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Thank You, Guruji

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Guruji, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, passed away on Monday 18th May at the age of 93. He would have celebrated his 94th birthday on the Full Moon day in July. This great man has had an immense influence on the lives of countless people worldwide, who have benefitted in so many ways, thanks to his untiring, life-long devotion ot the path of Yoga and its dissemination.

We first went to Mysore in 2005, just in time to be there for his 90th birthday and were lucky to have experienced Guruji's teaching first hand. The deeply powerful effect of hearing him chant the Mantra and count the practice is something we will never forget.

I have had relatively little direct contact with Guruji, nonetheless his influence on my  life has been profound. The last time I saw him we had a short conversation in the Shala in Mysore in October 2007. He was sitting in the office and went in to offer Pranam and he immediately asked me to 'Sit, Sit' and 'Where are you from?'

We spoke for about 10 minutes, during which I tried to explain to Guruji how my life had been so transformed and how I had been so blessed since embracing Ashtanga Yoga, and to thank him, because I know that without him, none of this would have taken place.

I explained how I had met Paula while teaching a workshop in 2003, and how we got engaged in 2004 and married in 2005, 2 weeks before going to Mysore, and greatest blessing of all, how our daughter Grace, a child of Ashtanga without a doubt, had been born in 2007. 

I told him about the Shala and the growth of the practice here and of the joy we have in our family, in teaching, in practising, in chanting, in studying, in our Yoga lives. I told Guruji that had it not been for his dedication and the teachers he had created, like Lino, by whom we were first inspired, none of this would be the case. 

And so to Saraswathi, Manju, Sharath, Shamila and their families, we sent our love and sympathy as they mourn their loss, and to Guruji, our heartfelt gratitude for all that has come to us through Ashtanga Yoga, and our commitment to do our best to teach and maintain the tradition and integrity of the practice which he has preserved for us.

'Practice and All Is Coming.' Guruji has told us. We know how true this is. 

Pranam Guruji, Thank You. Hari Om Tat Sat

David.