Yoga Teacher at Stanton Street Yoga + Bhakti Center
"Authenticity is this ability to stay connected to your center, regardless of the world around you....staying connected to the deepest truths that you’ve known, that your teachers have shared with you...the ability to trust that in all circumstances fearlessly."
When creating the space of Stanton Street Yoga, what was your vision for it?
Something that we see a lot of in the States is yoga being perceived as just a physical exercise simply because people don’t know, don’t have access to the deeper information. We feel so blessed to have been raised in a community, in a culture that offers what seems like such a flawless science of yoga, that you can really access the deepest aspects of your heart and your relationship to what is eternal.
So what we hope to offer at Stanton Street Yoga is yes, the physical practice which can bring us good health, real connection to nature and the environment.
The second is breath practice, pranayama, that can connect our mind to our body. In New York City your mind is so active. You can be doing one thing, but your mind is in a thousand other places. So the simple act of getting your mind present, in your body. It’s such an important practice for New Yorkers. It can transform somebody’s life.
The third thing is spiritual truth. A deeper knowledge that everybody is actually seeking. A lot of yoga studios these days don’t offer that. They offer the physical practice and the breath. We hope to offer the more spiritual, timeless, ancient truths of yoga. There’s so much of it. And that connects our mind with our soul. We can begin to focus our mind on something sacred – our real self, something deeper than the ever-changing world around us.
And the fourth step is Bhakti, which is connecting the soul to god. And still, a lot of yoga studios can connect the body to nature. They do the poses, they do the breath. They even can offer some sacred study, but Bhakti is the fourth step. There’s just a few yoga studios in the city that can offer an actual path to connect the soul to the divine. I think everybody in the world is seeking that connection to the divine. Something bigger than themselves. Not everybody knows that, but as soon as they can come into an environment where they feel supported to move towards that, the feedback is like “Wow, I’m home.” We can provide support to help you dive deeper into your truth. And not by yourself, but in a community, which makes it such a more fulfilling experience for people.