You travel around in several European cities and holds
workshops, apart from Stockholm also Copenhagen, Helsinki and
Why did you choose to go to Stockholm?
- I have long thought of coming to Sweden, since many of the
students who come to me in Mysore for many years has been the
Swedes. In Stockholm there are good teachers who want to keep in
the tradition of Mysore. Therefore, I will teach here.
Why has Ashtanga Yoga become so popular in the West, do
- Ashtanga Yoga means authentic yoga - it contains yoga's eight
limbs or steps. By practicing the eight steps, we can get rid of
impurities both in body and in soul. You can feel it happening in
you, when you do your asanas, and it makes many people are
attracted to Ashtangayogan. It has changed many people's
What happens when we practice Ashtanga
- We become happier, we will have peace of mind, we get rid of
many problems, both in mind and health. Everywhere people are
suffering from stress. Yoga gives us the strength to handle
Why did your grandfather Sri K Pattabhi Jois spread
Ashtangayogan over the world?
- Yoga does not belong to any particular community - it is like
the sun, we can benefit from it but not own it. Yoga should be
practiced by all, to have good health and a good heart, you need to
practice. My grandpa said that yoga belongs to everyone and he
began to spread the message of yoga, and then came many
Can yoga make us less fearful? For example, for
- People need to see the truth - and the truth is that if you
live, you must die. Nobody knows the answer to the mystery of what
happens when we die. Most important is what we do before we die:
How we live our lives.
We can inspire others by living a good, stress- free life, a happy
life. My karma in life is to spread the knowledge of yoga I have,
it will be my job until I die.
You 've talked a lot about being involved in their
training - but also in life?
- I think we need to be honest in what we do in our work.
Everyone has a responsibility in the community, and everyone should
try to give people a genuine commitment to do its duty honestly and
truly. If everyone does that, they will fill their minds on the
You also talk about having patience in training.
- Should you build a strong foundation, it must take time. It can
take years, and requires several components - perseverance and
commitment as well as respect and gratitude. It's the same as when
you build a house. Should you build a platform you can not use just
sand. You need several elements, such as rocks, for it to become a
strong enough design.
Some feel the fear of advanced moves in Ashtangayogan .
What can we do about it?
- We are afraid of certain asanas because we are not accustomed to
them. Asking someone me to skydive, I will also be afraid to do it.
But if I get to learn how the system works, that nothing bad will
happen to me, then I 'll get used to it and fear of falling. If you
train long and builds a strong foundation and become accustomed to
the movements so fear evaporates.
What do you say when people are critical of
- If you do not know what yoga is and not himself practice , it is
easy to criticize. It is like the ocean - you can say "it 's just
water," but if you dive into the ocean, you see the beauty, you see
that the water there is a different world. So it is with
What do you think about all the new forms of yoga that pop
up, such as bikram or power yoga?
- They are not authentic, they do not come from parampara. Yoga
has to come from a line, a tradition. You may not find on your own
yoga and say: This is my yoga.
In the Bhagavad - Gita and the Yoga Sutra, you can read about
yoga, it is nothing new, nothing we have created today. Yoga has
spread from guru to guru, from the highest of teachers to students.
To teach yoga, you need to study for many years with a good
Today yoga has become a fashion thing, people find on your own
yoga and puts his name on it. It is really bad. To heat a room to
sweat even before you start exercising makes no sense - then you
might as well sit in a sauna and just sit there.
Learning only asanas does not mean that you get the true
understanding of yoga. No one teaches breathing techniques in the
same way as Sri K Pattabhi Jois made with ashtanga yoga. No one
will even out vinyasa (synchronized breathing and movement), you
will have no effect without vinyasa. It is not scientific, it
becomes just a physical exercise, nothing more.
What is the function of respiration?
- It calms the nervous system, and is a vital part of yoga is to
purify the body and soul. You may obtain purification by merely
standing still in a yoga pose for twenty minutes.
Is it necessary to believe in God to do
- God is just energy, God has no form, no name. In India we say
that God has no form, it consists of all human imagination and the
existence of the imagination creates a good energy. But you can be
an atheist and practice. To believe in yoga enough, to have control
over your body, to still the mind.
Can those who eat meat and drink alcohol to be serious
- Eating meat is to kill another creature, and it is the opposite
of ahimsa, non-violence. That it occurs in nature is another matter
- a tiger that eats flesh does so without destroying the ecological
system. Alcohol is against yoga, because it will affect your inner
Is there any limit to how long we can do Ashtanga Yoga in
- A child should be eleven years start practicing ashtanga yoga,
but there is no upper limit. Yoga will continue to happen within
you until you die, if you keep practicing.
When we reached a certain level of training, it becomes yoga a
part of ourselves, a part of life, as your arm. It is not possible
to remove. You can not say tomorrow , I do not do yoga. It would be
like cutting off my arm.
Many who practice Ashtanga Yoga diseases or disabilities, it can
be anything from heart disease, mental disorders to cerebral palsy
and back problems.
What is the secret of yoga's healing page?
- You can get a better health and even recover from
illnesses, if you are doing yoga right and if you have a good
teacher who knows how he or she should treat their students. It's
just like the good doctor - the doctor knows how to treat the
patient, comes the miracle.
You practice Ashtanga Yoga regardless of limitations. If you have
just a yogic mind, an understanding, so it does not matter what the
limitations are. Not everyone can do the asanas as I can, it is not
possible for everyone.
There is also the one that can do all asanas without being large
yogis. In contrast to dedicate your heart, you can do whatever
Some hurt themselves when practicing Ashtanga Yoga. What
is your advice to them
- There are many reasons why one gets hurt. First, one
must look at how they were injured. Do you have a bad teacher, you
can hurt yourself. It 's your job to be sure to find a good,
One way is to see that the teacher is careful with his own
training, it is important. Then there are students who want to have
more and more asanas, they try too much, exercising twice a day,
and then you can hurt the body. It's important not to rush forward,
do not be in a hurry.
Make exercise intelligently, not in a ignorant way. Some pain may
occur because your body needs to get used to the movements, they
can be healed by continued training. Only if the damage is
permanent, you need to worry.
Damage may tell us something?
- Yes, injuries are good teachers sometimes. They make us more
Can focus on our inner peace to conflict with non-violence
in the external world, prevent us from caring about others, from
helping people in war or crisis?
- We must first ourselves achieve inner peace. If all people have
inner peace, the external earth too. If you work on yourself, you
can get others to work with themselves. We need to talk about yoga,
spreading the message of inner peace, get more people to do yoga.
The more who understand, the less fights. But you must first make
your own ignorance, your own delusions, and work with them. When
you got rid of them, you will be successful in the spiritual
Will anyone practicing yoga to attain samadhi - yoga's
ultimate goal? - If they develop themselves, so they can
make it happen. But first, you must allow it to grow within you.
It's like planting a tree, you must nourish it, take care of the
plant for it to grow.
Nutrients are the physical training, when you do asanas. You do
not know when that happens, it can happen at any time, just giving
you the right kind näring. Sri K Pattabhi Jois said, "Ashtanga Yoga
is not for lazy people".
But some may be too ambitious in their yoga
- Many are too ambitious with their asana practice. But
yoga process does not happen all at once, it is slow. Today,
everyone wants everything right away, but it will not happen that
Yoga takes practice to go to understand. It is like the ocean -
you have to dive in order to really get an understanding. Otherwise
you will only see water.
Footnote . In 2013 came also R. Sharath Jois book "Ashtanga Yoga
There, he shows movements in the first series and also tells more
about the eight branches of yoga. Asta means eight, anga means
The eight branches are: