AND THE SLOW YOGA REVOLUTION
On the outskirts of the last decade, a small and humble minority has been pushing back against the pumped up power craze that swept through the nineties, and still largely has a hold on modern postural yoga. Now that the longstanding kingdoms that once guarded yoga's legacies are falling, and individuals are left more to their own devices, this once obscure and unsung song is finding a new chorus of practitioners.
People are discovering again that yoga is not necessarily something you do to yourself so much as something you do with yourself.
The concept of “Slow Yoga” is not just about the pace with which we move our bodies. It’s a question of purpose. Are you doing yoga practice because you want to sweat? Are you doing yoga practice because you want to be stronger and more flexible? Are you doing yoga practice because you have pain and want relief? Or are you doing yoga practice because you just want to learn how to be well? Whatever question you’re asking yourself and whatever the answer you may arrive at, space enough for the inquiry is going to be required.
Slow Yoga takes emphasis off accomplishing something and puts it more on experiencing something.
Yoga teacher, writer, and podcaster J. Brown is leading the way in the Slow Yoga Revolution, advocating for more intimate, breath-centered, therapeutic yoga practices that adapt to individual needs. In morning and afternoon sessions, J will provide participants with a context and set of techniques that will enable them to buck the trends and find their own authentic yoga.
Bio:For more than twenty 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 and podcaster, having been featured in Yoga Therapy Today, the International Journal of Yoga Therapy, and across the yoga blogosphere. His podcast has become the premier resource for yoga teachers and center owners.
J. Brown came to yoga by way of his mother's death. 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 one his most influential teachers Mark Whitwell and finding his way to an entirely therapeutic orientation inspired by the TKV Desikachar/Krishnamacharya tradition.
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 to provide a home for yoga practice that adapts to individual needs. In 2017, J closed the center to travel, write, and talk about the important issues and focus on his work changing the dialogue and direction of yoga practice in the west.