~ GENTLE IS THE NEW ADVANCED
~ MAKING VINYASA YOGA SAFE
~ SLOWER IS STRONGER
with J. Brown
Pursuing a quiet yoga revolution, based in healing,
J. Brown seeks to change the dialogue, and direction,
of yoga practice in the west.
February 16-17-18, 2018
Early bird discount prior to January 16: $185
Late fee after January 16: $200
$60 early bird, $75 late fee
GENTLE IS THE NEW ADVANCED
This is a yoga practice for the well being of the whole person; something that will provide a vehicle for learning to truly take care of ourselves and ease the pains of life. Moving the breath in and through the body with full, deep breathing makes people feel better, feel stronger and feel more energetic.
In this gentle, therapeutic, breath-centered yoga, we are making the body strong and flexible — but we go about it in a way that also encourages useful patterns of thought and behavior. No struggling. No straining. No striving. Just strong and calm, even and measured work.
$90 early bird, $105 late fee
MAKING VINYASA YOGA SAFE
For teachers and interested students at all levels.
Learn how to apply the core principles of therapeutic yoga to a conventional vinyasa class. By establishing basic safety protocols, you can prevent injuries and get the maximum benefit from your yoga practice.
In this workshop, you explore
Whether you’re a beginner interested in starting a safe yoga practice, a more experienced practitioner with injuries, or a teacher wanting to ensure safe and favorable outcomes for your students, you can do away with unintended consequences and nurture your yoga practice as a genuine form of preventive care.
$60 early bird, $75 late fee
SLOWER IS STRONGER
More Power. Less Pain.
Imagine yoga before it was transformed in its journey to the West. Imagine a personalized, breath-centered practice, passed down from individual teacher to student. a yoga practice for the well being of the whole person; something that would provide a vehicle for learning to truly take care of ourselves and ease the pains of life.
Now compare that to the standard vinyasa yoga classes that are offered at most gyms today. Yoga changed when it came to the West. New styles and brands of yoga have developed which meet the desires and expectations of much of the American audience. Focusing on the outer, physical achievements, and perhaps losing something in the creation of a standardized, scaled and franchised approach to yoga. But the older traditions have also continued, and J. Brown is at the forefront of reincorporating the ‘old-school’ yoga back into the mainstream.
In this workshop, you explore
In a Slow Vinyasa we are making the body strong and flexible — but we go about it in a way that also encourages useful patterns of thought and behavior. No struggling. No straining. No striving. Just strong and calm, even and measured work.
J. Brown (E-RYT 500) is a yoga teacher, writer, and founder of Abhyasa Yoga Center in Brooklyn, New York. A teacher for more than 15 years, he is known for his pragmatic approach to teaching personal, breath-centered therapeutic yoga practice adapted to individual needs, including chronic or acute conditions. His writing has been featured in Yoga Therapy Today, the International Journal of Yoga Therapy, Elephant Journal and Yogadork. J’s writing, video, and international events are featured at jbrownyoga.com
He is studied in the Ashtanga-Vinyasa, Iyengar, Sivananda, and Desikachar/Krishnamacharya forms of Hatha Yoga practice. His teachers include Alison West (Yoga Union Certified), Richard Freeman, Swami P. Saraswati (Rishikesh-India), Katchie Ananda and Mark Whitwell (Heart of Yoga Certified). Member IAYT.
For more than fifteen years, J. Brown has been developing techniques to teach people how to practice yoga in a deeper and more fulfilling way. He is also a well known writer, having been featured in Yoga Therapy Today, the International Journal of Yoga Therapy, Elephant Journal, and Yogadork.
J. Brown came to yoga by way of his mother's death (see How I Came to Yoga below.) Reconciling that loss, and wanting to be free from the crippling grief and disillusionment that came with it, fueled his passion for learning to make himself well.
First, he gravitated towards an Ashtanga, power vinyasa style. The intensity suited his struggling temperament. After sustaining several injuries, he explored an Iyengar based approach to learn better alignment. But he soon discovered that better alignment alone was not the answer. Despite having achieved proficiency in both the Ashtanga and Iyengar styles, studying with renowned teachers such as Alison West and Richard Freeman, J admits: 'I still had chronic pain and was horribly disillusioned and unhappy.' The next phase of his search would be in India.
