Archive for August, 2006

Evolution of an Ashtangi: Christine Hoar in Bristol, Vermont

“If you want to change things about yourself,” says Rueger, “this is the best way to get results.”

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Alexis Lathem at Vermont Woman wrote a great article about Ashtanga and teacher, Christine Hoar at Bristol Yoga in Bristol, Vermont (near Burlington, Vermont, for us non-East coasters).

Alexis writes a particularly accessible description of what Ashtanga is, which I think would be something neat to share with new or non-Ashtangis – as well as a thoughtful and accurate profile of Christine and her path to becoming an Ashtanga teacher authorized by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. Here’s just one little bit.

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Yoga in Vermont

“It’s one of Christine’s gifts – she’s very good at connecting people,” says Tre McCarney, a studio regular. “Christine will make sure that you are introduced to the person next to you. Everyone is made to feel welcome. People who visit say how supportive this community is. It’s noticeable.”

Some other things I like about Christine are: she gives back to her community…

…in another trip to Mysore, Hoar taught yoga twice a week to a group of women who had been rescued from the sex trade. They practiced on a cement roof with no mats and no stretchy yoga clothing; Hoar spoke only a few words of their language – the words for inhale and exhale, up and down – but it was enough to get them into the postures. “They kept coming back,” says Hoar. “No one made them come, but they liked it. It made them smile.”

…and she speaks her truth:

Hoar admits that in Mysore, where a roomful of Ashtanga devotees are all practicing together, vying for the special attention of the guru, the atmosphere can get highly competitive. “People are focusing on a single aspect of yoga – the physical asana. It can border on (and cross into) self-absorption,” she reflected in a note from India.

Christine Hoar has been authorized to teach Ashtanga by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. Bristol Yoga hosts many workshops by guest Ashtanga teachers and lists Christine’s travel schedule.

Christine came to my birthday dinner a couple of years ago when she visited Yoga is Youthfulness in Mountain View, California, and she’s really cool.

Comments (2)

2 Comments »

  1. Erin said,

    August 30, 2006 at 9:50 am

    In this article, the writer mentions that one can practice NYC, Cambridge, and, of all places, Bristol, VT. Does anyone know what Cambridge studio has mysore or Ashtanga? I know of none.

    Also, the author mentions that the studio is heated. Are any of your studios heated? Mine isn’t. Didn’t think that was part of Ashtanga.

    Ok, thanks for any and all info, E

  2. tracy said,

    August 30, 2006 at 12:17 pm

    Hi Erin,

    In my experience, Ashtanga studios are usually heated above the typical 70 F in most American homes, but are not really hot (as Bikram is).

    I don’t know if there are recommended temperatures or what typical temperatures are for Ashtanga.

    Of course, all those people add to the heat, too!

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Vote on the Best: Morning Mysore Photo Project

An exciting project is under way at our studio, Yoga is Youthfulness, this summer: two students – Antonia and Dave – have been taking hundreds of photos during our Mysore classes, and they are all up (almost 450!) on our studio website.

The purposes of this project are:

  • To create a calendar for our community (and whoever else is interested in buying it).
  • To have a snapshot of “real” yogis. Most yoga photos you can find these days are of advanced practitioners in near perfect postures.
  • To have a raw record of the look and feel of a Mysore-Style class.

We invite all of you to take a look at the photos and vote for the ones you like best. The photographers are very talented.

I’ll keep you updated when I know more about the calendar.

In the meantime, here is a selection of my favorites.

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Bakasana

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Bhekasana

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Prasarita Padottanasana C

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Marichyasana B

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Baddha Konasana

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Antonia (the photographer) and Karna Pindasana

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Dave (the photgrapher) in Garbha Pindasana

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