A long weekend at Ashtanga Yoga New York? Yes, please.

There’s been a lot of deep and heavy discussion here at The Confluence Countdown household about one thing: Are we going to the next Ashtanga Yoga Confluence in San Diego?

Since we started this blog, our purposes and inspirations have changed. Steve’s tapped into his natural inclinations (and serious training) as a journalist, and focused on covering Ashtanga news. His own practice has changed, so he’s also found his groove as a kind of voice for the stiff yoga guy.

I’ve enjoyed it as an outlet for the prose essay, something I don’t normally write. Inspiration doesn’t come often, but when it does, it’s a blast to do.

Now, we’ve got two Ashtanga Yoga Confluences behind us. A totally transformative yatra to India also shook things up, and in a big way. Plus our Ashtanga practice also became a home practice, with trips once a month or so to San Diego environs to see our teacher, Tim Miller.

The things we write about now, three years later, don’t have much to do with the annual Ashtanga convention; it became its own kind of confluence, something we learned all about on our pilgrimage to India. So we kept the name. But we were on the fence about going this year.

Then our friend Robert Moses announced that he’d be doing a workshop with Eddie Stern at Ashtanga Yoga New York. Steve and I looked at each other and just knew. Well. We must go. Here’s the schedule (January 17-20):

6-9 pm Puja
Freedom (moksha) as the essential aim of all actions.
7-11 am Mysore Practice
12-12:45 pm Meditation
12:45 – 2 pm Meditation, Chanting & Yoga Sutras Study
2-4 pm Break for lunch
4-6 Talk: Spiritual Landscape of India
7-11 am Mysore Practice
11am -1pm Break for lunch
1- 3 pm Talk: Essentials of Vedanta
3-4 pm Tea break
4-6 pm Talk: Yoga: Traditions & Lineages
7-11 am Mysore Practice
11am-2 pm Ganesha Temple Yatra – Flushing, Queens

MLK-Day-Retreat-Flier-edit3One of the things we learned on our pilgrimage to India is the value of knowledgeable leaders as travel companions. We had five swamis traveling with us, and satsang with them was amazing. The deepest discussions I had on the trip came at or after visiting holy sites—over dinner, on the bus, or standing right there, in the moment. One of our fondest wishes from our trip is that we would get more time hearing Robert speak about Vedanta, and there it is, right on the agenda.

We also appreciate Eddie’s alchemic combination of playful humor and  mind-blowing philosophy—right up our heavily ironic alley. After the last two meetings in San Diego, we found ourselves wishing we could visit his shala. So here it is. A chance to get both Eddie and Robert at the same time.

To New York City we go!

Posted by Bobbie

A look inside the Broome St. Temple

While I’m posted videos, here’s one — it’s about 12 minutes long — on the Broome Street Temple, which Eddie Stern calls “my temple,” with a laugh. (And then “clears that up.”)

Honestly, I’m not big on watching videos on the computer. But I know lots of other people who are, so this one seems worth a gander.

It gives some more good insight into Stern, I think.

Posted by Steve

AYNY preps for Ganesh Chaturthi celebration

Ganesh image via Exoticindia.com

I’ve been hearing from my reliable sources that Ashtanga Yoga New York was going to be closed the first week of September for a Ganesh celebration. Now the word is official at Eddie Stern’s Internet home. It’s an understandable moment when the Broome Street Temple takes clear precedence over AYNY.

(I can understand how the typical Type A Ashtangi might be annoyed, though. Two words: Home practice.)

The AYNY page gives a wonderfully succinct rundown on Ganesh, which probably is a taste of what we can expect when Eddie and Tim Miller talk about their respective Ishta Devatas during next year’s Ashtanga Yoga Confluence. Here’s a bit:

Ganesha’s head symbolizes the Atman or the soul, which is the ultimate supreme reality of human existence, and his human body signifies Maya or the earthly existence of human beings. The elephant head denotes wisdom and its trunk represents Om, the sound symbol of cosmic reality. In his upper right hand Ganesha holds a goad, which helps him propel mankind forward on the eternal path and remove obstacles from the way. The noose in Ganesha’s left hand is a gentle implement to capture all difficulties.

It goes on to give a couple of stories of how Ganesh got his elephant head and a few other pieces of information on the Hindu deity who has to be the most popular here in the U.S.