The first experience I had with Ashtanga yoga was two years ago in a studio just north of Toronto. Every Tuesday & Thursday evening, a popular instructor from the city taught beginner and intermediate level classes to a growing community.
For ninety minutes, I was in a room with thirty-nine other deep breathing yogis, immersed in a set sequence of flows and poses made popular by the beloved Guru of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, Shri K. Pattabhi Jois. Little did I know that learning this practice two years ago would change the way I looked at myself, and at the world around me. That this practice is a way of life for many yogis across the world and would build diligence and patience to those who practiced steadily.
Ashtanga yoga was designed to be practiced daily. Every instructor I’ve had emphasizes it is important not to focus on the progression through the sequences as a measure of one’s success in the practice. The beauty of Ashtanga yoga is that the goal is to achieve improved health, clarity of mind, and above all else, contentment.
Pattabhi Jois, the Guruji of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, passed away in Mysore, India on May 18, 2009 at the age of 93. Respected and well known around the world, Pattabhi Jois touched everyone he met with his inspiring devotion to the practice he made so popular since he began his own yoga journey at the age of 12. Teaching for seventy years, Pattabhi Jois’ legacy in the yoga community will remain as a testament to the selfless dedication the practice embodies in its practitioners.