Ashtanga Yoga is an ancient system of yoga that was taught by Vamana Rishi in the Yoga Korunta. This text was imparted to Shri T. Krishnamacharya in the early 1900’s by his Guru Rama Mohan Brahmachari, and was later passed down to Shri. K Pattabhi Jois(1915-2009), during the duration of his studies with Krishnamacharya, beginning in 1927. Shri K Pattabhi Jois affectionately know as Guruji founded the Shri K Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute in Mysore, India in 1948 and through the institute and his trips abroad the promise of Ashtanga Yoga began to spread to the world. His life was dedicated to the study, practice and transmission of Ashtanga Yoga and today Sharath Jois, Guruji’s grandson directs the institute and continues to share his legacy. http://kpjayi.org/
Traditional practice taught in a mysore style format always remains the same, whereby one begins with Surya Namaskar and concludes with Padmasana and rest, and the various asanas gradually fill the space between the two poles. Learning yoga in this setting is incredibly beneficial allowing the student to gain confidence and independence in their sadhana(spiritual practice) and as a result the student comes to know themselves on a deeper level physically, mentally, psychologically and spiritually. Learning in a traditional environment allows the student not to get ahead of themselves but instead take ownership and responsibility for their learning and progress at an appropriate pace. As a result practice can be insightful and transformative, posing and answering many valuable questions as time passes and steadiness develops.
Yoga can be practiced by anyone, whether young, old, very old, healthy or sick. Even so, the way in which a young person is taught will differ in manner from the way in which an old or sick person will be taught. Therefore, each student must be considered as an individual and taught at a pace that is suitable for their situation in life. By learning in a self practice format the teacher and student forge a relationship that can support the greatest potential growth and harmony. Guruji would always say the only person that cannot learn yoga is the lazy person for the practice and the path to self-transfomation takes commitment, dedication and hard work.