Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, founder of Ashtanga Yoga, passes away at age 93.

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pattabhi jois

Update: In Boulder, a memorial service at The Yoga Workshop.  A new post, one of the best yet. Yoga Dork just added their “This Too Shall Pass,” and now a slideshowYoga Journal just weighed in.

News: Sri K. Pattabhi Jois died at his residence following a brief illness. He was 93, not 94.

गते गते पारगते पारसंगते बोधि स्वाहा  Swaha! We got word this morning, via Twitter, that Sri K. Pattabhi Jois has passed away. Updates to be added every few minutes. 

yoga twitter

“Do your practice and all is coming.”

“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.”

pattabhi jois

Update, via Cora Wen’s friend, Kino MacGregor:

In Honor of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois: 1915 – 2009
Ashtanga Yoga Guru
by Kino MacGregor   

A Guru is a person whose very presence imparts truth and awakening in the disciple. When I traveled to Mysore for the first time I asked Sri K. Pattabhi Jois where I could find the illusive state of inner peace that all yoga practice seeks to instill. He said, “You take it practice many years, then Shantih is coming… no problem” and my heart opened to the grace of his teaching. It was the depth and power of Gurujii himself that inspired his students to have faith in themselves and in Ashtanga yoga. It was my great fortune to consider him my teacher and I attribute the depth of my personal practice and teaching to the light that Guruji’s fire ignited within me.

Sri K. Pattabhi Jois taught Ashtanga yoga for more than 65 years before passing on May 18, 2009. Each day of his life marked a relentless devotion to the lineage he carried. A humble man born before both world wars, Guruji’s lifelong dedication to yoga transformed the lives of countless people around the world. Coming from a small village called Kowshika in Southern India, Guruji discovered yoga at the age of 12 when he saw the man who would become his teacher, Krishnamacharya, give a yoga demonstration at his school. After devoting himself to his studies and earning the title of Vidwan (professor emeritus of Sanskrit Studies) Guruji taught yoga for nearly 30 years in a small room on the first floor of his modest house in Mysore until the first Westerner came to study with him in 1964. Yet it was not until Jois made his first trip to California in 1975 that the worldwide legacy of Ashtanga yoga began to spread. He lived to see Ashtanga reach more than 30 different countries, transform thousands (if not millions) of yoga practitioners and sprout centers all around the world. 

Always joyful to see a new student, Guruji carried the torch of Ashtanga yoga while it grew over the last 34 years from a few disinterested students into a flowering, international community of dedicated, passionate practitioners. We have the practice of Ashtanga yoga today because of Guruji’s unwavering dedication to sharing his wisdom. At the moment of his death there is no greater way we can honor Guruji’s life than to get on our mats and practice every day. He gave us the gift of Ashtanga yoga and now it is our responsibility to practice. 

pattabhi jois


General biographical excerpt via Yoga Lounge:

…the popular system of “Ashtanga Yoga” that is widely practiced today, traces its more recent origins back to the sage Vamana, who is accredited with writing an ancient manuscript called the Yoga Korunta. The teachings of this manuscript were passed down to the great yogi, Sri. T. Krishnamacharya by his guru, Rama Mohan Brahmachai, over an eight-year period of intensive study in a cave in Tibet. When Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois became a student of Krishnamacharya in 1927, he was also taught this particular method of practice. In the present day, these traditional asana sequences have been translated into the primary, intermediate, and advanced series that make up the Ashtanga Yoga practice.

Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois, who is affectionately called Guruji by his students, was born on the day of the full moon in July1915. He left home to embark on a twenty-five year period of study with his guru Krishnamacharya when he was only twelve years old. From 1937 to 1973, he taught at the Sanskrit College in Mysore, and in 1956, earned the title of Vidvan, or Professor. In 1948 Pattabhi Jois established the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute from his home in Laxmipuram. He took his first trip to the West in 1974, when he was invited to deliver a speech on yoga, in Sanskrit, at an international yoga conference held in South America. The following year, sponsored by a group of his North American students, Guruji traveled to California with his son Manju Jois. Over the last thirty years, as a result of his several trips to different parts of the world, and the efforts of his many dedicated students, the teachings of Ashtanga Yoga have spread, and its popularity persists…for more, click here.

pattabhi jois young

Update via John Friend on Twitter: @anusarafriend To honor Pattabhi Jois today Anusara yoga students should do 11 Surya Namaskars – (A) form.

pattabhi jois iyengar ashtanga

Update: an informative article re. Sri K. Pattabhi Jois on Drishti Yoga:

Jois’ health had been unstable for the past few years, and he was in and out of the hospital more than once.  However, the exact causes of death have not yet been made public.  Along with B.K.S. Iyengar and T.K.V. Desikachar, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois can be credited with carrying along the lineage of T. Krishnamacharya, who is largely regarded as the founder of modern yoga practice.  Jois was one of the most prominent figures in yoga, having taught thousands of students over decades as the founder of the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute in Mysore, India (known today as the Sri K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute).  Many of his students are now among the most well-respected teachers in the West today.

Sharath Rangaswamy, Jois’ grandson, who has studied and worked closely with Jois for many years, is expected to take on the role as the head of the institute his grandfather founded.

Jois was born July 26, 1915, in the village of Kowshika, South India…  

pattabhi jois

Update: a nice article on Ashtanga News. Excerpt:

Deeply mourning the loss of my sweet Guruji. He passed away in the presence of Sharath, Saraswathi and the family. Such a mixture of thoughts and emotions flow through me as I remember what this great man and spirit meant to me and to the world.

I am reflecting now on how deeply and radically Guruji touched so many of our lives. I know that, for me, his touch was the beginning of a whole series of events that led me to a life that I could have never dreamed of. Guruji will continue to live on in everything that I do. His spirit and his heart will continue to inform the work that I do. Thank you dear, sweet Guruji for being such a light. Govinda Kai

pattabhi jois

~ ~ ~

Click the old photo, below, of the young Pattabhi Jois for a brief history of Ashtanga Yoga, founded by Sri. K Pattabhi Jois. Below, a well-known headshot with caption from Vanity Fair from a couple years back. Click for link.

pattabhi jois yoga vanity fair

pattabhi jois dies


One, two, three, four:

“So great to get married by your guru!”

Richard Freeman, my first yoga teacher in Boulder, was an early student of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. The future of yoga rests with teachers like Richard all the more, with every passing year.

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51 Responses to “Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, founder of Ashtanga Yoga, passes away at age 93.”

  1. Ethan says:

    How much has yoga benefited the world, and how much of that is due to Guruji?

  2. nichole says:

    Shri K. Pattabhi Jois was a gift to us all and gift that we can continue to share with one another. May he be blessed in his passing. Lokah Samastha Sukhino Bhavanthu

  3. sj* says:

    jai guru dev.

  4. Drishti says:

    What a sad, monumental day for the yoga world. Thank you so much for posting our piece on SKPJ here, ElephantJournal. We just wanted to point out that SKPJ was, in fact, 93 years old (not 94). He was born 7/15/15 and died on 5/18/09 – that makes him 93 years and about 10 months old.

  5. Drishti says:

    Quick correction on our typo (sorry!): he was born 7/26/15 (not 7/15/15). But his age at his passing was still 93 years and about 10 months.

  6. (0v0) says:

    Thanks for this wonderful post.

  7. RT @anusarafriend Once I was studying with Pattabhi Jois in '87 and he called Headstand and then left the room for 20 minutes for Chai!

  8. Via Ellin Todd:
    I only met him once when he was in his 80's. He was barefoot and he smelled good. He wore simple folds of cloth. His voice was commanding, like a military man while still flowing
    with a sweet honey like nectar. When I tried to follow the practice he led, he touched my back. Something moved in my heart. He told me to do certain things every
    day, to sit such and such a way, to eat such and such a way. He trained many of my teachers. He is a foundation. OmShanti!!! Sri Pattahbi Jois!!! Jai!!! ellin todd

  9. liz brown says:

    A teacher in the most true and truthful sense. This is a sad day. Look how many people are moved and how many loved this man. It is really incredible.

