Yoga is Not Hard

Ohm or Ouch?

When I meet someone who is new to yoga and they learn that I am a teacher, they always say the same thing: "I went to a yoga class and it was really hard." While it's encouraging that so many people are trying yoga, that their early experiences always feel like "hard work" is unfortunate. Setting this precedent becomes the basis for many of the pitfalls that beset practitioners today.

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About The Author

J. Brown's picture

J. Brown is a yoga teacher, writer, and founder of Abhyasa Yoga Center in Brooklyn, NY.  His writing has been featured in Yoga Therapy Today, the International Journal of Yoga Therapy, and across the yoga blogosphere. Visit his website at jbrownyoga.com

King and Queen of Yoga Dethroned

Royal Pain

Perhaps the most questionable convention in yoga practice is the assertion that headstand and shoulderstand are the “king and queen of asana.”  Deeply rooted in classical traditions and adopted by modern hybrids, the emphasis on these poses is an example of a broader disconnect between ideals and actualities.

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About The Author

J. Brown's picture

J. Brown is a yoga teacher, writer, and founder of Abhyasa Yoga Center in Brooklyn, NY.  His writing has been featured in Yoga Therapy Today, the International Journal of Yoga Therapy, and across the yoga blogosphere. Visit his website at jbrownyoga.com

Unimposing Yoga

In the pursuit of health through yoga, the challenge is often more about shifting ingrained sensibilities than addressing physical limitations. Attempting to tune, fix, quantify, purify, or explain a human body, as though it were more a piece of equipment in need of optimization or repairs than a highly temperamental organism, is not likely to heal the wounds or set a necessary course for well being.

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About The Author

J. Brown's picture

J. Brown is a yoga teacher, writer, and founder of Abhyasa Yoga Center in Brooklyn, NY.  His writing has been featured in Yoga Therapy Today, the International Journal of Yoga Therapy, and across the yoga blogosphere. Visit his website at jbrownyoga.com

Are You a Balanced Person?

Advertising gurus know how to use imagery to create associations and a precedent of thought that steer behavior. As yoga has grown into a common pop-culture reference, the image of someone executing balance poses has become the symbol of one's steadiness in life.  But many are learning the hard way that, actually, equanimity within requires more than these sort of displays.
 

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About The Author

J. Brown's picture

J. Brown is a yoga teacher, writer, and founder of Abhyasa Yoga Center in Brooklyn, NY.  His writing has been featured in Yoga Therapy Today, the International Journal of Yoga Therapy, and across the yoga blogosphere. Visit his website at jbrownyoga.com

Yoga and the Placebo Effect

Mind Over Matter

Recent studies are calling into question what we really know about a wide range of health conditions. Placebo is often found to be as effective as conventional treatments. The tendency to gloss over these findings with merely a warning against "fake medicine" overlooks more important implications.

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About The Author

J. Brown's picture

J. Brown is a yoga teacher, writer, and founder of Abhyasa Yoga Center in Brooklyn, NY.  His writing has been featured in Yoga Therapy Today, the International Journal of Yoga Therapy, and across the yoga blogosphere. Visit his website at jbrownyoga.com

Yoga as a Way of Getting Rid of Bad Habits

Whether it’s low self-esteem, drinking, smoking, or a lack of control, we all have bad habits that we want to change. There are a lot of techniques to accomplish this feat but, the truth is, the majority of them don’t work. We may refrain from engaging in the habit or tackle it head-on, but habits are habits for a reason. And, if we are not diligent, they often come back to haunt us.

Thankfully, there’s a way to effectively remove these unhealthy habits from your life. How? It’s quite simple really - employ a more holistic approach (like yoga) to the problem.

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The Unbearable Sweetness of Yoga

Most people who practice yoga with any consistency over time begin to recognize that the benefits extend well beyond having a strong and flexible body. But unlocking the keys to the real power of yoga often requires a fearless embrace of vulnerability that runs contrary to the image we have of yoga's fruition.

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About The Author

J. Brown's picture

J. Brown is a yoga teacher, writer, and founder of Abhyasa Yoga Center in Brooklyn, NY.  His writing has been featured in Yoga Therapy Today, the International Journal of Yoga Therapy, and across the yoga blogosphere. Visit his website at jbrownyoga.com

Joy in School Communities

In 2011, our community yoga studio, Hosh Yoga in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, partnered with a local public school to start an afterschool yoga club for students. Six years later, Hosh Kids has shared yoga with over 15,000 children in Brooklyn School District 14 and every child at that region's PS 196 benefits from yoga today.

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About The Author

Henry Cross's picture

Henry Cross grew up in sunny Miami, Florida. Upon graduating high school, he moved to the politicized Washington, D.C. and double majored in History and Politics at the Catholic University. He served as a social studies teacher in Prince George’s County Public School in 2008-2009. In the fall of 2009, he moved to New York City to continue and grow his work in education and service.

He joined Hosh Yoga in 2011 as a teacher and Program Director. And since 2013, he founded and expanded programming for the organization with Hosh Kids and Hosh Seniors. Henry's entrepreneurial spirit helped developed the organizational, program, and financial capacity of the nonprofit to deliver self-sustaining and self-supporting health and wellness services to over 3,000 children, adults, and seniors every month in a cost-effective and fairly-priced way. And from 2014 to 2016, he participated in a philanthropic role by expanding the programming, policy, and public advocacy efforts of the Sonima Foundation as Community Relations Director.

His work has been featured by the Huffington PostElephant JournalBlog Talk RadioThe NYC Social Innovation FestivalSocial Venture Institute, and multiple Brooklyn and Queens newspapers. He is an appointed New York City official of Community Board 5 in Queens, serves on a Department of Youth and Community Development Neighborhood Advisory Board, and on the board of directors of the Ridgewood Property Owners and Civic Association. And in 2015, Henry was selected as an etsy.org business fellow and awarded Top 40 Under 40 Nonprofit Rising Star. He finds joy in his community work service everyday and loves ballroom dancing!

