Guruji is the title of respect used by Ashtanga yoga students to refer to their late teacher, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. A new book, Guruji: A Portrait of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois Through the Eyes of His Students follows the introduction of Jois's yoga methodology to the West, beginning in 1972 with the arrival in Mysore of his first American students.
Since Ashtanga provided the groundwork for the vigorous vinyasa-style yoga that is so popular today, Guruji is really the story about how a generation of hardcore hippies and seekers brought yoga from an Indian guru to the health clubs of America and the world.
A former teacher of mind used to like to have us do a bit of partner work in poses like extended side angle and triangle where you have one arm raised up perpendicular to the floor. The partner giving the assist faces the person in the pose and the two partners place their palms against one another. The assistant places subtle pressure on the receiver's palm, causing the receiver to return the pressure, which allows the shoulder to open up, turning away from the floor. Now, the great thing is that can do the same thing without the partner. Just imagining the pressure on your upraised palm is enough t o turn your shoulder open. Go ahead, try it! Yes, right now!