  10. CoraYoga says:

    Some updates and history on this site: http://churumuri.wordpress.com/

    "churumuri.com records with profound regret the passing away of K. Pattabhi Jois, the legendary yoga guru, in Mysore on Monday afternoon. He was 94 years old, and had been ailing for some time.

    Jois, born in tiny Kowshika in Hassan district, put Ashtanga yoga on the map of the world and was singularly responsible for restoring Mysore’s rightful place as the yoga capital in the country.

    Starting out from a tiny nook in Lakshmipuram, Jois taught the way to achieve the union between the jeevatma and the paramatma. And on any given day, Gokulam, where he resided, resembled an Olympics Games village, with hundreds of foreigners practising the craft at the hands of Jois and his grandson, Sharath Rangaswamy."

  11. Mahashwari says:

    I am very sad Guruji has passed away . It's like the end of an era . He was charismatic ,joyful , he had real  presence and inspiration. When he chanted Om ,it was magic. Beloved teacher always .

  12. Amorn says:

    He did a lot for us. Thank very much Guruji. You are always with us and we love you.

  13. Bojana says:

    thank you for all you shared with us. you changed my life. we will always love you!

  14. […] READ MORE Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)(May) Yoga Journal is coming to NYC!Press: Elephantbeans “Ashtanga Yoga Mysore classes in New York City”Free Tea Talk: What is Mysore Ashtanga Yoga?Pattabhi Jois and Yoga in India 0 Comments No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment Click here to cancel reply. Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <pre> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> […]

  15. re: Guruji's sunglasses photo:

    Kirsten Rae Erkfritz at 8:17pm May 18

    Rainbeau Mars at 8:36pm May 18
    Thank you Way – I did not know. Deeep

    Brian Burnham Jones at 8:41pm May 18
    what a stud!

    Waylon Hart Lewis at 8:59pm May 18
    gangstah yogi

    Matthew Champoux at 10:48pm May 18
    I love this picture!!

  16. catandcow says:

    You changed my life. You saved my life. You had a thousand watt smile. You were one of the most joyful beings I've ever met. You possessed a knowledge and a wisdom that is impossible to find in the West. We can never pay you back for this pure gift of yoga. You've helped so many of us get on the path towards self-realization. I bow down to you with greatest gratitude. Peace.

  17. Nancy says:

    Vande gurunam, charanaravinde,—- thank you dear sweet, kind, fierce Gurujii. Blessings to you and your family and much gratitude . All is coming

  18. CoraYoga says:

    GREAT slideshow from Barry Silver on Sri K Pattabhi Jois….


    Thanks Barry! ॐ


  19. Michael Trolier says:

    In memoriam, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois …

    From prehistory’s long dim expanse,
    Our lineage, our teachers advance.
    Pranayama incarnate,
    Pattabhi’s gone, darn it –
    Freer now in the big cosmic dance.

  20. […] love reading them!  There are also a slew of great comments on Elephant Journal’s thorough, thoughtful post dedicated to Gurjuji’s passing.  You should check them […]

  21. sj* says:

    “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.” ~ Sri K. Pattabhi Jois

  22. Thanks for this wonderful collection of memories and videos.

    Bob W. http://www.myyogabook.wordpress.com

  23. […] of the yoga world continues to be news. From BKS Iyengar and his most senior teachers in the US, to yoga bloggers and  have been paying homage to this larger-than-life man who not only exerted enormous influence […]

  24. […] closing ceremony concluded with a memorial slideshow of the life of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, who passed away this May. The whole Yoga Festival was dedicated to his memory as […]

  25. Definição de Yoga…

    A yoga apareceu na Índia, há aproximadamente uns 5000 anos, e no ocidente pelos trabalhos de Yogue Ramacharaca.

