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Namarupa number 20 is now available

April 28, 2015

Ready to dive into some Vedic and Indic topic matter?

Well, the latest issue of Namarupa — co-published by Robert Moses and Eddie Stern — is now available.

Here’s what’s in store:

Cover Surya Bhagavan by Satya Moses

Jason Birch THE YOGATĀRĀVALĪ And the Hidden History of Yoga

Dr. Robert E. Svoboda EXCERPT FROM AGHORA II: KUNDALINI KUNDALINI: Interview with Dr. Robert E. Svoboda Conducted by Rick Archer of Buddha at The Gas Pump

Roxanne Gupta Ph.D. BEHIND THE OCHRE ROBE The extraordinary life and death of AgehanandaBharati

Robert Schneider & Benjamin Phelan ENCOUNTER WITH THE INFINITE The story of the mathematical genius Srinivasan Ramanujan

Naomi Worth DREAMING IN EARLY ADVAITA VEDĀNTA A main component of Śańkaracarya’s view of Reality

Jaidev Dasgupta IN SEARCH OF IMMORTALITY An Introduction into Indic Worldviews

Robert Moses & Satya Moses DEVOTION AT LORD JAGANNATH RATH YATRA Photo essay of the annual Chariot Festival  of Lord Jagannath in Puri, Odisha, July 2104

Make sure you enjoy the back cover.

Posted by Steve

Ashtanga Yoga New York opening outpost in someplace called Brooklyn

April 27, 2015
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As we’ve happily reported, Ashtanga Yoga New York — and the Broome St. Temple — aren’t moving any time soon — at least until fall. But AYNY is branching out:

Rumor has it, we are moving to Brooklyn… well, the rumor happens to be true. We’ll be opening a small school in Clinton Hill, to be called the Brooklyn Yoga Club: ground floor yoga and meditation rooms, 1st floor library, coffee/tea/juice and light food service, communal tables and a 1,000 sq ft outdoor deck. Our new address is 206 Vanderbilt Ave., and we should be open in late summer. Manhattanites, have no fear, we’ll still keep our school in the city even after Broome St. closes on September 30th. However, the Yoga Club is just one stop into Brooklyn on the B, Q and R trains (well, 2 stops on the R). And then a short walk. The walk will be worth it for the steam room we’re putting in.

I hear there is a Yoga for Fixies class coming, based on some of the SUP Yoga principles.

I kid. But now that I think about it, I’m going to start working on a trademark for that.

Posted by Steve

AYNY gets the NYT treatment

April 27, 2015

And not for the first time.

This one’s a quick mention in a brief feature on how Maxwell Ryan — who owns Apartment Therapy Media — spends his Sundays:

YOGA AND ART Then we will go to yoga. It is down the street on Crosby and Broome Streets. She will pack a bag with her drawing kit and will sit in the changing room and draw while I’m in class. Then, if we haven’t had breakfast at home, we may go to breakfast at Café Select. Usually we get the muesli pancakes with fruit compote and maple syrup, and a side order of scrambled egg.

There’s a photo that calls out Ashtanga Yoga New York explicitly. Click on the link above.

Posted by Steve

Is certification really the “highest” level of an Ashtanga teacher?

April 26, 2015
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At the risk of ticking people off, I want to pose this question.

I saw something on the Interwebs — a listing for a teacher training or a vist by someone or something, it doesn’t really matter — that described the teacher as being certified and followed that with an explanation that that is the “highest level” of Ashtanga teaching.

My hackles went up. The yoga only does so much.

I know it is a simple way to explain things, but it also reinforces what I think is a problem with the authorized/certified dynamic. It doesn’t really capture every great Ashtanga teacher. (Anyone care that Nancy Gilgoff, Manju Jois and David Swenson aren’t even authorized? I know Lino Miele is a different case, but he isn’t either.) And, quite frankly, I’ve known plenty of awful — I mean, really, awful — authorized teachers. Maybe a few certified ones, too. (I know such judgments are subjective, but to that I say: So?)

So I toss it out there for discussion and maybe some sort of conclusion or compromise: Is certification really the “highest” level of an Ashtanga teacher? And, as a corrollary, how much does it matter to you, what does it represent?

Posted by Steve

More good yoga from Richmond and David Swenson

April 25, 2015

Robbie Norris has highlighted another of the students in the Richmond City Jail — and as always, it is worth a read. Click here.

That story is compelling — how Ashtanga has helped curb a breathing problem. But I also was struck by this:

And thank you, David Swenson, for continuing to send yoga mats and “spineless” Ashtanga Yoga Practice Manuals.  Because hardcover books are not allowed, David sends manuals with the plastic spiral spine removed, so the pages can be tied together like this:

Awesome.

You’ll have to click to see the pic, as well as a photo of the letter from the student.

Posted by Steve

Friday asana aid: Eka pada bakasana

April 24, 2015
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I’ve been hearing Bobbie talk about this pose as she dives into Third Series, so here’s a semi-resurrection of our old Friday series. I hear the entry from headstand is a piece of cake:

Next up is a different approach:

Ignore the mirror:

Kind of thought I’d find more. There aren’t too many videos. Too easy of a pose, maybe?

Posted by Steve

Ready to be a pilgrim in South India?

April 23, 2015

You all know that this fall Namarupa is running a full month’s Yatra through the north part of India, with a week that includes an Ashtanga program with Sharath.

It’s full, and has been for a while. But all is not lost. This week, Robert Moses — co-founder of Namarupa along with Eddie Stern — announced the next Yatra:

Your yatra guides will be Robert Moses, co-publisher of Namarupa and Radha-kunda das of Sacred Journeys India. Christine Hoar of Ashtanga Yoga Montauk will teach daily Ashtanga Yoga classes.

The magnificently constructed temples of South India, planned according to strict rules of vastu (laws governing spatial awareness), are often dominated by huge towering gateways called gopurams. Daily, vast numbers of Hindu yatris (pilgrims) pass through the gopurams to have darshan of their favorite gods or goddesses, enshrined in the murtis (images) in the temples’ inner sanctums. Darshan is both seeing and being seen by the deity. The intention of the Tamil Temple Yatra will be to go as much as possible as pilgrims to the sacred temples and, where permitted, to have darshan of the gods and goddesses. This will not be tourism. We will travel simply, lodge in very comfortable Indian-style accommodations, eat vegetarian meals and dress and behave appropriately according to local custom. At some places we will have ample time for the usual sightseeing, shopping and exploring that travellers enjoy. The pace will be relaxed, but this being India, one can expect the unexpected.

Ho-oh, Robert! Don’t get me started on the unexpected. But that’s a good part of the fun.

It runs from January 6 to 21, 2016. It might make a nice holiday present to yourself.

For our posts about our south India Yatra with Namarupa a few years ago, click here. (I think that captures them all; you might need to scroll back a page past our more recent Yatra posts.) We loved the south. The people were warm and inviting, the darshan was incredible, the temples stunning. If you want to really experience India, this is the way to go. We often were the only Westerners in crowds of hundreds, even thousands.

Posted by Steve