Getting to know Guruji

Between practicing yoga, baking, tutoring, and teaching yoga, there is little time for leisurely reading during the day. I always look forward to the half hour to an hour before bed time, when I can submerge myself into fictional realms or absorb knowledge and be inspired by nonfictional books. Currently, I am reading Guruji by Guy Donahaye and Eddie Stern–a compilation of interviews of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois’ senior students.

I bought this book shortly after it was published in 2010, but never got the chance to read it till now. It’s a shame that I’ve never met this great man, and I never will, but each time I open this book I know a little more about this little man who was a yogi, a healer, a scholar, a teacher, a husband, a father, a grandfather, a great grandfather, and a guru to thousands across the world.

He was dedicated, always putting others before him, especially his students. Nothing brought him more joy than teaching and sharing this yoga. He was honest, childlike, and almost naive. He recognized students and people by their unique energies, not by their physical appearances. He believed in his students more than the students believed in themselves, thereby helping them achieve what they would not have dared dreamed of.

He was stern, but also got a sense of humor. He would make jokes with his poor English, which made them even funnier. Despite his fame, he was a humble man. He saw that his mission for this life was to pass on the teachings of his guru, Krishnamacharya, and to build a legacy of this ancient system of yoga.

I’m only about halfway through the book, but all his students revere him, love him, are grateful for him. The interviewees brought Guruji’s character to life, and I felt a piece of him inside this book.

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