OK Ashtangis — in case you missed it, there’s a new website for Jois Yoga. The website explains: “Based on the teachings of Sri K Pattahbi Jois, founder of Ashtanga Yoga, JOIS is a living legacy featuring a collection of Yoga Shalas and Apparel Worldwide.”
In an earlier post, I mentioned news of this month’s grand opening of the Jois Yoga Shala in Encinitas, Calif. Now we know more about the founder of the shala, and about future plans — which include additional shalas opening up worldwide, along with an apparel line.
I don’t know — it’s hard for me to picture an official Jois-family-approved line of clothing, along with what will essentially be a chain of shalas around the world. On the other hand, it’s too easy to question whether this is a positive development for the global sangha of Ashtanga practitioners, and I don’t want to set up false dichotomies of good-versus-bad, traditional-versus-modern, homegrown-versus-commercialized. If nothing else, yoga teaches us to be less reactive in our daily lives — to not jump to conclusions or let preconceived notions lead the way.
And without a doubt, new shalas and a new line of dedicated clothing will only increase Ashtanga’s profile, attracting more people to try this practice for the first time and deepening others into their current practice through having greater worldwide accessibility to teachers steeped in the Ashtanga tradition.
But for me, it is surprising, to say the least, to see these developments and learn about what’s in the works. I’d love to hear what practitioners think about these announcements and plans.