Feathered Pipe is profoundly honored to host, for the first time, J. Brown’s signature offering — “Gentle is the New Advanced” — at our tranquil summer oasis in summer 2017. J. has shared his offering already with thousands of teachers and students around the world. We embrace the alignment of this extraordinary teacher’s approach with The Pipe’s rich tradition of embracing the timeless relevance of the very best of the ancient roots of yoga.
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 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.
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 standardized, scaled and franchised approach to yoga. But the older traditions have also continued, and J. Brown is at the forefront of a welcome resurgence of this ‘old-school’ yoga.
At once both a revolution and a return to the ancient roots of yoga, this is a gentle, therapeutic, breath-centered practice. It makes the body strong and flexible 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.
“That diligence around breath and its ongoing emphasis is what struck me as the most distinguishing factor of his Gentle is the New Advanced style of practice… a gateway. For me, it swiftly removed the striving and gave license to savor the more subtle aspects of the poses – poses which I have greeted in the same fashion for nearly two decades.”
~ Susan Currie, Managing Editor at Boston Yoga & Associate Editor at LA YOGA Magazine
About J. Brown
J. Brown (E-RYT 500) is a yoga teacher, writer, podcaster, and founder of Abhyasa Yoga Center in Brooklyn, New York. A teacher for more than 20 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, and across the yoga blogosphere. 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 Certfied). J. is a member of IAYT.
For more than two decades 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. 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 a process of learning how to take care of one’s self. 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 Manhatan 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.
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