Assimilating Rich Yogic Traditions Relevant For Today | Eddie Stern #053

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“Yoga does not ask you to be more than you are, But yoga does ask you to be all that you are” ~ Eddie Stern

Yoga is a group of physical, mental and spiritual practices originally developed in ancient India that nowadays has undergone a complete resurgence, particularly in the west. 

Many yogic practitioners define the benefits of the daily practice of Yoga as boundless, and still many, although interested, find it hard to include practices such as this in their daily lives.

Some do not find the correct introductory stimulus and for others it is their surrounding environment that doesn't propeciate the learning. 

In this day and age, there are several Yogic teachers trying to approach the average consumer with these traditional life-enhancing techniques and other watered-down versions of them. Today’s guest is one of the most popular and well-established people to do so in the United States...

About Our Guest: Eddie Stern

Eddie Stern is a Yoga teacher, author, and lecturer from New York City.

He has been practicing Yoga since 1987, and ran his school in SoHo from 1993-2019.

In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s the school became a focal point for Ashtanga Yoga in New York with an eclectic mix of downtown artists and spiritual seekers practicing and meditating next to well-known personalities such as Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Mike D, and Lou Reed, in what was also Manhattan’s first consecrated Ganesh Temple.

Eddie Stern

Eddie has a passion for seeking out diversity in all aspects of his work and uses a multidisciplinary approach of combining technology, scientific research, and collaboration to help further understanding, education, and access to yoga.

He continues to study philosophy, Sanskrit, ritual, science, and religion, as well as maintain a passion for the daily practice Yoga.

Eddie learned Ashtanga yoga under Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and R. Sharath Jois, of Mysore, India.


In this Episode we Discuss:

Eddie's and Dylan's morning routine (dinacharya).

Eddie is reading 60 verses per day, every day, for 1 year of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (Bhāgavatam Purana)

Swadaya

The study of the chapters of self, self reflection.

adi / ayana: To move firmly towards.

Swa: Self.

Swa - adyaya: Chapter

Yoga allowing us to get in touch with the higher/deeper narrative of our beingGoing beyond the 'little stories' we tell ourselves about what our life has been like or what has happened to us, until the only story left is our true being, pure existence.

How to mentally approach the Puranas and hindi epics to take advantage of their teachings.  

Silhouette of woman doing Yoga during sunrise

Eddie’s journey into India and the Yogic traditions

The journey of the previous generation’s most notorious spiritual seekers (e.g. Ram Dass and Radanath Swami) and what the context was like when they travelled to India.

The alleged difference between first experiencing Yoga, India and the Vedic Traditions in the late 20th century vs. what a new seeker/student experiences today.  

Three monks sitting in the entrance of a buddhist temple

Integrating religious beliefs such as Judaism with Vedic and Hindu practices. 

Some of Eddie's current projects: 

“The Breathing App” for free in app stores: provides guided paced breathing to deal with stress

Yoga 365: one minute Yoga practice every day for a year, for beginners who don't have time to put into practice a 20 minute or one hour classes any day of the week. For every one purchase, a Yoga 365 is gifted to a healthcare worker working with covid patients.   

The Urban Yogis, alongside Deepak Chopra and Erica Ford: teaching young adults coming from high-gun-violence-areas to be Yoga and Meditation teachers and also help them find steady jobs.

Breathing and rehabilitation practices for people suffering and recovering from Covid-19. In early stages of the project.  

Every-day global Yoga classes online for free or by donation.

Scroll down to "Resources" to find out more about these projects and many others. 

Eddie Stern giving a Yoga class

Ego Traps & Eddie's favorite Slohka

Going against the fallacy that because of doing a spiritual practice periodically you are better off than those who don’t.

Favorite Slohka: Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 2, Verse 48

Resources

Eddie’s daily online yoga classes. - eddiestern.com

Black Yoga Teachers Alliance, Eddie is a newly appointed advisory board member to the Black Yoga Teachers Alliance.

Author of One Simple Thing: A New Look at the Science of Yoga and How It Can Transform Your Life, a bestselling book that examines from both a Western scientific perspective and an Eastern philosophical perspective the underlying mechanisms that make yoga an amazingly effective practice for health, wellbeing, and spiritual development.

The Breathing App, a free app which guides the user in a paced breathing exercise that balances the nervous system, helping to improve sleep, and reduce stress and anxiety. Created with his wife, Jocelyne Stern, and app programmer and collaborator Sergey Varichev.

International Yoga and Science Conferences, an ongoing forum for presenting rigorous scientific evidence on yoga and meditation which is accessible, inspiring, and actionable; created with Dr. Marshall Hagins.

Namarupa, Categories of Indian Thought, a Hindu philosophy and art journal, and a boutique book publishing house, with partner Robert Moses.

Engineering Health, a free, online yoga and physiology program with the New York University Tandon School of Engineering, created with Alexandra Seidenstein and Dr. Erich Anderer.

Urban Yogis, a yoga and meditation program for community transformation led by Juquille Johnston, Jaytaun MacMillan, Raheem Lewis, and Pastor NaRon Tillman, in South Jamaica, Queens.

LIFE Camp is a gun violence reduction program in South Jamaica, Queens, started and run by Erica Ford. The program uses a multi-modality intervention model to interrupt violence before it can occur. It is a city-funded program and the instigator of the NYC Crisis Management System which has reduced shootings by 40% in NYC. Eddie is the current co-Chairperson of LIFE Camp.

Set/Reset (previously Breathe, Move, Rest) Eddie was the co-founder of this health and wellness educational non-profit that has trained school teachers in 120 schools in the US in health and wellness practices based on yoga and meditation (reaching approximately 70,000 school kids, K-12.) He was a founding board member of Bent On Learning, nonprofit organization committed to teaching yoga to New York City public school children. As well, he led curriculum writing teams for Pure Edge, and other yoga/health and wellness in schools non-profits.

Inner Peace Network, a new platform devoted to supporting the teachers and teachings of the great wisdom traditions, and the cultures that they have emerged from.

Bhāgavatam Purana (the story of Lord Krishna) by Krishna Dvaipāyana a.k.a. Vyasa 

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Final Image taken from Helsingin's Astanga Joogakoulu - Astanga Special Workshop 2022

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Please seek advice from a qualified practitioner before starting any new health practice.