Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Sorry, nothing at the moment about more Crossfit/Yoga crossover (doublecross?).

I recently discovered Eddie Stern, director of Ashtanga Yoga New York, runs a blog.

I know, I know: get a late pass!

Anyway, Mr. Stern's blog is, as you would expect, essential reading.

Of note was an article on Pattabhi Jois called "Hoysala Brahmin," reprinted on the AYNY blog from Mr. Stern's magazine Namarupa.

I highly recommend Namarupa. It is bar none among the very best Yoga magazines, though to call it a magazine does it a great disservice as it's more of a journal.

The first several issues were in print, and last I heard they'd gone to downloadable PDF and print-on-demand. It's a great read. Check out Namarupa.org for more.

Mr. Stern's article "Hoysala Brahmin" is a fantastic story about the rich social, religious, and spiritual context in which Pattabhi Jois grew up and which, in turn, informed his teaching of Ashtanga Vinyasa.

I've excerpted two paragraphs below. It's important to know that Pattabhi Jois was a Hoysala Karnatkan and a Smarta Brahmin.

"[T]hough Shankaracharya is known as an Advaitin – following a philosophy which is commonly associated with a formless, nameless and unthinkable conception of the Absolute his followers in India, the Smartas, engage in the elaborate worship of several deities for the sake of generating devotion, love and surrender, that create the quality of mind needed for subtle contemplation. They choose an object – an object of devotion – and through the linking of the mind and heart, bring their consciousness into a state of concentration."

"When we look at Guruji’s system, we should understand that the yoga he taught was grounded in the body first and foremost, for we are embodied beings, and we should not negate this fact of our existence. His enthusiasm for yoga, however, was not simply physical – the physical is the gateway."

Check out the entire article on the AYNY blog.