Sri K. Pattahbi Jois

A student of Krishnamacharya, Sri K Pattahbi Jois developed the tradition of Ashtanga Yoga and is among one of the teachers credited with bringing Yoga to the West. From an early age he was tutored under Krischnamacharya and studied with him for over 23 years, studying texts such as the Yoga Sutras and the Upanishads.

Another key influence on his teachings was the Yoga Korunta, an ancient text which Krishnamacharya began researching and was taught to him by his own teacher Rama Mohan Brahmachari in the Himalayas. The teaching contains an entire system of practices like Pranayama, Bandhas, (core muscular and energetic locks) and Dristi (points where the eyes should focus) along with asanas (poses/postures) and vinyasa (the system of linking breath and movement). It was this system that Jois passed onto his own students and is widely thought to have been the source of Ashtanga Yoga.

To this system Jois introduced Surya Namaskara A & B at the beginning of the asana practice of Ashtanga Yoga, sequences believed to have been referenced from other ancient texts studied by Jois during his teachings. He documented the practice of Ashtanga Yoga in his book ‘Yoga Mala’.

Sri K Pattahbi Jois founded the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute, which was renamed as the K Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute (KPJAYI) by his grandson Sharath who took over as the Director after he passed away in 2009.

N.B This is just a short extract of the history of Sri K Pattahbi Jois and by no means an exhaustive biography.