Yoga History

AYC ’13: The love for and legacy of Pattabhi Jois

Source: Tumblr

Source: Tumblr

By the end of the 3.5 day Confluence, it was exceptionally clear how much of an impact Guruji made on the senior teachers and yoga as a whole. Through his compassion and dedication to teaching, he’s handed down an amazing tool in the genius that is the ashtanga system as well as an attitude and mindset that continues to be carried forward from teacher to student.

These were some of my favorite quotes:

Yoga was inclusive

  • Guruji was fearless in encouraging women to carry on. To him, all people are equal. – Dena
  • He had a way to make everyone feel loved and included. – David
  • He wanted everyone to do yoga because he wanted to help people. Because of him, yoga is a household word. – Nancy

Guruji’s passion for teaching

  • Guruji loved to teach. It pained him to take days off. – Tim
  • He was always there, always present. Even in his final years when he could barely hold his head up. Teaching was like investing in the yoga family – his yoga children. – Dena
  • He inspired people to practice and have joy in yoga. – David

Guruji’s compassion, dedication and belief in the practice

  • He had faith in the efficiency of the practice. As long as you were breathing correctly, all will be okay. – Tim
  • He had great capacity for forgiveness. – Eddie
  • “What happened after Guruji passed, I heard his voice in my head. ‘Just practice. This practice works. It has healing powers.'” – Dena

The Mysore experience

  • “We were like monkeys, and our breath was like defecation.” Mysore was a pressure-cooking environment. – Eddie
  • Mysore encourages self-motivation while still getting personal instruction. – Tim
  • Mysore was “raw and real; not diluted.” We called the classroom “the dungeon. He worked us until we were putty or pulp and then we’d start again the next day.” – Dena
  • Guruji would tell them, “No fear. You do.” – Tim

David Swenson said, he was “the grandfather tree. When that tree fell, it created fertile ground for seedlings to grow.”

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