Saraswathi was born in 1941 and practiced steadily under the guidance of her father Sri K. Pattabhi Jois from the age of 10-22. She was the first girl ever to be permitted admission to the Sanskrit College in Mysore where she studied the basic Sanskrit works and learnt yoga from her father. For many years she assisted her father, but since 1975 she has been teaching her own classes. In 1986 she created a little Yoga revolution here in Mysore by being the first woman ever to teach men and women together. Saraswathi welcomes all yoga students who come to Mysore. She is the steady link in the Jois family that looks after her father as well as her son, keeps them in line and makes sure they behave properly.
For Saraswathi, Yoga has always been the major influence of her life. Playfully she begun exploring various Yoga postures from an early age, but took up a consistent practice from the age of ten. At the age of twenty-two her mother fell really sick and got admitted to hospital. Saraswati naturally took on all household responsibilities and cared for her mother as well as her younger brothers. Her asana practice suffered a little, but she grew strong in other areas of Yoga.
Sharmila was born in Mysore and was blessed to have grown up in a yoga family. From an early age she and her brother Sharath started practicing yoga informally by imitating students who had come to study with their grandfather, the esteemed and world-renowned, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, known by his students as 'Guruji'. She would demonstrate her abilities to her friends and neighbours and she and Sharath were even asked to give demonstrations at the local police station.
At the age of 18, Sharmila began formal instruction with her mother every day after college in her regular afternoon classes. Sharmila has been practicing yoga continuously since the age of 18 with the exception of the first trimesters of both of her pregnancies. She was doing ashtanga yoga under the guidance of her grandfather and thanks to his wisdom and the postures that he prescribed, she overcame the pain and was able to give birth to her daughter without the doctor's presence . Her personal experience became a testament to how the ashtanga system and methodology can support pregnancy and prepare a woman for childbirth. Sharmila loved the dynamics of teaching alongside her mother whose natural feminine gift of combining strength with tenderness began to firm up her own teaching style.