Ashtanga and its six poses. Just six

You may have already lucked into this, but it is too good not to share.

I first saw the condensed clip at Eddie Stern’s Instagram account. This week on the Today show, they dove into yoga and .. well, with Ashtanga there may have been a few errors. From the piece online, where you also can watch the full video (what is at Eddie’s Instagram is the best moment):

On the show Tuesday, Wolfe said the practice that began thousands of years ago is now hotter than ever, still offering all the same benefits.

“It stretches, it strengthens, it tones, it helps you connect to your heart, mind, body and breath,” instructor Narisara Vanichanan said on TODAY.

In the last few years, though, yoga has undergone something of a makeover. Classes are stepping it up a notch, keeping the foundation of breathing and flowing movement, but adding things like strength training, cardio and core work.

[snip]

Advanced yogis may like Ashtanga yoga, six poses that are physically demanding.

Yes, you read that right. Six poses. As people are saying, though, at least they are hard ones! (Wouldn’t you guess if they were going to mess it up, it would have been about its having eight poses?)

Sorry I can’t get the clip to embed. But it is worth at least checking the Instagram.

And, I hope, that’s it for posting for today. When it rains, it pours.

Update: Someone should do a YouTube video of “The Six.”

Posted by Steve

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‘Yoga-based exercise’ comes to schools in South Carolina; ‘I’m very excited’

Representatives from the Sonima Foundation, including Eddie Stern, have been busy recently in South Carolina, prepping teachers there to provide yoga — or “yoga-based exercise,” as one news report puts it — to their students.

Here’s a video report, with Eddie interviewed about 35 second in:

There’s more info here, and you might get a kick out of how the guy introduces the segment in the video embedded there. (Spoiler: It involves how he says the word “yoga.)

Hundreds of students in Beaufort County will be doing yoga this year as a part of their physical education classes.

The new program is being introduced to teachers at the district’s yearly summer institute.

WTOC spoke with some educators to find out why they think the exercise will help students to better perform in the classroom.

[snip]

“We have this program that we’re teaching; it consists of what we call best practices in health and wellness. We have an exercise component, which includes some stretches from yoga, some stretches from cardio, and some stretches from things you might find in physical therapy,” said Eddie Stern, Director of Curriculum.

One instructor says yoga influences positive change in classrooms.

“When included inside the school day at least two times a week, it has been reducing students’ stress levels, improving attendance in some circumstances, and readily reducing disciplinary actions suspension rates have been falling in the districts we’ve been teaching,” said Stern.

School starts for the kids on Aug. 17.

Posted by Steve

Ashtanga Yoga New York announces final day on Broome Street

This is news I wasn’t expecting to have to share for a little while still: Broome St. Temple and Ashtanga Yoga New York’s last day in its current site (which Guruji dedicated and taught at after 9/11) is Aug. 31.

Eddie Stern has posted the news on AYNY’s website:

It seems that our time to vacate 430 Broome Street has come a little early. We were given notification on Friday that there is a new tenant coming in, and the owner would like us to vacate 30 days early, as he is entitled to do. So, as of now, barring any bizarre twist of fate, our last day on Broome Street is August 31st. It is of course kind of brutal and crushing.

Eddie goes on to list seven more points, which you might want to check out even if you aren’t a regular (or occasional) student there.

This space — which Eddie describes as “our ever changing, humble, little yoga school” — is extra high-profile because of the post-9/11 classes that Guruji led (captured in the documentary Ashtanga Yoga New York). I think it fair to say it is one of those Ashtanga shalas that have extra juice, due to the teachers and students.

I can only imagine the range of emotions that regular students there are feeling — let alone Eddie and his wife Jocelyne. Bobbie and I had the lucky opportunity to practice there for a handful of days two winters ago (when winter was in full effect in New York). I’ll admit, I first wrote “last winter” because it seems so recent — it actually is 18 months or so ago. But being there, in a crowded and dedicated space, remains a very present memory, if that makes sense. I think during those days — we were there for a workshop with Eddie and Robert Moses — that Robert described how holy sites are all linked by whatever thread or line or connection you prefer. The Broome St. Temple was one of those spots, because of both the dedication, power and persistence of the yoga being practiced there as well as the temple, itself — Ganesh, Siva, Hanuman and more.

The really meaningful yoga spaces I’ve been fortunate enough to practice in share that … oh, what to call it? Energy? Vibration? Hum? It build up, as day passes after day, and more tapas seeps into the bones of the place. That tapas, I suspect, will be one of the things people miss — even if they don’t precisely know that’s what they’re missing.

But the good thing is this: There’s more tapas to come. So whenever AYNY ends up — Eddie promises it will be downtown — it will once again be a place where that tapas, that heat, that dedication builds up.

Here’s hoping they have a smooth transition.

Posted by Steve

Eddie Stern exhorts Capitol Hill: Do reach across the aisle asana

I know I promised no more International Day of Yoga coverage, so please consider this one Eddie Stern coverage:

A day later, June 22, the Embassy joined the Hindu American Foundation to host the first-ever “Yoga on the Hill Day.”

“Before we move onto the filibuster pose, where you do nothing, we’ll go to the ‘reaching across the aisle asana’. If you’re a Democrat, pair up with a Republican, and vice versa,” instructed Eddie Stern, renowned Ashtanga yoga teacher, as 50 Congressional staffers and DC insiders stretched over to their partners.

[snip]

Participants took part in one of two 30-minute long yoga sessions, led by Stern. Before and after the session, they were encouraged to contemplate the broader teachings of yoga, as detailed in a visual exhibit prepared by HAF. Karthik Krishnamurthy, a local volunteer from the Art of Living Foundation, led a guided meditation session to complement Stern’s asana course.

I’ll of course be incorporating filibuster pose into my practice.

Posted by Steve

Here’s one way you can help the Nepal earthquake victims

If you haven’t yet sent money or other assistance to the victims of Saturday’s horrific earthquake in Nepal, here’s you chance. (It’s even you chance if you have.) It comes via our friends at Namarupa and the Broome St. Temple:

We have received an urgent request from our friends at

www.wavesforwater.org/project/nepalreliefinitiative for help.

Waves for Water works on the front-line of disaster areas around the globe to provide clean water to communities in need. Broome Street Temple has a close association with Wavers For Water and worked together on relief efforts following Super Storm Sandy.

Some time back many of you responded to our plea for help when floods struck at the western end of the Himalayas. At that time our primary purpose was to create an education fund, Namarupa Bhandava, for children of the effected villages. Through your help we raised $16,2008.00. We have been releasing these funds on an annual timetable per the instructions of Swami Janardanandaji who is managing the fund distribution to the village children.

We have asked and received permission from Swamiji to send $1000.00 to WavesforWater to purchase desperately needed water filters in support of its Nepali relief efforts. They have a great deal of experience in disaster areas at distributing filters which help prevent many health problems that occur for some time after earthquakes have struck.

[snip]

If you are inclined you can help replenish the Namarupa Bhandava fund by sending any small amount here.

You can also donate directly to Waves For Water here.

Thank you

Best wishes

Robert Moses and Eddie Stern

Namarupa Bhandava

As a reminder, the Bhandava effort was set up in the summer of 2013 to help the victims of the floods in northern India. But hardship and hope know no borders.

Posted by Steve

Ashtanga Yoga New York opening outpost in someplace called Brooklyn

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

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