ashtanga at the shala
sri k. pattabhi jois was a prominent student of sri t. krishnamacharya, who is considered by many to be the father of modern yoga. in 1948, sri k. pattabhi jois opened the ashtanga yoga research institute in mysore, india, where he developed a precise, therapeutic method of yoga well-suited to students of all ages, skill levels, and states of health. the word “ashtanga” translates as “the eight-limbed path,” which is described by patanjali in the yoga sutras.
Traditionally, ashtanga is taught Mysore-style, where students work one-on-one with a teacher. the practitioner is given postures according to a rhythm that respects his/her individual abilities and requirements, with a strong emphasis on the integration of breath and movement (vinyasa). this particular approach to yogasana has gained a rather undeserved reputation as prohibitively difficult. however, the practice can be as gentle or as challenging as one chooses. when practiced correctly and consistently, this subtle and vigorous yoga brings strength and flexibility to the body, and clarity and steadiness to the mind.