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Ashtanga Yoga is a traditional method, originating from southern India, in which asanas are performed by coordinating breath and movement in specific sequences that involve a given number of Vinyasa and precise alignment criteria (physical and subtle energetic). It is a dynamic practice which, experienced in everyday life, manages to deeply purify body and mind, healing and strengthening them.

Aṣṭāṅga is a Sanskrit word composed of astau (eight) and anga (limbs, branches, stages) and is directly connected to the Yoga philosophy that Patanjali illustrates in the reference text of the Yoga Sutras (Aphorisms on Yoga).

In the second chapter of this work (Sādhana Pāda) it is described how to practically follow the path towards Samādhi (union of the meditator with the object of meditation) through Aṣṭāṅga Yoga.

Let's start by practicing Asana and Pranayama  

with determination, devotion, discipline and dedication.

Cultivating joy and without attachment to the result

this wonderful practice manifests itself

in all his Asht-anga

banner 8 branches yogashalapg.png
Parampara,   the lineage

All traditional yoga schools refer to a lineage as the element on which the transmission of knowledge is based, and it is a vertical transmission, from Master to Master. Without having studied with a Guru, spiritual knowledge, different from technical knowledge, cannot reach the student. Far from our way of understanding knowledge, considered as something to possess or dispose of at will, the Parampara can be considered with devotion as an ancient line of transmission of which we are part and without which we would not be here to practice.

ST Krishnamacharya
Yogashalapg - S.T. Krishnamacharya

Generally, the lineage of Ashtanga Yoga is traced back to the spiritual master ST Krishnamacharya, himself a student of Yogeshwara Ramamohana Brahmachar.

Through the lost text Yoga Korunta, written by Vamana Rishi, the teachings and yogic techniques were transmitted to Krishnamacharya and later to SKPattabhi Jois, who claimed that the ancient text described all the asanas and Vinyasas of the system sequences he created learned.

In 1934 Krishnamacharya wrote Yoga Makaranda in which many of the asanas were described along with the Vinyasa system; they were later reworked in the teaching of SK Pattabhi Jois who called the Ashtanga Yoga system.

Guruji SK Pattabhi Jois
Yogashalapg - Shri Krishna Pattabhi Jois - S.K.Pattabhi Jois

Shri Krishna Pattabhi Jois was born in July 1915, on the day of Guru Purnima (festival of the Masters). Son of a Brahmin astrologer, he learned the Vedas (revealed sacred texts) and Hindu rituals from an early age.

At the age of 12 he attended a Yoga demonstration held by STKrishnamacharya and from that moment he began to follow him to study with him every day for two years. After the Thread Ceremony (initiation into spiritual life, in which one is born for the second time) he left his village of origin at the age of fourteen to go and study Sanskrit at the University of Mysore. In 1932 he met STKrishnamacharya again and resumed his interrupted studies with him, following him for another 25 years.

In those years SKPattabhi Jois met the Maharaja of Mysore who called him to perform Yoga demonstrations in the shala of the royal palace and appointed him professor of Sanskrit and Yoga at the University.

After retiring from the University in 1973, SKPattabhi Jois passed on the spiritual legacy of STKrishnamacharya, promoting the knowledge of Ashtanga Yoga in the West and continuing with his teaching in Mysore, first in the Lakshmipuram shala and later in Gokulam. He leaves his body on May 18, 2009 at the age of 93.
Thanks to the latter, it spread to women and to the West; to this day the spiritual legacy of SKPattabhi Jois is carried on by his grandson R. Sharat Jois, his eldest son Manju Jois and his daughter Saraswati Jois.

Sharathji Jois
Yogashalapg - Rangaswamy Sharath Jois - R. Sharath Jois 

SharathJi, Master with whom we study, is the grandson of SKPattabhi Jois, son of Saraswathi Rangaswamy.

At the age of 7 he began to experiment with the practice of asana until he was 19, the age at which he began practicing Ashtanga Yoga regularly. He trained immediately by assisting his grandfather in the Shala of Lakshmipuram every day for many years, remaining in Mysore together with his mother Saraswathi and sister Sharmila. Already director of KPJAYI in the last years of GuruJi's life, upon the death of his grandfather he took up his legacy, becoming a world reference point in Mysore for the study of Ashtanga in its most traditional form and was the only one to grant authorization to teaching according to this lineage. To date, SharathJi welcomes many practitioners from all over the world to study with him in Mysore in the new spacious Shala of the Sharath Yoga Center SYC.

