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Ashtanga yoga class — for women only

September 4, 2015
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In my Ashtanga Google alert on Wednesday — my inbox fills so yours doesn’t have to — I noticed a listed for a women’s only class (at what looks like a general yoga studio), which happens once a week. It immediately got me thinking about whether segregating classes out would be a good, a bad, an indifferent idea. I imagined a class for stiff white guys, for instance.

Clicking through to this women’s class didn’t provide much more information; there was no description or anything. But there was a listing for another class: for men only. And basically it is what I just described: for stiff guys.

Based on the Ashtanga practitioners I know, I think one of this system’s main attractions is its universality: We’re all practicing (give or take our abilities) the same poses, in the same sequence. Yeah, there’s Second and Third and onward, but we all start with Suryanamaskaras and at least a few standing poses (and are supposed to do First once a week). And bandha, drishti, breathing are all common.

I also thought about one of the panels at next year’s Confluence (now open for pre-reg):

11:30 am-1:30 pm – Women’s Panel Discussion with Diana Christinson, Kathy Cooper, Dena Kingsberg, Leigha Nicole and Mary Taylor moderated by Shelley Washington (lecture/discussion/Q&A)
Each teacher will share the profound gift of yoga they received from their beloved teacher, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, and one of their favorite stories relating to Guruji. This discussion will offer an opportunity for students to ask questions of the teachers.

Which is to say: We aren’t all the same. And maybe it suggests a rationale for some type of, occasional, practice segmented off for men, women … those pesky adolescent boys we all hear about, the infamous “Ashtanga for seniors.”

I don’t know.

Would something like that attract you? Repel you?

Posted by Steve

‘Ashtanga Yoga can be taught to anyone by an experienced and sensitive teacher’

September 3, 2015

New interview with Danny Paradise has popped up out of Italy. Complete transcription is here, and a brief excerpt:

I aim to spend as much time as possible in Nature. When I can be immersed in Nature for long periods of time my life force increases and that makes it easier for me to travel, explore new regions as well as teach. The general urban contemporary lifestyle is not something I spend a lot of time in. I encourage people to spend more time in Nature. At the same time there are tremendously talented people living in Urban zones. There are huge new Communities of people learning Yoga and changing their lifestyle in a positive way to meet the challenge of growing older with vitality, clarity, health and creativity. After all, if we are creating this dream we all have to begin to work together in compassion and clarity to clean up the mess that is happening all around us. The big cities are toxic in many ways with tremendous pollution, stress, anxiety and fear…All these elements shorten life.

I pulled from a part less focused on Ashtanga, but he does address that plenty. (Our past posts on Danny are here.)

Posted by Steve

It’s OK to research some poses

September 3, 2015

As promised, video is coming out from the Third Series training via Ashtanga Yoga Hong Kong. Here Tim Miller talks about research poses:

The description is nice, too:

Answering a student question about how much Research is acceptable, the answer also serves as preparation for the “awkward transition’ in Third Series that happens between the first half of the series, which is all the Leg-behind-the-head extreme forwards bends and Arm-balances, and the latter half of deep Back-bends. In other words; from Viranchasana B to Viparita Dandasana. As usual with Tim, there are some laughs along the way…

The laughs help with the research.

Posted by Steve

Pre-registration for the 2016 Ashtanga Yoga Confluence opens

September 2, 2015

If you’re on the email list, you should have received notification sometime Tuesday morning that pre-registration for the 2016 Ashtanga Yoga Confluence is open.

We’ll still reinforce the details:

  • The Confluence is back at the Catamaran, where the first two took place
  • Dates? March 3-6
  • Cost? Pre-reg is $525 (must also stay at the Catamaran; room rate is $179/night)
  • General registration opens Oct. 1 and is $575
  • Which teachers are going to be there? Manju Jois, Dena Kingberg, Richard Freeman, David Swenson, Tim Miller and Eddie Stern

The link to register is here.

Also, for those interested, here’s an interview at ESPN with the U.S. national asana champion.

Posted by Steve

Ashtanga Yoga New York to reopen Sept. 21

September 1, 2015

Things are moving pretty quickly in New York.

Last I checked, after the big closing party on Monday night, Eddie and Jocelyne Stern were going to take the month of September off to rejuvenate, look for a Manhattan location and prep the Brooklyn Yoga Club for it opening in October.

Speed all that up.

On the AYNY site, they now are announcing they will reopen Sept. 21 at a new home: Bhakti Center, 25 1st Avenue. That’s a few blocks north and east of the Broome St. location, for those who don’t know New York well. (Such as I.) They promise a schedule is to come soon.

And the Brooklyn Yoga Club will be opening next week, Tuesday, Sept. 8, with a limited schedule that’ll be posted on Sunday.

If you’re on the Facebook (or, I bet, Instagram) you can find photos of the final party from Monday night.

Posted by Steve

It’s Tuesday, so here’s the Hanuman Chalisa with Tim Miller

September 1, 2015

More video finds from the Third Series teacher training; this one is via Todd at Native Yoga Center:

Posted by Steve

Video: Tim Miller adjusting in Viranchyasana A

August 31, 2015

Here’s a minute of video from the Third Series training, via our friend Maria Zavala — who is also the victim practitioner being adjusted:

As she notes, it’s a “very challenging pose.” You think?!?

I’ve heard from a few of those at the training that they will be getting videos up. We’ll keep our eyes out.

Posted by Steve