From the Inside Flap
Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (1915-2009) was a rare and remarkable soul who became legendary during the course of his life by virtue of great service to others. Known affectionately as Guruji, Jois founded and ran a yoga school in Mysore, India for more than sixty years. In Guruji, we follow his journey from a simple teacher of yoga in a Sanskrit college to a world-recognized authority and an inspiration to tens of thousands. We see how he trained students, many of whom have helped spread the daily practice of traditional Ashtanga yoga around the world, and we discover how Jois's method of vinyasa, which he learned from the great yogi Sri T. Krishnamacharya, has deeply influenced other forms of yoga widely practiced today. One of Jois's favorite expressions was, "Practice, practice and all is coming," and in Guruji we come to understand how the intensely physical and elaborate asana-based Ashtanga system he handed down is, in fact, a deeply spiritual discipline. And, although the commonly held idea about yogis is that they live solitary lives, Jois was a committed householder whose existence was as centered around family and home as on school and teaching. In Guruji, we learn by example about the challenges and rewards of integrating practice into lived lives.
The guru's transmission of energy and knowledge is a precept central to classical yoga. How Jois handed down teachings and values and what they were, the aspects of his personality and quality of his presence, and above all how he guided and changed so many lives through yoga--these are the subjects of Guruji. Through the words and recollections of students and close relations who knew Jois for over half a century, we are given remarkable insight into the life and mind of a dedicated yogi, an astonishing wealth of knowledge about the path of yoga, and a documentary account of how one traditional school of yoga has spread around the world. Among the thirty men and women interviewed here are Indian students from Jois's early teaching days; intrepid Americans and Europeans who traveled to Mysore to learn yoga in the 1970s; and important family members who studied as well as lived with Jois and continue to practice and teach abroad or run the Ashtanga Yoga Institute today. Many of the contributors (as well as the authors) have become influential teachers who convey their experience of Jois on a daily basis to students in many different parts of the globe. Anyone interested in the living tradition of yoga will find Guruji richly rewarding in its authenticity, in its indelible portrait of a great teacher, and in the depth of the wisdom it conveys."
About the Author
GUY DONAHAYE and EDDIE STERN became students of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in 1991. Donahaye is director of the Ashtanga Yoga Shala New York City. Stern is director of the Ashtanga Yoga New York and Sri Ganesh Temple, and copublisher and editor of Namarupa.