“Yoga should come from Parampara, from a teacher or guru to his student, shishya.“
– Sharath Jois
The legend says that Ashtanga Yoga was transmitted from teacher to students since ancient times. This direct transmission is called Parampara. In fact, it cannot be said with certainty if there is an unbroken lineage originating thousands of years ago. What we do know is that Sri T. Krishnamacharya played an important role in creating the system we today know as Ashtanga Yoga. He did not claim, however, to have devised this system on his own, but instead read about it in the legendary book Yoga Korunta which was purportedly written by the great sage Vamana Rishi.
However, Ashtanga Yoga was shaped into its current form by one of Krishnamacharya’s students, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. He had studied with Krishnamacharya when he was fourteen and for about 25 years. In 1948 he established the K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute (KPJAYI) in Mysore.
Sri K. Pattabhi Jois tought yoga uninterruptedly for seventy years, until the age of ninety- one. After his death (May 18, 2009), his grandson R. Sharath Jois took over responsibility for the KPJAYI. Sharath Jois began his formal practice with Guruji when he was fourteen and was assist Guruji for nineteen years. He is now the director of the KPJAYI.
Nowadays, more students than ever before come to the KPJAYI each year to study there. More about the lineage of Ashtanga Yoga can be found here.