Sri Krishna Pattabhi Jois was born on Guru Purnima in 1915 in the village of Kowshika, near Hassan, Karnataka, South India. Jois currently teaches yoga at his school, the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute, in Mysore, India.
In 1927, at the age of 12, Jois attended a lecture and demonstration in Hassan by S. T. Krishnamacharya and the very next day became his student -the beginning of 25 years of study with Krishnamacharya.
In 1929, Jois ran away from home to Mysore to study Sanskrit. Around the same time Krishnamacharya departed Hassan to teach elsewhere. Two years later, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois was reunited with Krishnamacharya, who had also made his way to Mysore. It is said that during this time, the Maharaja of Mysore, Krishna Rajendra Wodeyar, had become seriously ill and that Krishnamacharya had healed him, through yoga, where others had failed. In gratitude, the Maharaja became Krisnamacharya’s patron and established a Yoga shala for him on the palace grounds. Krishnamacharya remained in Mysore with Jois until 1941, when he left for Madras after the death of the Maharaja.
Sri K. Pattabhi Jois remained in Mysore and married a young woman named Savitramma (but came to be known as Amma), in a love match, on the full moon of June 1937 when Jois was 22 years old. In 1948 they, with the help of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois’ students, purchased a home in the section of town called Lakshmipuram; where they lived with their children Saraswati, Manju and Ramesh.
Sri K. Pattabhi Jois held a teaching position in Yoga at the Sanskrit College for many years, and in 1956 he became a professor. In 1948, he established the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute at their new home in Lakshmipuram.
In 1964, a Belgian named Andre van Lysbeth spent two months with Jois learning the primary and intermediate asanas of the Ashtanga Yoga system. Not long afterwards, van Lysbeth wrote a book called Pranayama which mentioned Jois and included his address. This marked the beginning of westerners coming to Mysore to study yoga.
In 1958, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois began writing Yoga Mala. It was published in India in 1962 and first published in English in 1999.
Sri K. Pattabhi Jois continues to teach at the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute in Mysore, now located in the neighborhood of Gokulum, with his daughter Saraswati and his grandson Sharath.
Jois’ yoga shala attracts thousands of foreign yoga students every year. They come to practice in his presence, and to have the opportunity to learn from a master.