R. Saraswathi Jois
Born in 1941 to Savitramma and yoga master, K. Pattabhi Jois, Saraswathi played with yoga postures at an early age. At 10, she began her formal study of ashtanga yoga un-der the guidance of her father, and eventually became the first woman admitted to the Sanskrit College in Mysore, where she studied Sanskrit works and yoga.
At the age of twenty-two Saraswathi’s mother became ill and Saraswathi took on all household responsibilities along with caring for her mother, father, and younger broth-ers. Leaving aside her asana practice, Saraswathi grew strong in other areas of yoga. In 1967, she married M.S. Rangaswamy and had two children, daughter Shammi in 1969 and son Sharath in 1971.
Saraswathi assisted her father at his Lakshmipuram yoga shala from 1971 until 1975. She then began teaching yoga to local Indian women on her own at the Balaji Temple in V.V. Mohalla. At the time, yoga teachers were treated no differently than the cleaners and sweepers of the temple grounds and she was paid only twenty fives rupees a month. In 1984, she began teaching yoga to both men and women together in her own house in Gokulam.
When her father moved his Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute from Lakshmipuram to Gokulam in 2002, Saraswathi returned to teaching with her father. Today, she is a constant presence at the K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute. Saraswathi welcomes all yoga students who come to Mysore.