The ashtanga vinyasa system was formulated by K. Pattabhi Jois and taught by him at his shala, now known as the
Shri K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute (KPJAYI), in Mysore, India. According to tradition, this system
derives from an ancient Sanskrit text called the Yoga Korunta, written by the sage Vamana Rishi, the teachings of which Jois received from his own
teacher, the highly influential T. Krishnamacharya.
Krisnamacharya, in turn, stated that he received the
teachings from his own guru, Rama Mohan Brahmachari.
No one knows for sure whether The Yoga Korunta is a real or mythical text it is said to have
been eaten by ants! Yoga practitioner
and scholar Mark Singleton has traced the genesis of
ashtanga vinyasa to the hybridsation of yoga asana and
gymnastic fitness regimes taught by Krisnamacharya at
the Jaganmohan Palace in Mysore between 1930 and 1950
(Yoga Body, Oxford University Press, 2010).
In the 1970s, American students, such as David
Freeman and Nancy
Gilgoff, began to travel to India to study with
Pattabhi Jois. They brought ashtanga vinyasa to the West
and are now among the senior Western ashtanga teachers.
Pattabhi Jois died in May 2009. His grandson Sharath
Rangaswamy Jois is now the principal teacher