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Let's Breath Together

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Yoga at Home
Shri K. Pattabhi Jois

Shri Krishna Pattabhi Jois was born on the full moon of July 1915, Guru Purnima Day. The village of his ancestors, Kowshika, near Hassan in the state of Karnataka, is inhabited by about 500 people and has a main road. On one side of the road is a Vishnu temple, right next to Pattabhi Jois's house. Further on, at the end of the road, just 100 meters away, is a small temple of Ganapati and just opposite a temple of Siva. Both date back several hundred years and are the center of the village.

Pattabhi Jois's father was an astrologer and priest, who acted as a pujari for many village families. From an early age, like most Brahmin boys, Pattabhi Jois was taught the Vedas and Hindu rituals.

When Guruji was 12, he attended a yoga class at his high school in Hassan. The next day he went to meet the great yogi who had done the show, a man named Shri T. Krishnamacharya who had been taught yoga for almost eight years by his guru, Rama Mohan Brahmachari, in a cave in Tibet. For the next two years, Guruji was taught daily by his guru. When Guruji was 14 years old, he was initiated into the Brahmanical ceremony of the thread. Krishnamacharya left Hassan to travel and teach, and Guruji left his village to go to Mysore.

Guruji wanted to take Sanskrit classes at Mysore University. With two rupees in his pocket, he left with two friends. They traveled by bicycle for more than 100 kilometers, through dirt roads. For the first year or two, his life was very difficult. With very little money, he asked for food in various Brahman houses. Guruji attended classes and completed his studies. Then, around 1930, he went to a yoga show and saw that it was his guru. He presented himself in front of him with respect, restarting their relationship and Guruji his yoga apprenticeship.

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