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.
In 1996, Pattabhi Jois opened the Ashtanga Yoga Institute in Bangalore as a branch of his Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute in Mysore. He then nominated Sharmila Mahesh as the principle teacher for the center. Since then, Sharmila has been teaching students in the traditional Mysore style as well as led classes, taking students through the ashtanga series with individual attention and according to the student's ability, thus preserving the spirit of the practice as taught to her by her grandfather.One of Sharmila's specific contributions to teaching is her ability, based on first-hand experience, to guide pregnant women in the practice of ashtanga yoga to best support them in all stages of their pregnancies.
The teachings that Sharmila has received from her grandfather are numerous. She is inspired by his patience, devotion and love; his unending wealth of knowledge and wisdom and his unwavering commitment to the teachings and practice of ashtanga yoga. She endeavors to impart to her students what she has learned from Guruji . . . in the silence of the practice, there is calmness and this state of being is available to anyone who undertakes a daily practice!