Manju P. Jois
Yogashalapg - Manju Pattabhi Jois - Manju P. Jois

He is the eldest son of SKPattabhi Jois. He learned this form of Yoga from his father and already at the age of 7 he followed his morning lessons before school.

Manju began teaching at the age of 15 together with her father, with whom she spread Ashtanga in the United States starting in 1975; today he travels all over the world to transmit this traditional form of Yoga, reworked according to his profound experience .

Practice, an idea through words

Ashtanga Yoga is described by many as a meditation in movement and can be practiced by everyone, regardless of age, social background, belief or gender. The only truly discriminating factor is the will, which sometimes manifests itself immediately, others comes with time. Practicing itself creates the conditions so that the qualities of will and tenacity, already present in everyone, are constantly watered, allowing the body to be healthy and the mind to be stable.

The sound breathing , the heart of this practice, warms the body and muscles, the bandhas (control of some muscle groups) support the asanas together with the drishti ( gaze that is directed to a specific point) which increases concentration ( dharana ). Physiologically, during the practice, circulation is stimulated in all organs and tissues, particularly in the joints, and the blood is more oxygenated, with great benefits for cellular metabolism. Intense sweating is the result of the profound process of purification of the entire body-mind system through movement in the breath.

The practice at any level, adapted to the possibilities of each one, becomes a beautiful dance of the body to the rhythm of the breath and comparing this practice to the composition of a perfect necklace, the postures are the beads and the three techniques ( ujjayi, bandha, drishti ) the thread that unites them.

The path of profound transformation that this practice can trigger is the result of a two-way dance, in which both parties are involved in intense work: the teacher with his experience, support and clear vision, the student with his indispensable intelligence, awareness and desire to improve. A unique opportunity for growth, in trust and mutual respect.

The mantras, that is, what we chant at the beginning and at the end of the practice

The opening mantra of Ashtanga Yoga is how one traditionally begins the practice; while the second verse is common to schools that follow the teachings of ST Krishnamacharya, the first verse is sung only by the Ashtanga school.

The text is a dedication of one's personal practice to the Masters (Gurus) in general and to Patanjali in particular, considered a personification (avatar) of the god Visnu. The singing of the opening mantra represents the dedication of the commitment put into practice to something more than one's own ego, it connects us with the roots of the knowledge transmitted so that we can practice every movement and breath in depth and awareness.

The closing mantra is chanted individually in the Mysore class at the end of one's practice, conducted at one's own pace. It is a wish that the single and collective energy activated is directed towards the well-being of the human race and the happiness of all beings.


Yogashalapg - Ashtanga Yoga Perugia - Opening Mantra


Vande gurunaam chaaranara vinde /

Sandar shita svaatma sukhava bhode /

Nih sreyase jaangali kayamane /

Samsara haalaahala mohashantye //

Abahu purusha karam /

Shankha chakraasi dharinam /

Sahasra shirasam shvetam /

Pranamaami patanjalim /


I bow before the lotus feet of our supreme Master,
that reveals to us our true self and the joy of awakening

Like a healer in the jungle he brings us a total state of well-being.

He even knows how to defeat the dangerous poison of conditioned existence and illusion. The upper part of the human-looking body carries with it a conch shell (original sound), a disc of fire (Infinity) and a sword (power of discrimination)I bow to Patanjali,
with 1000 dazzling heads.



Yogashalapg - Ashtanga Yoga Perugia - Closing mantra


Swasti prajaabyham paripaala yantaam /

Jnaayena maargena mahiim mahimshaam /

Go braahmanebhyach shubhamastu nityam /

Lokhaa samastaa sukhino bhavantu //

Om shantih shantih shantihi


May the well-being of all mankind be protected,

by strong and powerful leaders in the most just, equitable way.

May success be with the deities and sages - scholars, scholars (braahmanebhyach),

May all the worlds (lokha) become happy (sukhino).

Om peace, peace, peace.


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