Gentle is the New Advanced

Everything Old is New Again

Now that yoga class attendees who were never really into the yoga have largely migrated to Crossfit, and the once freely-given pass on safety has expired, grassroots practitioners are reclaiming the terms of their trade. The old school of yoga is resurgent, offering an antidote to a cultural infatuation with youth and body image.

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About The Author

J. Brown's picture

J. Brown is a yoga teacher, writer, and founder of Abhyasa Yoga Center in Brooklyn, NY.  His writing has been featured in Yoga Therapy Today, the International Journal of Yoga Therapy, and across the yoga blogosphere. Visit his website at jbrownyoga.com

Where Is Your Peak Yoga Experience?

On the Mat. Off the Mat

Triumphant as it may seem, the vast internet array of photos depicting every budding yogi's best arm balance is misleading. Assigning these images to the epitome of yoga detracts from the real draw and glory of yoga, which actually takes place outside the practice ritual.

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About The Author

J. Brown's picture

J. Brown is a yoga teacher, writer, and founder of Abhyasa Yoga Center in Brooklyn, NY.  His writing has been featured in Yoga Therapy Today, the International Journal of Yoga Therapy, and across the yoga blogosphere. Visit his website at jbrownyoga.com

Subscribe to RSS - yoga
Comic image of woman stretching in the grass with look of agony.
10/19/2017
Ohm or Ouch? When I meet someone who is new to yoga and they learn that I am a teacher, they always say the same thing: "I went to a yoga class and it was really hard." While it's encouraging that... read more
Annoyed cat wearing paper crown and ribbons.
09/28/2017
Royal Pain Perhaps the most questionable convention in yoga practice is the assertion that headstand and shoulderstand are the “king and queen of asana.”  Deeply rooted in classical... read more
Close up of hand in bandage in front of red cross symbol.
09/15/2017
In the pursuit of health through yoga, the challenge is often more about shifting ingrained sensibilities than addressing physical limitations. Attempting to tune, fix, quantify, purify, or... read more
Man in business suit sitting in yoga lotus position with laptop computer.
08/25/2017
Advertising gurus know how to use imagery to create associations and a precedent of thought that steer behavior. As yoga has grown into a common pop-culture reference, the image of someone... read more
Doctor in lab coat holding our prescription pill bottle.
07/21/2017
Mind Over Matter Recent studies are calling into question what we really know about a wide range of health conditions. Placebo is often found to be as effective as conventional treatments.... read more
Young woman in yoga side stretch on floor in front of wooden wall
06/09/2017
Anonymous (not verified)
Whether it’s low self-esteem, drinking, smoking, or a lack of control, we all have bad habits that we want to change. There are a lot of techniques to accomplish this feat but, the truth is, the... read more
Man staring intently at his reflection in mirrored window.
05/12/2017
Most people who practice yoga with any consistency over time begin to recognize that the benefits extend well beyond having a strong and flexible body. But unlocking the keys to the real power of... read more
School staff appreciation day sign over library door.
05/10/2017
In 2011, our community yoga studio, Hosh Yoga in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, partnered with a local public school to start an afterschool yoga club for students. Six years later, Hosh Kids... read more
Fit woman posing for selfie while flexing muscle.
04/28/2017
Everything Old is New Again Now that yoga class attendees who were never really into the yoga have largely migrated to Crossfit, and the once freely-given pass on safety has expired, grassroots... read more

Pages

Comic image of woman stretching in the grass with look of agony.
10/19/2017
Ohm or Ouch? When I meet someone who is new to yoga and they learn that I am a teacher, they always say the same thing: "I went to a yoga class and it was really hard." While it's encouraging that... read more
Annoyed cat wearing paper crown and ribbons.
09/28/2017
Royal Pain Perhaps the most questionable convention in yoga practice is the assertion that headstand and shoulderstand are the “king and queen of asana.”  Deeply rooted in classical... read more
Close up of hand in bandage in front of red cross symbol.
09/15/2017
In the pursuit of health through yoga, the challenge is often more about shifting ingrained sensibilities than addressing physical limitations. Attempting to tune, fix, quantify, purify, or... read more
Man in business suit sitting in yoga lotus position with laptop computer.
08/25/2017
Advertising gurus know how to use imagery to create associations and a precedent of thought that steer behavior. As yoga has grown into a common pop-culture reference, the image of someone... read more
Doctor in lab coat holding our prescription pill bottle.
07/21/2017
Mind Over Matter Recent studies are calling into question what we really know about a wide range of health conditions. Placebo is often found to be as effective as conventional treatments.... read more
Young woman in yoga side stretch on floor in front of wooden wall
06/09/2017
Anonymous (not verified)
Whether it’s low self-esteem, drinking, smoking, or a lack of control, we all have bad habits that we want to change. There are a lot of techniques to accomplish this feat but, the truth is, the... read more
Man staring intently at his reflection in mirrored window.
05/12/2017
Most people who practice yoga with any consistency over time begin to recognize that the benefits extend well beyond having a strong and flexible body. But unlocking the keys to the real power of... read more
School staff appreciation day sign over library door.
05/10/2017
In 2011, our community yoga studio, Hosh Yoga in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, partnered with a local public school to start an afterschool yoga club for students. Six years later, Hosh Kids... read more
Fit woman posing for selfie while flexing muscle.
04/28/2017
Everything Old is New Again Now that yoga class attendees who were never really into the yoga have largely migrated to Crossfit, and the once freely-given pass on safety has expired, grassroots... read more

Pages