An outsider’s view of Ashtanga and the Confluence

“Outsider” in this context really isn’t fair, but it seems the best way to sum-up Naren from Sangita Yoga’s look back at us and at the Ashtanga Yoga Confluence.

In other words, this isn’t from one of the many attendees nor from one of the teachers. (And believe me, I’ve got my eye out to see when some more of the teachers reflect on the weekend.)

Naren’s put some thoughts to virtual paper on the sacred music performance from the Confluence. Not only does his devoted and serious approach to yoga come through, but he offers a glimpse of us and our practice from someone only recently introduced to Ashtanga. That strikes me as rare and valuable, especially since it doesn’t end with some superficial description of Ashtanga as being the Marine Corps of yoga, etc.

Take a look at his full piece right here. Here’s just a little taste:

Being traditional and a purist in may ways, I confess that I’m often skeptical when Westerners are in charge of anything dealing with India’s sacred traditions.


A shortened, yet very authentic, Ganesha Puja was led by Eddie Stern.  We immediately saw and felt his authenticity and reverence. His intention was to invoke Sri Ganesha’s blessings on the conference and convert the resort into a yoga shala, a place of practice and learning.  Those of you who know me know how much we at Sangita yoga value such invocations.


Afterwards, our Sangita Yoga crew sat together talking about the event.  We were very impressed with the sincerity of the ashtangis and their determination to stay true to the traditions of India, brought by their Guru, despite living in a society where quick n’easy usually trumps authenticity and discipline.

That last paragraph, especially, captures a substantial part of the essence of the Ashtanga practice — and certainly much of what the gathering of teachers last weekend highlighted.

As I’ve already urged you, click through and read all of his piece. (Pay no attention to the quote from a “veteran ashtangi,” though.) Naren uncovers some deep truths about yoga, our practices and the paths we all are on. And you can look around the site a bit — there’s lots of resources there. And we love resources.

I’ll also urge you not to miss Sangita Yoga if you have a chance in the future. (Don’t forget, you also can buy Naren’s recent album at this site.)

Posted by Steve

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

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