Sharath Jois is the grandson of late Ashtanga yoga guru Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, or Guruji. Since his grandfather’s passing in 2009, Sharath has stepped into the role of teaching and guiding a global community of some of the most advanced teachers and practitioners in the Ashtanga Yoga lineage. He learned this method of yoga under his grandfather’s strict guidance and watchful eye, practicing and assisting him daily for almost 20 years.
There is really no other student who can claim to have received this kind of continual instruction and apprenticeship from Guruji, and no other student who has practiced all Six Series. This placed Sharath in the unique position of assuming the role of teacher and guru to an exponentially growing population of new Ashtanga yoga practitioners around the world.
In 2016, I traveled to New York City and joined Sharath’s six-day tour stop there. I was amazed to discover how similar the experience was to actually being in Mysore, India. The feeling of practicing Primary Series or Intermediate Series in a group of more than 300 people was astounding. In the months following, I felt that this experience provided me with a massive energy boost to my solo self-practice life. I felt lifted by the convergence of so many practitioners from around the world who had all traveled to assemble together for this week of practice.
Personally, I had already made 14 long trips to Mysore before I had ever considered joining Paramaguru on one of his U.S. tours. I just couldn’t comprehend the benefit of taking a full week out of my busy schedule to practice with him in America, when I could spend months at a time practicing in India.
However, it was such a special experience to see my teacher outside of the intensely demanding schedule that he keeps in Mysore. Here, on tour, Sharath was relaxed, smiling, laughing, and truly enjoying his time with the students, both in and outside of the classes. This was a very special connection to make.
In addition to reuniting with close friends from across the globe, I was able to visit many famous sites and attractions in New York City during the day after the morning practice. It was the perfect mix of discipline and relaxation that I needed to feel refreshed upon returning home.
Life comes with many challenges. It’s not always possible to take months away from family, work, and responsibilities to fly off and practice in Mysore, India, especially when you have school-aged children at home. Being away for an extended period of time is not a realistic option at a certain stage in life.
I am so happy that Paramaguru Sharath Jois will be coming again to teach in the U.S. from April 22 to May 16. I will be making the most of his tour as it is an excellent way to reconnect with him, along with an international community of practitioners, and infuse a little extra energy into my daily practice.
Even if you have never been to India, or maybe you are not even a regular Ashtanga yoga practitioner, coming to this kind of event and experiencing the intensity of being in a class of over 500 people, all breathing and moving in unison, is beyond anything words can describe. It is simply transformative.
You are welcome to seize this opportunity to practice with Paramaguru Sharath Jois at one of these three locations:
Stanford University, California: April 22 – 27
Miami, Florida: May 1 – 7
New York, New York: May 11 – 16