Manju Jois on the true value of yoga and what’s most important

I’ll give a hat tip to the headline writer on this piece for going with “The Jois of yoga.” Get it?

You can find all of Manju’s answers at this link. A taste:

I was wondering what your thoughts were on the commercialization of yoga here in the West.
Well, in the West they’re mostly into business. As soon as they start doing that, it’s going to lose its value. That’s why we like to keep it as authentic as possible. It’s sad because everybody wants to cash in on something.

And what is the true value of yoga?
Health. Concentration helps you get healthier and be healthy for a long, long time. It improves the memory and people live for a long time if they practice it right.

He’ll get to what yoga means to him and what’s the most important thing to take away from a yoga practice. Check it out.

Posted by Steve

Breakfast, and a few questions, with Manju Jois

Below is a short video that went up this week. It’s a quick Q&A with Manju Jois over breakfast:

The voice off screen belongs to Pranidhi Varshney. We know her from the Ashtanga scene — oh what a horrific phrase! — here in Los Angeles. You can check out our posts on her chanting CD and her thoughts on practicing with Nancy Gilgoff at this link.

Posted by Steve

Manju Jois on the breath

This looks to be one of quite a few yoga- and Ashtanga-related videos at this YouTube channel: love yoga anatomy. “These videos are part of a loveyogaanatomy initiative to connect with teachers and professionals from around the world,” the description reads.

I can’t get the second of these videos to upload, but you can click on the “Playlist” bar and jump to Manju Jois talking about the breath.

We seem to be riding a little glut of new videos lately.

Posted by Steve

Manju Jois interview: Pay more attention to other aspects of yoga

I’ll admit I don’t know anything about Asana Journal and can’t readily tell if this interview is new (or when it is dated), but I haven’t seen it before so… here’s the link and some highlights:

Asana: You stress the importance of Ashtanga (the eight limbs), not just focusing on asana. Could you share with us your near death experience which pranayama saved you? How should anyone practise pranayama for good health?

Manju: In the west, people are generally so much into postures. They just concentrate on asanas only. I think they should pay more attention towards other aspects of yoga. I learnt pranayama which saved my life.

When I was about to have a heart attack at the airport in London, I felt the pain in my chest and my left arm. I did pranayama for five minutes, then saved my own life. I travelled safely back to the US and checked into the hospital. My doctor was surprised that I survived! Had I just practised asanas, I would not have been alive talking to you now. So learn pranayama; and chanting too. These are all part of Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga.


Asana: Why did you choose to teach in the West, but not like your family staying in Mysore?

Manju: I think the west needs more yoga than the east. Yoga needs to be shared with the universe. I want to share with everyone and that’s why I move to the west.

There you have it. Judging by some of the questions and comments, the journal is based in Asia somewhere.

Posted by Steve

Manju Jois as a yoga ‘rock star’

Manju Jois gets a bit of rock star treatment in a story from Friday in the Chronicle Herald in “Atlantic Canada.”

It was tied to his teaching visit at Ashtanga Halifax. Some of Manju’s quotes:

“When I was seven years old, my father was practising, and I used to watch when I was a kid because I wanted to be just like him. I started working with it, my father did not force me into it, it was my own choice. And when I was 14 or 15, he started giving me serious lessons, and to teach me all of the yoga philosophies.

“So far, I have been in 33 countries. Every year, I go to the same places plus more because people from different countries, they will come and they say ‘Would you like to come to my school?’ Sweden was the first European country I went to.”


“People realize how healthy they can live by practising yoga, because it changes your whole life. People are getting healthier, changing their diet, looking to feel good,” he said.

“They’ve tried gymnasiums, weightlifting and running and swimming. They’re all good, but yoga is the one which is purification of your own body. It also balances you, physically and mentally, which is what people want in this modern world.”

That final set of quotes is very in line with how Manju described yoga as part of the teaching kids yoga discussion at the Ashtanga Yoga Confluence. He very much emphasized the health benefits as opposed to any overt spiritual / religious aspects.

Via the Chronicle Herald

There’s also this interesting tidbit: “On Thursday, Jois announced that Ashtanga Halifax will be the centre for the study and practice of Ashtanga in Canada, crediting his decision to Manley’s dedication.” That’s Jody Manley, owner of the studio. Anyone know anything more about that? Is that a big deal for Ashtanga practitioners (especially in Canada) that kind of gets buried in the story? Or is it something as almost an aside Manju said that, perhaps, the reporter made sound like a bigger deal than it is?

Posted by Steve

Manju heading to Gilgoff’s Maui studio

It’s a little hard to get a lot of fresh information on Nancy Gilgoff.

Manju, via Nancy's site

I suspect that’s not not on purpose. Her Internet site seems a fair reflection of her physical one, as it’s been described to me.

But here’s some news: Manju Jois will be a guest teacher at the House of Yoga and Zen next month.

Here’s a link.

He’ll be there from Nov. 14 to 19 doing a “Primary Teachers’s Training.” That would be an interesting experience, no doubt.

I can’t help but wonder if Manju will be around San Diego in March and make any appearance at the Confluence.  I do know that following the Confluence, Nancy will be doing some teaching up here in Los Angeles. Bobbie and I are checking to see how our calendars look.

Well, and I’m trying to figure out how much intense Ashtanga I can take in one month or less.

Posted by Steve