Our Lineage

R. Sharath Jois and Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in Mysore, in 1997.  This was one of the early test photos taken for the English edition of Yoga Mala by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. Photo by Stephan Crasneanscki / Used with permission: Eddie Stern

R. Sharath Jois and Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in Mysore, in 1997.  This was one of the early test photos taken for the English edition of Yoga Mala by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois.

Photo by Stephan Crasneanscki / Used with permission: Eddie Stern

 
Krishnamacharya with some of his students at the Mysore Palace - he is standing on a young K. Pattabhi Jois

Krishnamacharya with some of his students at the Mysore Palace - he is standing on a young K. Pattabhi Jois

 

The modern lineage of Ashtanga yoga dates back to the 1920s, when the the famed yogi T. Krishnamacharya began teaching yoga at the Royal Palace in Mysore, India.  

One of Krishnamacharya's students was a boy named Krishna Patthabhi Jois, who, so taken was he with the practice of yoga he had seen in a demonstration, left his village at the age of twelve to join Krishnamacharya in Mysore to study under him.  

Jois stayed with his guru for some two decades and learned the entire Ashtanga system.  Once Jois had completed his studies, Krishnamacharya entrusted him with teaching the practice according to the way he had been taught.

Over the next 65 years, Pattabhi Jois — "Guruji" as he eventually came to be known to his many thousands of students — taught the practice daily from his home in Mysore to all who cared to learn it.  In the 1970s, Guruji accepted his first Western students and traveled to the United States to teach.  Subsequently, he travelled to many countries on tours.  Through his tireless efforts, Ashtanga yoga is now known and practiced worldwide.

Currently, the Ashtanga system of yoga is preserved and maintained by the Jois family, notably Guruji's grandson, Paramaguru Sharath Jois, and Sharath's mother, Saraswati, along with a number of Guruji's most senior students.  

Sharath is currently the foremost authority on Ashtanga yoga and its primary teacher.  For many years, Sharath assisted Guruji in teaching; following Guruji’s passing in 2009 at the age of 93, Sharath assumed directorship of the Sri K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute (KPJAYI). He continues to teach in the tradition of his grandfather.