Sunday, August 14, 2011

Philadelphia - Ashtanga Yoga Central?

It seems like Ashtangis are suddenly gravitating to Philadelphia.  I can't explain it.  My teacher and his partner recently came here.  There's another student who left Germany to come here, in part, to practice Ashtanga Yoga.  Of course, I recently moved here as well.  There's another shala in the city with another prominent teacher.  He recently decided to settle here and open a shala.  One of his students has a blog where she talks in her first post about moving here to practice Ashtanga with her teacher. 

This has me wondering about the confluence of Ashtanga yoga on Philadelphia.  In many ways, it seems right.  Philadelphia is the "City of Brotherly Love."  Yoga teaches us how to love ourselves and others.  Philly is also a gritty city.  Everyday, you see poverty and hear of violence.  It's a place where you have to learn to live amongst all kinds of people and in a stressful environment with grace.  Philly is also the historical birthplace of our country and was the home of many who were influence by the Enlightenment.  And it's nestled between two amazing rivers.  You can feel all of this in the energy of the place.  

Whatever the reason, I feel blessed to live in a place so alive with the practice right now.  Riding through Center City at dawn in the quiet and watching the first morning's rays light the sides of historical buildings and new ones is one of the highlights of my day.  My practice allows me to see the city from another perspective, before it really wakes up.  It makes me happy to feel that so many other Ashtangis are feeling and seeing the same thing every morning.

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