The rumours have been flying around for months, but now it’s official: Pattabhi Jois is opening a new shala on American soil, in the South of Florida, called the Ashtanga Yoga Institute USA. Here’s the announcement from the AYRI.org site:
My beloved students,
For the last 30 years I have been visiting the United States to spread my teachings. With great pleasure, I am proud to announce the opening of my new yoga center in Florida.
I would like to invite each and every one of you to join myself, my daughter Saraswathi and my grandson Sharath for the grand opening party on March 24th, followed by a 2-week workshop. This will be our only visit to the United States in 2007. I look forward to seeing you there!
First week (5 days): March 25, 26, 27, 28, 29
Second week (5 days): April 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 (April 2nd moon day holiday)
7:00AM Led Primary Series
Fees: 5-day workshop $200, single class $50
Workshop students are invited to the opening party on March 24
Registration opens November 15
Apparently it was financed by a very dedicated student of his.
Islamorada “purple island” is part of the Florida Keys about 2 hours drive from Miami Airport – so a little bit easier to get to for most students than Mysore. The climate should as close to Southern Indian as you can get in the continental US, and from the photos it looks like paradise (you know, the lying on the beach kind of paradise).
Someone should alert their tourist board that they are about to receive a lot more attention in the years to come!
From the way it has been presented though, it does not look as if AYIU will be a replacement for going to Mysore, especially for teaching authorization puposes (part of the criteria are 4 trips to AYRI). It seems to be more of a replacement of the annual multi-city World Tour for now. At least in 2007, the World Tour will take place at AYIU.
Perhaps in the future, the Jois family will decide to teach Mysore-Style classes in Islamorada. In any case, this is a big milestone in the development of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga and we welcome it wholeheartedly!