Category Archives: Studios

Pattabhi Jois’ New Shala in Florida

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!

Love, Guruji

Islamorada, FL
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

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Apparently it was financed by a very dedicated student of his.

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Islamorada, at the very tip of the Eastern Coast of the USA

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!

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.