sequences, each building upon the previous one. The practice of Ashtanga Yoga focuses on the purification of the body and mind through a disciplined and consistent practice. Guruji K Pattabhi Jois’s Ashtanga Yoga is often referred to as “Mysore style,” where students practice at their own pace while receiving personalized guidance and adjustments from the teacher.

Incorporation of Props and Pranayama:

Guruji K Pattabhi Jois’s traditional approach to Ashtanga Yoga did not involve the use of props during the asana practice. His method focused on building strength, flexibility and concentration through the systematic practice of the postures. However, Guruji emphasized the importance of pranayama, the practice of breath control, as an essential aspect of yoga. Pranayama techniques were integrated into the Ashtanga Yoga practice, promoting breath awareness and vitality.

As a devoted disciple of Sri T. Krishnamacharya, Guruji K Pattabhi Jois inherited the teachings of pranayama and incorporated specific techniques into his Ashtanga Yoga practice. Pranayama was practiced during the opening and closing sequences of the Ashtanga practice to establish a connection between breath and movement. Guruji K Pattabhi Jois believed that pranayama was integral to purifying the energy channels (nadis) and calming the mind, preparing the practitioner for meditation.

Book on Guruji K Pattabhi Jois's Teaching:

Although Guruji K Pattabhi Jois did not author any books himself, his teachings were passed down through generations of students and are documented in various publications. One of the most influential books on Ashtanga Yoga is “Yoga Mala,” a compilation of his teachings and insights as recounted to his student Shri R. Sharath Jois, who later became the director of the KPJAYI (K. Guruji K Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute) in Mysore. “Yoga Mala” provides a detailed description of the Ashtanga Yoga practice and philosophy, offering valuable guidance to dedicated practitioners.

Guruji K Pattabhi Jois’s Ashtanga Yoga has gained global recognition for its dynamic and physically challenging sequences. His dedication to preserving the traditional teachings of Ashtanga Yoga attracted students from all over the world to Mysore, India, to study under his guidance. Through his tireless efforts, Ashtanga Yoga gained popularity and became a significant influence on the modern yoga scene. Today, Ashtanga Yoga continues to thrive worldwide, with dedicated practitioners following the traditional teachings of Guruji.


Guruji K Pattabhi Jois’s legacy as the Guru of Ashtanga Yoga endures as a source of inspiration for countless yoga practitioners. His traditional and disciplined approach to the practice has left a lasting impact on the global yoga community. Guruji K Pattabhi Jois’s dedication to the teachings of Ashtanga Yoga, his dynamic asana sequences, and his emphasis on breath control continue to guide and transform the lives of dedicated practitioners. The legacy of Guruji lives on through the dedication and passion of his students and teachers, who carry forth the timeless teachings of Ashtanga Yoga.

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