About Ashtanga Yoga

The Ashtānga Yoga system is a living lineage that dates back thousands of years in an unbroken line of teachers, sages and gurus that culminates in the life of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, his grandson R.Sharath Jois and every Ashtanga practitioner today. This direct transmission of knowledge from teacher to student is known as “parampāra” and contains unparalleled wisdom.

This ancient system of yoga was taught by Vamana Rishi in the Yoga Korunta. The text was imparted to Sri TKV Krishnamacharya in the early 1900s by his Guru, Rama Mohan Brahmachari and later passed down to Pattabhi Jois. Pattabhi Jois in turn taught the system to his grandson Sharath, the most advanced practitioner in the world.

“Ashtānga” literally means “eight-limbs” and by practicing each of the limbs all the impurities in the body and the mind are destroyed. The first four limbs are externally oriented and include the various ways we behave in the world (the yamās and niyamas), the control of the body through āsana (poses) and the control of the breath through prānāyāma. The last four limbs follow on spontaneously after many years of practice and include pratyāhāra (sense withdrawal), dhāranā (single-pointed focus), dhyāna (meditation) towards samādhi (liberation).

The āsana technique is known for being quite rigorous and energetic. There are six series of āsanas and each series comprises a set sequence of poses that is followed exactly. In the first, or primary, series there are 30 poses. This is the most important series called “Yoga Chikitsa” or yoga therapy.
The foundation of Ashtānga yoga is breath, āsana and drsti (gazing point). Vinyāsa, moving with breath, is central to the practice. In each pose there is a specific gaze, which among other things helps to keep the focus within and cultivates a steady mind.


The purpose of this yoga is to bring stability to the mind.
योगश्चित्तवृत्तिनिरोधः ॥२॥
yogaś-citta-vṛtti-nirodhaḥ ||2||
Yoga is the stilling of the fluctuations of the mind.
Or as our Guru R.Sharath Jois puts it: “Silence of the mind is yoga”


For more information please see kpjayi.org/the-practice


I agree and undertake:

  1. To teach the Ashtanga yoga method as taught by the SYC in Mysuru, India.
  2. To maintain a yoga room or shala to allow for daily, preferably in the morning, Mysore-style practice.
  3. To honor a weekly day off and the full/new moon day as rest days.
  4. As an Authorised Level I teacher, teach the primary series only.
  5. As an Authorised Level II teacher, teach the primary and intermediate series only.
  6. To not provide or participate in any teacher training or workshop under any name (ie, Ashtanga Teacher Intensive, Teacher Training, Ashtanga intensive and Yoga Intensive) unless approved by SYC.
  7. To provide a safe and professional environment free from harassment or discrimination of any kind (including gender, ethnically, nationality or sexually based) and to respect the rights, personal integrity and dignity and privacy of each student.
  8. To be respectful in conduct, speech and attire and attentive to local customs and traditions.
  9. To follow all local government and national laws and regulations and best practices that pertain to yoga teaching, and any related business, I conduct.
  10. That I am solely accountable for my own actions, behavior and speech, including anything which might be defined or perceived as abuse, harassment or otherwise improper, unethical, or illegal conduct.
  11. To not display out of date SYC Authorization/Certification.
  12. To provide current contact information to SYC, to be made available on the website-if any of the information I provide below is not current.
  13. To prominently display a current Code of Conduct, which shall include the items listed above, in an area clearly visible to my students and on my personal and/or shala/studio website where I teach.

Should SYC revoke my Authorisation/Certification, I promise to return it in person or by mail to SYC. And when a new certificate is being issued to me, I promise to return the old one in person or by mail to SYC.

By accepting this Sharath Yoga Centre Authorised or Certified status, I understand that Authorizations and Certifications are the property of the Sharath Yoga Centre of Mysuru, India and can be revoked at any time at the discretion of SYC.


“The eight limbs of yoga are
yama, niyama, asana, pranāyama, pratyahara, dhārana, dhyāna and samādhi”
यम नियम असन प्राणायाम पर्त्यहर धारण ध्यान समाधि ॥२९॥


yama niyama-āsana prāṇāyāma pratyāhāra dhāraṇā dhyāna samādhayo
ṣṭāvaṅgāni ||29||
Yoga Sutra 2.29