‘Pride and ego are everywhere’

I haven’t seen it during the past month its been online, but apparently Namaste, Bitches is rolling along with 160,000 views. And now a story in the New York Times.

Why am I telling you? Mainly because Eddie Stern is quoted:

“The ancient guru-shishya relationship in India was meant to offset inappropriate behavior,” said Eddie Stern, a veteran New York-based yoga instructor who has a long list of celebrity students, including Madonna. “Without the system of checks and balances that the teacher, or guru, is supposed to provide, the student can become proud, and that feeling of pride leads to the subtle idea that ‘I am free to behave as I want,’ which is not spirituality, but hedonism.”

The series sounds like what you expect: a parody of some of the worst aspects of the yoga industrial complex.

There’s a link to the series in the Times story, but it is pretty easy to find.

Posted by Steve

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Reflections on the final day at AYNY on Broome St.

Honestly, I’ve been expecting there to be more written about the last day or days of Ashtanga Yoga New York at its Broome St. location.

This piece at Huffington Post is the first I’ve seen beyond some Instagram/Facebook post. Enjoy:

During the last week at AYNY, memories arose, like the very first time I practiced Mysore with Eddie. I was intimidated surrounded by so many extraordinary practitioners. It didn’t matter that I had been doing the entire first series elsewhere.

“That’s all for today, Debby,” Eddie called over.

I was stopped my first day after Navasana (boat). I stayed there for several weeks. It was humbling. More importantly, it was safe. I progressed to the next pose when my body was ready, not my ego. One year later, I completed the entire first series.

Obviously, that’s not from the last-day memories. But you’ll have to click the link above for those.

Posted by Steve

Ashtanga Yoga New York | Brooklyn Yoga Club off and stretching

Monday of this week, things got started in earnest at the new location for Ashtanga Yoga New York, even as classes continue at the new Brooklyn location, Brooklyn Yoga Club.

All the info is at the AYNY site:

In Manhattan: 25 First Avenue, between 1st and 2nd st on the second floor of the Bhakti Center.

  • Monday thru Friday, 6am till 11am.
  • Weekend classes will only be held in Brooklyn.
  • Please click here to register for your time slot. Class payments will only be accepted through the registration portal, and not at the class location.
  • For the next month the only two payment options are $200 for unlimited classes, and $20 for a single class. After November when the main room in Brooklyn opens up, we will add all of the other class packages.

In Brooklyn: 206 Vanderbilt Avenue, at the corner of Willoughby (next to the French Baptist Church).

  • Please click here to be directed to the registration page.
  • Classes begin at 6am, and close at 11am.
  • Saturday and Sunday from 8am till 11am.
  • No led classes until November.
  • Payment plans are the same as Manhattan.

A key feature is that you can practice at both locations; sounds like they are streamlining that process still, but that is certainly a convenience that I assume will be welcomed.

Posted by Steve

‘Small classes = lots of attention!’

Get your fixie out.

Eddie Stern has the schedule up for the Brooklyn Yoga Club. Click through here to check out the listing — small classes — for September. If you investigate a bit, you’ll see it is set up for the new studio in Manhattan when it opens Sept. 21. Here’s the most important facts:

When a class is filled it, you’ll be prompted to sign up for a class a half hour earlier or later. We also will have two price options only for this month: $200 for as many classes as you like, and $20 for a drop in.

A thing that jumps out at me: Eddie isn’t using mindbodyonline, which seems to have totally locked up the yoga scheduling programs online. Nothing wrong with breaking that stranglehold.

Posted by Steve

It’s worth checking out this letter to Eddie Stern from Guruji in 1990

I know we typically avoid passing on things that are filling up the social media feeds, but this one is too good not to archive here.

According to the comment I saw from Sharmila Mahesh, she wrote it on behalf of Pattabhi Jois:

Originally posted on Eddie’s Instagram feed.

Posted by Steve

Ashtanga Yoga New York to reopen Sept. 21

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

Another yoga studio set to go in after Ashtanga Yoga New York vacates

There’s a lot of interesting information in this story by DNAinfo on the move of Ashtanga Yoga New York and the Broome St. Temple, but it is hard not to focus on this piece: another yoga studio is going to go into the space.

Sort of hard to believe, looking at it from afar, for a few reasons. The first is, as the story notes, there is a listing for the space as a condo. That seems like the obvious gentrification move. The second is: What yogi would be up to filling the shoes, so to speak, of Eddie Stern, his wife, Jocelyne — and the spirit of Pattabhi Jois?

So far we don’t know.

Here’s some of the other info from the piece; the “that” in the first quote refers to the news of the other yoga studio:

“I don’t know how we all feel about that,” Stern said. “I think it’s weird, but that’s how it goes.”

Their space also held a Hindu temple that Pattabhi Jois consecrated in 2001.

Stern added that he has always had a good relationship with his landlord, and that “the entire experience has been nothing but friendly and cordial.”

[snip]

“The guy who bought the place was a very nice person,” he said. “[And] our old landlords were very nice people.”

Stern said his rent spiked from $6,500 to $12,500 last September, and for the past year and a half, he’s been paying $15,000 per month.

“New York City — and in particular SoHo — real estate prices have driven us out of the area,” Stern said.

[snip]

Stern said he feels “OK” about the situation.

“We’ll find something else in Manhattan which is more affordable,” he said. “SoHo is not quite what it used to be — sort of like living in a mall. I think this will be a good change for us.”

As you’d expect, it sounds like Eddie is keeping a positive attitude and seeing this as a one door closes, another opens opportunity.

Posted by Steve