Hello Living Tradition Yoga community!
I will keep this to the point as possible.
After nearly 13 years of sub-leasing space to hold our classes, Living Tradition Yoga has closed its doors. We will reopen under a new name and at a new location. The Center for Iyengar Yoga will be our new name and 1204 East 11 Mile Road in Royal Oak, MI will be our new location. The studio will be dedicated to the practice of Iyengar Yoga and will be the only Certified Iyengar Yoga Center in Oakland County; and one of just two such centers in the entire Metro Detroit region. The studio will have a full rope wall, an expanded assortment of yoga props (to both facilitate a more in-depth practice of Iyengar Yoga and support more therapeutic and restorative practices), and an expanded schedule of classes.
For me, this is a long-awaited and essential step toward providing the Iyengar Yoga methodology to our community at full capacity. In my view, this move will allow us to teach, learn, and practice Iyengar Yoga the way it was meant to be.
To be clear, I am not doing this because I think it will be fun or delightful (though I expect it will be both of those things). I am not even really doing this because I desire this change (though I do and I have for years). To be honest, taking this step and doing the hands-on work of renovating a building to suit the needs of a full-fledged Iyengar Yoga studio is challenging me in ways I never thought possible. So essentially, I am doing this because I think Iyengar Yoga (or more accurately, Patanjala Yoga, as B.K.S. Iyengar calls it) is a powerful and sure path to the ultimate for a human being. In a time when yoga is being packaged and popularized for anything ranging from a “Dance party with an uplifting message,” to a way to bond more deeply with goats (no kidding), I find it essential to seek out and share authentic teachings from the longest standing, continuous tradition on the planet. It is a tradition that has been (and continues to be) developed and evolved by countless masters, truly amazing human beings. I’ll go as far as to say that, in my opinion, yoga is all too often treated as yet another plaything in our age and culture.This saddens me, given my experience of what a profound and powerful quality of life the sincere practice of yoga can add, not just to human life but to all life on the planet. It seems enhanced lives are very much needed in our world. In my view, we are sitting on a goldmine!
Therefore I am resolved to offer something that honors and aligns with this tradition. As an expression of that resolution, I am committed to building Iyengar Yoga studio (you can see evidence of that here, it will be updated regularly through the completion of the process)–and, more importantly, a robust community of Iyengar Yoga practitioners–in Royal Oak. I have committed myself to this because, in this time of yoga’s expansion and large-scale interaction with so-called “Western” societies, I feel this is a way to ensure that yoga’s incredible wisdom, power, and insight remain an influential force in this interaction. I am committed that Living Tradition Yoga remain (and become ever more fully) a place where the full depth of what yoga is and what it has to offer is sought with devotion; a place where steadfast effort gets directed toward conforming ourselves (mainly via correct and steadfast practice) to the yogic spirit and ethos which have wrought extraordinary human beings since time immemorial. At a time when, it seems, it is fashionable to “bend and twist” these practices and ethos in the name of self-gratification, I feel it is even more important to honor (I dare say, “Live”) the tradition of yoga by “bending and twisting” ourselves in the name of Self-Realization. In other words, rather than changing yoga to suit “us,” I feel now is the time to change “us” to suit yoga. I am confident this is a better way to go about the practice. This is what we are up to at Living Tradition Yoga. I have no doubt that it will yield amazing results–wonderful fruits. It already has!
My purpose in writing this letter is to find out: Are you with me? Actually, Are you with us? Who is “us,” you ask? It is many of you who are reading this. It is the community of practitioners who, class-by-class, week-by-week (and in many cases, year-by-year) keep challenging themselves to understand more clearly this subject of yoga, and to conform themselves and their conduct more closely to its principles. It is the seekers and, I say, the seers–the Neo-Rishis–of our time.
Are you with us?
If you are not, that is okay. Thank you for considering the ideas herein. I wish you well and that God bless you and your yogic journey.
If you are with us, then I say let’s come together and make the Center for Iyengar Yoga something fantastic! This project is far bigger than me. I am absolutely sure I cannot do it alone. There is room for much passion and talent and vision. There is a need for many and varied resources. To name a few: we need sincere and dedicated students–true seekers as I mentioned before. We could also use much else! We could use trucks and trailers and teams to complete renovation of the space. We could use construction skills and expertise. We could use effective word-of-mouth sharing about who we are and what we are up to. (In fact, we could use effective (even expert) marketing of all kinds.) We could use inspirations and encouragements for people to take up the study of Iyengar Yoga with us. We can use a variety of skills from computing to artwork to cooking to administration to social media and web design, and more. We can use courageous hearts, strong arms, and generous spirits. We can use prayers and good intentions. We can use a good photographer. We can use deep and open pocketbooks. We can use a community’s commitment to making the principles and vision contained in this letter (and in what we do) a reality in our world. We can use you, dear reader, making a contribution based upon these considerations: What do you want for your Center for Iyengar Yoga? How would you like it to be?
I am open to whatever contributions you are willing to make. If it is a conversation, please call me at (248) 821-YOGA (9642). If it is a contribution of time or talent, you can call me, or email me. If it is a contribution of treasure, you can click here to make an online contribution through our GoFundMe Campaign.
Now let’s get to work on creating a little piece of Heaven on Earth, shall we?