Yogacharaya Shri Krishna Pattabhi Jois
Yogacharaya Shri Krishna Pattabhi Jois, fondly known as Guruji, was born during a full moon in July, 1915, in India’s southern state of Karnataka. As a Brahmin, Guruji started his study of the Vedas and Hindu rituals at the age of five. At 12, Guruji became inspired by the distinguished yogi Sri T. Krishnamacharya, and avidly sought his guidance. Unbeknownst to his family, Guruji trekked daily before school to learn from Krishnamacharya the tradition of Ashtanga yoga.
After completing his Brahmin thread ceremony at 14, Guruji studied at the Sanskrit University of Mysore. In 1937, while still a student, the Maharaja of Mysore ordered Guriji to teach yoga at the University. In compliance with his request, Guruji established and led the Sanskrit University’s first yoga department.
Guruji grew to consider his life work teaching the yoga tradition of Krishnamacharya. In 1948, Guruji established the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute in his home in Lakshmipuram. The Institute thrived as it attracted people from all walks of life who enjoyed the healing effects of Ashtanga yoga. In the 1970’s, Guruji’s teachings spread past India as he travelled abroad to the West, giving yoga demonstrations in many European countries as well as the United States. Throughout the next 20 years, the popularity of Ashtanga increased exponentially around the globe, even attracting celebrity practitioners like Madonna and Sting.
Guruji passed away in May, 2009 at the age of 93, leaving his Institute to his daughter and grandson. It is through Guruji’s undying devotion to yoga and to teaching that the renowned tradition of Krishnamacharya lives on today.
“Yoga is possible for anybody who really wants it. Yoga is universal…. But don’t approach yoga with a business mind looking for worldly gain.
“Yoga is 99% practice and 1% theory.”
“If we practice the science of yoga, which is useful to the entire human community and which yields happiness both here and hereafter – if we practice it without fail, we will then attain physical, mental and spiritual happiness, and our minds will flood towards the Self.”
“Yoga is not easy!”
“Practice and all is coming.”
“Body is not stiff. Mind is stiff.”
“You can take practice. Don’t talk.”
“Yoga is for internal cleansing, not external exercising. Yoga means true self-knowledge.”
“Discipline means you can take yoga practice. Stamina comes first in the body. Strength comes first in the body. Body means there are three types of body: external body, internal body, spiritual body. Those are the three types of body strength.”
“Breathing is very important. Without breathing, the spiritual mind and body are not coming. There is a method to breathing. That is Vinyasa.”