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

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Eddie Stern, Sivaratri, the New Yorker and real estate

As you may have heard, Ashtanga Yoga New York / the Broome St. Temple are in the process of moving.

As a result, the temple’s final Sivaratri got the New Yorker coverage:

Stern is an expert in Ashtanga yoga, having trained with Shri K. Pattabhi Jois, who developed the technique. He founded the Hindu temple, in his Manhattan yoga studio, in 2001, to create “a little slice of India,” he said. Since then, it has become an unlikely spiritual-pilgrimage site, attracting a mixture of Indians, downtown yoga ladies, and celebrities (Gwyneth Paltrow; Mike D, of the Beastie Boys; Julian Schnabel; Russell Brand). The evening’s Shivaratri ceremony was bittersweet: it would be the Temple’s last. The space had been sold to developers, who want to turn it into a hair salon. “It’s an emotional time,” Stern said. More than a hundred and fifty yogis had R.S.V.P.’d for the all-nighter, and he said they’d be drifting in and out.

[snip]

The night marched on: more chanting, more offerings. By two-thirty, the room was full of yawns. By three-thirty, Dias looked wilted. “I’m struggling,” she said. Lobuglio slumped against a wall. At 4 A.M., there was a long bout of chanting: “Om namah Shivaya.” Throats grew sore. Bottoms felt numb. Even Stern seemed to be in a funk. “Real estate stresses me out,” he said, reflecting on the Temple’s relocation issues, during a chai break. (Madonna had sent her regrets at 12:46 A.M. “ ‘I just finished my rehearsal, and I’m totally exhausted,’ ” Stern said, reading her message. “I said we’d say a prayer for her.”)

It’s from the upcoming March 16 issue.

Posted by Steve

Ashtanga Yoga New York / Broome St. Temple to move

Eddie Stern has announced — via email and on his Facebook pages — that the shala/temple is going to move at the end of February.

With his OK, I’ll share part of what he sent around:

After a few months of adjusting the fees at the school, attempting to secure a mortgage, and crunching numbers, Jocelyne and I came to realize that remaining on Broome Street was no longer a viable option for us. At the end of November we gave up our option to purchase the second floor, and it has now been sold to another buyer. The new buyer closes in the beginning of February. Our move out date from 430 Broome St. is February 28th.

We do not as of yet have a new space to move into, and did not want to start looking until we knew that the sale of the second floor was finalized, which happened in late December. We will begin looking for a new school next week. I am confident that something will come our way, and we will be able to continue as usual – hopefully in or around the neighborhood that we love so much! If anyone has any solid leads, please let me know.

Eddie notes they have been on Broome Street for 14 years, and he lists some big moments, including Guruji’s installing the temple and the reconstruction after the 2003 fire there.

AYNY is an iconic space within the Ashtanga community for those reasons, because of Eddie’s stature and, not inconsequentially, thanks to the Ashtanga, NY movie.

Eddie also reminds everyone of the Martin Luther King weekend retreat he is leading with Robert Moses. Bobbie and I decided not to go (after attending last year’s) and now we are kicking ourselves a bit. But…

We consider ourselves very fortunate to have had a five-day visit to the shala and the opportunity both to practice there and experience the temple and its activities. That space had a certain energy — I ought to use the word “shakti” — built up from all the tapas, the teaching, Guruji’s presence but, I think, mostly Eddie and his team’s dedication to spreading the teachings of Ashtanga and other spiritual/mindful practices. It might take some time to recreate that energy in a new space, but I have zero doubt it will happen. And, as Eddie notes, they may have opportunities in a new space to do more, to teach more — in other words, to build up even more of that energy.

Posted by Steve

Get your Ashtanga Yoga New York and Broome St. Temple shirts!

You want to be a well-dressed Ashtangi, right?

Here’s how, from Ashtanga Yoga New York:

 

 

 

NEW T-SHIRTS IN THIS WEEK!

 

Email info@ayny.org to order yours! $35 + s&h (white ink on black shirts only)

Broome Street Temple shirts are back, too. (white ink on grey shirts only)

***

It may be the hippest shala in America.

Bonus photo to get you to dig into your pocket:

Russel Brand rockin' a Broome St. Temple shirt. Via x17online.com

 

Posted by Steve

An introduction to Eddie Stern

We asked fellow Ashtangi and blogger Peter Alejandro (of MahaMondo fame) to give us a sense of Eddie Stern as a teacher. He kindly agreed to appear here as a guest star! Here are his reflections from a recent trip to New York:

The logo, explained.

AYNY’s online opening page now has this ‘Welcome‘ sign from India on it. And it captures how I feel when I walk up the steps to the shala AKA The Broome St. Temple. I was feeling nostalgic as I walked on Crosby Street in SoHo towards the shala as I remembered how at 6:00 in the morning in my younger days, I would be looking for a cab to take me back to where I was staying in New York after a major night of partying. These days , I am walking to attend puja then do Mysore practice at AYNY.

People have asked me what it is like to practice under Eddie Stern. I can’t distill the experience in several sentences. He has always made me feel welcome. There is nothing like practicing in a temple-like atmosphere with shrines dedicated to Sri Radha Krishna, Ganesha and Shiva. His students who come in for morning Mysore line up their mats in an orderly fashion; there is a sense of order in this universe. The tone and intention have all been set by the early morning puja, with Eddie as pujari and perfoming the opening Ashtanga chants.

My spiritual master Maharaja has always reminded me that the physical practice of yoga should lead to bhakti yoga, the desire to be united with God. And I can always feel this when I practice at Eddie’s shala. There is an atmosphere of dedication in the manner in which he conducts class.

Among all the American students of Guruji, he is probably the most traditional and scholarly, keeping the legacy of Guruji alive. I had mentioned to him after class this morning that the shala / temple always feels wonderful. His response to me was, “I like it here.”

I had also said that I enjoyed following his posts on the AYNY blog. And just when I thought he was going to reply that his latest entry was on Guruji or BKS Iyengar, Eddie said, “I just did one on Iggy Pop,” which made me think, “So that’s where you got the design for the Broome St. Temple t-shirt, from the Ramones, hehe.”

So for those looking forward to meeting and practicing with Eddie at the upcoming Ashtanga Yoga Confluence in San Diego, that’s a little taste of his rasa. Thanks so much Eddie. See you again next trip to NYC.

Posted by Bobbie