december 2020/january 2021 newsletter, letter to community

Dear Shala Community,
After 20 years of owning and operating our beautiful studio in Union Square, we have decided to close our doors at 816 Broadway. After several attempts to negotiate with our landlord, in the end we couldn’t agree on an affordable way to keep the space while there is still so much uncertainty for brick-and-mortar yoga studios. 

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supplemental reading for the shala book club: on immunity / may 2020

This Saturday we’ll meet live and online via Zoom to discuss On Immunity by Eula Biss, a succinct nonfiction exploration of issues related to health, illness, medicine, care of the self, and care for one another. If you’d like to join, please sign up in advance on MindBody! These gatherings are free and open to all. 

Here is some supplemental reading that may inform our conversation. 

Get Ready for a Vaccine Information War— The New York Times

“The Coronation” — Charles Eisenstein

A short piece by Eula Biss in the New York Review of Books “Pandemic Journal”

Please reach out with any questions! Hope to see you “there.”



One day, one breath at a time

Dear Students,

After careful consideration and daily reassessment, we’ve decided to close both Shala studios for 2 weeks, effective on Monday, March 16.

We feel strongly that connection and communication are of the utmost importance, especially now. We are here to support you in whatever skillful form that has to take for the time being. We appreciate the overwhelming support you’ve already offered, and we need your continued support during this emergency closure.

We are working on setting up online classes, which will help us stay in touch and keep practicing together. Online classes will also help sustain our teaching staff and keep the studios afloat. We encourage you to purchase gift certificates and/or class cards for the future, when we can get together again. 🙂

You can check our website, Instagram and Facebook for updates. You can collect your mats tomorrow in-between classes or we will post times for mat pick up during the weekdays.

Keep practicing! Take care of yourselves and others! We love you.

K + B

newsletter archive: march 2020

Dear all,
This month we’ll focus on jnana and twists. As we approach the spring equinox, we are reminded of the ubiquity and constancy of change, and the role of jnana (wisdom or knowledge) in the process of navigating the many twists and turns of life. Wisdom guides us into questions like, who am I? What am I doing in this life? Where am I caught in delusion, and what is the true reality?

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newsletter archive: december 2019

Dear all,
We’d like to acknowledge our deepest gratitude to Sharon Gannon, David Life, Jivamukti Yoga, and all of its teachers and locations. Jivamukti was the birthplace of many of the first and most authentic yoga teachers in the West. Sadly, it will close its physical location in Manhattan this month.

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newsletter archive: november 2019

Dear all,

Last month we learned so much from Kate Johnson’s workshops on cultivating a more diverse yoga community. Our aim as a studio is to make the Shala a welcoming and inclusive space for anyone and everyone interested in the practice of yoga.

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Introducing Rocket Yoga

To the Shala, with love from Megna Paula:

It is both a joy and an honor to introduce Rocket Yoga to the Shala! We have a 14 year long history of being the yoga home for both traditional Mysore teachings of Ashtanga, as well as space for Vinyasa classes that honor the foundations of traditional lineages. A few yogis of our community have experienced the Rocket in San Francisco, where it was created in the spirit of the rebellious 60s and 70s. Rocket classes still carry that laid back West Coast creative vibe, in a way that translates as bright NYC energy.

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book club: supplemental reading + listening: the new yorker + the ny times on miriam toews’s “women talking”

read here and here for more on miriam toews, the author of our book club selection women talking. these articles provide useful, detailed context for the novel, and were cited during our discussion on saturday, october 19, at the fort greene studio. you can also listen to this very thorough interview with miriam toews on the “between the covers” podcast. 

newsletter archive: october 2019

every month we issue a newsletter chock full of information about what’s happening at the shala. we know it’s easy for these missives to get lost in the inbox shuffle, so we’re building an archive of our letters to the shala community here. here’s the latest.

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Jocelyne Stern teaching Mysore at the Shala

The Shala is excited and honored to welcome Jocelyne Stern to the Mysore Ashtanga program. She will be teaching Monday through Wednesday 6:15 to 8:15am in Union Square. A wealth of knowledge, wisdom and experience, Jocelyne has been practicing and teaching Ashtanga Yoga for over 30 years.