In Rishikesh, J. found a rare and special teacher in Swami P. Saraswati. He taught J that yoga practice was not a linear progression towards some unknown thing, but rather a process of learning how to take care of yourself. Back in NY, J. stopped going to regular group classes and devoted himself to a self-practice, ultimately meeting his most influential teacher Mark Whitwell and finding his way to an entirely therapeutic orientation in the tradition of TKV Desikachar and T Krishnamacharya, the "teacher of teachers".
In 2007, After more than a decade as a popular teacher at various schools in Manhattan and Brooklyn, J. founded Abhyasa Yoga Center in Brooklyn, NY. AYC was created to provide a home for yoga practice that adapts to individual needs.
Pursuing a quiet yoga revolution, based in healing, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn,
outspoken and sometimes controversial yoga teacher and blogger J. Brown seeks
to change the dialog, and direction, of yoga practice in America
NEW YORK –J. Brown, a Brooklyn-based yoga teacher who has very quietly gone about his business in the last 10 years promoting a wellness revolution in yoga has seen the ravages that yoga can wreak on the over-zealous or dogmatic. Hobbled knees, wrecked shoulders, torn muscles, you name it and he’s seen it. He’s also done his best to heal, keep it healthy and to direct yogis in a radical direction: using yoga gently to make the body healthy.
J. is the owner and operator of Abhyasa Yoga Center in Williamsburg and his revolution has less to do with over-heated rooms, sculpted bodies, one-handed handstands or disputes over copyrighting yoga poses than it does with, simply, employing yoga to heal the body, mind and soul and to keep all three in harmony. It might not sound like a radical approach, but for yoga in the Western world, it is most certainly revolutionary. The yoga world is a world of larger than life personalities, of gurus and conventions touting the “lifestyle” of yoga and yogic philosophy. It’s not overlooked that it’s also a multi-million dollar business based on product and image. J. Brown is an upstart who went against the grain from the beginning of his career, has taken a deliberately different approach, which, after 10 years of practice and patience, has begun to bear broad fruit.
“When I started in yoga, studios were all about hot classes, vinyasa, ashtanga or any of several different rigorous and difficult forms,” said Brown. “I began to see that there were people being badly injured and teachers without proper understanding simply parroting pre-digested ideas about yoga rather than exploring it deeply for themselves. In my own study I began to recognize the harm that could come from over-zealous practice and dedicated myself to a completely therapeutic style meant to heal and help people, not to make them sexy.”
His comments and ideas have not gone unnoticed, or without controversy. Many of his blog posts, from his award-winning blog, have sparked broad discussions in the yoga community, via J.’s outspoken criticism of established ideas. He has gained a large number of supporters, and a fair number of detractors, all of which he welcomes.
“I’ve been on the path for a good 20 years now,” Brown said. “I’m not afraid of new ideas or of being challenged for them. I’m willing to put my money where my mouth is.”
His quiet little yoga center in Brooklyn boasts a packed schedule, his teacher-training courses routinely sell out and he is frequently invited to teach at retreats and studios around the country and the world – including yoga hotspots like Kripalu and the Omega Institute – where he continues to spread the word about his “revolutionary” approach.
“It’s hard to believe that teaching yogis not to over-reach and/or hurt themselves could be seen as controversial in the yoga world, but it is,” he said. “There is no feet-kissing or guru worship in my studio. It’s about healing and health. Nothing more.”
Brown recently released the simple and aptly titled “J. Brown’s Yoga DVD,” marking the first time that J. has put his practice on camera and made it available to a wider audience. The first month of the release has seen more than 500 copies already find their way to points on the globe as diverse as Japan, Croatia, Malaysia and New Zealand.
“”There’s clearly a need for this, a hunger even,” Brown said of the response to the video. “It’s gratifying to know that there are many people out there who feel the same about the practice, and who aren’t in it for the sculpted glutes or flat stomach. It’s about wellness. Nothing else.”