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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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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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: 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!

newsletter archive: april 2019

Happy Spring!
We are excited for a very energetic season of goings-on at the Shala! This past weekend we began our 6th 200-hour teacher training with a fresh group of students, which means you can look out for TT workshops open to all.
Some happenings in Union Square (details below):
  • An advanced anatomy and sequencing workshop with Annie Piper, Joe Miller, and Maria Cutrona
  • An Ashtanga Yoga intensive with Tim Feldmann
  • An Ayurveda intensive with Maria Rubinate
  • A meditation series with Jocelyne Stern
  • A new art show by our dear friend, Sheila Anozier
In Fort Greene, we are super excited about hosting free yoga classes in the park every Saturday from May 18 until late October, made possible by our partnership with the Fort Greene Park Conservancy.
Whether you’re practicing in the city or Brooklyn, this month we’ll focus on arm balances and the fifth yama, aparigraha.
As always, we look forward to seeing you at the Shala.
Much love,
Kristin + Barbara

newsletter archive: march 2019: learning, growth, and transformation

Dear Shala students,
Sharon Salzberg, our teacher of 20 years, is experiencing health issues. She is reported to be recovering well from a recent hospitalization, and is taking time off to rest. Please keep her in your lovingkindness meditations. With gratitude for her life and work, this month we’ll focus on her teachings—come to class to hear her wisdom!
Happy Women’s History Month. We are fortunate to live in a time and place where the paths of yoga and meditation are shared by so many empowered women.
With love,
Barbara + Kristin

newsletter archive: february 2019: practice in community

Dear Shala students,
We hope you are staying warm!
This January 26 marked 1 year since moving to the other side of Broadway. Thank you for breathing life into this space—we are so happy to share it with you.
Here is a selection of Shala news and events happening over the next month or so. We’d love to see you at one (or every one!) of these gatherings, workshops, or classes.
With love,
Barbara + Kristin

newsletter archive: january 2019: peace peace peace

Dear Shala students,
We wish you and your loved ones peace and joy in the new year. May we each take a little time to consider what we found to be helpful, skillful, and grounding in 2018, as well as who and what brought out the best in us, and made us feel good and connected. May we resolve to keep those things close to our hearts, and integrate them into our days as we move into another cycle.
May we also acknowledge what was not helpful, skillful, or grounding, and let it pass. May our practice help us reflect on the direction we want to head in and the goals we’d like to set for ourselves. As Yogi Berra once said, if you don’t know where you’re going, you will end up someplace else.
We look forward to going deeper into our lives and practices with you in 2019.
With love,
Barbara + Kristin

newsletter archive: november 2018

Dear Shala students,
In the month of November we will focus on building a healthy, comfortable Padmasana (Lotus). This sacred seat shows up in asana practice as well as pranayama and meditation.
Our complementary philosophical focus is the Buddhist concept of skillful action, or how to apply contemplative work to ethical conduct.
Sitting and moving well, developing open communication with our minds, and deliberately reflecting on how we think, feel, relate, act, and react in an increasingly complicated and challenging world—these are practices that reach out in all directions and touch every aspect of our lives.
We are grateful to be members of a community that stands up for love, respect, kindness, and nonviolence on and off the mat. Thank you for everything you do to make the Shala and the world a more compassionate place.
ox Barbara and Kristin

newsletter archive: august 2018

August 2018

Dear Shala students,

We hope you are having a great summer and that you are able to lighten up your schedule in favor of taking slow walks in the city or elsewhere, and spending more time with family and friends.

This month we’ll focus on handstands and—important for handstands!—abhaya, or freedom from fear, so we hope you’re able to carve out some space and energy for practice, too. Be on the lookout for some upcoming schedule changes, including classes that focus more on strengthening, alignment, meditation, yin, and more.

This past Friday was the full blood moon, lunar eclipse (the longest of the century), and guru purnima, a day that marks the annual thanksgiving for our teachers and gurus. Astrologer Sherene Vismaya filled us in on the significance of this cosmic convergence—see below for more details. In case you missed Sherene’s wonderful summer astrology workshop, she will be back in September to tell us what to expect for autumn. 

Enjoy these precious warmer days. Know that if you are ever feeling lonely or alone, you can reach out to us at The world is big, fast, and complicated. Being with and connecting to others is so important. A major aspect of practice is learning how to take care of ourselves so we can take care of others.

All our love,

Kristin + Barbara