Jocelyne Stern is an Ashtanga Yoga and meditation teacher. She made her first trip to India in 1986, where she learned yoga from Rudra Gowda in Rishikesh and Swami Gitananda in Pondicherri. She was first introduced to Ashtanga Yoga by Derek Ireland and Radha, and worked with them for several years at the Practice Place, a yoga retreat center in Crete. In 1991, she made the first of many trips to Mysore to study with Pattabhi Jois and Sharath Jois. She has been teaching since 1995, when she co-founded the Patanjali Yoga Shala with her husband, Eddie. After the birth of their daughter, their yoga shala moved to Broome Street and became Ashtanga Yoga New York, and Jocelyne taught there periodically over the following 15 years. In 2015, Ashtanga Yoga New York moved to Brooklyn, where Jocelyne continued to teach and also co-created Sadhu Elixir, a healing oil. She practices Vipassana meditation and has attended many Vipassana retreats. She was given Kamala Masters's blessing to teach Metta meditation in 2015. Jocelyne teaches meditation and yoga alongside Eddie at international retreats, and works with homeless men and other at-risk communities.

newsletter archive: september 2019: practices for whatever life brings

Dear all,
We hope your summer travels have brought you joy and restoration. While we’ve relished the sweetness of the season, we’re looking forward to an autumn full of learning and inquiry. 
Our focuses for this month are yoga and the nervous system, and Tree pose (Vrksasana).
The sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the ANS are always in conversation. Sometimes we need to mobilize and take action, and sometimes we need to rest. Yoga offers us a way to participate in the regulation of our nervous system so we feel steady, clear, and consistent in our lives. In this time of political and environmental upheaval, it is all the more important that we deepen our practice so we are better equipped to respond with equanimity and compassion.
In late September, we welcome Julianna Takacs back for a weekend of practice and devotional singing. Julianna taught at the Shala for many years, and now runs a holistic retreat center with her husband in New Mexico. Her teaching is imbued with the qualities of sthira (steadiness) and sukha (ease). Don’t miss this chance to experience her loveliness firsthand. 
Please keep an eye on the schedule for changes this holiday weekend, and check out our many upcoming workshop offers (more below). We hope to see you often.
Kristin + Barbara

newsletter archive: august 2019

Dear Shala family,
We hope you are slowing down and enjoying the long summer days. Our posture focus for the month of August is backbends. We love their energizing effect, and how they represent and bolster attitudes of fearlessness, radical openness, and compassion.
Please keep an eye on our schedule for class cancellations and teacher substitutions on Labor Day weekend, August 30-September 2. We wish you all a safe and joyous holiday!
Barbara + Kristin

newsletter archive: july 2019: steady breath, steady mind

Happy July!
True summer seems to have arrived promptly with the solstice. We hope you’re enjoying the sun, the park, the sea, and every opportunity to be with friends, family, and neighbors.
To those on vacation, we’ll miss you! To those around town, we look forward to seeing you in class—we’re focusing on forward bends (to balance out all the outward-moving, expansive, solar energy of the season), and adding in more pranayama practices.
Please check the website for additional schedule changes, sub notices, and class cancellations.
Kristin + Barbara

newsletter archive: june 2019: late spring, early summer

Happy June!
As summer approaches and the days become longer and brighter, we begin to shed the many layers that kept us warm and dry throughout a long winter and a very wet spring.
Yoga philosophy regards the physical body as a big coat enveloping the subtler bodies, and as the vehicle of the soul on its way to enlightenment. We’ll spend these last weeks of spring and first bits of summer exploring how yoga helps us tap into the subtle bodies and sheaths that live beneath and beyond this big coat.
In his book One Simple Thing, Eddie Stern describes the bliss body as shining “through the other two [physical and subtle], but it becomes more and more dim as the outer bodies are thicker and grosser and allow less light to shine through, until we actively work on making ourselves more porous, less shell-like.”
We’ll also focus on restorative postures, as they lend themselves particularly well to contemplation and introspection.
We are super excited to have Tim Feldmann, a kind and gifted teacher, return to teach on the weekend of June 8-9. There’s still some space in the workshops, so please consider signing up and joining us!
Kristin + Barbara
P.S. One Simple Thing is for sale at the Shala shop in Union Square, as is Jocelyne Stern’s sumptuous Sadhu body oil. We are enjoying both!

Carlota Portella is a holistic nutritionist, health coach, and student at the Shala. Last month she hosted a cooking class at our Union Square location, and was kind enough to share some of the recipes used in her workshop. You can learn more about Carlota’s services here; read below to learn how to prepare delicious, wholesome snacks. 

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