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Guruji: A Portrait of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois Through the Eyes of His Students

4.45  ·  Rating details ·  275 ratings  ·  28 reviews

It is a rare and remarkable soul who becomes legendary during the course of his life by virtue of great service to others. Sri K. Pattabhi Jois was such a soul, and through his teaching of yoga, he transformed the lives of countless people. The school in Mysore tha
ebook, 464 pages
Published July 20th 2010 by North Point Press (first published 2010)
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4.45  · 
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 ·  275 ratings  ·  28 reviews

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Laura Zurowski
Aug 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
As someone who didn't develop a love of Ashtanga until my early 40s, my first response to the stories in Guruji was that I had missed so such. "If only I had discovered this is college! I could have been one of those pioneering adventurers discovering and learning the practice while my body was still young with fewer aches and pains." However, regret for a past that didn't exist for me quickly gave way to a deep feeling of happiness and appreciation that such a record of the life and work of Sri ...more
Matthew Remski
May 18, 2018 rated it did not like it
Intentionally or not, this is a profoundly deceptive book.

Please Google “Yoga's Culture of Sexual Abuse: Nine Women Tell Their Stories” for a mainstream, fact-checked article featuring the testimony of nine women who report being sexually assaulted by Pattabhi Jois between 1992 and 2002 in Mysuru and around the world.
Jul 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: yoga
Just re-read this book in preparation for a book group.

Because information like this wasn't available when I started practicing, I did my best to pick it up by hearsay and from the EZBoard. To me, this book is a profound treasure-trove and I read sections of it over nd over again to absorb its inspiration.

This time around, I am struck by:

-the varying degrees of professed certainty about the tradition, throughout the text

-the different explanations subjects give for the transformative energy of
Aug 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
"That it is ultimately about being a kinder, nicer, loving person, and that should be the focus in this practice. It's not about being better than anybody else. And if you've forgotten that, please remind yourself of it. Without that, this practice has no heart, so it needs to be performed with great gratitude, great devotion, and great love and respect for the people around you, the best that you can. We are all frail, we are all human, we are all limited, and we make mistakes. But every time y ...more
Sep 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I took my time with this book and savoured every chapter. Because I'm a practitioner of Astanga Vinyasa Yoga, the method which Pattabhi Jois brought to the west, this book touched me deeply. It included stories from several senior teachers I've studied with. I never had the honour of learning of Guruji, but these stories gave me a glimpse of the man and made me feel closer to the lineage.
Sep 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: yoga
It's been a couple years since I read this, but I loved the texture of all the interviews -- and I think especially those with less well-known ashtangis. A tremendous addition to the 1 percent theory that we as ashtangis are encouraged to pursue alongside that 99 percent practice. Love that we're reading this for the Ashtanga Yoga: Ann Arbor book club with Dominic! What a treat.
Ben Truong
Nov 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, cultural
Guruji: A Portrait of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois Through the Eyes of His Students is a biography of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, a Yoga teacher, who was instrumental in the popularization of Yoga in the Western World. Guy Donahaye and Eddie Stern, students of the yogi wrote this biography.

Sri K. Pattabhi Jois was an Indian yoga teacher and Sanskrit scholar who developed and popularized the vinyāsa style of yoga referred to as Ashtanga Yoga. In 1948, he established the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute (now kn
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
For those who are taking the path of regular ashtanga yoga, this book is indispensable. Hearing from some of the top yogis in the world talk from the position of student rather than authority is a refreshing and educational experience. Highly recommend.
Kelly Ludlow
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Definitely recommend to get a history of what Pattabhi Jois was like as a teacher.

A good place to start! Lots of tangible ideas here. Especially in regards to the philosophical aspects. Also worded very accessibly.
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Forever my gūrūji.. astānga and mysore led by you brought me from the dark and into the light. Every student should read.
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
very inspirational :) thank you!
Aug 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: yoga
I love this book. It's almost over and I'm sad. I guess that reveals how attached I am. I'm reading the last pages very slowly. I'm an ashtangi and just as you practice the same poses each day, each interviewee is asked some of the same questions about their experiences with Guruji -- such as why he emphasized the asana piece of the 8 limbs so much, the role that his wife played, etc. -- the answers are fascinating and cause you to think much about the ashtanga path and what sort of change a per ...more
Laura Tulloch
Jan 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book as it gave me a much deeper insight into what yoga is really all about, ie: it's something you try to fit in every day around work and life, with an approach which is open, humble and kind to yourself and everyone around you. It doesn't have to be going away on a 10-day retreat into a rain forest to get away from everyone and having an aloof and/or holier-than-thou attitude, which is the approach that some people seem adopt!
Sep 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book for free as First Read on Goodreads.

I signed up to win this book for my husband who does yoga and likes reading about it. He tried to read the book and couldn't get into it. It wasn't something that he enjoyed. I then tried reading it but couldn't get into it either. I was hoping for more of a story and I think that my husband was hoping for more techniques. It wasn't the book for us.
Oct 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is an account of the life of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. It is inspiring to read about someone who inspired so many others. If you want to read about yoga, family, life, and inspiration, this book is an excellent read. It is also fascinating to learn about someone who lived for a very long time and never really looked older. It is apparent that Sri K. Pattabhi Jois possessed much wisdom. This book is well-written and highly recommended.
Mander Pander
Bittersweet. This won't provide you asana technique, so if you want help with specific postures, look to Kino MacGregor's or David Swenson's books on the primary and intermediate series.
For practitioners of Ashtanga who want more info on the lineage and the guru, this is a good resource...but like every other time when the velvet curtains part and you can poke your head behind them, there's a "for better or worse" aspect, so keep that in mind.
Feb 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful book!! I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to have an understanding of Guruji, ashtanga and yoga. I wasn't able to practice with Guruji, but this book made me feel closer to this wonderful lineage of yoga that he has passed down. My view on the practice and the world has changed because of this book. Namaste.
Katy Sisko
Mar 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: yoga
I liked this book at the beginning, but it got very repetitive as many of the people interviewed kept saying the same things about Guruji. It was tough and caring and adjusted his teaching to each individual, etc.
Nov 15, 2012 added it
Shelves: non-fiction
I received this book through a First Reads giveaway.

I'm not sure what I expected when I entered this giveaway, but it was not what I received. I was not able to complete this book, so I am refraining on selecting a rating. I apologize to the author, this was just not the book for me.
Dec 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book changed my life.
Aug 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: yoga
This book was really interesting, but the interviews got repetitive by the end. I am a dedicated Ashtangi, so for me to get bored with it says something.
Feb 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
"Practice and All will come."
Sep 11, 2012 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways, books
I received from Goodreads First Reads:
Dec 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Molly Blair
Nov 22, 2012 rated it really liked it

"Do your practice and all is coming." <3
Dec 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jun 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Very inspiring and well put together. Some redundancy with the questions, but the answers most often yielded some wisdom. Just what I needed to read now.

Thanks Tannis!
rated it really liked it
Sep 01, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Nov 07, 2015
Amanda Kay Creighton
rated it it was amazing
Feb 07, 2015
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