Guruji was here

A couple weeks back, we linked over to Tim Miller’s brief history of Ashtanga in Los Angeles. It included this:

Located in Larchmont Village at the site of a former Masonic temple, the Center for Yoga was the first yoga studio to open in Los Angeles in 1967. Owner/Director Ganga White drew inspiration from many different teachers during his 25-year tenure there, including Pattabhi Jois, who he hosted for a single class in 1985. I met Ganga and his partner Anna Forrest when they came to Encinitas to practice with Pattabhi Jois earlier that same year. Ganga invited Guruji to come to the Center for Yoga to teach a class, promising him a big turnout. Guruji accepted and was flown in a small plane to the Burbank Airport along with a few of his advanced students, brought along as assistants. I was one of those assistants, and witnessed what was perhaps the first guided ashtanga yoga class ever taught in Los Angeles. Seventy-five people showed up for the class, most of them with no experience of the ashtanga method.

Here are a few photos of the room that class must have happened in (it’s the “Big Room” in the now-Yoga Works studio). We were there today for a backbending — and a$$-kicking — workshop with Maria Zavala. Bobbie will have more on it later.



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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

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