I received this letter to give more light on the price increase at Eddie Stern’s Ashtanga Shala in New York.
Message: As a long-time student of Eddie Stern, I felt compelled to add a bit more perspective to your recent blog post in which you forwarded his email about AYNY pricing. I must disclose though that I am also Eddie\’s friend and serve as a trustee and the treasurer to the Broome Street Temple, a non-profit Hindu temple, which is affiliated with AYNY. I hope you will share my thoughts with your readers…
AYNY is unique among ashtanga yoga schools. I know this first hand having travelled the world and practiced at many very good ashtanga studios in large cities and small. AYNY is a great space endowed with spirituality, an extended student community and highly trained teachers. Unfortunately, AYNY operates in a very high cost environment (the SOHO district of NYC). It is open from 5:30am to noon for Mysore practice Monday through Friday and from 7:30am to 11:00am on Sundays. Students can come whenever they want and practice for as long as they want. There are regular yoga classes on Saturdays and on mid-week evenings as well. AYNY does more than teach asana. There are Saturday meditation classes. Periodic Friday yoga therapy classes. Regular Sunday yoga theory classes. All of these extra classes are free to monthly yoga students. True, Eddie does have a boutique that sells tee shirts and books. But, 100% of the profits from these sales are directed to charitable yoga outreach initiatives. Eddie’s Ashtanga Yoga Outreach program teaches yoga to at risk inner city youth, prison inmates, cancer patients and the developmentally disabled.
While the price of AYNY is necessarily high, Eddie never turns away any committed student in financial need. With a rent of about $13,000 a month, most studio owners would naturally obsess over finances. But for Eddie, teaching yoga has never been about making money. AYNY is a very special place and Eddie is a very special kind of person. Thank you.