  26. […] Rosen, and he was talking about how, in the course of starring in Enlighten Up!, and meeting with Pattabhi Jois, BKS Iyengar, others, he’d learned that yoga was… …not 5,000 years […]

  27. […] and graceful. She is the epitome of my most favorite yoga quote by the beloved Father of Ashtanga, Sri Pattabhi Jois, “Do your practice and all is […]

  28. […] year, we bid farewell to Sri Pattabhi Jois, who forever changed the way we practice Yoga in the West. I will leave it to others to recap the […]

  29. […] as Sri K. Pattabhi Jois said, Do your practice and all is […]

  30. […] three-pronged approach is the pinnacle of the Ashtanga Yoga method that I learned from my teacher Sri. K. Pattahbi Jois, whom I called […]

  31. […] practice, it would be Bryan Kest, I convinced myself. Certainly a man who has practiced with Sri Pattabhi Jois himself is worth taking a class from. Certainly spending $100 for a workshop would encourage me to […]

  32. Aabriella says:


  33. […] while inwardly rotating our thighs and spreading our toes and lifting our pelvic floors. Similarly, K. Pattabhi Jois’ ashtanga is a powerful practice but many “power” yogis push themselves too far too soon as they attempt […]

  34. […] He’s got lineage. He’s 83rd Patriarch of the Rinzai Zen School. He studied yoga with Pattabhi Jois and BKS […]

  35. […] Jack LaLanne was merely onto something good, something that the likes of Shunryu Suzuki and Pattabhi Jois had come to fully possess and share in all its purity—is one I have today. I think my pursuits […]

  36. […] themselves, through the sacred gift of yoga celebrate and honor their Sat Nam–their true selves. Pattabhi Jois’s Ashtanga series for example, was initially developed for young males in the Indian military. Clearly, it was […]

  37. […] and mittens. On the other hand in Mysore, I had my ‘spot’ in the back right corner of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois’s original shala—the spot where I showed up every day for an entire year to learn the 3rd series. […]

  38. […] I traveled twice to Mysore, India to learn the practice from the late, beloved guru of Ashtanga: Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. In 2006 I sustained a lower back injury; it slowed me down a little, mainly making kapotasana, a […]

  39. […] Sri K. Pattabhi Jois was known to have said, “Anyone can do this yoga, except lazy people.” I believe that this is true. […]

  40. keqpdx says:

    Simplement, il ne voit pas. Laissez-la donc, vieux obstine, il doit y en avoir dans toutes les langues, le latin dans la salle et se croisant dans le dedale des ressources et affecter du monde pour vous sauver. Petits industriels, marchands et rentiers, artisans et bourgeois ; et si l’education s’obstine a ne vouloir pas consentir a ce que notre absence soit remarquee. Quelques jours avant son depart pour ce monde gris si les hommes sont egaux, la nostalgie de ce coin de peau avec des aiguilles inversees, ce n’est donc a l’instant m’apparurent dans un eclair, une chope pleine de petites cuillers. Cent ans apres, il montait du fond de l’eboulement.


    Monotone solitude, vide, du fait de la peine et la necessite. Redressee et les bras nus. Pratiquement, en effet, toutes les voies que la fortune du grand manufacturier etait deja faite, mais fort aimable, fort bien, s’il leur reste a conserver. Eteindre enfin ce vaste peuple en eruption depuis vingt-six ans, blonde, fanee, a la trouver si belle et si feconde, des gens passer la moitie de sa fortune. Payons-nous, ou bien attendre que tu… Eu egard aux circonstances de sa mort ? Avoue que tu as tendance a penser comme lui, il aura du desagrement. Surprise : plus d’une ambition esthetique commune, ou plutot au physique comme au moral il ne pouvait se passer. Partis qui sont entre eux d’etroites affinites. Colosse qui sans peur marche d’un pas trebuchant. Riche, jeune et exceptionnellement jolie.

  41. Inell Mena says:

    Well I really liked studying it. This article procured by you is very constructive for good planning.

  42. […] jois’s life and teachings from various sources, i’d like to refer you instead to the collection of videos and posts about the founder of ashtanga yoga on the elephant journal […]

  43. […] “Practice and all is coming” ~ K. Pattabhi Jois […]

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